Big Lap WA 2015— Done, dusted and wrapped up..

So we have been home for 4 nights and 5 days, and it feels like forever.

I’ve finally gotten everything put back away, I’ve scrubbed the house, all that is left to do is my Art Studio (Starting that tomorrow) I want to de-clutter and reorganise. The thing about living in a tent with one bag of clothes for 50 plus days is you appreciate not needing “Stuff” so I come home and this all seems like clutter! A LOT of it is being phased out and moved on.

The Bloke suggested we start work on the “Back deck” which has been on our “to do list” for a few years and we keep putting it off, well, we got home Wednesday and Thursday he went down and brought the new timber the fernery is part one of phase one, we removed all the broken timbers and replaced them all bright and new and all new shade cloth. During the week I’ll begin the weeding and the clearing up of the fernery in tome for some new plants for summer.. definitely some mints because the mozzie and spiders hate it. There are 4 phases of the back deck, it’s a huge task and huger still because we have put it off too long.

Phase one was this weekend, replacing the fernery roof and shade cloth.

Phase two will be the replacement of the fernery walls and the soil and tan bark and general tidying. De spider webbing.

Phase three is the top and bottom garden beds, huge job, all need to dug over, pruned, replanted and refreshed, Phase four is the lower deck, there’s an old cubby house which needs dismantling and an old worn out BBQ that is ear marked to be replaced along with the mis-matched outdoor furnishings.

Phase four is the back deck itself, it all needs to be washed with the pressure cleaner and then re-oiled.

These things take time and the Bloke works long hours so I will endeavour to do as much as I can by myself… but ultimately he’s a control freak and so nothing I do will be good enough, he’ll re-do it all! Ideally the time frame would be between now and Christmas so we could enjoy Christmas day out there but don’t anyone hold me to that!!

Being back home, I’ve re-established my morning routine of daily bible study and reading at least one chapter or my current book, yesterday I finished “Holy Cow” by Sarah MacDonald


Holy Cow! An Indian Adventure from Good Reads

Holy Cow! An Indian Adventure
After backpacking her way around India, 21-year-old Sarah Macdonald decided that she hated this land of chaos and contradiction with a passion, and when an airport beggar read her palm and insisted she would come back one day – and for love – she vowed never to return.
But twelve years later the prophecy comes true when her partner, ABC’s South Asia correspondent, is posted
After backpacking her way around India, 21-year-old Sarah Macdonald decided that she hated this land of chaos and contradiction with a passion, and when an airport beggar read her palm and insisted she would come back one day – and for love – she vowed never to return.
But twelve years later the prophecy comes true when her partner, ABC’s South Asia correspondent, is posted to New Delhi, the most polluted city on earth. Having given up a blossoming radio career in Sydney to follow her new boyfriend to India, it seems like the ultimate sacrifice and it almost kills Sarah – literally. After being cursed by a sadhu smeared in human ashes, she nearly dies from double pheumonia. It’s enough to send a rapidly balding atheist on a wild rollercoaster ride through India’s many religions in search of the meaning of life and death.
From the ‘brain enema’ of a meditation retreat in Dharamsala to the biggest Hindu festival on earth on the steps of the Ganges in Varanasi, and with the help of the Dalai Lama, a goddess of healing hugs and a couple of Bollywood stars – among many, many others – Sarah discovers a hell of a lot more



Sarah is An Aussie and so she writes like an Aussie so I laughed with her I cried with her and I wished I was travelling with her. I enjoyed this book and will give it 4* out of 5*

Now I have started reading Ruth Park’s “Harp in the South”

Being at home feels like we never left other than I had Star Son under my feet constantly.. so in a way I am looking forward to tomorrow when he returns to school and the Bloke returns to work, and I have that little bot of “me time” that’s when I will spent my time doing to art studio and starting to get back into my art which I am missing A LOT. Having said that, it’s going to be busy the rest of this month, we have stuff to do The Bloke had our soon to be son-in-law’s Bucks Night this coming weekend and then the following weekend is my Daughter’s “Hens Night” which I have to attend, that’s on Sweetpea’s 2nd Birthday so we will celebrate that on the Sunday, maybe just cake and coffee for the close family. Then the following weekend is the Wedding it’s all come along really quickly, and between now and then I am detoxing to lose a little bit of weight, and I need to get my hair restyle and nails and my eye brows done, it’s going to be full on! So the “holiday that was” seems like so far away!

Looking back at our trip and people asking (not that many people have! ok actually my sister-in-law only!!) “What was your favourite bit?” without a doubt I answer “the desert” because we spent a lot of time driving through it. I kind of wish we had stayed there in the desert a little longer. I liked Esperance, that was probably my favourite little town to camp in.

My favourite wild place was “Coffin Bay” The Bloke says “Whistlers Camp” which was at Cape Leewuin Naturaliste Park.

My least favourite place was “Lake Lascelles” it was pretty enough and maybe another time when I was less fed up with the whole trip I might have enjoyed it but right then I did not. Followed closely by the Grampians (only for the size of the camp sites)

Places NOT to miss: Ok so you might not know this about me ( I say with tongue in cheek!) But I love Rocks! So for me the places NOT to miss were… “Bunda Cliffs”, “Pildappa Rock”, and “Wave Rock”. Bunda Rock and Pildappa rock are free entry and free to camp there..(suggested donation for Pildappa, we gave $20 for the night for the three of us, because we used their bbq and their drop pit toilet) The Bloke said “Head of the Bight” which was where we saw our only whales. Hahndorf– I loved the German village.

Places I could NEVER go to again and not miss: The Star Son and the Bloke said “Fowlers Bay” they said unless they were Certain that there were whales there. I think I wouldn’t go to “Kingston on Murray” again although at the time I needed that break because I was really sick, so it helped. “Margaret River” was a disappointment and I wouldn’t bother with that again!

