Monday, 27 February 2017

a hundred things

Hopefully we are in the home stretch. The last twelve months have had their fair share of stress. Every now and again we hit a wall, both physically and emotionally. It has been a year of 'hanging on' and 'getting to the end'. We are almost there. On Friday we spent one last day in the house that was home for twenty odd years. Colin took a photo on his iPhone to record the moment. With some luck there will be a sold sign across the advertising board in a few weeks.

Also in a few weeks we move into our new place here in Barwon Heads. We haven't had time yet to get our heads around the move. At the moment we take each day as it comes and deal with what needs doing on that day.

And in between it all, walking along a track somewhere surrounded by natural beauty has soothed our hearts and minds. And who couldn't be filled with joy seeing this happy, playful little fella.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

life lessons

Our youngest daughter is gutsy (or maybe it is youthful ignorance). At 18 she followed her heart and took herself back to the Sunshine Coast. She stayed with a friend, found herself two hospitality jobs, somewhere to live and got her offer from uni (and deferred). We are immensely proud of her. In the process she made the discovery that it costs a lot to live; things like rent, food, phone and running a car (which her parents had tried to explain before she left). She also discovered that the unexpected happens; things like not getting expected shifts at work and speeding fines (whoops) and when you have no emergency money it is enough to tip you over the financial edge (which her parents had tried to explain before she left). She also discovered that she really hadn't saved quite enough before she left (which her parents had also tried to explain before she left). She came to the realisation that she wanted more from her gap year than living on the Sunshine Coast and that her dreams of travelling overseas required money and saving was not possible while living independently. And although her parents had tried to explain a lot of things, she figured most stuff out for herself and learned important life lessons along the way.

So our girl is heading home for a bit to take advantage of free accommodation and free food and whatever else might be free too. She has contacted her old place of work and got her job back and is planning on working and saving hard. Her parents will encourage her to research, plan and prepare adequately before she heads off on her next adventure. No doubt some more important life lessons will be learned along the way. We just wish it wasn't so stressful watching your child learning!

Saturday, 11 February 2017

the after

There is a strange phenomena at the end of the summer holidays, a kind of communal sigh of relief, as the village returns to 'normal'. The Australia Day weekend heralds the end; the end of busy and bustling, the end of people everywhere, the end of cars clogging up the streets. Literally overnight they are gone, back to school and back to work, and a stillness and slowness descends. The locals reclaim their streets and their favourite coffee spots and their beaches and walking tracks. There is a pleasantness to 'back to normal' and there is a sense of loss too - gone is the energy of people and activity. In its stead emerges again the regular rhythms and routines of people and place, a village coming back to itself...

Sunday, 5 February 2017

great ocean walk

Spectacular scenery, beautiful weather and tired legs (oh and being with two of my favourite people), that about sums up our two days on the Great Ocean Walk. Rachel was doing a practice run with some second hand and borrowed hiking gear in readiness for her outdoor education course this year, Colin and I were willing ring ins. We chose to begin at Blanket Bay and walk to Cape Otway and then onto Aire River the following day. Rach carried her fully laden pack, Colin carried a day pack and I got away with a back pack. Rach set up her tent and roughed it, Colin and I opted for a cabin at the caravan park (also so we didn't have to carry a whole lot of gear that we don't own!). We walked about 13km a day, so not too onerous but certainly enough.

Day 1

First stop to admire the view, about 30 minutes from Blanket Bay

Crossing Parker Inlet. We opted to follow the coast rather than the official path for a while

A very tiny river crossing, luckily the tide is out

Around the rocky coast

Lots of rock pools, craters and crevices

Happy to be walking on rocks rather than sand

Round the corner and here comes the sand

Hard work

A quick dip in Crayfish Bay and then back to join the official walking track

Colin walking and drying his swimming gear at the same time

Heading in from Cape Otway to Bimbi Park where we spent the night

Disappointingly, we didn't actually see the Cape Otway Lighthouse, you had to pay $20 per person for the privilege. We decided to pass on that and bought ice-creams instead (much cheaper). The caravan park was advertised as 2km from the lighthouse, maybe as the crow flies, but it was definitely longer than that following the signed path. There were also a multitude of grasshoppers along the grassy way, they were flying and pinging into our bags and our bodies. I kept my mouth securely closed, there was definitely a risk of foreign bodies being in places they were not wanted. Oh and something you don't see everyday, but we actually did, a koala in a tree having a pee.

Day 2

Back on the track

Along the ridge before a descent onto the beach

Heading down

Morning tea time, pity about the vicious march flies

Hard work again

Treasure on the beach

Up, and along the ridge again

Aire River mouth

The end is in sight

Aire River

Our two days were a small part of an amazing walk, we certainly aim to complete the whole track at some point. It is incredible to think that so few people actually see this part of the coast. We feel privileged to have had the experience...