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15 travelers at this place

  • Day13

    Big Drift

    November 6, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Heute war Waschtag. Da es schönes Wetter war nutzten wir die Wartezeit für ein kleines Outdoor-Workout. Anschliessend ging die Reise mit unserem Camper weiter. Im Wilsons Promotory Nationalpark befindet sich eine Sanddüne, Big Drift genannt, die wir uns ansehen wollten. Bis dorthin waren es zwei Stunden Autofahrt und 40 Minuten zu Fuss. Auf der Düne war es wie in einer kleinen eigenen Welt. Aber aufgepasst, bei viel Wind verschwinden die Fussspuren sehr schnell und man kann sich einfach verlaufen. Auch auf dem Rückweg hatten wir mit Fliegen zu kämpfen, die eklig um uns rum schwirrten.
    Auf dem nächsten Campigplatz in Port Welshpool angekommen brutzelten bereits die Hamburger, Süsskartoffeln und gefüllten Pilze auf dem Grill. Nach dem Essen spazierten wir noch zum Pier und ein Stück Richtung Stadt, jedoch war es sehr windig, menschenleer und unheimlich. Umso schöner war es, sich anschliessend im Camper einzukuscheln.
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  • Day51

    Cycling by the Seaside

    April 21, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    I know how important it can be to take advantage of opportunities when they arise. That is why you should never pass a toilet without making use of it, especially when you are of more mature years.

    When we awoke to a perfectly blue sky, I knew that it was going to one of those glorious autumn days. It is this sort of day that makes this one of my favourite times of the year. It was just too good an opportunity not to take full advantage of.

    We packed the bikes onto the car and drove to the outskirts of Wonthaggi. It is still very ambiguous whether such activity is allowed under our current restrictions, and Maggie spent the whole time looking behind us expecting a police car in hot pursuit. Fortunately we made the short drive without being thrown into the back of the paddy wagon and were soon enjoying the Bass Coast Rail Trail.

    The trail itself extends from the Mitre 10 store in Wonthaggi to the Anderson roundabout, about 3 km past Kilcunda. More recently it has been extended from Anderson to Woolamai. There is also another bike path that joins at Anderson and runs to San Remo and finally all the way to Cowes.

    We were not the only ones making use of the lovely weather. Quite a few other walkers and riders were enjoying the conditions. Each time we rode past any of these, we tried to leave as wide a gap as possible. This virus scare has made us see every other human being as a potential source of travelling contagion.

    The most spectacular part of the Bass Coast Trail is the section near Kilcunda. Here the path follows the oceanfront clifftops and the views are amazing. We discovered that recent storms had severely eroded the cliffs, in some places causing part of the path to collapse down onto the beach. These damaged areas had been fenced off by new security fencing.

    We kept on riding up the hill to Anderson and then decided to explore some of the new trail towards Woolamai. Since the weather was starting to show signs of deteriorating, we did not have time to ride the full distance and stopped to have our picnic lunch at a high point, with a panoramic view down over Westernport and Philip Island.

    The return ride was a little easier as we had a brisk tail wind for most of the way. By the time we had arrived back at the car we had ridden around 43km. It was not a long ride, but it did a lot to improve our morale. The forecast for the next few days is not as promising, so it might be our last ride for a little while.
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  • Day50

    The Sucker Comes to a Fiery End

    April 20, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Back in the "pre Covid" days we used to take the dog to the groomers for her regular haircut and beauty treatment. Those days are now long past. A few weeks ago Maggie ordered a set of dog clippers on line and set about learning how to cut hair (both hers and the dogs).

    This afternoon she decided that the dog really needed a trim. She propped the unwilling little beat atop the washing machine and set about attacking her tight black curls with the clippers. After about an hour of furious clipping the laundry floor was covered with black hair and the poor dog was modelling her new "Madam Pompadour" haircut.