All time favourite thing: Star son replied straight away: food! which is funny since he ate chicken nuggets and chips most of the time.  The Bloke said: The Whales.. I agree they were special, when we did the last Big Lap, I wanted to see turtle and we did and I got really emotional about them.. less so with the whales but they are not something we are likely to see in the wild too often! I really enjoyed all our contact with the wild life, we saw wild camels and a fox, and snakes and lizards and kangaroos and possums and a bilby, things like that I think are special.

Anything to do differently: Me: stop pandering to spoilt children and giving up the things I wanted to do and see to keep the peace. I missed out going to see Rottnest Island, I missed the Anzac Memorial in Albany and the Whaling station, I missed out on seeing the Jarrah trees in the while, and I missed out on a lot of shopping, I kept thinking I’ll get it later” and then came home with no goodies for anyone. In the end I kept convincing myself that I’ll come back one day when I don’t have the kid” but in reality I doubt I would repeat this trip. I also felt that we were rushing even when at the end we had spare time before we had to meet our friends, but we got lost, we went off our plan and tried to fit into the weather pattern instead and then it all started going pear-shaped for me. We will be going to Western Australia again, but then it won’t be the southern portion again, I think I can say “we’ve been there and done that and got the sticker to prove it

I MUCH preferred the first Big Lap in the desert and Up to Darwin and across to QLD, to me Western Australia was a major let down.





Big Lap WA 2015- Day 54… Home Sweet Home..

Back about I guess a week or more ago, I mentioned I’ve had enough.. I was getting closer to home and the closer I got the more I kept thinking of the things at home I could be doing, or should be doing or just the fact that it’s been 50 odd days since I’ve seen the Grand babies… so when we woke up this morning in Bel Far Niente in St. Leonards I just wanted to go home.

The Bloke had been talking a few days earlier about some projects around the house he wanted to get done, preferably before summer or Christmas and I am having withdrawals from Art and my Art Studio and my Grand babies and even the dogs I am missing them too. Plus while we’ve been away, Sasha, who is Sweet Pea’s Kitty, had kittens under the back deck and after getting a tearful phone call from Amber and sorting them out on how to get the kittens out to safety, I feel like it’s time to go home, Star Son said “What are we doing, we’re wasting time just sitting here” and yes he was right and for once I didn’t want to smack him and tell him to shut up! So we packed up and hitched Matilda to Heidi for the last time this trip and prepared to go home.

In the Caravan Park there are speed humps which stop you from hooning around too fast you should drive only at walking pace 8 kms an hour.. it’s impossible but that’s what the sign says.. as we got to the first speed hump, after travelling almost 11,000 kilometres this trip, we heard an almighty bang and the car went “weird” and I swore.. “What the F%$#@ was that?!” it scared me!!

Of all the shitty roads, all the pot holes and the dirty, dusty, sandy roads we’ve been on the trailer Matilda decides this is the time she will choose to “jump off the coupling” and go solo… and give me a heart attack! We were horrified that the trailer had fallen off the car, so we went through all the steps again, had we been too hasty, not connected her correctly, forgot the locking pin? what had we done wrong? and would this happen again? we knew that some of the roads on the way home are fairly lumpy so do we need to drive really slowly? So close to home and yet it felt like a thousand miles.

We reconnected her, and then took her off and then reconnected her again, triple checking all the steps, and then very gingerly set off again, we had two more speed humps to get over and each little noise had me looking worriedly in the side mirror waiting for her to “jump off” again. When we stopped for lunch at the local KFC, we checked her again and all the way home we listened for any weird noises. Then when we got home we checked her again, we cannot for the life of us figure out what happened there. But isn’t it ironic the day we say we’re going home she “jumps off” almost in protest, I wonder if Tilly knows her touring days after starting to wind down and she’s objecting.

Grand baby was excited to see us home, the animals were excited to see us home, the daughter less excited because she was supposed to have a date night that night and us coming home had ruined her plans, of course it didn’t we looked after our Sweetpea as though we’d never left!

My house is looking worse for wear, there were knee-high weeds in the garden and the wisteria has gone beserk, there are countless dirty hand prints on my walls and things are just not up to scratch but you know what? somehow just now I can’t care too much, I’m home and although part of me is happy, part of me is also thinking… “When can we go again?”

In the meantime I’ll work my way back into being Mum/ Grandma and Wife while I de-clutter, sort, discard and thoroughly scrub the house and dream about the Next Big Lap…

Wrap up coming tomorrow… but so far…

Kilometres done- 11,236

Average fuel used- 8 litres per 100 kilometres.

Yeah! I’m a nerd I like keeping track of stuff like that!





Big Lap WA 2015- Days 49- 53- Halls Gap Victoria. It’s almost over!!

Days 49- 53- Halls Gap Victoria, with the Grampians as our back drop… what more could you ask for?

Day 49- Friday 30th October 23015 –

Shall I rant or just calmly tell you about this place? I wanna rant so badly and yet, I can’t really because I loved it with my bestie and two of her three boys, we had a great weekend, we made the most of a stupid situation.

We arrived first and so we checked in and were told we had site 109 and Bestie and her family had 110.. Cool we would be neighbours.. so off we go and already I am thinking “sardines in a tin” it was already quite packed at 2.30pm. We found our site and almost could not believe our eyes at the size of it.. it was T-I-N-Y!!

