The further we travelled
into Victoria, the colder the weather became. Victorias summer is a bit
like an English summer - very unpredictable. Most evenings are now cool
with cold winds on the coast.
Joan spotted our first Koala about
100 feet up a gum tree and we then spent hours walking around the
forest looking up. That night we both had trouble getting to sleep
because of our stiff necks.
We needn't have bothered because the
very next day we camped by a river where Koalas were everywhere - even
in the branches just above our van roof.
In Victoria, travellers
have to drive along the tourist route called the "Great Ocean Road". It
is a long road that takes an ocean route of cliffs, bays and sandy
beaches. The coast here is a bit like the Welsh coast, Cornwall or
Devon and not unlike the road of the same name in California. It has so
many tourists that they have to put up signs saying "Drive on the left"
for the Europeans and Americans. Like all tourist spots the prices are
high and we heard of one campsite in Lorne that was charging twice the
average rate. Needless to say, we did not stop there.
The van is
still going OK apart from some minor problems. As the steering is old,
the front tyres wear out on one side. Garages just want to replace the
steering but David bought secondhand tyres and made some adjustments to
the tracking to improve it.
An annoying knocking from the front
offside caused David to investigate. Underneath, under the dashboard
inside the door, even a loose wiper motor tightened and the knock
continued. We asked a garage to look at it as David suspected a badly
worn suspension joint but they said all was OK and the knock did not
occur when they drove it. Eventually David found it was due to a worn
door hinge and a bit of Heath Robinson DIY cured it.
haven't been ridden nearly enough to keep us fit, but they come in
useful nipping into town and for exploring local areas, We will need to
do some serious riding when we get back if we are to regain our
strength and fitness.
David is teaching the locals how to fish!
At a place called Mallacoota on the NSW/Victorian border, the
locals were fishing with lures as they were adamant that it was the
best method. But the area was quite weedy and they kept getting caught
in the weed and the fish were small. David tried a float and a small
sprat as bait and caught loads of fish called Taylor, and one said to
be the biggest yet caught in the area. He soon had the locals asking
him what technique he was using and trying to copy it. But, as they
were not used to this type of fishing they were not as successful.
We had a good feed of fish for a couple of days, but as our portable cooler is not much good we couldn't keep fish any longer.
had seen the occasional wombat scurrying into the bush, but until we
came across a road-kill, did not realise how big and heavy they are.
Locals tell us that to hit a wombat with a car can do as much damage as
a large kangaroo. We have hit neither yet, but we did drive through a
swarm of locusts which made a bit of a mess on the front.
England we have hedgehogs. in Australia they have Echidnas which are
like a hedgehog with a long nose. When startled, they roll into a ball
as a hedgehog but when angry eject their spines. We didn't make one
angry, but got good pictures. oh! they also lay eggs! Everything in
Australia has to be different..