Kat Noz

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Joined February 2022 Message
  • Day202

    Return home

    September 12 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    The anticipation was growing as we reached our neighbourhood and recognised the very familiar streets and buildings. We pulled into Armstrong street and greeted our neighbour who was waving from behind her fence. Then I saw my car parked in the driveway, looking so small compared to the 200 series ☺️..

    We rushed to the back gate. And there he was, the little black nose poking through, trying to get close to us. Buddy. We rushed through the house (which felt so huge!) to get to him. He knew us. All shivering from excitement, jumping, getting tangled amongst us, this wonderful dog welcomed us home. We were instantly forgiven for leaving him behind 💛. This was the most beautiful welcome. I cried and hugged my dog. The trip was over but our family has just expanded and so did our hearts. It was a mixed bag of feelings.. but love was the main one.
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  • Day200

    The Grampians

    September 10 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    Where should we stop between here and home?? Is this even a real question? Are we really that close to home? It took some time to sink in.. our travels are coming to an end. We have so much to look forward to back at home but also so much to miss.

    Let’s stop in the Grampians. Let’s see one more national park, crimson rosellas, roos and maybe even a wombat?

    We stopped at Mackenzie falls car park and set out for a bit of walking. Millie was tired and stayed in the van, so we didn’t want to take too long. It was a lot of fun hopping along the muddy track to Mackenzie Falls and further on, to Fish Falls. It had been raining heavily so the falls were bursting with water - so powerful, so full of life. We even got to see a timid roo in the car park when we returned! One thing we noticed was the crowds of people, something we were no longer used to. But the gum forest was ever so familiar.. we could feel that we were back home, in Victoria.

    We found a peaceful little RV place in Cavendish, on the Wannon River bank to stay for the night and the next day. Andy was keen to fossick for some smokey quartz in Mooralla, a nearby locality known to fossickers. He left in the morning and stayed out for most of the day, getting bogged, lost and dirty but content that we had tried. What he found was not yet certain but he was keen to return again.

    We enjoyed some pancakes, went for a walk and then played with a ball in the basketball court nearby. This was our last day but no one spoke to much about it. We just couldn’t believe it.

    Chinese for dinner followed in Hamilton, the same way we kicked off the travels with Chinese food in Portland back in Feb. A few hours driving and a wet overnighter at Pyke Creek and just under an hour’s drive to get to Sunshine in the morning. The gypsy life was truly ending.
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  • Day197

    Barossa Valley

    September 7 in Australia ⋅ 🌧 14 °C

    The wind picked up in Perlubie and it was time to get moving to our next stop, the Barossa Valley, our very favourite Shiraz region.

    We took an overnight break in a free camp behind a pub near Port Pirie and arrived to Tanunda in the afternoon. This time, we have decided to treat ourselves and spend 2 nights in a premium 2 bedroom cabin. Why not?

    The next day was Ella’s half birthday. 11 and a half!! We celebrated with croissants and lemon cake, a few little gifts and plans for a visit to the 50s Diner for lunch and a Harry Potter movie night in the evening.

    It was cold and wet but we were lucky enough to manage a walk around the rolling hills of Keiserstuhl without getting too much rain. We spotted kangaroos, saw the horse head rock and passed hundreds of sheep grazing on the bright green pastures. We then popped into Seppeltfield wines and learned a lot of interesting winemaking history. Particularly unique was the fact that they have kept their ports in barrels for over a century, keep adding a new vintage every year and open a centennial each year for a very limited sale.

    We finished the outing with a late lunch at the American 50s diner, unfortunately the food wasn’t what we expected and Millie didn’t feel the best. We made up for it back in the cabin with a tasty dinner and movie night.

    It was wonderful to have the spacious cabin to stretch out and feel what it’ll be like being in our house again 😁🥺. Not long now…
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  • Day195

    Perlubie

    September 5 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    So, 5th of Sep marked my ‘half birthday’ which the girls are always excited about (me less so). I didn’t want any fuss, just a lovely day together. And this was exactly what awaited.

    We parked up in the sand right on the beach, with only two neighbours far away from us, overlooking the glassy water. Andy got my SUP and his kayak ready, while the girls dug in the sand, getting our giant fire pit ready for the evening. I wouldn’t have imagined that we again can have a warm enough day, wear a tee shirt and go in the water. It was a bliss.

    We wondered around the coastal cliffs and caves and watched the sunset, enjoyed drinks and cheese platter with fresh goodies from Margaret River, built an awesome fire pit, cooked spuds in the coals and sat at the fire, while listening to the sound of the waves. Andy could fish again, went metal detecting (found us huge supply of tent pegs) and we all recovered from the recent long drives.

    What a stop, all boxes ticked off and probably even better in the shoulder season without the hundreds of people around. And did I mention the beautiful spring wildflowers?
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    Exciting!! [Nonna]

     
  • Day195

    Smokey & Streaky Bay

    September 5 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

    It was refreshing to be on the coast and smell that salty air again. Andy and Millie gave fishing another go at Ceduna and Smokey Bay jetties and we wandered around with Ella. We pulled into Streaky Bay discovery park just before sunset.

