Sunday 11th Feb, (Toora).

We had a trip to Wilson’s Promontory yesterday, a very picturesque area. The main thing that will stay in my mind though was the lack of any animals in the area, I would have expected to see a Roo or a Wallaby or something, but not one. One could enjoy a week or so camped on the Prom, as there are countless walks to occupy one’s time. There is a very large camping area that provides all facilities except for power, and no generators are allowed. The camping area was quite full of campers, which probably explains the lack of animals; the people could have scared them off.

A trip around the hills behind Yarram today was an interesting excursion, to see the change in flora being so close to the coast. I could accept the bush yo be of a rain forest nature if the hills were mountains and more rugged, but they aren’t that high at all. We had intended to see a national park in the area but once we had to start sorting out where we were at most intersections, we decided to give it a miss. We were following a tourist drive suggested by a brochure that we had and it was to make it easy by providing numbered signage that stated off being visible at intersections at the start of the trip, and we noticed them at the other end, but there were none in the middle. The area has at one stage been logged and replanted so the result was gravel roads in all directions and it would have been easy to get lost. Once we found where the Park was it was a little late to see much so we passed. We had a look at a couple of waterfalls on the way home so the day wasn’t a waste, not that it was going to be because it was an interesting drive anyway.

Now it’s time to sit down and choose where we are going to move to tomorrow.


Friday 9th Feb, (Toora).

The weather has cooled down dramatically; in fact we had thunderstorms and rain during the night and some rain today. This has given us a chance to do a few things around the van, like repaint the marks on the awning poles which tell me what height they open up to, as it is has not been a day for touring. The cricket is on today, the second semi-final between Australia and West Indies, with Australia looking for a clean sweep for the year. I am not watching it at the moment, but I do have it on the speakers in the background. Speaking of which, this was another great idea of mine because I was fed up with wanting to sit outside and not be able to listen to the stereo and Linda sitting inside reading and not wanting to listen, so when we were in Melbourne I purchased a pair of speakers from Savers and wired them outside via a switch so we could have sound either inside, outside, or both. Back to the cricket, it is nice to see the local Tasmanian Ricky Ponting doing his usual and scoring some runs.

We have, since we have been travelling, been bothered a lot by insects, something that was quite overlooked before we left, but I have noticed that a few vanners have a light which attracts the bugs and zaps them, so I must keep my eye out and purchase one of these things when I can and see if it does the trick.

I can’t recall mentioning it before, but we have been having some trouble with banking and mail transfer over the last few weeks so I have had to come up with some solutions. With the mail, we have had trouble receiving mail that was supposedly timed to meet us at the destination where we were staying, wit a letter sent from Hobart on the 24th of Jan. to meet us in Frankston before we left on the 31st. As you could guess it didn’t arrive before we left but did arrive a matter of hours after we did. We had arranged for the managers of Frankston to send it on to us at Inverloch, about 100 km away and would you believe it took nearly a week to make that trip. We had also arranged for Angie at home to send on all our mail from our post box before we left Frankston, and yes that also took a week to reach us, in fact we picked that up on the day before we left Inverloch and we were there for a week. I have made some changes to my mail forwarding so as we may not have this problem in future. I was not thoroughly happy with Angie sending our mail as she was obviously only checking the mail box when it was time to send our mail on, and this wasn’t satisfactory because she wasn’t regularly checking to see if there were anything that may have been important. So I have asked Matthew to collect my mail, as he goes to collect his daily, so he can check it on a regular basis. We are arranging to send it by express post when I request it so it may at least arrive a bit quicker, it may cost a little more but it should be worth it seeing that it should only happen once a month when we get organised.

With banking, I do my banking on the internet using my mobile as the connection medium, I decided that we were carrying too much in our operating account to that if one of our card were lost and misused there was too much we could have lost, so another account was opened which I could transfer funds into and out of as suited our needs. This request was made of the credit union and they came up with an account that would suit my needs and if I kept sufficient funds in the account it attracted a reasonable amount of interest as well. This all sounded well until I tried to access the account and transfer some funds into it and met all sorts of problems. The most frustrating problem was finding the correct format, in figures, for the amount I wished to transfer to the new account, which I did stumble across, but not until after several attempts at reporting my problems to the credit union whom told me there was no troubles detected. Remember all this is costing me money because I must pay for the mobile calls while on the net, even though I have found a cheap calling rate so long as I use it after 7.00 PM it still mounts up. The other problems I have been having I am almost convinced are caused by calling from a low mobile signal area, which I have been in, and I am sure that this will be proven one way or another in time to come.

With all these problems I became worried that I was driving the representative, at the credit union that I was dealing with, around the twist with all my little hassles, but she reassured me that this is why she is in the position she is, to look after problems like mine, and she also appreciates that my situation is rather tricky being interstate and they do not have any agencies outside Tasmania, except for withdrawal facilities at the post office. She, Anna, has accepted my situation so well that I am tempted to do something ‘special’ for her one day.


Thursday 8th Feb, (Toora).

