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Heading north on ANZAC Day

Lake Tyers and beyond

all seasons in one day 65 °F

......to say that I am behind in my blog posts is an understatement...

Not to worry - we've been having a great trip. OZ is so beautiful. Jim says it looks like Ireland - just bigger with wider roads. BUT - wifi is not always readily available in caravan parks. So bare with me and I'll catch you up....

25 April 2018

Lake Tyers

Leaving Toora, we knew it was going to be a quiet travel day. It was ANZAC Day (a national day of remembrance - similar to the US Memorial Day)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anzac_Day

After a 3 hour drive, we landed in Lakes Tyres, north from Toora. Route A1 aka The Pacific Coast Way, runs the eastern coast of Australia. We'll be following it for a major portion of our trip,

Speaking of following directions...HINT: although Apollo Campervan Rentals has been very responsive to our needs - I'm not sure the last time the GPS was updated but it probably wasn't in the last 5-7 years. A SIM card for my phone was so cheap (18G for $20AU - 35 days) that we didn't really need it...it's taken us the wrong place three or four times.

Our caravan park is a bit out of town but a very short two minute walk to the Ninety Mile Beach (thus named because....it's 90 miles long ). It was the first place that we headed. Beach as far as we could see and only one or two people - windy and a bit chilly but so peaceful!!

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26 April 2019

Being near the beach was nice but it was also cold and damp - really glad we had that heater!!

Another walk on the beach and again just one other person - the same woman we saw yesterday walking her little dog. We chatted and left her with the Beatles song "Get Back" in the back of her mind after we said that we were from Tucson. (Not the first time we've heard that on this trip).

Off to Paynesville which is a small town about a hour south of Lake Tyres. Just off it's coast (actually a two minute ferry ride) is Raymond Island. The island is 6 km long and 2 km wide and it's filled with koalas. We walked the Koala Trail and saw about a dozen little furry bundles curled up the crook of the various gum trees. They are so damn cute...but my sister spoiled the illusion just a little when she told me that about 90% have chlamydia. Doing a little research, I found this to be a huge issue with koalas - to the point that the government may be putting them on the endangered species list.

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On our way back, a quick bit of housekeeping. I need a blow dryer. Most caravan parks don't have them and since I'm keeping my hair a little longer since the play - I need a dryer. Found a Target, right inside the door was a blow dryer display and $15 we're out the door. Easy peasy!!

27 April 2018

Merimbula

Our schedule at this point has been pretty fluid. We were going to drive into Ulladulla - which is about a six hour drive but decided to break it up and stop in Merimbula. Jim is on his never ending search for oysters and Merimbula (with the accent on the "rim") with it's oyster farms in the bay is a hot spot for this bivalve.

We decided on Sapphire Lakes Caravan Park for two reasons - good reviews and it's proximately to town - about a five minute walk. Need to get those 10k steps in. The park is nice and again we opted for the ensuite site - with our holiday park discounts (from our RV rental) - it was just couple $$ more than a regular site. I'm really getting spoiled in my old age.

Merimbula (said Mer IM buela) is a nice little town on a quiet bay. Didn't find any oysters but did find a nice little pub (one of only two in town) at the Merimbula Lakeside Hotel. Jim ended up behind the bar for a quick photo with the bartender, Tommy, and Jim's "James Brown" shirt.

(Note: for those that don't know, I have a very good friend in Rochester who owns a great breakfast-lunch place on Culver Road - James Brown's Place. He gave Jim a t-shirt with his mantra " A Legend in His Own Mind" and asked us to take pics in some of the crazy places that we travel to. That has been Jim's mission. That shirt has been around the world - literally.)

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28 April 2018

Ulladulla

We're off again - this time we are heading to Ulladulla.

