Thursday, 30 October 2008


Well, that's it.  Finito.  The End.  We are now back in Melbourne.  Adopted home city.  Pizza delivery and a bottle of red for dinner.  Celebrating Em's birthday as well.

We left the Great Ocean Road campsite - Aire River East - after 3 good days in small and friendly campsite close to the river and the beach on Cape Otway's western side.  We love the country down here, really love it - after seeing everywhere else in Australia, this is undoubtedly and jointly our favourite place, favourite scenery, favourite climate, pace of life, etc etc!


We met a nice couple from Western Victoria, a GP and his wife who were thinking about embarking on some road trips in their camper trailer, and we were happy to share our experiences and just chat about stuff; including finding out that Tess's father and grandfather both went to King Edward's in Bath!  She herself was from Oxford so there was the West Country link.  I promised to publish a list of useful stuff for Nick, so if he is reading this, it is coming!  And a guy camped next to us who used to be a chef in the Army showed us some wild watercress and some small edible fern fronds - all good bush tucker tricks that might come in handy one day, but for the moment the watercress was just very tasty!  I tried a last bit of fishing but only got a few bites, nothing caught - although to make up for it some old fishermen who were a bit rowdy and definitely drunk, gave us two fresh fillets of Bream that they had caught, as they had too much!  We shall be having it for dinner tomorrow night.  And we were spoilt on our last night with a mother koala clambering into a tree above our pitch with her baby clinging on tight and them both having a good feed on the eucalyptus leaves above us whilst we were having a carbonara.  Very special moments.

And on the morning of Em's birthday we left the campsite with a quick pack up, unfortunately after a bit of light rain so the tent was a tad wet, and without coffee or breakfast headed straight to the small seaside town of Apollo Bay for a lovely breakfast (Eggs Benedict for Em and Florentine for me, both with a side of bacon), not only was it delicious, but we didnt have to bother with the washing up either, which makes a welcome change as we havent been eating out that much recently!  Then we headed back to Melbourne (about a 2 hr drive along the Great Ocean Road) to meet Sam and pick up the key to Jan & Ren's after unpacking the car and spinning out a bit at a) the traffic and b) finding our way around their apartment, we are sat down watching a movie and contemplating ordering a pizza - our favourite Port Melbourne pizza "Crust" and popping open a bottle of red for Em's birthday celebrations.

We can't quite believe it is all over, but on the other hand we are so so thankful to Jan & Ren for letting us live in their place whilst they are away, as it is a top place to crash in after 6 months in a tent.  And we have seen and done so much in those few months off work I am sure it will be like a dream even in a few days let alone when we get back to work.  Its funny sat inside now watching TV, with the rush hour along the Beach Road going on outside, and I am quite happy being inside now, but we both reckon we'll miss the space, the sounds, smells and sights of the big outdoors for sure.

Em has asked if I will keep the blog going or close it off (it will still be accessible of course), and I am as yet undecided.  I actually had an email from a French person who I dont know, they were reading the blog recently and had a question about somewhere we had been, which has made me feel quite famous!  I will be responding to their comment as soon as possible and am quite chuffed that people I don't even know are reading about our travels around Australia!

And something scary for us to finish on...Jan & Ren have some bathroom scales, which of course are irresistible and when we jumped on them today I have lost 10kgs and Em has lost 2kgs!  After going to the gym in Melbourne for 2 years and "trying" to stay reasonably fit I obviously outweighed all that work with pizzas and curries, and only when not sat at a desk every day and not eating junk food every week can I lose some excess kgs!


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