5th to 8th month

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Canadian Reserve & Halls Gap 19 to 27 feb

Molly and Kangaroo Skull
Canadian Reserve

Just a one night stop over at Canadian Reserve on our way to Halls Gap. We didn't unhitch the vans- just pulled up next to each other and did the basics.
We were parked next to a lake so naturally Ben had to try his luck-unfortunately there was none that day. But there were plenty of other water creatures for him to examine and the others managed to find the mud which surrounded the water despite the very firm 'stay away from the mud ' cries from the parents.

View Cherrypool to Halls Gap in a larger map

Emu at Campground

Lucky us, we got a super deal (great spotting Kaz) and got to stay at the local caravan park. Complete with power, water on tap and a pool!
It was a lovely camping-ground and had two resident emus which roamed around accepting snacks in a very polite manner. Each evening heaps of kangaroos would come and hang around too. You had to be careful when it got dark as you may walk right into the arms of one of Australia's hairy icons!

Group Pool shot
From walk to the Grand Canyon
Despite the super duper hot weather we had this week (thanks agian Kaz for the finding us a place where we could run our air con and swim like mermaids) we still managed a few walks around The Grampians.

The Pinnacle in the background
Rasmus even shamed us all by getting up early and doing a couple of extra hikes!

Kasper on a hike early one morning
In addition, anybody who knows my Kasper might find this to believe, but he was not only at the front of the pack when we did a big up-hill hike but the next morning he got up early to do another walk with his dad! The world is going crazy!!!
While we are on the topic of Kasper, he got to feed and pat one of his favourite animals when we visited the Halls Gap zoo. As an early birthday present from the Ellis family, Kasper and his mate Will (who was also celebrating his birthday but not early like Kasper) went into the Meerkat enclosure and got to spend some close-up time with them whilst feeding them corn and live, wriggling worms! Lucky boys!
As a treat Karen put together an old-style party for Will's birthday with pass-the-parcel, musical statues and party pies. We finished off the day, and our stay at Halls Gap, with a huge 4 minute downpour and a delicious meal at the local pub.

Halls Gap Local

Walking with toddler

Candy Shop in Halls Gap

Bike ride to Zoo


Benjamin wishing Anton Happy B'day

The Pinnacle Lookout
Feeding Bambi

Dot painting Boomerangs
Lunch with a peacock
In the Grand Canyon

Pool Jumping

At the Balconies

a little rain
Grand Canyon
Half shave and half haircut

Monday, February 20, 2012

Wannon and Cherrypool 13th to 20th Feb

After the weigh-in we left Colac and made it to a lovely park called Wannon. It was in the middle of a bushy area and there was nobody around!
We set up camp next to the covered picnic area which housed a couple of fire pits and to my delight a stone oven!!! Me and Karen starting fantasying about all the dreamy meals we could cook in it- roasts, bread, pizza.... However, to our dismay we discovered we were only allowed to stay for 24 hours!!! Just when we thought we might be able to sneak in an extra night a spy came past to check us out :o(
We had our fire that night thanks to my hubby, who loves nothing more simpler than boiling his billy over a naked flame. The kids had bubbly, blackened marshmallows and went to bed with sticky fingers and a smile on their faces.
That magical oven was not going to be left unused and in the morning Rasmus was up early to fire it up. I had made some dough the night before and when the oven was hot enough in it went ! It came out ½ hour late a lip smacking, delicious loaf of goodness.

After the kids had finished their school work, which they completed in their bush surroundings, we dug into the loaves with lashings of butter and jam- I couldn't imagine a more perfect morning tea.

Wannon River

14th-20th February
Cherrypool was our next stop. It was a bush camp set off the highway between Hamilton and Horsham next to a river.
For the first time we set up our caravans with a shared living space, joining our two awnings together-very huggelig. It was quite warm so we had lots of shade.
We spent our time relaxing and drinking a few icy cold beers. The kids did their school work of course-in between getting the coldies :o)

Occasionally the children wanted more from their holiday and we were forced to venture outside into the nature (which, I conceed, was very pretty). Ben talked the odd few into coming with him to fish down at the river. Unfortunelty there was only Carp to be caught but they learnt the art of banging the said Carp on the head with a big stick and throwing it into the bushes. Wouldn't learn that in school would you?
At Billimina Shelter
Rock formation in The Grampians
On another day we decided to check out a bit of our Native Australian history as we had been talking about Australia's pre-invasion heritage with the kids. They were quite fasinated with the image of the Aborigines going walkabout and foraging for their food and water amongst the harsh landscape. So we went for a hour return trip hike in the Grampians to visit the Billimina shelter. Here we found there was some Aborginal cave paintings from many years ago.

As dusk was settling in Rasmus decided one evening to venture out for small walk to take in the nocturnal sounds, while doing the laundry. He came back very excited as he reported to have seen not one but three platypuses swimming in the river! We were all very happy for him and thought it only fair that the 'foreigner' got to see the elusive mammels even though we were a bit jealous-lucky him!!
The next night me, Karen and Rasmus wanted to try his luck again. When we arrived at the river's edge we immediatley saw the same ripples that Rasmus had seen the night before. Wow!! How amazing we all thought.

A few minutes later we thought we saw one of them coming up to the river's bank. We were holding our breathes! Here it comes....a rat....a water rat??? Confusion and disappointment. And fear from Karen as her rat phobia kicks in and she runs away. 

Then we turn and see the sculpture which had been carved from a fallen log-it was a Water Rat! Apparently everybody knew about them except for us, and an embarrassed Rasmus.
Reading e-books
Rocklands Reservoir
Vis Cherrypool - where we were på et større port

Monday, February 13, 2012

Lake Colac 5 to 13th Feb

This was the week we were to catch up with our friends the Ellis'. They have been travelling for over a year now and we were keen to steal as many of their ideas as possible to make our trip more comfortable-we had already began by getting the same caravan!!

View Ocean Grove to Colac in a larger map

In the afternoon we arrived in Colac and made camp next to the Lake at Meredith Park to wait for them.
It was very, very windy but there was a lake and that meant the possiblity of fish so Ben pulled out his rod and spent some time trying his luck. 

View where we were in a larger map

After a couple of hours we got news that the Ellis' new car had given up and they were waiting for the RACV to come and rescue them. They couldn't camp next to us anymore but they were pulled to a caravan park on the other side of the lake so all was good.

The next day we woke to more wind but also the lovely picture of pelicans and black swans on their morning swim. 

After a quick brekkie we whizzed over to our friends and had our long overdue reunion. The kids were over the moon.

Family on Red Rock
Red Rock

There wasn't heaps to see in this area but we managed a tour of the volcanic landscape littered with masses of small, really light volcanic rock which was interesting. Did you know the volcanoes are not considered extinct but merely dormant!!! Yikes!!!
During our week stay we also popped into a winery to taste some of their wares, just to be polite of course, ate fish 'n' chips in the park and did a little shopping.
Wine Tasting, Red Rock
Memorial Gardens - Colac
Molly and Kasper can now ride
without training wheels
At some stage the Ellis' went to a weigh bridge to check the weight of their caravan and car and found they were over a tad (or more!) They had to spend some time repacking their van which made us nervous about how much we weighed so on our way out of the town we stopped by the weigh bridge too.
Although we were not as over weight as our friends we found we also had some kilos to drop- and you know how I hate dieting!!