It was about 5 meters wide ( 16 feet) by 8 meters long (about 25 feet long) we are camping in tents and so we are fairly flexible but Bestie and Mr Bestie were trialling their new camper van which was out for its first run.. tentatively named “Rhonda Runaway” now camper trailers have to be set up just so, you cannot just back it into a LONG thin site and hope it’ll work. We don’t have one but even we knew there would be trouble here.. so we didn’t do a full set up in case we needed to move things as they arrived. We have given this particular site the “Worst rating ever”

Bestie and her squad” arrived at about 8.00pm and since it was going to be dark soon we had to quickly work out how to make these sites work for us.. so we moved Star Son’s tent to the back of the second site and “Besties squad” took up the front of both sites.. it was tricky, but for the first night we made it work.

Saturday Morning…Day 50 (we’ve been travelling 50 days OMG!!) Halloween!

We decided to complain. when I saw “we” I meant Mr Bestie and the Bloke because I don’t complain I whine on my blog. Apparently there were suddenly a few spare spaces and we could move if we wanted to but then again, what if they were worse? Plus I don’t know about “Bestie” but I didn’t want to have to pack everything up just to move to a new site, so we said “Stuff it, let’s stay here” instead we moved our tent and Star Son’s tents over a bit more, which meant we were sideways on the site and we could have our awning up, which thankfully didn’t flap and blow around everywhere. “Besties Squad” set up across the front of the site and we set up their annex for some more shade… and the weather people said “thunder storms and torrential rain”ha!!

We made it work! we had a nice little square in the middle where we put our tables and chairs and then much later when the next door neighbours left we could spread out onto their site, we moved te fire pit into the central square!

Saturday was a nice casual day, sitting around chatting catching up on all the gossip. We walked over the shops and did the sight seeing things, and when the sun dropped a bit and it cooled down a little we did the first hike up the hill to “Venus Baths”

On the way back to camp we checked out the Botanical Garden and wandered around the camp ground, appreciating the wild roos that wandered through the park as though they owned the place. At 2.30am, we had a close encounter with one when I hear rustle rustle in the kitchen area of our camp, immediately I’m awake listening, then I hear a thump of something hitting the ground, so I quickly got up and rushed out.. I didn’t see the Roo but I saw my loaf of bread on the ground and where it had been rummaging through the chiller bag, so I brought them all into our tent. Next morning as I went to make toast I see the teeth marks in the opposite end of the bread bag!

Sunday 1st November 2015 – Day 51!

So today there is a local market which we girls wanted to visit (it was a disappointment) we also decided to drive up the Hill and visit some of the hiking trails and do some touristy sight-seeing. After struggling to find a park, because 64,000 other people had the same idea.. copy cats! We parked illegally and off we went. First stop was supposed to be “The Grand Canyon” well the path was closed one way so we went another way and it was blocked off there too… and by then Bestie and I were huffing and puffing like old steam trains ( I’ve really challenged my idea of my fitness levels this trip) so we decided to sit out the rest of the hike to “The Pinnacles” which was another 2.1 kilometres up and then the same back… we sat uncomfortably on the rocks and directed other people what track to take and wished them all good luck!! Mr Bestie with his eldest son and his youngest son and Star Son made the trek to the top, apparently the views were amazing, I was happy to sit and gossip with my Bestie.

After the hike we went into Stawell to find a supermarket, thinking this is Victoria surely something will be open!

Only Woolworths was open and so we went there and got supplies for some dinners before heading back to camp. On the way to camp we stopped at the local pub to peruse the menu and decided if we wanted to eat there, luckily none of us were fussy eaters and so we booked a table, but we couldn’t get in until 7.30pm… so afternoon tea was called for.. and a few drinks as well.

Dinner was so worth the wait I had chicken parma and every vegetable or salad thing I could find, I am so craving vegetables!

We got back to camp by 9.00pm and decided it was cool enough for a fire, so we sat around the camp fire chatting and playing the name game.. have you played it? The first person names a famous person, the next person must use the first letter of the first persons surname… for example I’ll say Marilyn Monroe, the Bloke will then have to think of an “M” name so he’ll say Maurice Gibb, so the next person has to pick someone with the name “G” the only rules are some one else HAS to know of that person! if we were playing with adults we would play it that you have 10 seconds to answer and if you can’t answer or you repeat a name already said you have to skull your drink… yes people it’s a drinking game! We use any famous person, and that could include authors, or singers, or sports or characters. On the Big Lap the Star Son and the Bloke and I used to play it with different things like “Fruit” if Star Son said banana, then The Bloke would have to think of an “A” fruit.. it gets you thinking and it’s a bit of fun.

Monday 2nd November 2015- Day 52

This morning we had a minor drama. The Bloke and Mr Bestie were talking about the coupling that holders the camper trailer to the car tow bar and the pin that slips into it to lock it into place and Mr Bestie went to get the pin to show the Bloke something.. and suddenly no one is quite sure where the pin is… so we all do a search which is hard because I didn’t take any notice of what it looked like on the set up night.. so I’m not really sure what I’m looking for… but it means that the camper trailer will NOT be locked onto the tow bar tomorrow if they don’t find it or get a replacement, so Mr Bestie starts making some calls and find a store in Stawell that sells them and so as a group we decide we’re off to Stawell. it’s about a 30 minutes drive, but at least we know today the shops will be open. So the men all head off one way and us Sheilas head off to see the shops. I brought myself a bamboo crochet hook and 5 balls of wool, just quietly I am going slightly mad not doing anything arty or crafty!!

After the shop saying “they had some” it turns out the guy on the phone didn’t even know what Mr Bestie was talking about so sells him two other options, and in the middle of the road we discuss “Will these fit?” right away one is too small and the other one while it might “just fit” what if it slipped off or worse? so Mr Bestie took them back to get his money back and we decided to go to the next town which was Horsham and have a look there.. more shops, more sightseeing and definitely camping stores and caravan stores. Anyways the guy comes out with a bigger locking pin and decides this one will fit for sure so that saved us another trip…. back at camp we lit the fire earlier to get some coals so we could make baked potatoes and the boys the young ones not the Blokes wanted to roast marshmallows. Then the weather turned cold.. and miserable and we even had a few spots  of rain BUT not the thunderstorms and torrential rain that was first predicted. We packed it in early we were all in our beds by 10 pm and I read my book until much later.

