Push and pull (Quincy)

Whirlwind is the only way to describe this past week. It has to be explained in two parts, so I will start with our trip from Port MacDonnell to the Grampians and Travis will continue from the Grampians to the Great Ocean road.

First I have to say that we are currently in the beach town of Lorne, along the Great Ocean Road. We slept illegally in the van last night on the street. We managed to not get caught this time, but the downfall is that I really have to go pee and the nearest public restroom is a kilometer down the street and we are in a residential neighborhood. I guess we’ll be headed down that way pretty soon anways…we came here to watch the largest ocean swim in the world (4,000 people!). In a small town, that means every hotel room and caravan park is booked far in advance, leaving Travis and I at the mercy of public amenities.

But back to Port Macdonnel! I will be brief, I promise!

Our week started with a push start, literally. We got stuck at a campsite and at 6 AM Travis and I were outside in a swarm of mosquitoes (an Australian swarm, not an American swarm, very different), in our tennis shoes and covered from head to toe in whatever clothing we could find to help us not get bitten. We managed to push the van ourselves about 300 meters over rocks and loose dirt until a really really nice guy named Wayne (pronounced “Wine”) hopped out of his cozy motor home to help us out. I thought he would roll up his sleeves and start pushing with us, but instead he pulled is little car around that was half the size of Jumbuck and pushed out back bumper with his front bumper.

The funny thing is, a day later another man volunteered to do the same thing, only this time, he pull started Jumbuck by attaching a rope to his tow nob thing and tying it under the front of our van. It took him a few minutes of dragging Jumbuck around for it to start, but it worked (and saved us a hefty towing fee!). Not to worry, my friends. Travis fixed the problem—had something to do with a loose connection on the starter engine.

Jumbuck's first "pull start"

–As I am writing this, we just got a knock on our van and got our hands slapped for parking here overnight. Guess we’ll have to find another place tomorrow.—

In Port MacDonnel, we met the nicest couple who drove us out to see some fairy penguins and also gave us their wool blanket because it was cold at night. They were so sweet and I told them that any time they visit California, they have a place to stay!

Our new friends and my new blanket!

Penguin viewing area

We also went to a festival in Port MacDonnel that featured a cover Pink band and Bon Jovi – I didn’t quite buy it with their Aussie accents and eccentric costumes, but it was fun!

Have you ever seen an octopus toss? I have.

Octopus toss

On the drive out to Grampians National Park, we stopped in a city called Mt. Gambier to see the incredible blue lake – a lake that sits in a volcano crater. The water color is the most vivid blue you can imagine and Travis and I ate lunch in front of this spectacular view.

Blue Lake - clever name

Gotta make my way down to the port-o-loo!

~ by stormcellar on January 7, 2011.

6 Responses to “Push and pull (Quincy)”

  1. Was that a real octopus?

  2. Octopus? Seriously? Sweet!

  3. Poor octopus!

  4. No but seriously——is that a real octopus? The animal cruelty involved has given me nightmares…I had a dream that I was watching a movie and it showed this scene where pilots fighting the natzis would pick up stray dogs and drop them onto natzi planes! It was so sad! Not realistic of course, but you see how this octopus thing is effecting (affecting?) me.

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