    Maggie announced that the dog was finished and then set about vacuuming up all the hair clippings. For a little while the house resounded with the normal sounds of vacuuming, and then all hell broke loose. The air was rent with ear splitting cries, just like a demented banshee. At the same time Maggie started yelling for help.

    At first I thought she must have sucked the little dog right up the hose and into the vacuum cleaner.

    "It's on fire", she yelled. No, not the dog, the vacuum cleaner. By the time I ran to the laundry the room was full of acrid black smoke, billowing from the cleaner. It was quickly switched off and cast into the yard. All the windows were opened to clear the smoke. Once out into the open the cleaner continued to billow out smoke for some time. Now that was quite an unexpected turn of events, although in a strange way it did give colour and excitement to an otherwise drab day.

    The vacuum is still sitting outside, but we both know that it has sucked its last gasp. Its next resting place will be the garbage bin. I suppose we can't complain since we only paid about $70 for it around 10 years ago. That works out to about $7 a year. Not too bad.

    Later in the day we had another picnic by the inlet and then drove to investigate a future bike ride to Venus Bay. It was a nice ending to an exciting day.
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  • Day63

    In the Plague Year of 2020

    May 3, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 13 °C

    With all the doom and gloom that we have been surrounded with over the past few weeks I looked for something to read that would lighten my melancholy and bring a smile to my face. After a brief search for free downloads from Project Gutenberg, I found an entertaining book written by Daniel Defoe. It bore the title "A History of the Plague in London". It was just the sort of lighthearted book that I had been looking for.

    I sat down with the kindle and was soon mesmerised by his Defoe's account of London in the plague year of 1665. The first thing I decided was Defoe must have been quite a child prodigy. He was born in the year 1661, and therefore was only 4 years old when the plague was running rampant. He must have had either had an excellent memory, or relied heavily on third party accounts of the events that took place.

    The second thing that struck me was how similar the events were in 1665 compared to what we are currently going through now. Of course I know that our world is very different to the world of London over 350 years ago. They had no Internet, no Netflix, no mail order shopping and certainly no JobKeeper allowances. On the other hand, the government regulations and accounts of people's behaviour makes uncanny reading.

    When the plague first broke out, vast numbers of Londoners fled the city to find safer lodgings in the country. But, before they could leave the city, they had to have a certificate of health to enable them to pass the numerous roadblocks and checkpoints. There was also a serious shortage of horses to pull the carts to transport people out of London. Large numbers of people therefore had to walk their way to the country. The once busy streets of London were left largely deserted. All taverns, cafes and coffeehouses were closed, along with theatres and all other places where crowds could gather. (Sound familiar ?)

    Any house that reported a case of the plague was marked with a large red cross and a "watcher" was stationed outside the door. The purpose of the watcher was to ensure that no one entered or left the house. If the watcher had to leave to run an errand, they had to secure the door with a padlock.

    People who had any contact with an infected person had to undergo quarantine for 28 days. Any bedding, clothes or other goods from the infected premises were also quarantined. And all this was taking place before they even understood what caused the disease in the first place.

    Of course, there were a large number of scammers and charlatans ("mountebanks") who took advantage of the hysteria to make money at the expense of the vulnerable. Dodgy doctors, fortune tellers, amulet makers and astrologers all saw their opportunity to make a killing.

    In 2020 not that much seems to have changed.

    (If you would like to read the same book, it can be downloaded free of charge from If you have a kindle reader it can be downloaded directly to your kindle.The whole process only takes a minute or so. )

    In the afternoon we went for a long walk along the coast. We were interested to see how the recent storms might have changed the coastline. Although it was evident that there had been damaging waves, to our relief the damage was quite modest. It was fantastic to see so many other individuals, couples and entire families out walking and riding.
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  • Day70

    Mothers' Day in the Pandemic

    May 10, 2020 in Australia ⋅ 🌧 11 °C

    Way back in PC (pre COVID) days, Mother's Day used to be a time of family celebrations, of shared meals, hugs and kisses. In 2020 those simple things are now just a memory. This has been replaced with a technology battle to get everyone on line at the same time. Even when you have achieved the holy grail of getting a simultaneous, multi way link up, then begins the familiar dialogues.

