Casita Chronicles down under the last blog Mar 29-April 10
As you may have figured out the computer did crash after getting wet in the 3 day rain on the coast. I shall endeavor to finish the saga from memory and some notes. Here goes.
This campsite is very fine and I even inserted the $14 fee tho I do not think any of the busies did. It is situated inland a short hike from the coast and has a rain water shower which surprisingly works. We have just a few neighbors and quite a few vehicles that seem to come and go. The big event of the day besides the beach walk was the visitation by the monitors or giant iguana lizards. Almost 4 feet long and without any real fear they walk thru camp. We also had a camp fire, one of the few and it allowed us to stay up late for once. The darkness seems to be coming early.
A coffee on the beach, a run and swim. It is Moms birthday and I remember her and miss her. I always will. We proceeded down the road to Seal rocks where there was a very old lighthouse one of the few that we visited . Built in 1875 it is a very scenic place and a beautiful view. From there we proceeded to Submarine beach where once again we found ourselves one of the few campers. In fact we had the entire beach to ourselves to run, swim, and make love.
31 Coffee on the viewpoint and in the distance Dolphins. Mrs O took off cross country on a beeline to the shore. Later I followed her tracks and following her were Dingo tracks!! later that day we actually saw a Dingo. Rajni was delighted with the dolphins playing along the shore, one of the things she wanted to see. We decided to head inland now to explore what is called the great dividing range of mountains and the Bush. There is trouble back home with the renters and it feels somewhat helpless so far away to deal with it. Things rarely go smoothly and learning to flow even thru these things is a great lesson.
We had a little car trouble but it turns out the intake tube is off and was rubbing on the fan belt an easy fix. We stopped into a volunteer information stand to get our bearings. The two gentlemen there were helpful but when we told them how we camp along the way they went into a long diatribe about some family that lured travelers in and killed them brutally. It was alarming but I began to suspect it was the fear/paranoia of Australia so I asked how far away this happened and they told me some 200 Kilometers. Then I asked when it happened and they told me 15 years ago??? Who remembers events 15 years ago? And why is it still impacting them? When I mentioned that people should arm themselves they were quick to not only say that it was illegal but that all the bad people, the gangs (motorcycle) and the weirdoes all not only had guns but can get them easily thru the black market. The police are unable to defend and protect the populace on any scale. These people live in abject fear! FOOLS to voluntarily disarm themselves and become prey to those that are armed. But of course it is happening in our own country. Few people are aware due to the way information is selectively disseminated that there are mass shootings, murder and mayhem in Australia where they are not allowed to have weapons just like in our own country. So whats the point, Making guns illegal only does so for honest good people.
We proceeded on the back roads (which are very windy into the interior thru many small villas and towns. They are wonderful little places. One is Stroud, This village was very old and I stopped at the little church and graveyard. It was built in 1838 for the convict work force that went there to start settlement. I am wishing now that I had taken some time to learn the history of Australia much better before coming. Perhaps I would understand these people better. Of particular note I mean to learn more about the explorer James Cook and amazing man with the little I have learned.
We ended up for the night in Singleton, a nice town near the training center for the Australian Army. At the campground I made the acquaintance of Scotty who was there along with many other men from around the country to work in the mines (mostly Coal) They come for the week and go home on the weekends. The large scale of these mines as he describe it is profound. I love visiting with people like him to get an idea of life in Australia.
WE have to get some paperwork done to be on the ballot for County Commissioner and it has to be motorized. We found everything at a local computer repair store. The proprietor was named Ruth and she was also a Justice of the Peace (notary in Australia) and also the local elected councilperson! We discussed her election and she was very encouraging. Having her name on my acceptance form was quite and honor!! We had lunch in the park and encountered a strange and wondrous phenomenon. The trees were full (in the thousands) of large bats the size of cats. They are called grey headed fox bats. The number and large size of these creatures was truly unique. All hanging upside down. Apparently they come with a smell and lots of guanno which the locals want them gone but they are endangered.
The next segment thru the Blue Mountains was a very fine drive down to the town of Goulburn. This town is the oldest settlement in the interior. It has wonderful brick and stone buildings but curiously not much in the way of a museum. We got a hotel there and went out on the town for pizza. It actually frosts here but the weather is very pleasant.
