Day 9 – 31 March

31 Mar

Another day dawns grey with showers. Not to be deterred we headed off to find the Blue Lake. Yes it is blue. When the sun peaked out between showers we got a hint of how brilliant the blue is. Unfortunately the true colours are hard to capture in a photograph. Plan B is to return tomorrow or the next as the weather forecast is more promising.

We stopped off in town for lunch. Very nice but on the pricey side for fish and chips and a small pizza.

after lunch we headed across the road to the caves. Unfortunately it was after closing time so we will have to revisit. hard to believe this sinkhole is right in the middle of town.

then we headed over to the Umberton Sinkhole. A visit worth making and a mere 50 steps down into a giant hole in the ground.

The best thing about the Mt Gambier Showgrounds is the hostess Sue-Ann. She is great and encourages everyone to call in at 5pm for happy hour drinks and chat. It’s great to catch up with other travellers, especially as this show ground is limited to 8 campers.

Dinner tonight is a quick bbq with potatoes provided by fellow campers who are working harvesting the spuds locally.

Day 4 – 26 March

26 Mar

We are off along The Great Ocean Road.

First stop Bells Beach, the first Bucket List item on this trip.

We continued to meander along the Great Ocean Road, stopping where we fancied and where road works  slowed our journey.  A stop just before Lorne gave us a view of the local surf school in session.

 

We stopped for lunch just past Lorne and kicked back to enjoy watching the surf and enjoy the serenity.  It really is easy to simply enjoy the view and the sound of the surf.

Eventually the road meandered away from the coast and we headed into the Otway Ranges.  It was here that I saw my first koala in the wild.   As we were driving we saw some cars pulled over and excited people with cameras.  There right by the side of the road in very exposed branches were 4 koalas asleep.  Unfortunately there was no room to stop with a caravan, so it was a fleeting glimpse.

After a long day of travelling, we arrived to check-in to Bimbi Park, Cape Otway at 4.30pm.  This is a lovely bush camp with power and water for $30 a night.  A quick setup and we headed down the road to the Cape Otway Lighthouse.

We arrived too late for entry to the lighthouse, however there is a short, 20 minute walk along the cliff to view the lighthouse from the next headland.

Dinner tonight once again was a thermomix affair.  A hearty Chilli Beef and Beans on a baked spud.  

 

Day 3 – 25 March

25 Mar

Oh what a night! 3:30am I was jolted awake by the noise of the boat crashing through, off, into waves. The roller coaster ride was fine. A couple of times I braced myself against the wall to stop myself rolling out of bed. But every time I started to doze off we hit another noisy monster wave – that probably wasn’t very big 🙂

Of course this lack of sleep only affected me. Luckily the driver in this team got a full night’s slumber.

As we were unloading we watched the van in front miss opening his van up on the upper mezzanine deck by millimetres. The deck hands were waving and yelling for him to stop but either he could see he was missing or was oblivious.  We suspect oblivious, so pay attention to the staff, they are there to make sure you don’t damage your pride and joy.

Our biggest mishap was getting in the wrong lane at a set of lights. We were being forced into a right turn. So I popped out and asked the car driver beside us to let us go first and pull an illegal lane change in front of him when the lights changed. Poor man, must have thought I was trying to rob him at first. But eventually he rolled down his window.

Our stop tonight was at the Top Park in Braybrook. They were lovely, let us check in early and had a drive-through site, perfect.

Even better, the bus to the city is across the road and Woolworths is next door.

We headed in to the Gallery to see the Escher Exhibition. If you are in Victoria don’t miss it. It was awesome. We spent nearly 3 hours there.

Back at the van dinner was cooked definitely glamping style using my thermomix. I’m sure by the end of this trip I will have my bbq skills much improved.

Day 2 – 24 March

24 Mar

After a comfortable night spent free camping by the Elizabeth River at Campbelltown we slowly packed up and started meandering towards Devonport.

Just after we hit the road a text arrived from TTLine to say our departure had been delayed. Boarding would now commence at 8:15pm. Ok, gives us plenty of time to find KMart for a couple of shelf dividers. 🙂

We thought arriving in Devonport on a Sunday would mean plenty of available parking. What we didn’t know about, was the car show and blocked streets and parking being in high demand. Oops. We now know that our setup needs three empty car spaces on the side of the road.

After completing our shopping we were faced with a four hour wait until check-in opened. This is when we discovered another advantage of caravanning over camping. Rather than sitting in the car listening to the radio, we hopped in the van, made a cup of tea, connected the TV and continued our Game of Thrones initiation started last night. Certainly makes the waiting time pass easier 🙂

In hindsight we should have watched another episode of GoT, as when we got to check-in the staff were scrambling to find parking for everyone. I think they actually opened check-in early as there was not enough space and vans were queuing in the street.

