Wednesday, 23rd May 2018
|If Jezza doesn't look, he wont see us packing|
|Waiting patiently on board Spirit of Tasmania|
|Still waiting ...|
The time has come for the annual migration north, following the winter sun and warmth. After say a long farewell to Jezza, who seemed quite happy with his nose in Alison’s food bowl, we set forth on a cold and very, very windy day for the drive to Devonport and the ferry crossing. It is amazing how much difference a strong trail wind makes to one’s fuel consumption! After visiting Les’ sister and brother-in-law and inspecting their new premises, we joined the queue at the terminal and were quickly ushered through check-in and security. However, we did have a bit of a wait before boarding but were assured it would mean a quick exit from the ship next morning. The crossing was fairly smooth and comfortable, despite the captain warning us of expected rough seas.
All went well on arrival in Melbourne and we were the first vehicle deck to be called to our cars. We were parked right against the port side wall, immediately behind another caravan, with cars in the two rows beside us underneath a vehicle ramp. Our row was the first to be called to disembark and we followed the caravan in front of us when he slowly moved forward. Suddenly there was a load bang and screaming, we all came to a quick halt and left our vehicles to see what had happened. Unfortunately, a young lady who was sitting in a van in the row immediately to our right decided to open her door when the caravan in front of us moved forward, pushing the door right around to the wheel arch and dragging her out of the van and under the caravan. Luckily the caravan was going very slowly and was able to stop before the wheels went over her. Staff immediately appeared, medics and other assistance promptly arrived while we had to wait. It took about 30 minutes for an ambulance to be called, the van to be moved, details and photographs taken, etc. The caravan owners were on their way to Darwin and were very lucky not to sustain any damage.
When we finally disembarked, it was to a dreary and drizzly Melbourne morning. It took us less than half an hour to get to the Discovery Melbourne Caravan Park and we were able to go straight on to our site, which meant not having to wait any longer for breakfast! All was going well until it was time to tune the television and the PVR – where was the PVR remote? Back home in the lounge room! Thank goodness for a daughter and Express Post.
Not having been into the city for a few years, today was a good opportunity to have a wander around, partake of a small amount of retail therapy and do our bit for the car park economy – we will probably be living on toast for the next week!
Thursday, 24th May 2018
Melbourne was grey and dreary, although not raining, when we left this morning heading west towards lunch in Stawell and then to Halls Gap for two nights. It didn’t take long to remember just how many B-double trucks travel the motorways this side of the water! The temperature dropped as we climbed towards Ballarat and was a rather chilly 11 degrees when we had a short break. There were extensive roadworks between Bacchus Marsh and Stawell, which did slow us down a bit, but we arrived at the 1868 Restaurant right on time to join Cousin Kevin and his wife Sandy for a very pleasant lunch. Following this, we had a quick tour of the town, a look at the Stawell Gold Mine and an inspection of their new house, currently being built not far from the town centre.
It took us less than 30 minutes to drive to Halls Gap, where we are staying at the Big4 Parkgate Resort. This is a lovely park set among the mountains and bush, although there is plenty of nice grass for the kangaroos to eat! Our site came equipped with a lawn rake to remove the evidence of said kangaroos. With plenty of bird life around – including robins and wrens – we are making sure that Cat stays within the caravan at all times!