The time came to move again and this time we have moved to a small township called Toora near Port Welshpool where the Cat used to dock in Victoria from its trip from George Town in Tasmania. I chose this place because I wanted to visit and see Port Welshpool, and there seems to be a number of places of interest in the area.

We arrived here yesterday and had a day of relaxing between setting up the caravan and putting up with the sizzling temperatures again. Today we had a little tour, mainly because of the heat again so we could sit in air-conditioned surrounds, around the several fishing ports in the area. It has almost convinced me to go and get a fishing license but we will only be in Victoria for a couple of more weeks so I might leave that idea until we reach NSW. Places like Port Franklin and Port Welshpool are very nice little townships and a man could quite easily settle down in one of them for a while and just do a little fishing, if he were that way inclined and had a boat. We also visited Yarram, which seems like a friendly place, as it would be the first time that I had noticed what seemed to be locals waving at us as if they knew we were visitors. Linda also noticed that the supermarket had a different atmosphere and gave her the feeling of wanting to shop there all the time, and the prices were reasonable cheep as well.

At 9.00 PM and it is now raining with thunder storms in the area and the temperatures are finally dropping, although it is still fairly muggy in the caravan still, but we may finally, by the looks of it, be in for some cooler wether.

The caravan park at Toora is quite good considering the charges are less than we have been paying lately and the standard is almost as good as the others that we have been staying at. This park has an indoor pool and spa, which others haven’t, which has been of great relief on these hot days to get in and cool down. Linda has had another win today by convincing me to join her and others in the pool, as I have not been one for swimming of any nature, but with the temperatures we are having it didn’t take much convincing. We are hopeful of cooler temperatures tomorrow and possibly a little rain, so if it does rain it will be nice to just sit around the park and relax. We have struck it off with another couple in the park so we do have someone to talk to if needed.


Saturday 3rd Feb, (Inverloch).

Another sweltering day with the temperatures up in the high 30’s, it is now 9.30 PM and I reckon it is still in the high 20’s. A news report tells that Inverloch is about to receive a cool change and it will be welcome.

We had an adventurous day with a visit to a coalmine in Wonthaggi, which included a guided tour of a working section of the mine. The interesting part was that the mine being owned by the government, means that they insist that the working part of the mine must remain operating in the same manner in which it did in its hey day.

This area of Victoria is very popular because of the endless beaches. People come from everywhere when they can, for example today being Saturday and there is no spare room on the beaches, let alone parking spaces within walking distance from them. We had a drive along a tourist drive around the coast between Inverloch and Wonthaggi, and decided that we will have to return to have a good look another day when one can find parking.

With a long weekend and Easter coming up in April we decided to try to plan ahead as to where we might be so we could book in and not be left stranded, but with the plans we have it is almost impossible to determine where we are going to be 2 months in advance so we have no other option but to wait and see what eventuates in a time frame closer to the dates concerned.

I am feeling a bit more comfortable at the moment because I was trying to put these words down while sitting outside where it is cooler, but having the light on it became intolerable putting up with the insects so there was no alternative but to move inside. It isn’t so bad inside now as the night is starting to cool down.

Oh well it must be time for a final smoke, a toilet trip and put myself to bed no matter the temperature otherwise we will get no sleep at all.


Friday 2nd Feb, (Inverloch).

We had a trip to Phillip Island today and I was a little surprised to find it seemed to differ a little from when I visited there when I was working here in 1999. The difference is probably only due to the fact that Linda was with me this time and our look around the island was of a more in-depth nature. I was a little upset when we travelled down a road to the coastal area known as pyramid rocks, the road was gravel and very finely corrugated and the vibrations caused my rear view mirror on the inside of the windscreen to fall off. No damage was done except for the $6 odd to buy ½ dozen drops of glue to glue it back on. A look at seal rocks on the southwest corner was enlightening because there was a good array of walkways around the point, which I either didn’t bother to use them last time or they weren’t there. The coastline here is very picturesque and rugged.

We also saw some penguins in burrows and the tracks the parent have carved into the cliffs in scaling them to reach the young.

We then went to a Koala park near the middle of the Island, which was unusual because although I have seen and read a lot about Koalas, I have never seen one eye to eye.

A look around Cowes revealed how nice a place it is, well laid out good beaches, which is obviously why this is another place which is very tourist orientated but none the less a very nice town. It was to my surprise when we looked at the books that the caravan parks on the island are no more expensive than any other in the area, which the idea that they were is one of the reasons that we chose not to stay here on the way past.

It was another stinker of a hot day today and they tell us it is going to be just as hot tomorrow, if not hotter, and Linda got her way again today by getting me to wear a T- shirt. She bought one when she was in the shops and I must admit that I took my shirt off and donned the T-shirt there and then in the car park. It was washed immediately after we got home, because it had a prickly new feel, so it will hopefully dry by tomorrow so I can wear it again. At this stage I don’t know what I am going to do tomorrow because with all this flimsy clobber I am wearing lately I have gotten a little sun burned and I certainly don’t want it to get any worse.