Check-in went smoothly but a word of warning, check your measurements. If you are close to the marks they have on the pavement they get out and run a very long tape measure over you. We passed. 🙂

Even though I’ve travelled on the SoT a number of times, it was more nerve wracking with the van. That loading ramp sure seemed higher, steeper and narrower than before. 🙂

We loaded safely and tucked ourselves in for what was predicted to be a bumpy ride.

The Start

23 Mar

Today marks the start of our first trip out of Tassie with our caravan.

The lead up has been fraught with last minute-itis. The caravan was serviced last month, the Ute last week.the bull bar and clear view mirrors were fitted yesterday.

The other pre-trip stressor has been my husband having pneumonia – how did that happen :(. Dosed up with antibiotics and he is much better. It seems the holiday is perfect timing for him to relax and recuperate.

We headed off just after lunch

Then five minutes up the road the rain started 🤣

But our stop over tonight in Campbelltown certainly turned on a lovely sunset.

New Toy

1 Jan

A New Year and a new toy…… we have bought a caravan.  Took delivery 21 December, yes a terribly busy time to pickup such a large purchase.  Today we pottered testing various components and adding bits and bobs that should make our adventures even more comfortable.   It’s the small things in life, but happy to confirm the microwave and washing machine both work on 240v power.

Also found a chopping board that fits perfectly in the sink to give extra bench space 🙂

Cutting Board

Harry Update

5 Jun

Back on Feb 1, I did a post about our family pet, Harry.  Wow, have we had our ups and downs since then.

©2017 Cathy Craig

As mentioned before, Harry seems to have an acquired brain injury – most likely a tumour, the only sure way to tell is a CT scan and while we live a full life, we really don’t have the spare cash to spend on a scan that might give a diagnosis, especially as a cure is unlikely.

On top of his brain issues, as the weather has gotten cooler it seems that our poor baby has been beaten rather savagely with the arthritis stick.  Of course the symptoms didn’t present as normal at the start, it looked like he had a gut issue.  After a full set of blood work and an ultrasound we found that all his organs are functioning well, but he has arthritis around his hindquarters.

So we move forward and treat the symptoms.  This involved trialling drugs to find what would help him, some are not all that good to be on long term, but it was a case of make our pet comfortable, then worry about the long term.   I asked about using essential oils as part of this process, while the vet didn’t say no, he said he had no expertise in that area (give him credit, he didn’t actually roll his eyes at me).

As I believe that there is more to using essential oils for health support than just how nice they smell I did some research and found Dr Roark and asked for some help.

Unfortunately between Feb and May 1 Harry’s symptoms progressed rapidly.  So rapidly that on May 1 the vet told us our beloved 14yo dog was palliative.  That they would be there for us, we just had to call.  We would know when the time was right to euthanise.

The week starting 8 May I called the vet, twice, for some advice on his arthritis.  Unfortunately the vet did not return my calls.  I was beside myself.  We had finally hit on a drug regime that was supporting his brain issues/anxiety/dementia but he was whimpering from arthritis pain.  Was that time here?

On the way home from work an ad came on the radio for a holistic vet.  I called and made an appointment, I wasn’t convinced that we had to ‘make the call’ on Harry just yet, but was also feeling disappointed that the promised support did not include a return phone call (even if it was to say we have to see you again).

Dr Boersma and his team have been amazing.  We have utilised pharmaceutical drug therapy, traditional herbal therapy, PEMF and massage with essential oils.

While we accept that our baby is 14yo and is in his twilight years,  however, we are not sitting here wondering if we need to euthanise our baby.  He still has his bad days, I can tell when snow is on the way by how uncomfortable Harry is, but I can also help him and I’m not frowned upon by his healthcare provider for wanting to explore alternative therapies.

©2017 Cathy Craig

Exploring home after a visit to the groomers today

So, if you have a pet dog who is also in need of joint pain support, don’t dismiss the ‘hippy’ treatments.  Ok, so massaging essential oils does mean that my cute fluffy white dog, becomes a cute oily white dog but the difference to his levels of comfort are noticeable and encouraging.

Dr Roark suggested I try massaging with a 3-4% dilution of doTERRA’s massage blend (Aroma Touch) and for pain relief to use diluted Lemongrass.  Both Dr Roark and Dr Boersma also suggested Frankincense for supporting his brain issues.

IMG_4262

What I have noticed with the massage is –  it works!  I’ve tried a straight massage and while that makes Harry happy at the time, when I stop he returns to his pacing and inability to settle.  When I massage with the oils the relief is noticeable.  Within 5 minutes he can settle, he lies down and has a nap.

©2017 Cathy Craig

Just had a massage and I’m ready for a nap. Take away that camera and leave me to sleep please.

I have also noticed that a fatty growth he has on his neck has reduced.  Yes, it is just a fatty growth, a needle biopsy was done by the first vet.  I suspect that the Frankincense may be a contributor to it’s reduction, as it’s nearest to where I rub that oil.