Saturday we also had a really nice day in the Blue Mountains. We went to the Leura Falls (or cascades, depends on which local you talk to) which is a very lush and genteel walk. Up and down the stairs again of course, it is still in the mountains. Our leg muscles would be pretty strong if we stayed here all holiday.
In the afternoon we dropped Tim and the boys near the lake close by, the same one they briefly visited yesterday. It had lots of ducks (and the occasional geese) to feed, a climbing rack, swings and a climbing rack resembling a pirate ship. They had lots of fun there, whilst my aunt and I did some more shopping in the local mall. No, still no word from the luggage people – so we have to buy bits and bobs on the road, when we actually need them.
The evening was spent with my aunt, her son and his family in a Thai restaurant. The food was quite nice and we remembered to Bring Our Own just in time to get a nice white wine in a bottleshop.
Sunday we departed to Bateay Bay, near Gosford, where my other aunt lives. Two and a half hours by car, which gives us time to get used to driving the campervan, finding the proper set-up for the kids, making sure we locked everything away properly (colouring pencils are nice to keep the kids entertained, but you will encounter a curve that neatly spreads them all through the campervan…), etc.
We found a nice holiday park, close to where my aunt lives, and right next to the sea. I had a visit with my aunt and Tim and the boys explored the beach. They found the most amazing shells, and on the rocky bits all sort of weird clams and limpids. The park has a heated pool, which they couldn’t resist either, so they jumped right in. I added swimming gear to my shopping list; since it is winter here that didn’t have a high priority but with heated swimming pools…
Sleeping in the campervan for the first time took some getting used too – mainly because the boys thought it was such great fun. We have a tv and a dvd player in the caravan, just at the right hight for them to watch it from their beds. We woke up at sunset. Falco squicked “mamma, is it morning or not? On one side of the caravan it is, on the other it isn’t”.
Since our campervan is parked right next to the beach, we could see the sun rise from the sea while we were still in our beds, which is great. It also rose bit from behind the oil tankers we see cueing up on the horizon, waiting to stock up in New Castle. It’s a weird sight, the beautiful beach, a long stretch of ocean and near the horizon this line of little ships.
We got up for a morning walk, more appreciated by the parents than by the kids. Strolling over a nice beach at 07.30 in the morning with multicoloured birds flying around your head sure gives me a holiday feeling!
After a refreshing swim for the kids we departed for the Port Stephens area. Going north via the Pacific Highway led us first over a small land area between the ocean and a few quite beautiful lakes. It was appropriately named “The Entrance” and is supposed to be (next to a great fishing place) known for its pelicans. But feeding the pelicans would only happen at three and we didn’t want to wait that long, so we decided to travel on.
The journey took is through Newcastle, which looked really nice. Maybe we will visit a bit longer on our way back; we more or less simultaneously declared that if we wanted to emigrate, this would be the place we wanted to live in.
In the afternoon we arrived in Shoal Bay, right next to Nelson’s bay. The holiday park doesn’t have a swimming pool, but it is half the price and it has wifi, so we are still pleased. And we only have to cross the road to be on a nice little beach in a beautiful little bay. We bought sunglasses and hats, in preparation of the dolphin and whale spotting cruise we want to make from here. The local people also advised seasickness pills (“even if you think you never get seasick you’re better of taking them”) so we bought some of those too. It would be a shame to find ourselves to sick to truly enjoy the trip! Tomorrow we’ll try to book a nice cruise, so hopefully more news and photo’s soon.
Oh, and they called from the airport this afternoon; they found one of our bags and promised to deliver it tomorrow at the holiday park. Hopefully it is the one with our clothes in it, kiddy garments are more easily found.