Blog Day 187 Wed 9th November 2011
So today the plan is to hit the road, we are heading on to do the Great Ocean Road Drive. We've actually been trying to get in contact with Chris (one of Dan's old School teachers) & Brett (a guy we met in Thailand). They both live in the Melbourne area & we are hoping to meet up with them. Brett had mentioned that he may be able to give Dan a couple of weeks work if we made it as far as Melbourne, as of yet though we haven't heard a peep from either of them. This evening we end up at Tooradin rest area, its donation only just $1 (88p) for parking overnight which we can't grumble at. For that dollar we also get to use the showers, hot showers (nice!). After nearly 4 days of not showering it's safe to say that we are now being avoided. Good job we still have some clean clothes! So after a nice long hot shower we crack on with dinner for tonight. We have some chicken that needs using today & a curry sauce so we start to get all set up on an outdoor covered table nearby our camper. The dark clouds are threatening a huge storm & just a few minutes later the ranger of the car park approaches us & asks if we can move the camper. Apparently there is a couple of storms heading in that are looking to be quite rough & the huge tree we are parked under has recently lost some big branches. We gladly move the camper forward just as the raindrops start to fall. The storm proves to be extremely impressive but does unfortunately mean that we have to pack up our kitchen rather quickly and make a dart for the van. Dan has already started to cook the chicken which means now he has the sit on the front seat of the van with the picnic table on his lap, portable gas cooker on top of that and continue frying as the rain lashes down. We scrap the curry & opt for chicken sandwiches instead. Yummy!
After our dinner Dan gives his mate Tom a call, he hasn't spoken to him in a while, so they have a good catch up. Not long after we are soon drifting off to the sound of a rumbling thunder & patter of raindrops on the roof.
Blog Day 188 Thurs 10th November 2011
So plan of action for today was to head to Philip Island for the day. Main reason: to see the penguins come out of the surf at early sunset, oh & there's a chocolate factory there too! Our plans changed slightly though when we received a txt from Dan's mum early this morning, thanking us for the lovely airmailed envelope containing a picture of ourselves. We are blanked by this, as we currently have a stack of postcards waiting to even be written let alone find their way back home. Turns out this is no ordinary photograph, oh sure we didn't send this one home. When we asked what we were doing in the photo, the reply was…Speeding!!!
A lovely $200 (£134) fine for going just a few miles over the limit about 2 months ago when we first got the camper, we later find out that an additional $60 (£39) has been taken off our credit card by Spaceship for administration!!! So we currently now have $348 (£226) in fines hanging over our heads, just what we need to start the day of course.
As Trish is looking through the Lonely Planet guide she discovers that pretty much anything we want to do today is going to cost money.
This typically ends up with Dan coming off the highway & pulling into a McDonald's where we find a latte, choc milkshake & a muffin help to lift our spirits. Thankfully due to free Wi-Fi we find out that both Chris & Brett have sent us an email. Chris inviting us over for a meal, booze & a bed for the night & a message from Brett saying that we can easily park up on his drive & he can give Dan work for however long is needed. Pheeww!!
And just like that the whole ball game changes!
A little more rested we decide to head for the Great Ocean Road & then aim to be at Brett's by the weekend so that Dan can start work with him on Monday. We pull up to an I-site to get some information & maps etc. A lovely old war hero type of man is very kind & gives us loads of tips of good spots to stop at & see & things to do. Soon we are back on the road & heading for Angelsea. We make it here in good time & decide to head onwards to a free campsite in the Otway National Park. On the way we come across a golf course though that is laden with kangaroos a highlight of playing at this particular course apparently. Unfortunately Dan has no trainers and it would have been quite pricey to play and round as well as hire club and shoes. So we head onto Aireys Inlet to grab a few supplies & soon we are climbing a very steep incline to reach our rest stop for the evening.
It's actually freezing cold up here tonight, the coldest it has been so far. So after dinner, Dan decides to put his Boy Scout skills to the test & like man…make fire!
He actually does very well & after an hour or so we have a roaring fire going in the pitch blackness of the area with the stars & an almost full moon above us. Very romantic indeed (even if we do stink of smoke!)