    We had some extra time at hand and local weather forecast was wonderful, 24 degrees and sunny! We decided to spend this time at Perlubie - and finally check out what everyone had been talking about in the summer months and tick camping right on the beach off Millie’s bucket list.
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  • Day193

    Norseman and the Nullabor

    September 3 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

    We took the very last park at Norseman RV ground late at night and crashed. When we looked outside in the morning, only one other van was still parked - it appeared that no one wanted to hang around there for long?

    Andy excitedly set off to explore a few areas on the outskirts of town in search for the dendritic opal, a rock he had read about in his spare time, only mapped to be found in the Norseman area. We allowed 2 nights for here, to make sure he can find a s or eVisa sample. It wasn’t even midday when he phoned to say he found a whole heap of them! He was wrapped.

    We walked around the town with the girls, not really finding anything interesting, and discussing how we would surprise Andy on Father’s Day while on the remote Nullarbor. Got a cake in the IGA, which we hid in their girls’ cupboard, a few other food supplies, and when Andy got back, we decided to hit the road early that afternoon.

    Another late night found us past Caiguna Roadhouse, in a spacious free camp tucked away in the shrubs far enough from the main road. In the morning we woke into strong westerly winds - the worst way to tow when heading east. Andy didn’t blink and kept us all moving all day, with only the occasional swap with me. We found night traffic to be more intense, as the huge road train rolled down the highway while we sat on 80km/hr. We both kept our eyes glued on the road and had the occasional check in on the CB radio, while the girls absolutely loved chilling on their night drive.

    When parking up for the second night, we couldn’t believe we were only an 3 hours out of Ceduna - the last stop on the Nullarbor! We did over a 1000kms, crossed the SA border and I managed to knock off my headache.

    We all had a sleep in and when Andy went for some metal detecting in the morning, the girls prepared the Father’s Day celebration. Andy was so surprised. He had no idea it was coming 😌.

    The diesel price dropped from $2.99 in Nullarbor Roadhouse to $2.09 just about a hundred kms down the road, so crazy. But we had already roped up and couldn’t care, the long drive was over and the sun was out. Streaky Bay was calling - and for one more time, the beach.
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  • Day191

    Stirling Range NP

    September 1 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    We knew that we should get onto the Nullarbor and get that part of the trip whipped out so we can then take it easy through SA, where there was so much to continue exploring. But when I saw a few photos of the Stirling Range in one of the visitor booklets I had this strong pulling to see it. Andy agreed although he was definitely more interested in getting to Norseman (and finding some very unique opals!).

    We got to Stirling Range Retreat and got some housekeeping done. While potting around, dozens of themed cars arrived for a jolly lunch meet up on their way to Albany. They were all part of the WA Variety Bash (children a charity)!! We had the best atmosphere and even ran into the Blues Brothers at the Bluff Knoll carpark (such cool dudes, the girls even got pressies from them).

    The actual walk started gently but soon turned into more uphill steps, separated by tracks with open rocky edges. Although the views were gorgeous, they didn’t impress the girls much as tired halfway through. Andy was also uncomfortable - heights are just not his thing and he worried about the girls tripping over while wary. With about a km to go he turned back with Millie, while I continued up with Ella, who was keen to make it to the finish.

    As we reached the last few hundred meters from the summit, a dark cloud covered us and suddenly we were freezing. Ella was a little trooper and kept going strong, while we chatted and laughed. We reached the summit together and I took in the mysterious views of the cloudy scenery from above. It was a special moment I will have stored in my memory for a long time.
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  • Day189

    Nannup to Denmark

    August 30 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

    After saying goodbye to our friends, we relocated further south and it sounded like a good idea to pull up near a sweet little country town, Nannup . We enjoyed a quiet bush camp, seeing the first karri trees and having a camp fire again. The weekend just passed was Nannup’s annual tulip festival, with 25000 tulips displayed around town to celebrate the 25th anniversary. We were impressed with the kms of walking/ biking trails, great fresh produce and great coffee.

    After a bit of fossicking and walking we hit the road early afternoon and set up camp on Ruth and Brian’s property just outside Denmark. We loved the serenity of the farm and falling asleep to the colourful frog songs. Andy fixed up the headlights and we were ready to get on some night drives.

    On the way out, we stopped at Monkey Rock winery/ cider - a definitely worthwhile stop. We stayed a while tasting a variety of ciders and wines, all vegan and chemical free; and also enjoyed the cool farm animals on the property 😛.
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  • Day189

    Porongurup NP

    August 30 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Granite Skywalk, Castle Rock

    We made it to the Porongurup NP and hiked up to the Granite skywalk late afternoon to see the 360 degree views of the magnificent trees and greenery. Andy fought his fears of heights climbing up the ladders and wobbly rocks to get to the top with us - and it was well worth it ! The way back down was quicker and the girls were chirping away with excitement; we even spotted a few kangaroos munching away in the bushes.

    At sunset we set in a free camp right besides a huge canola field - with a gorgeous silhouette of the Stirling Ranges. A big day with lots memories, and more yet to come when we attempt to climb the tallest peak of the ranges the next day.
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