Tuesday 3rd November 2015- Melbourne Cup Day.

Ok, so if you are from overseas you may not know what “Melbourne Cup Day” is and why it’s a public holiday. Melbourne cup is the greatest horse racing event of Australia and it is literally the “Race that stops the nation” people in all states of Australia have either a BBQ or a party or take the day off work, people fly into Melbourne to attend the Cup, it’s world-famous, this year it had horses from Ireland and America and Japan racing in it. It’s a really good excuse to spend a lot of money on clothing and you MUST wear a hat ladies, so people spend stupid amounts of money to go there and dress up and get rip-roaring drunk, some might make some money but most lose their money, and their shoes and various other items of clothing and most definitely their dignity. I went once! Each year we watch the race on TV if we are not camping and we have guesses who will win.

So this morning was pack up day for us happy campers both families agreeing “We Will NEVER come back here again!” we might go back to Halls Gap but a different caravan park! We were all packed up in the cars ready to go by 9.45am which is some kind of record but I think we all had the same thing, people will be heading home the roads will be chaos. Well, we are still trying to add black lines to the map of Victoria, so we were taking every kind of back road we could find and we were back at St. Leonards by 1.00pm. In time to unpack, settle in and watch the Big Race at 3.10pm.

I’m funny about picking horses.. If I like the name or the colour or the pattern on the jockey’s riding top I’ll pick it. Unless we are in a group situation as in a BBQ or something we never bet money on the race, the Bloke and I both agree, we work too hard to get money to throw it away… BUT this year I so wish I’d put money down.. I picked three horses, to come first, second and third,  I picked “Gust of wind” because A- it was a girl horse, B- it was owned by a lady and C- she was the only girl horse! Then I chose “The United States” because I have a passion for anything American! funny the horse wasn’t from America or owned by Americans or anything. Next on the spur of the moment, I went for “Prince of Penzance” remember that movie from the 80’s with Christopher Atkins as the sexy Pirate.. I think it was a musical back then, but the thing about this horse that got me was it was ridden by the first female Jockey to ride in this particular race, “The Melbourne Cup” plus I’d heard of her before when she was younger she was thrown from a horse and cracked her vertebrae and they thought she might never walk again.. or something like that, anyways her name was familiar so I threw her in. And because we don’t bet for money, I didn’t look at the odds..

Michelle Payne became the first women in the world to ride the winning horse for the Melbourne cup and it was a 100/1 odds… OH MY GOSH, if I had put the rare $5.00 that I have previously I’d be rich!! I cried, because she made such a great speech about how it’s a male chauvinist sport and how other Blokes had tried to stop her from racing but the owners had stuck by her and now she said “they can get stuffed, coz we won!” Yay Michelle… Girl power!!

It was a great way to end a great weekend. Now we are planning more camping trips to take. But for now, a few days at Bel Far Niente before heading home to “the real world”

In my real bed that night, after having a shower and being all clean I thought back over the trip and the post I would write when it was all finished a final wrap up so to speak! The Best, the worst, the never to be repeated and the must go back and do again things.. coming soon to a page near you!!


Big Lap WA 2015- Days 45- 49 Bel Far Niente (Italian for Home)

We stopped at Warracknabeal for some breakfast, I needed coffee and then we just kept on going.

The other places we had thought of to go were also getting bad weather and basically the whole of Victoria was stuffed… so we set our sails for St. Leonards because we have been there for about 10 years and we know from experience that whenever the rest of Victoria is having damaging winds and storms they usually miss it.. so I was feeling like we were off to our safe place!

Sure enough as we came into Geelong the sun was shining and the temperature was slowly creeping up and I was feeling much better!

Bel Far Niente (Beautiful doing nothing) … I’ve written about her before like here and here too So you’ll know how special it is to me.. it’s my escape from the real world when it gets too hard I run to my “safe place” there are no hard and fast chores and things everything is laid back and easy.. he hardest thing to think about in St.Leonards is what to eat and when!

So walking in the door I could have cried in happiness.. and the shower.. I reckon it was the best shower ever!!

We said we’d “stay one or two nights” because we were meeting my bestie and her family on the Friday which would be day 49

After a good nights sleep and a lazy day we decided we’ve just staying here till we need to be in the Grampians to meet Deanne. We got caught up on our laundry, and our reading, we sorted and DE cluttered the trailer and on the Thursday my daughter Amber came for the day with my son Jarrah, a friend Reece and my Sweetpea.. oh boy have I ever missed those Grand babies!! We had a few hours of one on one and then waved them all Goodbye until we came home for good.

A real bed made such a difference after all the setting up and breaking down of camps all over Australia, I found myself feeling a bit like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz… “there’s no place like home” even if it was only my second home.

By the time it came to Friday morning, I was excited to go camping again to see my Bestie, I haven’t seen her for ages… even though the weather reports were NOT sounding good, The Bloke even went as far as to call Steve –Mr Bestie and warn him about the weather forecast and they said “Well we are still going”so we said “We will see you there.”… we left St. Leonards at 10.30am and it was a grey overcast day but it was warm.. we’ve been having some high humidity so it’s not so bad!

We got to Halls Gap in the Grampians at 2.30pm and by 4.00pm we were all set up.. just sitting around waiting for the rest of the gang to arrive.

We’ve been to A LOT of caravan parks this trip, and so we’ve had A LOT of different camping sites but this one was the absolute worst!!

