What do you do when it’s low to mid-30s day after day after day? You go to the beach!
Our choice of beach this past weekend was Surf Beach on the south coast of Phillip Island – an easy 90 minute drive from Melbourne. We had a fantastic southerly coming in off the Southern Ocean that brought the temperature down just the right amount. There weren’t many people there and as you can see, the water was amazing! Shallow and warm – perfect for a family day at the beach.
This is one of the reasons I love Australia.
No post last night as I took the family to the new Cirque du Soleil show called Ovo. It was a bit irresponsible of me considering today was the kids’ first day back at school, but it seems the excitement plus the exhaustion (got to bed after midnight) appear to have balanced out and they enjoyed their first day back.
I hope you like birds because that’s what I’m going with this week. Today it’s this very colourful little Gouldian Finch.
Sorry, but I’ve left the post very late tonight so for once, it’s just the picture.
Speaking of camping, if yesterday’s story was about a dry camping trip, today’s is about a wet one.
This particular weekend, we decided to set out northwest of Melbourne to a campsite called Mount Franklin. The campground sits in the crater of a long extinct volcano. We arrived early in the afternoon and set up camp a few meters back from the road under a big, sprawling tree.
We then headed out to check out the nearby town of Daylesford. While we were there, we got caught in a brief, but heavy rain. We scrambled for some shelter. After 15 minutes, it was all over. Thought nothing more of it. After spending the afternoon out, we headed back to camp only to find the rain had hit pretty hard inside the crater of the long extinct volcano.
While we were away, our tent found itself in the middle of a flash flood. There was a clear path where lots of water had rushed down the hillside and around our tent. Mud had flowed down the hill and buried the sides of the tent. Plus, the tent was now sitting at the edge of a newly formed lake that made the road virtually unpassable. While the tent was thankfully dry inside we thought it best to move to higher ground.
At our new spot, we set up our dining tent – helps keep the flies away – good for eating in peace. It has a top, but the sides are all screened. It’s not waterproof. That was okay though. The rain had passed.
Of course, while preparing dinner, it started raining again. We took shelter in our dining tent to eat. It afforded us a bit of protection, but we were definitely getting a little wet around the edges. After a little glow-stick entertainment for the kids, we packed off to bed. Come morning the rain was still coming down and while we had stayed dry, our dining tent did not fare so well. It managed to capture a good 10cm (4″) of water. Our very own wading pool.
We decided to cancel that camping trip and fly away home after just the one night.
A year and a half ago, we were camping northeast of Melbourne. We had found a campground that was nestled around a lake whose name is eluding me at the moment. We hadn’t been there before, but based on the state website, it sounded good. We arrived on a hot afternoon. The sun was high in the sky and the temperature was in the low 30s (C). The camp sites themselves were dry and sandy, but they were surrounded with a lot of greenery.
As we were getting out of the car I sent the kids off to check out the lake “just on the other side of those bushes” (as per the map) and I and the wife started setting up the tent. The kids came back about five minutes later telling us there was no lake. Well, I don’t know about your kids, but when mine say they looked really hard for something, it usually means they had a quick glance around and whatever they were looking for didn’t jump up and say hello. I rolled my eyes and took them in hand to see what there was to see.
Needless to say, they were right. There was no lake where the map clearly showed there was a lake. Our campsite was there, the fire pit (as per the map) was there. The tie-ups for the boats were even there. But no lake. Ok, we thought. That’s a bit of a mystery, but there’s a park ranger about five minutes back up the road. We’ll just go ask.
Speaking to the 20-something ranger, I learned that the lake had receded some years back. I asked if we could walk to the lake from our campground. She said “Sure, but I’d pack a lunch”. Turns out the lake was some 3km from our campground. I see. I asked her if the campground had actually been lakeside in living memory and she said “not mine”. Not in her living memory has the lake been camp side. Interesting. On further questioning, I learned the lake had actually dried out back in the 80s. They were actually really excited this year because the lake was deep enough to take boats out on it.
I think now I know why these particular kookaburras were sitting in their old gum tree having a good old laugh at us.
Looks like it’s bird week on the blog. Birds are one of my favourite subjects, especially when they’re wacky birds like pelicans.
These pelicans are on the beach at San Remo in Victoria – southeast of Melbourne. At noon most days, a town employee comes down and feeds the pelicans. Dozens of birds turn up for lunch and all the happy tourists have a lovely time watching these crazy birds push and jostle for food. These three birds are either doing crowd control or they’re on the lookout for tourists getting too close to the flock. On the other hand, maybe they’re pelican secret service taking care of a celebrity bird.
I love this pair of birds. I know the front bird is out of focus, but I like imagining the stories that could go with this photo. I think the bird in front just told the back bird to hurry up. The back one (as the title of today’s blog says) is complaining about being rushed. Or maybe the one in back is complaining about the front bird making them late for lunch again. What do you think they’re talking about?