Respite from the rain
Trip Start Dec 29, 2010
152Trip End Dec 05, 2011
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The shopping area of Canberra is tiny - we parked our beast just a few blocks away and already it was incredibly spacious and more rural than the outskirts of most British market towns, let alone a city. The residential areas really are quite depressing, all built in the '60s and like some of the more depressing parts of a UK housing estate. The Aussies could learn a thing or two from Barratt Homes.
We headed for our first choice of campsite and were stunned to be told that it was full, the reason being that parliament is in session this week. What all the mps and their staff are doing staying in campsites is beyond me.....
Anyway our second, third and fourth choices were also full for the same reason (!) so we ended up in the absolute worst of the worst campsites, amongst the tattoed and beer-bellied Bogans (Aussie word for Chav). Brad struggled to maintain his sense of humour....I literally cried I laughed so hard.....
Still we duly paid our camping fee then headed straight back into town where me, Jamie and Zach went to the cinema and Brad and Benji stayed in the campervan doing admin. We went to see Rango - pretty bad but the kids seemed to think it was ok, and afterwards we managed to find the only happening bit of Canberra and found Wagamama's, drawn in by the 'kids eat for free' sign. Then back to Bogansville where we swore that we would get up and go early in the morning, in time for the National Museum to open at 9am.
In the cold light of day, Bogansville was ok, at least the showers were clean and hot, and actually the kids slept in again (til 7.30) so we got to the Museum later than planned. We had a quick look around the Aborigine section, then the Garden of Dreams, then Brad managed to get his flat white coffee in before we headed off again back towards the coast, this time to Pambula, on the Sapphire coast, not too far from the border with Victoria.
Today was probably the first big drive we've done, and it did not disappoint. Some of the scenery we drove through was truly stunning, some of it typical Australian grassland/sheep country, some of it stunning green mountains and valleys. We stopped at Brown Mountain on the way down from the top of the Great Dividing Range to look at the view from the look-out - even the boys appreciated the beauty of the place. We drove through some very small towns, many of which had quite a lot of character in their wooden houses with verandahs, and we drove through Coonga which seemed to be a place where people go to rent skis to head off to the ski slopes of the Snowy Mountains.
Finally we arrived in Merimbula in time to do the supermarket shop. This is becoming quite a family affair and we are learning to turn it into a form of entertainment, which makes it altogether much more fun for everyone....
Loaded up with supplies for the next day we headed to the Big 4 campsite right on Pambula beach. This is our first experience of kid-tastic campsite, complete with swimming pool, bouncy pillow, playground and 3 big trampolines. The kids could not believe their eyes when they saw that the campsite was also home to tons and tons of wallabies, just nibbling grass behind people's caravans and in front of the toilet block. Amazing! Zach got really close to a few, and Benjamin squeeled and pointed frantically....Jamie said 'where's the playground'.....
The big boys haired around on their scooters while Brad cooked up a barbecue, then everyone crashed listening to the surf crashing right on the beach literally steps from the campervan.