Oh hai! It was a long weekend here in Victoria (Labour Day, or something… I don’t really care as long as I don’t have to work on Mondays) and we went bush. We had a wedding to attend, deep in fire country.

Bushfires are capricious and temperamental things. Often as we drove, one side of the road was completely burnt out, while the other side was calm and green. On this particular stretch, the canopy on both sides was intact while the trunks and ground were charred black. The fire jumped the road, or stayed on one side, or both. Houses were lost in this area (but no lives). The wedding was held at the groom’s parents’ farm, and they had beat back the fires from their boundaries. The wedding itself was held in the garden which was in perfect condition, through their determination to save it. But turn 180 degrees, and not 50 metres away a sea of black trunks and dead leaves stretched away up the hill.

We arrived early and set up camp before the wedding, in the top paddock on charred ground where the ground was hard and dusty and tiny crickets jumped everywhere. As we were blowing up our airbed with someone’s air compressor, we both felt uneasy. Something was wrong. What was it? Mr. T figured it out… it was the airbed. Our airbed was red! And this airbed was blue! Which means… this airbed was our OLD airbed, which was replaced by the red airbed because… oh it’s all coming back now… the blue airbed was badly punctured. Yes. It’s all so clear now, three hours from home. We blew it up anyway and hoped it would hold.

This is the next morning. We haven’t taken the plugs out yet. Luckily for me, I am much smaller than Mr. T and all the air that was in the airbed came my way as he sunk gracefully to the ground. Unluckily for me, there was nowhere near enough air to sustain me all night and all too soon I was grounded also. Thankfully our sleeping bags are quite fluffy; but sleeping on the ground is not part of the Fun Of Camping. In my opinion.

After the wedding we drove further down the coast and camped at Bear Gully, in Cape Liptrap Coastal Park. Beautiful, and no bears. UNLESS YOU MEAN….

Koala bears! I have been in Australia for seven years and camped all over Victoria and this is my first wild koala. Very excited that it was such a fat, juicy specimen as this. We also saw heaps of birds and some ring-tailed possums (I like the ringtails, it’s just the brushtails which must DIE DIE) but I’ve seen lots of those. Not quite so close, and not quite so interested in my dinner, but lots.

How was your weekend?

7 comments to campering

  • Mal

    A burnt-bush camping wedding weekend? Sounds delightful! I think most of us Aussies have experienced the lilo deflating unhappily in the middle of the night, and painfully trying to sit upright first thing in the morning afterwards, as a result of laying on the ground! Pooh!

  • The only Koala I’ve seen in Victoria were in the petting zoos, but there are a load in other parts of the country if you know where to look. In fairness, I may have done more of the tourist thing than you :)

    And yours is the first mention of the earthquake. Apparently it signalled my arrival, preceding me by a couple of hours. Nobody here’s said a word about it. I wonder how localised it was?

    Great to finally meet you yesterday as well. Always great to put faces to names and so on! Here’s to next time :)

  • I have lived ALL MY LIFE in Australia and I have NEVER seen a koala in the wild, NEVER! Slightly jealous here.

    And thanks very much for the giant laugh/snort you gave me with the airbed. I’m so glad he sank gracefully.

  • Karl

    And! After purchasing a new, red airbed, you kept the punctured, blue airbed! because, who knows, you might have to take it to a wedding some day…!

    The bad news for me is, I understand perfectly.

  • My weekend was not nearly so wonderful as yours…with the exception of fires (a blogging friend’s husband was killed in the fires there) and the flat matteress your’s looks awesome!

  • “At least the ground isn’t frozen underneath,” says the Canadian who has had to endure snowstorms while camping in AUGUST!

    This weekend was freezing and the Mister was sick and we watched Baby T.V. (i.e, we watched Moira toddle around the furniture and bang into things).

  • Oh gee! I read this when you first posted but didn’t note the title. Then a few days ago I wrote a way-too-long rant about the “summer of my discontent.”

    You must be leaking into my brain; sorry for the semi-plagiarism. Can we still be friends? :)

Reply to Laylabean




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