Day 3:

30 June 2010

We awoke this morning to the beautiful sound of bell birds and kookaburras with the background crashing of the waves at the nearby beach.  When I went to the toilet block, "Lo! How a Rose E're Blooming" was playing over the sound system.  Then, upon my return to the campervan, I saw a pair of pink cockatoos in the tree right outside our campervan.  It was one of those crystallising moments when one really feels present.  The kids woke up after us and got dressed.  Much less exotic than the night before, we had nut spread on toast and orange juice for breakkie.

At exactly 9:00a.m. today, we pulled out of the Garden of Eden Caravan Park and onto Highway 1, a beautiful stretch of road that goes all the way around the continent.  During the stretch we drove today, it was "A1".  We covered 456 Kms today...slow going as we were in the car off and on for about nine hours, stopping for coffees, petrol and to make lunch and the kids had a run around twice.  We finally had enough of "A1" at about 6:00p.m. when we finally gave up and stopped into the Warragul Gardens Caravan Park.  This one doesn't get a link mention because the facilities were not nearly as nice as the last two nights (and, they wouldn't offer any discount even when I mentioned I was a travel writer).

On the first night, when we were staying in Shoalhaven, Bill, the manager/bossman was not nearly as optimistic as we are when we explained that we are driving "all the way around" in seven weeks.  "You're not going to make it", he said to Rob.  Well, we shall see....  He obviously doesn't know the Rutledges very well.  Given that we only made it about 450 kms today, we definitely need to set some realistic goals going forward.

Highlights today were seeing the coastline a bit more, play equipment for the kids along the way, open areas for the kids to kick a ball around, straight-ish roads as I'm still terribly intimidated about driving 100 kms and hour on windy roads in the Big Kahuna, changing the black water cassette (blech) and finding an Aldi (I LOVE Aldi!).

Home schooling today involved a maths bingo game that all three kids were able to participate in.  Devon won!

We crossed the New South Wales/Victoria border today!!!

(from left to right: Sydney Rachel the monkey, Devon the clown, and Jenna the heckler at a rest stop in Victoria)

We ate organic spaghetti bolognaise, salad and dark rye bread (all from Aldi).  Oh, yeah, and we've already been driven to drink.  Aldi sells wine, too!  So, we enjoyed a bottle of red ($9,99).  Finished the birthday cake as well.  Better start jogging tomorrow....

Our *brand new* campervan seems to have  leak in the water tank and the DVD player doesn't work (tragic for those of us with small children who can't read!  Having said that, Sydney may very well be reading by the end of this trip!).  Therfore, we will be (sadly) by-passing the fairy penguins on Phillip Island south of Melbourne tomorrow to visit the KEA depot near the Tullamarine airport (northwest of Melbourne).

The good news is we are mostly back on schedule despite a late departure.  More tomorrow!