Rain Rain Rain and Some Other Things…

Sitting cosy in the camper trailer.  Right now the thermometer says its 19 degrees, but surely it’s lying.  It is right above the stove and boiling kettle!  A cup of tea is on the way and I need to get rid of this cabin fever.  We are at Jervis Bay in beautiful Booderee National Park.  The beach is this perfect white fine sand reminiscent of Whitehaven Beach,

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and the water is azure blue,

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or at least it would be, if it would stop bloody raining!

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Outside the tree tops are blowing in the 30knot wind, luckily we are fairly sheltered here.  It makes us feel like we are still in the Blue Mountains!  At least there you expect to have crappy weather.

The Blue Mountains was beautiful.  It was blue, and cold.  So cold.

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And for 2 days there was this constant drizzle.  It was a lot like England actually!  The village itself had this great atmosphere.  All cute cosy cottages with chimneys clinging to the ridge between two great valleys.  But it was really the 3 sisters we came to see. The clouds parted momentarily, and there they were!

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Pretty spectacular!

When it was 8 degrees,

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all we could do was find a pub with a fireplace and Guinness on tap,

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 and we were happy for a while.

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We got some sunshine which made a visit ‘Scenic World’ worthy with its cablecar,

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and the steepest railway in the world (or maybe it was the Southern Hemisphere…. either way it was very steep) which they used back in the day to fetch the coal out of the cliff-face below.

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Nah, that’s just the pretend one.  This was the real one:

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Still ultra steep, but marginally safer!

Down at the bottom station was a fabulous boardwalk through what they call ‘Jurassic’ rainforest.

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I kept telling Jasper to look out for Dinosaurs, but he told me in no uncertain terms that the dinosaurs are all dead!  How sad!

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Scenic World was a great tourist trap, but worth every bit of the $35 entry fee which gave you unlimited rides.

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 It was the poor parents that had their limits though.

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 We had to coach Jasper to say he was only 3 so he got in for free.  Actually, we do that at most caravan parks too.  He will start to believe it soon!

We found a dodgy 4×4 track called Narrowneck along, well, a narrow neck.

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It’s a fun way to sight see, from the safety of your climate controlled 28 degree Prado interior!

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We tried to do a bushwalk…..it was only a couple of Ks.  Ok, the sign did say hard…..

First we had to convince the boys to get shoes on and get out of the car.  Then we packed our backpack, donned our baby carrying frontpack for Daisy, and sidesling for Dash, then with jumpers and beanies in situ, off we set.  The path was wet and muddy with roots interspersing a steep path, a straight drop off to the left down a forested embankment, and here’s us with a baby, a toddler and an overconfident 4 year old!

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 Would you call us brave or stupid?  After being overtaken by some young, cool, able-bodied hikers, and after multiple meltdowns courtesy of Dash and his shoes, we turned around.  Luckily we had only gone about 50 meters so the way back was less harrowing!!!

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Dash and his shoes.  That is just another story.  He has lately decided that shoeless is the only way to be.  No matter how cold, or wet or prickle ridden, no matter if they are thongs, or crocs, or boots or sandshoes, socks or no, he lets us put them on, then he will walk two steps, then fall to the floor howling!  For now, we are giving up.  The bottom of his feet are close to leather anyway!!

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And, in case our memories and our memory cards weren’t already full enough, at night the valley was floodlit!

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So, after Katoomba we headed to Kiama.

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Down the hill with our electric brakes working all the way.  By the way, we didn’t see a shred of bushfire evidence.  But by the time we got to our destination, our caravan plug was all melted and burnt out.  We could only stay for a couple of nights as the park was booked out for the weekend.  Pretty spot, little town on some surf bays,

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a blowhole, a lighthouse

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and a coffee shop or two.

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Luckily one of their other attractions was an auto electrician who was able to replace our plugs the very next day.  The catch was, we were on our way out of town.  So we drove around some beaches, then went up and over a mountain and into the stunning Kangaroo Valley where we knew there was a free campsite.

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Probably not the smartest road to take though with faulty electric brakes and a full tank of water.  There were numerous slippery hairpin turns on steep ascents and descents to contend with, but we made it ok.  

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The campsite was a gorgeous carpet of emerald green grass with a river on one side and some big cliffs on the other.  

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Apart from being absolutely free and absolutely picturesque,

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it had these brilliant wombats that strolled around grazing on the grass and doing their best to ignore the campers.  DSC_0042 (800x532) DSC_0041 (800x532)

They loved getting their photo taken!

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After one night, we had to pack up again and head the 50kms back through the valley and to Kiama to get our brakes fixed finally.  We first had the problem in Yamba with the trailer brakes locking up in the wet, so it was a relief to get it resolved.  Remember the movie Babe?  It was  filmed in Kangaroo Valley so at least it was a tourist drive going up and over a different mountain past the greenest grass, painted black and white cows and fluffy sheep.

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We drove all the way back into the valley again for a second night and Brian and Cory did a mammoth paddling effort all the way up the river, and then down the rapids.  Brian said it was like Kakadu with towering cliffs either side of the fast flowing water, dodging rocks and submerged trees.  But he didn’t take a camera.  And he’s never been to Kakadu.

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So it was raining in Katoomba, raining in Kiama, sunny and hot in Kangaroo Valley with a great forecast for the rest of the week, but Jervis Bay has turned on the taps again for us.  Last time Brian and I came here, it was blowing 40 knots.  Hang on, the sun is temporarily shining, better take a picture or 2 of this magnificence.

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Now, better get on the road again!  Australia awaits!

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