    "I can see you, but I can't hear you".

    "Now you have gone blank"

    "Where has (name removed) gone ?

    "Your camera is facing the wrong way"

    "Stop all talking at once"

    "Stop moving the camera, it's making me feel seasick"

    And so it goes on. It is really not the same as a good shared meal and lots of kisses and hugs. Such is life in the pandemic age.

    After about 30 minutes of shared Skype time with the family, Maggie and I were exhausted. We needed a rest, so that's what we did. Much earlier in the morning I had driven to the township to buy some take away breakfast. The businesses that were open were doing a thriving trade, with queues right out the door and up the street. Even though it was only 8.30 am,, by the time I was served many items had already been sold out. I think the lesson to be learnt is that the businesses that adapt to the new trading normal, have the potential to do very well for themselves. Those that simply give up, will be left by the wayside.

    Later in the day we enjoyed a very long walk along the oceanfront. We were keen to see the changes that had taken place over the past couple of days. While it was true that the sand had certainly been shifted around dramatically, the damage was not as great as we had first feared.

    There is still a wide expanse of sandy waterfront, but it now has a lot more trapped expanses of water scattered about. This does make it a little more challenging walking the full length of the beach, as you are never sure whether your way will be blocked or not.

    Our day finished by watching Legomasters on TV. How refreshing it is to finally see a show which makes stars of ordinary people and nerds. I am not even sure if any of them would have a single Instagram follower. But the show is great fun for kids of all ages - including us.
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  • Day52

    Oh No, Not 2020

    April 22, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    January 2020 seems a lifetime ago. At that time the share market was setting new records almost every day, our retirement savings seemed safe, we were able to see our families any time we wanted, we could dine out and share bike rides with our friends.

    We also had the Olympic Games to look forward, along with the AFL premiership season, the Tour de France and lots of rides with the Ghostriders. What could possibly go wrong ?

    Meanwhile, somewhere in China, a tiny organism made the leap from animal to human and a dreadful chain of events was set in motion. Over the space of just a few weeks, this evil little bugger had spread all over the planet and affected billions of lives.

    In the course of our lives there are certain days that become etched in our memories. All of those that are old enough can remember what we were doing when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. We can remember what we did on Ash Wednesday or Black Saturday. Such events burn themselves into our memories. I think that 2020 will be similarly remembered as the year that wasn't.

    At least the news isn't all bad. Australia is faring better than most other countries, with the infection rate steadily dropping over the past couple of weeks. We are all hoping that this may mean that we can start to conservatively wind back some of the harshest restrictions in the not too distant future. For Maggie and me, we are most hoping that we will be able to see our latest grandson on his first birthday in 6 weeks time. It is such a significant milestone in his life that we would hate to not be able to share it with him.

    The highlight of our day was the weekly delivery of groceries from the Woolworths on line service. We even got a new pack of toilet paper, so things are really looking up.

    Unfortunately, the day ended with an almost indescribable tragedy when four police officers were killed on the Eastern Freeway. They had stopped a speeding Porsche driver and were killed by a huge truck driving up the emergency lane. When faced with such events, our hardships seem pretty minor by comparison.
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  • Day55

    Anzac Day in Isolation

    April 25, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    With the normal Anzac Day services not possible because of the restrictions currently in place banning gatherings of people, everyone had been encouraged to conduct their own service before sunrise outside their own house. Maggie and I decided to set the alarm for 5.45 am and conduct our own small service.

    It certainly was cold outside and there was still no sign of the sunrise when we donned some warm clothes and walked to the end of the drive. Although the street was still deserted, I could hear someone playing the "Last Post", somewhere in the distance. We appeared to be the only ones in our street who had risen early, but it seemed to be the right thing to do. It brought back memories of my grandfather, so I thought I would take some time to include some of his story here.

