Sunday, April 4, 2010

Can You Feel the Serenity?

This is one of many great lines out of one of our favourite movies 'The Castle'. As the Dad stood on the deck of his shack at Bonnie Doon, with the mozzie zapper going off in the background he leans over to his wife and says "Can you feel the serenity?" We are certainly feeling the serenity. After several very relaxing days at Inverloch, where we basically did very little but wound down, we were very ready to get on the move. At Inverloch we spent our days swimming, heading to the beach and going for walks with the famous pink 'sally fay' stroller that Gus loves to push over the bumps. One of the highlights for me was when Indy and I took on a couple of boys on the half court basketball court in a game of 2 on 2. It was great fun, Indy played so well! Another highlight for me was being able to get back in the surf and I enjoyed a few waves at Inverloch main beach. Inverloch was a great start. We then packed up and headed off for Lakes Entrance and it was so nice to be packing the camper and not be heading home but know that we have such an adventure ahead of us. On the way we had to stop for some quick camper repairs as one of the bed frame rivets had broken and we needed this replaced otherwise the beds wouldn't work. Luckily it was a 2 minute job and we were able to take a very quick pit stop in Bairnsdale and Johno the camper repairman had us on our way again. We pulled up along the way at the Bairnsdale park with a massive slide and a cool flying fox for the kids. Arriving at Lakes a couple of days before Easter it was like the calm before the storm. Our park was relatively empty. We booked an ensuite site which meant we had a toilet and shower as part of our site, which was a little touch of luxury that we certainly enjoyed. Over the 3 days we were at Lakes we saw a steady influx of Easter revellers preparing for their big weekend away. When our neighbours pulled out their litre bottles of Jack Daniels, Jim Beam and Johnie Walker we knew they were in for a big one! Our quiet little park soon became full to overflowing with families seeking to make the most of their few days. Ofcourse this creates a very different atmosphere in the park and for us far less enjoyable. Anyway at the end of the day you can zip up your camper and really feel like you are anywhere. At Lakes we had an average meal out at the pub, very disappointing, we enjoyed a wave at Red Bluff, and wet a line in a couple of places with unfortunately no luck at this stage. That allusive fish is still escaping our bait, but stay tuned for further updates. We fished just under the bridge at the entrance to lakes entrance and where we were fishing there was a very shallow stretch off the shore. As we sat there and fished there was an influx of asian tourists who had hired their boats for the day and one after one they beached themselves on the sand bar in front of us. A few of them we warned on their way in and they replied with a nod of the head and continued on to beach themselves. It provided a little light entertainment for us while we were waiting for a bite on the line. On our final morning at Lakes we were due to leave we had a good start to our pack up until the clouds started coming over and when we were about 30 minutes from finishing our pack up the heavens opened up and we had torrential downpours to contend with. When you are on a 10am deadline there is unfortunately no stopping and with the kids in the car, Gus screaming, Bec and I continued our pack up in less than ideal conditions. There was water everywhere and everything was wet but we continued in our mission. As we were rolling up the bed flys, they are the extra canvas covers over the bed ends, there was a pool of water just waiting for us. Unfortunately for Bec her end came down first and with it came a flood of water and soon enough Bec was the leading entrant in the Lakes Entrance wet t-shirt competition! We packed up the camper, everything drenched including us and off to maccas it was for breakfast on the go. As we were waiting for breakfast to arrive one of our wiper blades got caught in the other, not sure how, but we found ourselves down to only one wiper working, fortunately it was on the drivers side of the car. Not exactly the best conditions for the wipers to have a meltdown and just another item requiring maintenance on the trip.

The drive to Pambula was relatively uneventful although little man had some poo problems given that he was out of routine with the morning pack up and didn't get a chance for his morning bowel movement. He proceeded to get more and more wound up and Bec continued to feed him treats to keep him going until the next stop. We were riding a thin line and fortunately we managed just to find our way to our mid way stop at Cann River and to our surprise we found a dinosaur park which Gussy just loved. He rode them, played around them, talked to them, he was in his element. Needless to say we had a slightly extended stop and we had a result in the pants area so all was well again with the little man. As we travelled to Pambula the weather steadily improved and when we arrived it was a very nice Autumn day. On the way down I was expressing to Bec how I was keen to find a park right on a surf beach where I could simply stroll from the camper to the beach each morning, we were yet to find this on our trip. The park at Pambula is huge with a capacity of 2000 people with a current population of between 1300-1600 staying here. Our campsite is about 20 metres from the beach and to my excitement a very good surf beach. I think it was my quickest set up on record as I was very keen to get down and sample the surf. Sure enough 4 feet and glassy waves were waiting for me and I had finally found my spot. Each morning so far I have ventured into the water at around 8am with glassy conditions and light offshore winds and the water is so clear you can see the bottom. The park here has a heap of the things for the kids to do including a pool, mini golf, daily activities, outside cinema, fire pits for outside your camper, it is a great park. One of the other highlights here is the family of kangaroos that live in the park. As we were setting up a big grey kangaroo came hopping by our campsite and as we walked around the camp we realised that they are literally everywhere. Gus couldn't believe his eyes. They are such beautiful creatures to watch up close and now each morning aside from checking the surf we go and have a look for the kangaroos. Easter morning was fun with the kids doing an egg hunt in the annexe, not quite as much fun as our usual Auburn egg hunt but did the job just the same. So far we have had 2 nights here and it feels like we have been here a week. We had a lovely piece of eye fillet last night with a glass of skillogalee red and started to plan our days ahead. At this stage we are heading from here to Durras Beach with another beautiful campsite on the beach and in a National Park. From there we are thinking Jervis Bay and then on to Kiama and then to Norah Heads, we think but we will see how we go.

Our plans are pretty simple at this stage. Homeschool in the morning, followed by campsite activities (today is a mini-golf competition then arts and craft for the kids) movie night in the outside cinema, marshmallows by the fire, plenty of surfing and lovely bushwalks and perhaps a spot of fishing. Life is good and we can certainly feel the serenity. With each day that goes by we feel understand more and more why this trip is so needed and so special to us. We are enjoying every minute. We have been thinking of our family and friends often and hope you have all had a lovely Easter break. Talk with you all soon.

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