Along the way, we made a short stop. Jim had read that there are a couple of little towns called Tilba Tilba and Central Tilba that are "cute" (that word again" historic towns, one with a cheese factory. The signs directed us off the highway and up a winding road. About the same moment, Jim and I both concluded that Hobbits could live here. It was magical. Finding parking for our campervan proved a little difficult but we lucked out and got a space close to town. The Tilba Saturday Market was in full swing. Wandering the small town was fun. I ended up buying a wrap in one of the shops and Jim had his first hemp smoothie- which he rather enjoyed,

We arrived into Ulladulla (Ulladulla Headlands Caravan Park) in the pouring rain. After getting checked in, we drove down the road to Dee's Funk and Junk - not really sure what kind of "junk and/or funk" we would find. Actually ended up being a little gold mine - found a warm, wool jacket for JIm ($30AU) and chatted with Dee (the owner). She gave us some great suggestions for our short time in this quaint little town, We immediately followed up on one of her suggestions - Hayden's Pies. Not the fruit pies that we're used to in the states - this place is known for its savory pies. Six inches of warm, flaky, delicious pie crust - the best I've had in quite a while. We chose Lamb Vindaloo and Chicken Tikka Masala - both bursting with flavor and of course ended up being our early dinner.

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Now if it would just stop raining.

29 April 2018

Yesterday, Dee told us that there would be a Sunday Market up the road in Mollymook but the woman at the park front desk said no.."well, let's give it a try anyways" and Dee was right, Right near the beach, this Sunday Market was good sized with an assortment of items - veggies, food, clothing, artisan crafts. We bought some bread, dukkah and local olive oil.

The weather was warm and sunny and a local winery sounded like a great diversion - we were off to Cupitt's Winery. We had a great time. Did a wine tasting and had some food out on the patio over looking the beautiful valley and listening to music.

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We got back to the caravan park just in time. The weather had turned and turned quickly - we had rain, thunder and lightening for the rest of the night.

30 April 2018

Blackheath

Again, we're off.

Staying in one place for more than one night is really ideal but we need to be up into Queensland to drop off the campervan by May 25th - plus we'd like about a week up in the Cairns area so we don't have the luxury of dawdling.

We're off to the Blue Mountains.

Following one of Australia Tourist Drives we head inland.

We taking our time on our way up, stopping along the way, our first stop is Cambewarra Lookout. I really wasn't sure that the campervan was going to make it up the steep narrow road to the lookout but I should never doubt a VW engine - it did quite well. With just a few other visitors it was a lovely place to enjoy a cup of coffee.

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The ride down the hill didn't seem quite as steep or as long - funny how that happens.

On to Kangaroo Valley and another cute little town...and another pie shop. Seems these savory little pies are becoming our guilty pleasure. Today JIm chose a pumpkin spinach pie and mine was lamb and rosemary. Hope we'll be able to wait til dinner.

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Down the drive just a bit was Fitzroy Falls. The whole area is lacking a bit of water due to a drought but the falls still had enough water to impress. The area close to the visitor center had nice views but we decided to get those 10K steps in for the day and continue down the west side about 3Km and were rewarded with more impressive views of the falls and valley.

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It was time to continue to our destination of Blackheath and to the Blackheath Glen Caravan Park. Again the GPS failed us, taking us up some dead end street....not happy.

The caravan park is OK..small (which is not a problem) but it is counsel run (like a county park) and the most expensive $57Au and the worst wifi. Dinner and laundry on our "to do" list and then hunker down for a cold night.

01 May 2018

It was a cold night but we woke to beautiful blue skies which we decided to take advantage of by hitting some of the local sites (the reason we came to the Blue Mts.)

First stop - Govetts Leap - where we learned that this area is considered the Australian Grand Canyon. At Govetts, we saw just a small portion of the canyon but it was lovely and in contrast to our GC - very lush and hardly any tourists.

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Next, Echo Point. We found out where all the tourists were. Apparently, tourists are brought in by the bus load from Sydney and this is a favorite stop and for a very good reason. The views are outstanding.

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Another "tourist drive" is the BMD (Blue Mountain Dr) which we followed and were able to get away from the tourists buses and the crowds.

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Our last cold night in Blackheath and tomorrow we'll head down the mountain towards Hunter Valley (one of Australia's many wine regions) and warmer weather... we've decided that, YES, we've become Arizona wimps.

Posted by pjburke 00:23 Archived in Australia

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Enjoy your posts

by Cherrill

Hi Patty and Jim, I'm happily traveling along with you. Great pictures and adventures! I shared your Boar's Head Lookout pix with my friend who works at Boar's Head Provisions!

by Pat Gray

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