Sydney to Melbourne (3)

Saturday 06/01

By Florence:

This morning I woke up and I was boiling! It was like 40 degrees in our tent. I went outside to get a little air and trust me it felt so much better. We all woke up and prepared breakfast. We ate and we then left. We went to the hospital because dad wanted to check on the tick. He didn’t stay there long but there wasn’t any infection or anything so it was fine. Then we started the road and the temperature went up to 40 degrees!! Literally!!! We had to close the windows and turn on the ac because it was way too hot. We also did a homeschooling session. Then we stopped and ate in the woods. Mom and dad prepared the sandwiches. They were really good but I was scared of the ticks. We finally finished eating and we went 1 or 2 kilometres further to go in the sea. Ludivine stayed in the van but the rest of us went in the sea. It was fun at first but then my ears started to really hurt. It was sooooo painful that I had to get out. It was so cool because the waves were big so we could jump in them and everything. When we were done, we tried to find a shower but there wasn’t one close so we had to stay all salty in the car. I honestly hate that feeling. After 1 hour, we found a shower. It was outside and freezing but it was worth it. We continued and found a place for camping. We were behind a dune so we couldn’t see the ocean but we still went and looked at it. When we got there, there was another family and they had just caught a shark!! It was really cool. It was a small shark thought. We were talking with the guy and then he stepped in his own hook! It must have been so painful for him. When we left the beach, we got everything settled but it was so annoying because there was so many bugs and mosquitoes. They were so painful and annoying so we decided to eat in the car. The parents seat actually turned and we had a special table so it was cool. We ate a chicken that we had got in Woolies. It was really good. Then we went to sleep and that was our day. Bye.


By me:

After our usual breakfast (fruits, cut by Jules, and cereals), we pack everything. We usually assign 2 of us to the roof tent, 2 of us for the “ground” tent and 1 of us for the dishes. We become pretty efficient.

We leave at 10:30am.

We first stop in Pambula, at the hospital. I’d like to show the tick bite to a doctor or a nurse just to be reassured. We indeed hear so many horror stories about tick bites (including the Lymb illness) that I prefer to get a medical advice. The nurse confirms that I did well by coming to the hospital and, more importantly, confirms that I would have an external reaction if there were something infected inside. It’s a relief for me (because, as usual in this kind of situations, I started feeling “something” in my leg, psychologically for sure…).

The temperature rises to 40C today. Fortunately we find out that we have A/C in the van! Kids are relieved; Isabelle and I have the wind from our front windows but they can’t even open their rear windows (or just a tiny bit)…

As usual, the maximum speed on the road is 100 km/h.

We take the ‘Great Alpine Road’.

The road is nice (very much rural, often similar to Belgian landscapes! – but with more sun). We don’t see much dwellings; we understand why this country has one of lowest density rates in the world… The scenery is not grandiose though.

We buy additional food (including nice Turkish bread) and stop in a rainforest to eat the sandwiches that we prepare.

This Wicked camper consumes a lot (one 60$-tank per day). It’s not cheap at all in fact. With the fuel, it reaches 300 $ per day. And when we stop in public / official camping sites (mainly to have a warm shower and to enjoy the kitchen facilities), we must add 100 $.

We stop in Point Ricardo, in Cape Conran (Coastal Park). We go to the very nice beach where we swim (except Ludivine, who prefers to stay in the van; she doesn’t want to be “creamy, salty and sandy”…). We are alone on this long and beautiful beach.

We continue the road. I drive all the time.

Kids do a homeschooling session and Isabelle goes on the backseat to work with Jules.

We stop in Sale to go to Woolies for the dinner tonight. We buy a roasted chicken, which we’ll eat with the rice that we cooked yesterday. We also buy ice to put in the coolers (mainly for the milk of tomorrow morning).

After driving 13km from this town we realize that we might not have enough fuel (although we did already fill the tank early afternoon). So we go back to Sale.

Arriving near the beach, the outside temperature drops suddenly (I’d say that we lose at least 10C in a less than 10 kilometers; quite impressive).

Around 7:30pm, just before arriving, we stop at a picnic space where there are outside showers. Even if the water is cold, it feels good to remove the salt from our body, especially before a night in tent.

We find a nice camping spot around 8:30pm, near Seaspray, along the 90-mile Beach, a 135km long white beach.

We’ve driven a bit more than 500 km today, in about 10 hours (altogether). Not a great average but we stopped quite a lot and the road has a lot of descents and climbs (where the van doesn’t go very fast); and also we go through towns where the speed limit is 60 km/h…

As soon as we arrive, we go onto the nice beach (just in time to see the sunset, but not into the sea today). There is only one family on the beach; they’ve just caught a banjo shark (or fiddler ray). A nice beast. The father walks on one of his hooks and can’t remove it with his hand (he has no grip). His wife goes and gets a plyer.

We set up the “camp”. I prepare the dinner while the 2 “teams” of 2 set up the tents. Maybe not a very wise idea to put Ludivine with her mother… There are many mosquitoes. So we decide to eat inside the van for the first time (the front seats can turn 180 degrees and we can fix a table between them and the backseat). But we also keep the door open since there are already plenty of mosquitoes inside… The good part is that the meal is good.

Ludivine is clearly not a fan of camping… The most enthusiastic ones are clearly Jules and Isabelle.

Kids go to sleep in their roof tent at 10pm. We go and sit on the beach. Nice starry sky.

We go in our tent at 11pm. Isabelle prepares the next day and I write the daily summary (till midnight).


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