    My grandfather, Horace Dawson, embarked for Gallipoli on July 16th 1915 on the HMAT Demosthenes. He was a 2nd Lt with the 23rd Infantry Battalion reinforcements. He had recently been married and left for Turkey only a few days after the wedding. My father was born nine months later. My grandfather did not get to meet his first son until he returned from the war in 1919.

    After the debacle at Gallipoli, Horace went to Egypt to play an important role as adjutant and second in charge of the Bicycle Battalion which saw extensive action in France and Belgium. This is something I only found out in 2012, as my grandfather would never talk about his war experiences. I do remember his eyes being permanently bloodshot, apparently as a result of being badly affected by mustard gas.

    In July 1919 he was Mentioned in Despatches for his exemplary work in the formation of the Bicycle Battalion and his commendation bears the famous signature of Winston Churchill, who at that time was the Secretary of State for War.

    My grandfather never got to see his son until he returned to Australia in 1919. After his return he had another 5 children and lived a long and productive life, living to over 100. His later years were mostly spent in Sorrento, close to where his grandparents had first landed in Australia on the famous plague ship The Ticonderoga in 1852. He passed away in 1989.

    I just wished I had the privilege to know him better. RIP Horace Dawson.

    The main picture shows my grandfather on the left. The other images show some of the other members of the Bicycle Battalion.
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  • Day44

    It's Not Easy

    April 14, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

    It's not easy. No, it's not easy. After three and a half weeks of lockdown, it is starting to sink in that this might be our lifestyle for some time to come. Although the effectiveness of this strategy is being shown in the latest statistics, it is not easy to be separated from our family and friends for such an extended time.

    I think it is also the complete uncertainty of the whole thing that makes it harder. If we knew just how long it was going to last for, we would have something to look forward to. As it is we don't know whether it will be for just a few more weeks, or maybe to the end of the year or longer. Maybe the only way to approach this is to take each day at a time. Each day that we get through is another day closer to that day when we will all be free to return to our normal lives and relationships.

    I know another thing that is not easy. Adjusting derailleur gears has always been a black art, but for some unknown reason I decided to give it a go this morning. On the past couple of rides I had been conscious of the fact that my gears were not engaging as precisely as they should. Since it was a pretty good day as far as the weather was concerned, I had promised Maggie that we would go on another ride.

    Just as we were about to leave, I called out to Maggie.

    "Hang on a moment, I need to adjust my gears", I said, as if I actually knew what I was doing. It did not take me long to upend the bike, spilling the entire contents from my pannier in the process. I had forgotten to close the zipper.

    Then I attacked the gear cable, succeeding in almost immediately ripping off the cable cover on the end. It was not going well and I hadn't even started. Very soon I could not engage any gears at all. That was not the result I was planning.

    "How long will you be ?", Maggie asked.

    "Not long now", I lied.

    About 30 minutes later I had managed to repair most of the damage I had inflicted on my bike. The gears might have been marginally better, but then again they might have been even worse. I washed my hands and announced that the job was done.

    When we finally got underway the weather had deteriorated a little. At least it was not raining (yet). We first headed up the main road to Korrumburra, before turning left into Lynnes Rd and heading towards Wonthaggi. The traffic was still light, but was substantially heavier than it had been in the Easter break. Fortunately none of them managed to knock us off our bikes.

    We eventually reached the road to Wonthaggi and that is when the rain started. The pace quickened in an attempt to find somewhere to shelter. Unfortunately we never did find shelter, but fortunately the rain stopped after about 15 minutes.

    The final section of the ride took us along the Bass Highway from Wonthaggi to Inverloch. Although there is a generous shoulder for cycling, it was a little unnerving when large trucks flew past at 100 kph. We did make it home in one piece and decided that overall it had been a successful ride.
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  • Day83

    A Trip or Two to the Tip

    May 23, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    Ever since we bought our house at Inverloch about 12 years ago, the back border had been dominated by a row of scraggly cypress trees and an impenetrable barrier of lilly pillys. While the lilly pillys are on our side of the fence, the cypress trees belong to the elderly lady on the adjoining property.