Big Lap WA 2015- Day 44- Lake Lascelles Victoria

I’m wearing down friends..

I’m tired, I’ve had enough of these Blokes and the closer I get the more I want to “just go home” Short drive today, we couldn’t decide where to go spoilt for choices, as long as we stayed inland.. because the coast is going to be wet windy and miserable.

So we headed in the general direction of “Jeparit” the Bloke made some calls yesterday about different areas we “thought“we might like to visit for example the Pink Lakes at The Murray Sunset National Park, which would be another night of no power and no showers, but I’m up for the challenge, at least I was till the voice on the other end of the phone said “There’s no water in the Lake” the same we found out for “Lake Albacutya” and then again for “Lake Hindmarsh“… these are small out of the way places that are names on the Map of Victoria and if we do anything for the rest of this trip we want to add more black lines to the Map of Victoria. So we drove on and we would figure it out as we went.

First stop was Ouyen let me tell you this… NOTHING is open on Sundays.. I feel so like we are back in the 70’s.. they were not helpful at all in the Bakery, so we kept on going.. One of the places on the map that sounded funky was “Patchewollock” repeat that a few times it sounded fun, so when we saw the turn off we detoured to “Patche” as the locals call it.. I have NEVER been more disappointed in my life… ok, I probably have but I was devastated.. there was nothing there. it resembled a ghost town.. OK… there “used” to be a Service staion there, which had burnt down and was now a gravel space with a solitary single charred petrol pump behind a chain link fence. There was a shop of sorts, with a sign that listed “bakery, milkbar, post office and general store” REALLY?! we didn’t even bother we turned Heidi and Tilly around and went back the way we came… “blink town” if you Blink you’ll miss it…

The map showed a Lake with free camping in a town called “Hopetoun” so we decided we’d stop there for lunch and check it out and see how we felt, we had no better offers… One pub in the town was boarded up, everything else was locked tightly up, but there was some kind of speed boat racing thingy on at Lake Lascelles and so we went to look, only to realise that it was where the “free camping” was. On one side of the sign you camped for free, on the other side you had power and a toilet for something like $15.00 per night.. hmmm… we drove around the lake picked out a good “spot”and decided that this would be “home” for tonight…we then decided to go into “town” and find some lunch… there was “one café” and I reckon most of the town were in there, so I stayed in the car and trusted the men to buy me a “pie” well, I don’t know what they were thinking but really? cheese in a pie.. it was not a good combo, but I was hungry I ate it..

So it’s been one of those hot, grey and over cast days, which I kind of don’t mind, because it’s not so hot when the sun stays away.. but then as we decided to set up the tent, out came the sun, up went the temperature and hello flies!!!

The place where we were camping was on sand, so the tent pegs were not going to stay in very well… to be frankly honest with you I hated the place on site, but then I thought I was having a “spoilt little brat” moment so I bit my tongue and set up camp. Then as the afternoon rolled on the wind started, you’ve read previous posts about the wind while camping, it’s not a good mix. Then about 6.00pm the sky grew dark and the rain started first it was big fat juicy drops, that splashed up on the sandy ground and dried quickly.. then the thunder started and the lightening and I’m muttering under my breath about being in the wild! (at least in a camp ground you have a camper kitchen to run and hide in when it thunders)

Before bed that night we removed the annex/ tarp because we feared we might fly away. The wind whipped up waves in the previously pretty little lake and the temperature dropped until we were cold! so by 9.30pm we were in bed with lights out, trying to go to sleep and wondering if we would still be in the same place in the morning, It was the longest night in the history of nights. The wind howled and bellowed ALL NIGHT long and by the time it was light enough to see I was growling at the Bloke “How long did YOU say we had to stay here?!!” he got up, looked around, saw the wind was too strong to even light the stove to boil the kettle and said “Let’s get out of here now!” So by 8.30am we had packed up 3/4’s of the camp and woken Star Son who had slept through it ALL and said “We are LEAVING NOW!”

Where to go next? we pulled over on the side of the road found some internet access and decided that we were about 2.5 hours away from our holiday place which is an onsite Caravan called “Bel Far Niente”  with an enclosed annex and a toilet and access to a shower and heating and safety.. we said “Let’s go to our other “home” and off we went.

Big Lap WA 2015- Day 40, 41, 42, 43- Mildura Victoria

Day 40- Wednesday – We packed up a very wet camp. I was awake at 6.00am and checked my online bits and pieces, we had free internet connection at Hahndorf so it was nice to be able to check up on the family on FB and my mail etc. It was cold and raining, so I took my breakfast ingredients and my bible study things and went to the massive camp kitchen and spent an hour over there with my coffee, vegemite toast and God’s word. When I got back to camp The Bloke was packing up and we had to wake up the kid to get him moving. By 9.35am we were “On the road again” and headed for warmer climes. Originally we had planned to go “straight” and spend a few days in Robe on the coast but when we checked out the weather websites it looked dismal and we are “fair weather” campers.. not really but why go into a thunderstorm when you can avoid it? so we changed plans and headed for the Victoria Border and across to Mildura which is usually always warmer. Good choice!

Although it was a grey overcast looking day it wasn’t raining or cold we can cope we that! We chose “Golden River” caravan park for a few reasons he main being it was a Big 4 caravan park and we know they always have good facilities and also because it’s on the banks of the Murray River and that means fishing. When we booked in they said we could only stay till Friday because they had a “Rod Run” coming in and they’d booked most of the van park out and were going to be loud and take over, we agreed that would be ok. So once we set up we decided to find out more info about “Goanna’s Run” and we liked the sound of it and so we decided to see if we could stay a few extra days. The “Kid”found the pool and reported it was heated and insisted that I get in since I went out in Albury WA and brought a new swim suit and had yet to wear it, I said “Maybe tomorrow” I finished my book and so that leaves me with two choices, the Bible or a book I borrowed from my bestie a Nicholas Sparks book, which I am trying to hold on to until I can give it back to her, I’ll read it in a few days. In the mean time I needed some more “Australian Author” books so we planned to hit the charity shops the next day and pick up a few, I’ve been so good at reading them and then leaving them behind. It’s a thing travellers do they leave their books in the laundry and pick up a new one, I could have done that but there are no Australian authors so I passed.

