We made it! No real injury, and of the 6 souls that went, 6 have returned! Thanks to all those who have helped and advised us - it's been great!
The overall trip had it's up and it's downs, but overall, was successful. So, I'll try give a run down of how it went.
We left around 2 hours later than we wanted, and then some chap rolled his car on the Bruce Highway, in peak hour, and caused an extra 1 hour backup of traffic. Then TomTom GPS gave us bogus routing, trying to make us come down a one-way highway road! We got to the site as the sun dipped behind the hills, and it started getting dark quick! Kids were tired and hungry... and it was going to be stress. I started setting up the tent right away, and got the main structure up in around 20 minutes, but it was dark, and was done with a torch. Kids crying... and my 2 year old had already lost her dummy, which she is WAY too reliant on... so tears....
Got it up, and it was dark... so we got the beds in and pumped up... My wife started working on making food for the kids, and getting them ready for bed, while I tried to setup tables, lights etc.. Was a bit of a nightmare. And the search for the dummy was highly unsuccessful. So more crying.
We finally got them all to sleep with a bit of warmed up soup, and then they crashed out. My wife and I continued to setup.. we got the awening up, and managed to sit down and eat some food. VEry tired, and by then, we were ready to sleep, which we did.
The night wasn't any better. The 2 year old keps crying for her dummy, and then 6 month old woke up a few times for a feed. So we didn't get enough sleep, and were up pretty early.
We found that we chose THE WORST spot in the entire site! The ground was bare and sandy and had a slight slope. and the trees blocked the morning sun. The ground was wet with dew, as was everything else, and it was chilly! It took ages for the sun to finally get to us. As the ground was sandy... there was a lot of mud being carried about. The worst spot ever! All the other people were on lovely lush grass..
Anyway, the morning went OK. More tears about the dummy, which we searched for with no luck. But we ate, and felt a bit better. Me and the kids went to the river, and the 2 year old fell in!!! She got excited, jumped up, and went face first in! Fully dressed! I only had one pair of shoes, but had to run in to pull her up and out. She can't swim, so it wasn't good... And my shoes.. my ONLY shoes.. were soaked!
Got back and relaxed at the site for a while... Here's the handy work we did!
The tent was GREAT! I really like it. BUT .. it doesn't have awening walls.
Can I buy those? Installing was harder than I thought at first.. Getting the main structure up was hard work.. but it was dark, and I was stressed to get it done quick.
Anyway, the rest of the day was great.
Then, something that made me question what I was doing there happened.
I wanted to got for a shower, which is 150 meters from our spot. It's along that road in the picture above. About halfway there, I was on my own... and I noticed movement in the grass off to my right. SNAKE!! Now, I don't know ANYTHING about snakes... and would rather not meet one. But here I was, within 5 meters from one! It was heading towards where I was walking, and was going to cross the road I was on. So, I stopped, and went to my left, away from it... I passed where it was about to cross, and met 2 hikers coming back. I called them to my position, and pointed out the snake.
The lady said, 'Oh, a snake'. I said, 'Yup!'. By then, it was crossing the road, towards our side, but not in our direction. It crossed the road where I would have been... I may have passed maybe a meter ahead of it...
The guy identified it as a 'Brown Snake'. I said, 'Oh Thank God! I thought it was maybe a bad one....'. They stared at me for a while, and said, 'You haven't been in Australia long, have you?'. I said, 'No, why?'. The guy said, 'That, son, is the 2nd most deadly creature in the world!'. I went a bit pale, and my heart raced, and I hid behind them. They told me to avoid it, as it could be agressive! I had NO plans to go anywhere near it.. so I headed away to my shower.. shaking somewhat, and feeling a bit nauseas!
Showered, and then came back, walking along the road, where I last saw it. I reported it to the owner of the place, as the FAQ on their site said. He said that there had been 3 sitings that day of pythons... and that it wasn't a bad snake. He said I could identify a python by it's marking. I told him it was brown, around 1.5meters long, and was too thick for me to put my hand around. He went a bit more serious and said it sounded like a Brown Snake. I confirmed the hiker identified it as one. He explained I should stay away from it, but there's nothing they could do... So... this will prompt me to start a Snake thread soon, as that wasn't fun.
Anyway, the rest of the day was good. We took a 12 minute drive to shops nearby to go and buy a replacement dummy because we wanted a good nights sleep. After buying it from a Woolworths we got back in the car and heard the 2 year olds voice shout " I found it" UNBELIEVABLE!!!! We had searched the car but just after we buy the replacements ($11.99!!) she goes and finds the darn thing!!!! We drove back with an abundance of dummies and a happy 2 year old.
Night was great! Bought some wood to make a fire to make marshmellows... Our neighbour offered me a Tomahawk. I had no idea what that was, and he said, 'An Axe'. Ah, cool! What do I do with that?! He laughed and explained I should make the wood smaller. Success. Fire was great!
Kids loved the fire, and we had a good evening. Sleeping went better.. Elder (2 and 5 year olds) slept better. 6 month old woke a few times... but the night was good.
Morning was nice and warm, but still wet. What a poor spot!
We packed up.. took ages and was a NIGHTMARE! Baby was crying, and taking down the tent was harder than I thought. I really need instructions. But it was packed, and the trip back took 50 minutes and was uneventful...
So very much up and down... Thanks again for all the help!
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