    Although these all combine to give us a lot of privacy, they have been progressively getting larger and larger and encroaching more and more into our space. Whenever the kids play cricket in the yard, any ball hit in that direction is almost certainly destined to be lost in the wilderness.

    While we have been spending our time in isolation, we have turned our attention to the wilderness. What started as careful "pruning" gradually evolved into a wholesale frontal assault. With the aid of my chainsaw, hedge trimmers and bow saw, we have thrown ourselves into mortal combat with the green enemy.

    For a time it became a bit like the DIY haircut. Every time we had another look, we noticed another branch that needed lopping off. The trees got progressively smaller and the pile of branches grew ever larger. The "just one more branch" became a recurring theme. I started to lean further and further over the rear fence to cut off ever more of the neighbour's trees. I kept telling myself that I was actually doing the dear old lady a big favour and saving her paying for an expensive professional tree lopper to do the job.

    Today we reached a point where we could really go no further, without possibly risking backyard conflict. Besides that, the pile of cuttings had grown so large that we could hardly move in the backyard. We had to do something about the mess, but the problem was the Bass Coast Council told us that the local tip was "only open for professional gardeners". Apparently it was still closed for ordinary ratepaying residents.

    We decided to ring the local Inverloch tip directly and ask them if we could pay them a visit. They obviously knew nothing about the council policy and assured us that there would be "no problem". That was just the news we were looking for. So off we went to retrieve my trailer (which is on permanent loan to my brother in law in Wonthaggi) and started filling it to the brim.

    A couple of repeat trips (and about $40) later, we had cleared the pile and the backyard started to look open again. Maggie and I were very much reminded that we aren't young any more, but we did feel pleased with ourselves at what we had achieved. And what about the neighbour ? I don't think she has noticed yet.
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  • Day39

    Settling in to our New Normal

    April 9, 2020 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 14 °C

    After arriving in Inverloch last night my solitary life has finally come to an end. It feels a little strange to now have someone to talk to and a dog to sit on my knee. We were worried at first at how we would be able to squeeze so much stuff into a small house, but somehow we seem to have managed the impossible. Maybe we should rename the house to "The Tardis". We even managed to find a place for our two bikes inside the house !

    Today was just too glorious to let it go to waste. As soon as we could get sorted, we jumped on our bikes and headed out to explore some of the bike path network. Although Easter is normally one of the busiest times of the year for Inverloch, this year it is almost deserted. Apart from the people who live here all year, there has been absolutely no intake of visitors.

    It was a strange feeling to be able to ride up the main street and see most of the shops closed. I don't how how some of these businesses will survive the loss of such an important trading period.

    We stopped to gaze across Anderson Inlet and admire the beautiful blue ocean. Earlier in the day I had seen some images on the Internet of towns in northern India where, for the first time in decades, they were now able to see the snow capped mountains of the Himalayas. For many of the younger people it would have been the first time in their lives that the mountains were visible, as they are normally blocked by a curtain of air pollution. Now that so many cars are off the roads, it is as if the earth is starting to rebuild its damaged atmosphere. The same phenomenon is happening in cities all over the planet. It is ironic that it might take a virus to shake us into action about what has been destroying our beautiful planet. Changes that take place slowly can somehow go unnoticed. I wonder if the people even realised that their amazing mountains were gradually being hidden from them.

    I spent some time practicing my new skill and I must admit that I am quite pleased at the progress I am already making. I can see why some people really get involved in this. My first few successes did give me something of a rush, and inspired me to keep practising and improving. One day I might even tell you what it is.

    Our first day together ended with a delicious crock pot stew. We have plenty of food and plenty of toilet paper too, so we should be OK for the next few weeks at least. The weather bureau has promised another lovely day for tomorrow, so I think we will be back out on the bikes in the morning.

    It's almost 9 pm already. Time for bed.
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