Since 25th September, just under a month I have read 8 books totalling 2,422 pages, so I am pretty happy with that!

The Bloke has been craving Fish ‘n’ Chips and so tonight we found a little fish shop and the smell of the oil as we walked in the door did me in, I got a “Plain Hamburger” which ended up being anything BUT plain, lettuce, tomato, cheese, beetroot and a slice of pineapple and I must confess though, it was the best burger I’ve eaten in ages. The Kid opted for McDonalds and the Bloke was disappointed in his fish ‘n’ chips. It’s usually the way when you want something so much you end up being disappointed, a little bit like parts of this trip really..

Day 41- Mildura.

I got bored last night and picked up a book I’ve been trying to read for 12 months called “Testament a Bible Odyssey” Maybe I’ve needed the 12 months in between starting it and picking it up again, because it seemed to flow a lot better than 12 months ago when I started reading it. I got about 100 pages read, yay me! ALAS it’s not an Australian Author and so I will put it aside as soon as I can.

Later that day….

I managed to walk into one of the charity shops I think it was “St. Vincent DePaul’s” and I picked up 6 Australian author books for only $6.50, winning!! We also went to the supermarket to stock up on some supplies. While the boys were using the bathroom, I wandered over the road to a fashion shop, the sales lady was so helpful I explained that I am going to be MOB and that I wont have much time when I get home to go shopping and so what could she help me with? nothing too over the top though. I tried on two dresses, two different styles and two different colours, I liked them both in their own way although the one I felt most comfortable in, my husband later tells me “it looked kinda like a sack” eep.. I liked that one and the colours were exactly  my type two colours. Anyways the sales lady said “Here try on these shoes“, and “try this little jacket” and “Ohhh you look lovely!” to which the blokes stood off to the side sniggering “Ohhh you look lovely” they mimicked. Just as this poor woman thought she was making a sale, my husband steps in and says “Let me take a photo and send it to Jasmin and see what she thinks?” the poor sales lady said “OH, yes of course” in a much less chirpy fashion and snatched the dress away and put it back on the hanger.

As we left the shop The Bloke reassured her “WE are here for another three days I’m sure we’ll be back” I wasn’t too happy to be honest, all trip I have been trying to find an out fit, and there I was with two I liked.. OK it was more money than I wanted to pay one was $289.00 and the other was $260.oo but I figured I’ll only be MOB this one time.. once! and there I was again with NO DRESS! As we drove off we discussed his reasoning and he came up with the “kinda like a sack” theory. They both liked the red dress but I knew that RED was not in my type 2 colour chart so it didn’t feel right to me, I even asked the sales lady “Doesn’t this make my boobs look bigger? “to which she replied “Love when you’ve got them make the most of them” which is almost the same as “If you’ve got them flaunt them” and I’ve never been comfortable with that saying either. Anyways.. I did send the photo to Jasmin and she replied that “she loved the dress, and no red wasn’t too over powering and that it looked good” I ignored it all and never went back!

Day 42- Mildura Friday.

By early morning the Hot Rods started arriving, the revving engines, or the throbbing of them driving in was loud all day, we are now comfortably surrounded on all sides by all shapes and sizes and colours and makes of Rods.. big, small, old and older, all colours, we are the only “normals” in the place but we were here first so we don’t feel too bad in our little corner where we can see them all arrive.

More shopping, I decided that I needed some singlet tops with thin straps if I am going to tan (which I have been doing without trying) I don’t want extra lines of tan marks, so off we went plus I wanted a little hand towel and some face cloths. I ended up with new shorts as well. We went down to the “Mall” to see what was happening with the Hot rod parade we heard there was going to be a band and we wanted to see f it was a band we were familiar with, there was one guy with a guitar singing, so Star Son and I went off to look at the clothes shops to try to find a MOB dress. He says “I don’t get why you can’t wear a dress from home, what’s the big deal?” he’s a 13 yr old boy, who can be bothered explaining? but I did because I want him to be patient and let me just get the flipping dress! I tried on one fitted style dress, he insisted that he see it when I get it on.. well I didn’t get it on, the biggest size did not fit, it was the right colours for my type two, but the wrong fitted style… next shop.. The next shop we went into the sales lady came right up and asked “Can I help you with anything?” So I explained “When I get home I have 20 days to become transformed from this ( I was wearing hiking sandals, leggings and a singlet top, not very glam!) to MOB, I need a dress BUT I don’t want it to be too fancy, I want to look fancy but still look like me” she sighed because they didn’t have anything “too fancy” So right away Star Son points to a dress he likes and says “try that one Mum” she agreed “Let’s start with that one” I liked that one, tried it on and right away regretted the fitted choice and pointed out to the sales lady who being about the same size as me agreed and rushed out to find something else.. the second one was a much better choice and all four of us agreed, it’s Cobalt Blue with silver accent. That shade of Blue and Silver are both type two colours, the dress is a little bit more fitted that I’d like BUT she showed me that with the right little jacket we can disguise that fact! So then the hunt for the perfect little jacket began.. she wanted one, I wanted a different and the Blokes each wanted theirs.. so I got none, I did however buy the cobalt blue dress with the silver accents, and I asked the lady since she’s already been so helpful “What accessories would you add with this?” she told me exactly what I wanted to hear what I’d already though of to add… yay! Apparently I’m learning this “fashion thing” I’ve never been the fashionable one, I like things that are comfortable and until I did the Dressing your type course I was hiding in dark dreary colours… NOW I know better so I can do better. I did not ask the Blokes to do any more “fashion” stuff because they’ve done two days worth, now I’ll wait till I get home and take one of my daughters with me for support. However she did point out that “Blue is a great choice for the MOB because Blue is lucky for Brides and you’ll be standing by her side some of the day! and especially in photos” I didn’t mention that Jasmin doesn’t want to do “those” photos but I like the dress anyways!

