Friday 9th September
The night before dad arrived me and Tarsh were sat at the kitchen table drinking wine and realising that I was leaving over the next few days and that my dad was actually arriving the next day.
I then get a text from him saying that his flight from Singapore has been cancelled – WHAT!!!!
So me and Tarsh were then trying to find another flight for him to Melbourne but we weren’t having much luck.
In the end he ended up getting a flight to Sydney and from there he then had to fly to Mildura which was the opposite way to where we were heading the next day.
It was all a bit of a drama but it all worked out in the end.
Saturday 10th September
So we all wake up nice and early to get Dan fed and Tarsh was going to take my van to swan hill to get a wheel alignment and me, Andy and Dan were going to go to Mildura to get my dad.
Dad then messages me and tells me that his plane is actually delayed to Mildura by 2 hours, what is going on? He’s not having much luck is he!
But anyway, me and Andy leave the house around 9:30am to go and get him and it takes around 3 hours to get there because of how wet the roads were leaving the farm.
But we got there and he got there so it all worked out in the end.
I ran over to him and gave him a big hug, he looked really tired (well I’m not surprised!)
Then back in the car to go back to the farm, Dad sat in front with Andy and he was telling him lots of stuff about the farm etc.
When we got back there Andy had to go back out to pick Tarsh up as it was too wet to bring the van back in, so Me and Dad had a couple of beers and had a stroll around the farm with Dan and I showed him the cottage he was staying in and all the old staff sheds etc., which he enjoyed.
This was his very own cottage for the next few days….
The rest of the night we spent drinking a lot of beer and wine and catching up and also Andy and Tarsh telling my dad’s lots about the farm. I think it’s safe to say that my Dad ended up being rather drunk!
Sunday 11th September
We woke up around 8am the next day and I did my usual chores and my walk but took my dad with me and Dan this time.
So we took the bins out to the incinerator to be burnt, then onto the chooks to collect the eggs and give them their food, then we went and got the dogs and took them for a walk up round to where the tip is and down to where the magpie kept swooping at the dogs all the time, I had pre-warned him about the magpie so he brought along some sticks with him to throw at the magpie which did seem to work! He didn’t swoop as much as normal and gave up sooner! If only I had brought along sticks with me to begin with!!
Then we walked up to the house dam where the dogs go swimming and I usually stand there and throw in sticks for them to catch so we did that and let the dogs race to the sticks, well not Cashie as she just stands there barking at the other two and trying to bite Nate when he comes back in.
When we came back to the house everyone was ready to go out so I quickly went and got changed and we all drove to Kyalite to go to the pub there. It’s the closest pub to them really and takes about 40mins to get to.
It’s a nice little pub though with lots of room and lots of things on the walls, like fish and crocodiles and even a boat.
We had dinner there and the food was really good, we all had fish and chips apart from Andy who had steak.
We also had quite a few beers there (well of course you have to in a pub don’t you)
After food we went down to an old shearing shed for my dad to have a look at, it had lots of information in their about shearing and had some old wool in there and even some info on Keri-Keri. It was really interesting to see.
We then went back to the farm and went straight up to the dam by the woolshed to watch the sunset and also watch a group of birds flying around and catching all the mosquitos which was really cool.
After that we went back to the house and had dinner and more drinks around the kitchen table.
Monday 12th September
I spent a lot of the day packing up all my stuff that I had left around the house as I was leaving the next day after nearly 6 months there.
Tarsh drove dad around the property and he got to see the eagles nest with the massive brown eagles and what they had dropped out of their nest like bones and bits of fur.
He also went up to the shed to watch the guys doing the wool side sampling of the rams that were being sold.
I finally got all my stuff together as we were leaving quite early so my room looked really empty and it hit me that I was leaving so I felt quite sad, but I still enjoyed the evening.
Tuesday 13th September
We woke up around 7am and had breakfast and got the last things together. I left my message in the visitor’s book and then we all jumped in the car and drove over to the van ready for me and my dad to drive away from the place I had called home for so long.
It was a very emotional goodbye – (by me and Tarsh anyways haha) and because I was crying my dad drove the first bit out of there.
