Monday, February 6, 2012

The Show Must Go On!

It's been a week since we bid an early farewell to two members of The Big Adventure team.

We dropped the Pianoman and the Whippet off at Adelaide airport and would meet them in Hobart in another 2 weeks. I must say, seeing the Pianoman dressed in his suit for the first time in a couple of months was a very bitter reality pill to swallow after the absolutely amazing time we have all had on this trip.

The kids and I were slightly traumatised putting the Whippet into the blue crate and onto the conveyor belt and that was before we were told of the extremely turbulent flight across Bass Strait. However, the Pianoman has reported that all has been forgiven and the Whippet is now super happy to be back at the Farmlet chasing the wallabies again.

But the show must go on!

I thought a caravan and 4 kids were a recipe for disaster in a major city so I decided to go regional and headed for the Limestone Coast, South Australia.

First stop, the lovely seaside town of Robe.

We had the loveliest time in Robe just chilling out and making sure I had all my 'systems' in place. I can now hitch and un-hitch the caravan and after getting in and out of the car 20 (ok, maybe 50) times on the first go I've devised the most high-tech method to help me back onto the caravan-I've placed some duct tape on the back windscreen and another piece on the caravan and when these two line up, voila!! 

I've really enjoyed the company of my fellow caravaners this past week. I've made some great friends, including a family that will visit us when they get to Tasmania in a few weeks. Caravaners are a very discreet bunch but also very perceptive, if that makes sense. I've found everyone very considerate. Everyone kind of just carries on with things completely oblivious to the fact that others are witnessing their every move. You tend to know what everyone has for breakfast, you can see what brand of toothpaste people use and it doesn't take long to see the dynamics of how the different couples and families work. You carry on as if no one is noticing these things. But they do. I actually haven't had to ask for a single bit of help as people have noticed that I'm on my own and come straight up and offered help. I'm really grateful, even if I don't need it. I actually don't mind my own company so when the kids are in bed I often read or watch a chick flick on the laptop. Or like now, I'll do a blog post. But tonight I have a date with the lovely grey nomads "next door" before I head off tomorrow. So I better get on with it.

Robe has historical significance for our family too. And I am absolutely obsessed with family history. Did you know I married a Chinaman? The Pianoman's Great Great Grandfather, a Chinaman from Canton jumped ship and landed here in Robe before heading for the Goldfields. So, my blonde-headed, blue-eyed children are part chinese. There is a Chinese Memorial for the 16,000 Chinese who landed here in 1856-1858 and walked the 200 miles to the Goldfields of Victoria in search of Gold. I'll Post more about this another time. But here are the kids standing on the spot where one of there forefathers first landed in Australia.

We managed to walk down both sides of the main road of the town, but it took a while because we had to stop and pat every. single. dog. along the way. The Whippet is missed!

They even let me look in all the galleries and boutiques. I bribed them with treats from here.

We then went to Mt Gambier for a couple of days and took in all of its gorgeous landscape. This is the Umpherston Sinkhole - literally a hole sunk into the ground. It was graced with beautiful gardens and caves.

And then onto Blue Lake, a volcanic crater lake which had the most exquisite colour.

I've been keeping a tight reign on the kids since I'm going solo. Here is Miss Fancy planking over Blue Lake.

And then onto Princess Margaret Rose Caves which were just spectacular. We were the only ones there and therefore had a private tour. The tour guide continued her spiel as if she was talking to a class of PhD Students instead of 3 year olds but the kids were all ears. Ask them anything about columns, pillars, batwings, petrified tree roots, shawls, straws, wedding cakes and Chandeliers. They're all over it.

Wedding Cake

Miss Fancy with The Seventh Dwarf, "Grumpy"

Hope you are all having a wonderful Monday!


  1. Lovely photos as always Mel. I loved Robe when we stopped in, such a cute little town and Mt Gambier wasn't bad either. Thanks for the reminder again of the great country we live in.

  2. Safe travels Mel. Lovely images, as always.

  3. Oh my goodness! Those photos are all amazing. What a beautiful part of the world! Sorry to hear about the traumatic farewell to your dog. I'd hate to be in your shoes there!

  4. WOW, just WOW! It's like you've managed to cram every possible landscape into the one stop, what a magnificent place. That sinkhole is just magical, so lovely. I love the pics with the random dogs, so cute :o) The pic of the four of you is beautiful. And I want to add that I think you're AMAZING for doing all of this on your own with four kidlets... AND no doubt missing hubby terribly. What a fabulous journey you've taken us on Mel, thank you :o) xo

  5. Stunning photos.
    You are inspiring, Mrs.
    :-) x

  6. Mel, you should be so so proud of brave to do this leg on your own with the have inspired me to learn to hitch and unhitch (when we get a smaller van)......truly admirable 'go girl' type of stuff....
    Totally agree with you...the travelling community is wonderful and it makes my heart sing to hear how they are looking out for you and your beautiful babies!!
    The limestone coast looks amazing, great pics!!
    stay safe, keep us posted!!

  7. You are very brave going the last leg of the trip with the kids. The photos are beautiful. I love all of the places you visit and show us. Australia is beautiful, I love seeing it in my living roon in New York. I will never gat a chance to visit there so I appreciate your pictures of your wonderful part of our Earth.

  8. So sweet that the kids miss the whippet I'm sure you do to though. What beautiful beaches where you are and it looks like great weather too.

  9. Mel, you are all so beautiful. So close too! I love the snaps and I love that you loved SA. XX

  10. It's good to read a bit more about your adventures Mel. The more I see of your wonderful country the more I want to visit. We have friends and family in Queensland but it is Tasmania that has always appealed most to me (partly on the basis that I'm told it's not too hot, is that right?). No doubt once you're posting pics from home I'll have begun saving for a mega holiday :D

  11. Just fascinating, Gorgeous. We've only ever driven through Robe - that's clearly an error we need to rectify! I am so impressed at how you're doing the whole single parenting gig. J x

  12. Haha, love the planking! Have the kids heard of "owling", where they crouch down, arms to the side like wings and all wide eyed looking like owls? Apparently its a cool thing to do according to my teenage niece and nephew! LOL

  13. All of these places look amazing - as always, your photos are stunning.

    I loved hearing about your family's connection to Robe - I bet the kids did too.

    I'm sure the kids would have made those dogs' day.