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Sneak peek of my dress…

While we were out and about we also found the “Mildura Chocolate co.” because in their advertisement they said “Life is too short not to eat great Chocolate” and I agree a thousand % So I brought us a block of Chili Chocolate and Star Son got a chocolate bar for helping me with my dress.

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Back at camp, we decided to go fishing, so we packed up the requirements and went down to the river to catch fish, we lasted maybe an hour before we all gave up on the idea.  We spent the afternoon messing around in the pool and hanging around camp just relaxing and reading I finished another book, called “Reflections on Marriage” by Hazel Hawke and started a book by Tasma Walton called “Heartless” I’ve been accused of that a time or two.


Day 43- Mildura and New South Wales.

Today the Bloke decided that we should go and revisit an old friend. The Perry Sand hills in the outback of Wentworth New South Wales, so we made another border crossing into New South Wales. Last year we spent a week in Wentworth almost exactly a year ago and discovered these red desert sand hills and fell in love. In the middle of the sand hills is a huge old tree been there forever and it’s fondly named the “God tree” so we went back to say hello.. that makes it four states of Australia we have visited in this trip!

So that brings us up to date and now it’s time to start thinking about the great pack up because in the morning we move onto destination unknown, all we know is we are heading South.. on the 30th of October we meet our friends at the Grampians just near Horsham but between now and then we are free agents, and so tomorrow we head South and look at maybe the little sandy Desert or the Pink Lakes or somewhere like that. Which means we may not have internet access for a few days, but I WILL be back and catch up when I can.




Big Lap WA 2015- Day 39- Hahndorf (Guten tag)

Hello or “good day” see I told you we would sample some German.

Today was the day for it, we got an early start, it had rained on and off most of the night and the sky was very grey and overcast but we were not going to let that stop us.

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This sign tells you which way to go.

The first stop The Bloke decided to take us to the home of the famous painter Hans Heysen and his daughter Nora Heysen, who had their home there called “The Cedars” we were going to do a tour and have a look through the house and his and her Studios were they produced some amazing works so I am told. But at the last-minute I decided not to go because well, Master 13 would be bored and a bored child is no fun, he just makes me so mad, I would not have enjoyed it, so I consoled myself with the fact that “one day I will come back here on my own and see everything I WANT to see”

So we found the main street and parked the car and walked in and out of any and every shop we could, and took photos of the historic homes and I just soaked everything up. I love history so I was loving it despite the rain.


We visited the Fudge shop, where the man who owned the place was happily handing out samples of his fudge, and yes, even though not German we did buy some I chose the caramel, Will chose Cherry ripe and Rob the rum ‘n’ raisin. We are eating them slowly to make them last longer.

We also went into the Lollie shop, we didn’t buy anything there though. We also went to Fruchoco and thought about buying some but instead I brought t-shirts for my Babies at home. My favourite shops which I don’t have photos of because we were not permitted to take photos of anything in there was the German Village Shop which sold cuckoo clocks and all sorts of German things, I so wanted to buy myself a little cuckoo clock but I refrained. We worked our way up the main street and crossed the road and down the other side, in that time we found a pastry shop which made German Strudel and so as we were leaving we went back and got ourselves some Apple Strudel… (it was SOOO GOOD!!) and made plains to go back that evening for dinner at “The Olde Mill Inn” which had “Cheap Chewsday” a buffet selection of foods for $16.90 bargain! I found some German Bratwurst sausages 2 types and I tried Sauerkraut, I’d never had it before I know it’s cabbage but that’s about all I know but I will definitely try it again. I will ask my German Penpals for the recipes!!

We also visited some Art galleries and I loved seeing what other people are creating, but I must confess it made me miss my art studio as well, even though I brought a selection of art supplies it’s been so full on and go ,go, go, I haven’t had a chance to sit down and do any art.

This whole day made me a bit Melancholy and so in the afternoon after having another tiff with Star Son and the Bloke, I took myself off to the shower and had a good cry.  I feel like it’s time to go home. Maybe it’s the bad weather I don’t know but I’ve had enough.


Big Lap WA 2015- Day 38- Hahndorf- South Australia

Pack up was easy because we stayed in a cabin over night, with a fan to keep us cool. This morning we got up to a HOT morning, I was kind of glad we didn’t have a whole camp to dismantle. We left Port Augusta at 9.45 am and by 11.00 am we had turned off the roads we were familiar with and drove on “New Roads” It was already 34c

We stopped at Port Wakefield for lunch a little town along the way we went to the only open shop which was a bakery, and I decided to be brave and try something new, I was so glad I did, it was delicious.. I had a Lamb rosemary pie. It was just like eating a roast lamb meal including thick gravy and mint sauce, sooooo good! The Bloke had a pastie and said that it was really good too.

As we drove along we left the fields and the desert behind and started passing wheat and salt lakes.

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Salt Lakes

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Salt Lakes

The temperature started to drop about then too, the sky was grey and over cast and frankly we got a bit nervous about the weather turning nasty. which is why we were heading to the Adelaide Hills anyways to avoid the bad weather.

We arrived in the little German town of Hahndorf.

