20th January to 31st January 2015
After 5 years planning and dreaming finally the day has come to leave. After a hectic weekend of lifesaving, we spent a day cleaning Nik’s brother unit, packing stuff to storage and to the van. Our last night was spent at Mums’s house, where after a few odd jobs on Tuesday 20th January 2015, we quietly slipped out of Mornington.
After stopping for lunch in Yea, our destination was a free camp at Smoko, 15 minutes south of Bright on the Ovens River, which we found on Wikicamps. As we were pretty tired the 5-6 hour drive had us all in a testy mood for set up. As we are staying for at least week we did a full set up, including putting the older girl’s bedroom and garage on. As soon as we were set up the girls had their bathers on and went swimming.
As a welcome from the weather gods on our first night we were woken about midnight by a thunderstorm and rain, Nik and I checked on the older 2 girls who subsequently moved themselves and all their belongings inside the van as they were getting dripped on by the rain. Once the storm passed we were able to get a good nights sleep.
The next few days involved a trip to the supermarket to stock up on food, relaxing by the river, the girls decided to get a start on their school work, laundry, coffee and swim in Bright and I even managed to find a cute little bookshop where I bought myself and the girls some secondhand books for $20.
On Friday our friends Dev & Holly arrived to spend the long weekend with us and after setting up their camper trailer we were hit by the worst storm we have ever camped in, we had wind gusts, flash flooding, lightening hitting the hill just behind us and constant thunder. The storm lasted about half an hour but the eye had passed directly over us!! During this time Nik had donned his wetsuit and was outside making sure our van and Dev’s camper were OK. We came through unscathed, the girls bedroom annex faired better than it did the other night with only drips coming through a bit of the zip. Dev’s camper was soaked but inside was OK. After the rain had passed Nik then started to light the fire, during which we heard a huge crack and tree falling about 200 metre from us. I went out to explore the damage, a tree had fallen down across our little track but the main track had copped a bit with a huge tree blocking the road in. I took some photos then walked down to the main camp to make sure all the other campers were OK. All good thankfully. After I got back to camp we noticed that the German backpackers had decided to go and remove the tree from the track, needless to say they were pretty impressed with themselves and will have a fun story to take home to Germany with them.
After a relaxing weekend with the Schwind’s which involved lunch at the Bright Brewery, we said our farewells Monday promising another camping trip together sometime in the future. On Wednesday we took a short 10 minute drive to Harrietville and had a wander around. Only the General Store was open so sadly no coffee and cake but the girls stocked up on a few lollies and we bought the paper. We then went a picked some local blueberries and by chance we saw a sign that said ‘Reserve’, so we headed down the road and discovered an awesome lake complete with jetty and pontoon in the middle. Nik and the girls had a great swim (not hot enough for me!!) The girls loved it that much they pestered us to go back the next day for an afternoon swim, once again it was not hot enough for me so I walked the trail around the perimeter a few times to entertain myself.
The rest of the week involved shopping, washing, a few bushwalks along the Ovens River, coffees and Nik played a game of golf at the local golf course. On Friday it was time for us to pack up and leave which we did by 10:30 and headed off to Glenrowan for a bit of bushranger history. We had lunch at Glenrowan and wandered down the main street looking at the shops, we paid a $5.00 donation and had a look through the museum, as well as getting a photo with the ‘big’ Ned Kelly. We went past the live show and the girls begged us to go in and have a look. We agreed and headed in, the gentleman behind the desk told us that the kids were free and we’d only have to pay for ourselves, ‘so that will be $92.00 thanks’…………….. needless to say we declined politely and made our way back to the car.
Our next destination was back to Mornington for the night to have dinner with my Mum, my brother, his wife and our 2 adorable nephews, as we ran out of time for proper goodbyes the week we left. When we arrived at Mums I estimated we used a months worth of water for showers and laundry and we all had laptops, tablets and Ipad’s all ready to be charged up, with Mum cooking us a lovely dinner to top it all off.
On Saturday morning after paying a visit to the gluten free shop in Mornington, Bunnings and Rays Outdoors for a few extra bits and pieces (most importantly a camp chair for Zoe as we didn’t pack one for her, oops…) we headed to Rowville to say goodbye to Nik’s brother Brendon and our nephew before heading off to our next destination on our Ozlap…………..