Moved on to Lake Bringalbert

Nursery Rhyme characters in the carved tree at Dartmoor playground

We left Dartmoor after checking out the wood carvings and doing some shopping in the General Store before heading across country to Casterton and Aspley, stopping for morning tea and lunch and cruising the streets of these country towns. The weather was relentless with the temperatures creeping inexorably up. By the time we had reached Lake Bringalbert (about 15 kms north of Apsley) the temperature inside the motorhome was 35º and it continued climbing past 37º with little shade here but a warm breeze. No doubt we will survive but I must admit I’m looking forward to sundown!

Getting cooked at Lake Bringalbert (and enjoying it)

Woohoo We’re Free

We left camp early this morning – into Aldi at Portland by 9. Did our big grocery shop for the week as we were running low on veggies and the necessary Old Tawny and Chardonnay. We had organised to catch up with our niece Belinda at her and Duanes place at Gorae. Unfortunately Duane and the girls weren’t home but we had a great catch-up (and we got spoilt with scones, homemade jam and cream) This has been my highlight of the trip.

Fort O’Hare Campground, Dartmoor

We headed off towards Dartmoor, stopping at Heywood along the way when we struck car trouble. We had hit a huge pothole on our way to Portland and, as it turned out, we knocked one of the wheel speed sensors out of action so we had to get the Sprinter checked over to make sure it was safe to drive. Fortunately it only disabled the ABS and the ESC so it’s still safe to drive until we get a new sensor. So we made it to Dartmoor after five and decided we would finish such a busy day off with dinner at the pub. Ahh, holidays are great.

Still in Limbo

Nothing to see here

Still stuck in Nelson hoping for better news tomorrow. There is only so much you can do here so Jenny is catching up on her reading and I’ve been contemplating my navel (I told you things are grim)

It’s so quiet even the Blue Wrens are bored

If we don’t come out of lockdown on Thursday we will still need to go to Portland to do our food shopping as we are nearly out of most things. Still got meat but no vegetables, fruit or salad items. We bought up the local supply of frozen veggies the other day (a whole two packets of frozen food) plus some tins of tomatoes and mixed vegetables. Apparently the closest supermarket is in Mount Gambier but I don’t think we will be allowed across even though we do have a permit but it was issued before the lockdown. We await the news.

Day One of Lockdown

It appears we are permitted to travel the 70kms to Portland for essential food supplies. But, in the spirit of helping local communities, we decided we would walk down to the little kiosk here at Nelson. We were able to get some frozen and canned vegetables that should see us through till Thursday. We even bought a couple of homemade pies to have as a treat tonight seeing that we can’t go to the local pub for a counter meal. Living it high in Nelson with one eye to the future.

Sitting out COVID lockdown in Nelson

Ugh Trapped in No Man’s Land

Wouldn’t you know it, another lockdown to dampen our plans. We had planned on visiting our niece in Portland tomorrow but now that has had to be postponed. Luckily Jenny got her fishing in this morning at Simsons Landing, a nice little boat ramp on the Glenelg River not far from our caravan park. Unluckily she caught nothing, apparently a common occurrence around here at the moment.

Looking down the Glenelg River from Simsons Landing

We don’t have any choice in the matter – either head home or wait it out here. The caravan park has well maintained facilities so it will be just a few days of enforced relaxation with just a walk out of the park for exercise. Things could be worse.

Nothing at Nelson

We dawdled down to the river so Jenny could go for a fish (but apparently he had left on the outgoing tide). Nevertheless, she persevered while I did my patient husband act, snapping a few photos and just enjoying the outdoors. We applied for a permit to enter South Australia and we got one but when I explained to Jenny that we would have to ditch all our fruit and vegetables because of the quarantine restrictions, she decided it may not be the best idea after all.

The view across the Glenelg River

We will stay here another day so Jenny can fight round 2 with the fish and we will stroll down the surf beach , hand in hand, to watch the time roll by.

It’s easier to catch things on the phone than in the water

Staying at Nelson

Fresh fish and chips shared with the locals.

We called into Portland to walk the streets before having fish and chips on the foreshore. We headed down the road to Nelson only to discover that the River Vu Caravan Park was choc-a-block and no room for these little black ducks! We ended up going to the Kywong Caravan Park. We’ve decided to stay two nights so that Jenny can go fishing tomorrow.

Wannon Falls Campground

Just took it cruisy today, left camp at around nine before heading onto Hamilton for our morning cuppa. Had a tour around the lake there then moved onto Nigretta Falls for a walk down to the falls. Unfortunately there isn’t much water going over at this time of year but they would be spectacular in winter.

On our way to the bottom.

From there we travelled 8 kilometres to the Wannon Falls Campground and set up camp amidst the trees and the magpies. We’ll go for a walk down to the falls after another cuppa. We can’t rush these things.

Just a little fall 🙁

We spotted a local on our walk back from the falls

Move on, nothing to see here

Onto Lake Bolac

View from our camp on the southern shore of Lake Bolac

We left Geelong and headed across to Lismore then up to Skipton. It got windier as the day progressed. We stopped at Cressy for morning tea (just as well as we would have blinked and missed it) before heading to Skipton to lunch. Apparently Skipton’s most famous export was Henry Bolte who lived there until the age of 26. Despite all that he may have done or not done, he is probably most remembered as the the last Victorian Premier to allow an execution by hanging (that of Ronald Ryan whose conviction for murder at the time was seen by many as questionable given the trajectory of the wound of the fatally shot warder).

We moved on the short distance to Lake Bolac and inspected two camping areas before settling on the camp site near the boat ramp on the Southern Beach of Lake Bolac. A rather large Winnebago Longreach Motorhome had already set up camp (we thought we were being grey nomadish for setting up camp at 2 pm) It’s a lovely spot and we are sheltered from the wind making it very warm sitting in the sun. I’m not sure if Jenny intends to go fishing or not but I imagine I should get a rather nice sunset photo across the lake tonight.

Sunset on the southern shore of Lake Bolac

The motorhome is behaving itself and with the new solar panel setup we have loads of power available so we’ll only be stopping for showers at the Caravan Parks now. Unfortunately no fires permitted here.

The view across Lake Bolac

Geelong Hospitality

We set off from home at 9.00 am and sauntered down to Andy’s home in Norlane. As usual Andy laid on the hospitality with a great meal and he had invited Gabes, Jody and Chelsea along as well. It was a great night with plenty of laughs and war stories about the “Good Old Days”.

It was great to catch up with Judy and Chelsea and for my first meeting with Gabes. We were well and truly wined and dined and hit the sack without noticing any of the Norlane night life that we hear of on the news!