We had a moment of despair as when we were about to leave the only key to the car was missing. After a lot of searching we retraced our steps to the restaurant and inquired there. They found it as I must have dropped it out of my pocket while eating. Wheew what a relief. We made our way to the Capital of Canberra. This is a brand new city just for the purpose of being the capital. It was well organized and very modern. I spent the afternoon at the famous War memorial there while Rajni enjoyed the weather outside. It was a well done memorial/museum. This is one thing about the aussies, is there honor of their veterans and life in general. The SOM was heavy. With such a small population any loss is regarded with sadness. The exhibit on Galipoli was amazing. Unlike my own country were we have lost so many in so many conflicts I am thinking we have become numb to our losses. The vietnam exhibit was profound. When I asked how many Australians were lost in that conflict they told me a little less than 600.???? When I told them that we lost 60,000 and we today barely remember it. I am currently reading a great book I picked up in the Salvation Army called “The Cage” It is appalling what we put our men thru in the Viet Nam war.
WE headed down the road (this one comparable to an interstate) towards Melbourne and the end of our journey. We had been told over and over about the danger of driving at night with Kangaroos jumping out in front of cars etc. WE pulled over onto a dirt road and made camp. Curiously, I never saw but one kangaroo corpse by the road and the traffic that we could hear (and kept us up) on the highway was non stop all night. So much for the that FEAR of the Kangaroos.
We stopped at a rest stop and a man and his wife were also stopped. He was driving an old 1967 Mustang. We visited and he let me take a look at it which was mostly stock. I asked him how much he paid for it and he said 32. Wow, not bad for 3,200 I said. He said no 32 thousand!! I told him I had a mustang convertible back in high school I paid 500 for. Value is so subjective. We decided to take a break from the highway and pulled off into the small hamlet of Glen haven. Turns out it is a very historical place. It is the hang out and location of the final siege and shoot out with an Australian Icon Ned Kelly. He is akin to someone like Jesse James or Robyn Hood. I went thru the museum and it is a bizarre story. In a nutshell Ned was a confirmed thief and killer but a nice guy in that he had a personal vendetta with the crown and authorities that apparently have mistreated the lower class. The child of convict parents Ned championed the resistance to the striated caste system fostered by a monarchy. In the end he and his gang were going to eliminate what they considered a corrupt police force. They made armor out of old plough shares and had an intricate plan to derail the train full of police forces. The whole thing went arry and they all went down in a hail of bullets despite their armor. Ned only survived with multiple wounds. Later to be publicly hung despite the cries of the populace.
WE are in Melboune at Dave Lovci’s place. Rajni and I explore the local Mall and the cool little museum about the old Pipmaker factory and meat shipping factory on the Marabynong river by Daves house.
I found a truck (ute) and buy it and beging the shipping process. Also work on Daves house to pay our keep. WE all Rajni, myself Dave and his two roommates Andrew (from England) and Carlos (from Columbia) all go out to eat at the India restaurant.
Lords Day, Rajni and I drive down to the beach in downtown Melbourne. It is our last chance to walk on the sand before we head home. Many are doing the same. I do Yoga in the park and in the evening Rajni makes us all a Dinner of Kangaroo meat!!
I take BB over to Dave’s friend Tito (a Philipino) who has a shop in his garage. He helps me tear out the LPG (propane) dual fuel system to put on the truck heading home. I intend to put it in my Ranger back home. The saving to fuel and the decrease in pollution by using propane as a fuel is amazing. I do not understand why we do not do it in the U.S on a larger scale. Here in Australia it is common and even stock in some vehicles. Just about all gas stations have an easy LPG fill just like petri or diesel. I also believe it can be adapted for CNG (compressed Natural Gas) that I can get right off my meter on my house. This would be even cheaper and even less polluting!! Of course the answer to the why’s is the petrol industry like many other industry have infiltrated the government and doing this very simple and realistic and logical thing like use propane and natural gas in our vehicles is discouraged by regulation and ignored. But not by me!!!
making final preps as we leave on the morrow. It is quite amazing how everything is coming together particularly with the purchase of the ute and I am very excited about going to L>A> in a month or so and driving it home. WE are both ready to go home. We are aware of the problem that lay before us with the renters but it will be nice to back in our cozy little abode.
Did some final work on Daves place. He seems very grateful. The cost of labor in this country is enormous. The Tradies as they call them make a very good living as they should. Dave took us out for dinner in exchange for the materials I purchased to fix his house.
Goodbye Australia Hello America