Hahndorf is a small town in the Adelaide Hills region of South Australia. Currently an important tourism spot, it has previously been a centre for farming and services. It is accessible from Adelaide, the South Australian capital, via the South Eastern Freeway. The town was settled by Lutheran migrants largely from in and around a small village then named Kay in Prussia and now known as Kije, Lubusz Voivodeship in Poland. Many of the settlers arrived aboard the Zebra on 28 December 1838. The town is named after the Danish Dirk Meinhertz Hahn, captain of the Zebra. It is Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement (taken from Wiki)

I’ve been here before but the boys have not. I love this little town it’s the oldest German settlement in Australia. So we decided that while we were here we would try as many German experiences as we could.

We stayed at the Adelaide Hill’s Big 4 Caravan park called Hahndorf Resort. and it was stunning, the most amazing camp kitchen you could imagine, three microwaves, stoves, bb’q’s, fridges, all cutlery, crockery and cooking utensils you could think of, it was amazing and so HUGE, with three huge tables and bench seats, so on cold rainy days you could hang out In there.

The bathroom block had just been refreshed and it was amazing. There was only one day that I actually shared the space with anyone at all. Niiice!

After we set up camp and got our dinners sorted for the night we went for a walk around the camp, the boys had a quick game of Volleyball and we had a super quick jump on the jumping pillow before it started to rain and we headed back to camp.

I had just started another book  so I spent some time getting into that, bedtime 11;00pm, late for us!

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The entrance at the caravan park.. I wanna live there!


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Camp Hahndorf South Australia

Big Lap WA 2015- Day 37- On the Road again… Port Augusta

So last night we snuggle up in bed and the Bloke says.. “Sheila I’ve been thinking…” those are the words we come to dread.. and I said “Uh oh! what now? Where are we going??” So he’s decided that we need a night of pampering, and we should get a cabin in Port Augusta for a night, have a shower, wash our hair, do some laundry. I must admit it didn’t take me long to agree, ” Yes please!” So we are tonight here in Port Augusta, it’s been a hot day 35C and it was a hot dusty drive. The first thing I did was have a shower, wash my hair and do a load of washing, my clothes smelt like fire so I wanted to wash them all.

Once the washing was in the machine we headed off to the shops, we decided to have some luxury for dinner.. Roast chicken with curry chicken pasta and a nice fresh salad, the Bloke added “French Cheese cake” to the luxury. We put the air con on and set about re packing the car, the clothes, talking to the Grand Babies on Face-time and just enjoying being in luxury.

We are staying at Port Augusta an Aspen Park it’s affiliated with Big 4 which we like for a bit of spoiling.

Now we have sat down and had time to think, we have 13 days to ” Kill”before we have to meet some friends in the Grampians in Victoria for the Melbourne Cup weekend, so that’s 30th October till 3rd November. We will still have just under a week before we are due home, so we have been trying to nut out a game plan as to where we will spend this last few weeks.

Tomorrow we are headed for the Hills of Adelaide. Because the weather is about to turn nasty, and so we want to avoid the coast. we are going to Handorf and we will explore the hills of Adelaide maybe do a day trip into Adelaide we will see.. After that we are off to Robe which is on the coast and was on my original list. After Robe, we are across the border into VIctoria our home state and we will stay “” a day or so” this has become a bit of a catch phrase… in Portland, then a few days in Warrnambool and then inland to The Grampians to meet my bestie and her family, we have planned to go to “the Little Desert”after that, but like I said all of this is subject to change…. now the only change I want is a real bed and an air conditioner.. good night peeps..

Big Lap WA 2015- Day 36- Coffin Bay

We slept late it was awesome it was after 7.00 am when I woke up and it was so quiet, I love the forest!!

Last night as we sat around the camp fire, we heard a night and turned around to find a Mother Kangaroo and her young joey. they were not worried about us at all, happily wandering around our camp, I love to see them in the wild.

Today we decided to go to visit Port Lincoln which is where I wanted to stay originally but then I am so glad that we stayed in the forest. On the way to the front gate of the NP a 15 kilometre drive we were amazed at the amount of Emu and Kangaroo and we started to keep score of them, we do things like that. We were in Port Lincoln by 10 am, we drove around and had a look at the scenery and the Marina where all the beautiful big sea-going boats were moored. There is some serious money in those boats.

We had promised Star Son we would go to Lincoln Surf Shop he wanted to look for some shorts, and so he got those and then we did another shop for meat that we stupidly had left behind at Streaky Bay and got some KFC for lunch before heading back to our camp site. More Emu and Kangaroo and even some Goanna on the way back in. The total score for the day was Emu- 31, Kangaroo- 9 and Goannas- 3. One of the Emu we saw had a brood of chicks we quickly counted at least 10 Emu chicks.. plus some of the other ones we’d seen were family groups, Coffin Bay= Home of Emu!

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One of the boats coming into the Marina

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Star Son had a friend called Aslinn and so we took this photo for her!!

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Pretty Flowers at Safeway

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This got a giggle

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Some of the Views of the beach as you enter Coffin Bay NP

Back at camp we found our nightly visitors were back, and they let us into a secret the family of two were actually a family of three..

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We put some fresh water out for this “toddler”

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Mum, Bubs and big Brother..

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He was such a cutie I called him “Kenny”

In the afternoon we went for another drive this time we decided to do as many of the tracks as we could being that we are driving a 2 wheel drive car, so we have to stay on the bitumen. And even that showed us some beautiful beaches and sights,.

Tomorrow we move on, we are “supposed” to go to Mount Remarkable… but who knows where we will end up.

We had steak and eggs and baked potatoes in the fire for dinner, before we started packing up some of the camp. No rushing in the morning, we don’t have a “must leave by…” time. But we do have a 4 or 5 hour drive.