Our last few days were spent catching up with the Rellies - The Bradbury family at Lake Eildon and Cousin Roy and partner Heather in Learmonth. We had a short stop in Mansfield where Cheryl met another new cousin, Rebecca Douglas-Rhoderick. After a coffee and a chat to learn more about the family we continued our journey to a campsite near Lake Eildon. It’s still Easter Holidays so we were surprised to find we were almost alone on the site. Dinner that night was the leftover Korean spicy beef with salad – yum.
Next morning we awoke to a few showers, grey skies and wind blowing dust all around. Not as forecast and not what we wanted for a day out on the boat with the Bradburys. It turned out fine as it was still warm at around 28 degrees and the few spots of rain hardly mattered when the focus of the day was to get wet in the lake. Neil tried kneeboarding and performed really well, even crossing the wake behind the boat without falling off. Watch the video as he, quote Cheryl, ‘shows off’. He had anticipated that he would be giving the boys lots of laughs as he tried ineptly to master the art so he is just a tad pleased with himself especially as, at the time, Jack told him that no one has ever done it first time. Dan and Jack were, as to be expected, very polished and showed off some impressive moves.
We cruised across the vast and empty lake to a restaurant for lunch before heading back onto the water for a go on the sidewinder which was a large inflatable sofa big enough to seat three people. It is dragged behind the boat and as the boat swerves the sidewinder shoots out sideways and bounces back across the wake. Cheryl took some video but unfortunately missed the total wipeout when Neil, Jack and Dan were tossed into the water. Neil did get a bloodshot eye and a bruised backside from all the crashing about from the bouncing. Lisa, Jack and Dan took the final ride and we laughed as all we could see were their feet sticking up as the boat sped off. What we didn’t realise was that the sidewinder was slowly deflating and they were being tipped backwards! We had a great day out with Lisa, Simon, Jack and Dan…..sorry we missed you Cal. They dropped us back off at the campsite and had a quick look at the campervan.
Next day we moved on to Learmonth to visit Roy & Heather. When we visited last time they had been in the process of renovating the old police office and turning it into a guest suite including a small kitchenette. Their original plan was to have it ready for us to use when we arrived in February but it had taken a lot longer than they thought. The Tradie was concreting the bathroom floor and the room itself was a bare shell. Cheryl joked with Heather that it would not be ready for our return visit and bet her $2….Cheryl lost the bet! The new suite is fantastic and so spacious. They have done an excellent job and we are very impressed.
The weather turned very chilly and rainy so we spent most days chatting and enjoying their company. We also went to see a production of Spamalot in Ballarat. Heather is a music teacher and, of course, an accomplished musician. She was playing Saxaphone, clarinet, flute and piccolo in the orchestra that played for the production so we went along to see the show. It was brilliant and so funny, the staging was creative and the performers outstanding……what a great evening. Our last evening was spent enjoying some excellent pie cooked by Roy and Neil's special rice pudding that Heather really loved. All washed down with some excellent red wine. Thanks Roy and Heather for being such excellent hosts.
So, yet another good tour of Oz. Apart from finding some pretty dodgy campsites during the first week or so we’ve had yet another magical trip. It’s been great to meet up with the family, we’ve enjoyed taking the walks through the bush, the history has been fascinating, and the campsite camaraderie has been a hoot. Our last few days in the national park allowed us to enjoy the colours of Autumn and some unseasonably warm and pleasant weather. We loved being in the motorhome and the only regret we have is that we didn’t book it instead of the campervan right from the start. It has been much more comfortable and to have taken it from the start would have cost us just a few extra £’s/day.
We’ve both updated our wardrobes for less money than it would cost in a UK charity shop or India for that matter. We still find it hard to believe the prices that we’ve paid for shirts and shorts and the fact that most are made of cotton and seem to be very good quality. What with Neil getting his wedding suit in Goa and Cheryl now pretty much kitted out we’re good to go for the wedding of the year. Eat your hearts out Harry and Meghan……bet you won’t look as hot as we will!
Way back when we started this trip we decided that enough was enough. We’ve both been in denial about our gradual weight gain over the last 2/3 years and before we left the UK last October we planned a gentle diet to bring us close to where we really should be. The decision to get married did put a little bit of extra pressure on us as who wants to be a fat bride or groom! Neil reduced his beer intake which in the social scene of Goa was a tough one. Equally, being in the heat of Oz made slurping water instead of beer a big ask. Cheryl was just as hard on herself by cutting down on her G&Ts even to the extent of buying a measure to make sure she only had 50ml instead of an exaggerated guess.
We have both cut back on portion sizes - we’re probably eating half the portion sizes of meat and fish that we were used to in the UK and carbs are almost a thing of the past. The net result is that with the help of the digital scales we bought in Goa and here in Oz we’ve both lost close to 5kg. Our diet has been good, lots of fruit and veg and quality protein. However, we’ve continued to enjoy the wines and we’ve still been able to splurge now and again with trips to The Hyatt in Goa, boat trips in Goa, mega weekends with Chris and Viv and just generally enjoying the company of family. We’re pleased with our progress but there’s still a way to go.
Tomorrow Roy will take us Melbourne to catch the flight home. We are breaking up the journey with two nights in Hong Kong.
………the question is will we be back to Oz?