First stop was about a 3 hour drive and it was to a place called Dunolly which is in the middle of Victoria. I was meeting a guy there about a fridge for my van which I ended up buying off him, so my van is pretty much all set now for the big adventure next year which is great.
We stopped there for a little while for food and coffee too and then set back off to Wincanton (Tarsh’s sister’s farm).
We arrived there around 5pm and as soon as we got there in typical Austin style of being a whirlwind of energy and excitement we got back in one of the cars and took a drive down to Coleraine to see where it had all been flooded just days earlier. It was also due to flood again so everyone was getting prepared with big sandbags blocking the doorways. Di said that it was the worst that it had flooded in about 50 years.
Then it was back to the house for dinner and to plan what we were going to do the next couple of days. Because the weather had been so bad a lot of the roads were closed and there was even a closure of the Halls Gap national park which I had been planning to go to. So that was off the list.
Jack and Harry were chatting to my dad about sports and showing off their high jump tricks.
Harry also showed us his birthday present, a crossbow! Of course! That’s what every 9 year old boy gets for their birthday!! Haha.
Wednesday 14th September
We woke up early and had a look at the roads online to see if anything had changed but nope!
Di let us borrow one of their cars, so we decided to drive down to the waterfalls close to Hamilton which were absolutely incredible.
The one was called Nigretta falls and because of the amount of rain they had been having it was massive. It was pretty incredible to see especially considering that normally it is hardly a waterfall at all.
After the waterfalls we drove down to Port Fairy and Logan beach where they often have Whales.
It was really beautiful but no whales and was raining quite a lot – typical haha.
Then we drove back up to the house and had some dinner and watched some TV, and then had an early night ready for the next day.
Thursday 15th September
Again we woke up and thought that we would check out the roads to see if we could go to halls gap but they were still shut. So Di wrote down a list of places that we could drive to which was really nice of her.
First we drove down to Portland which is a town that exports lots of goods on shipping containers so we went down to the port and had a look at that, we also went to a café that she had suggested and had lunch there which was really good!
After Portland we drove along the coast to a town called Nelson where we went to look at the beach which was pretty incredible, they did have two beaches to look at but one was inaccessible because of all the flooding the road there was underwater.
Then it was up to Mount Gambier which we had to cross the Victoria/South Australia border to get to.
While we were there we visited the blue lake which was an old volcano, it was really beautiful.
Then we went and grabbed some coffee and drove over to an old sink hole which was turned into a garden and that was amazing! I’ve never seen anything like it!
Volcanos and sink holes……..glad I didn’t live there in those times!
Then back to the house for dinner, while dinner was cooking, we all went up to the shearing shed because Jonny had been waiting for us to be back to shear some sheep, so dad could watch and even have a go on his own.
Jonny makes it look so easy but it is really difficult, but dad had a go anyways as you can see here…..
Haha that was funny!
Then back to the house for dinner and a movie.
Friday 16th September
We were up really early as we were leaving the Austin’s to continue our journey in Melbourne, so Di took us to the bus in Hamilton around 6am.
I left the van the capable hands of Jack and Harry Austin…….god I hope it survives! haha
We got to Melbourne around midday and took all our bags to the hotel but our room wasn’t ready so we decided to go for a walk around until it was.
I took dad to the graffiti streets, down the little café laneways and over the bridge to Southbank.
Then we got a call that our room was ready so we went and checked in and showered etc. Then we went back out for some lunch at Grill’d in the laneways.
Then we jumped on a tram over to Melbourne central and had a look at the shopping centre built around an old clock tower.
After that we decided to go over to Richmond and have a walk around the MCG, we couldn’t go in as the footy finals were on but we walked around the gardens and then jumped on a tram over to chapel street and got a few drinks in a bar.
We also ordered some nachos for us to nibble on and only realised a few mouthfuls in that it had chili on, which obviously has beef in and as dad is a vegetarian he probably should stop eating it haha. He decided to carry on but try to miss the bits with meat on! Lol
After the nachos and beer we went to a restaurant called Richmond oysters which was absolutely amazing. We only went in for oysters as we weren’t really hungry, but ended up getting oysters, and full meals too! All the fish was freshly caught and you could go and have a look in the fridges at the fish before buying it, it was absolutely amazing!
Once we finished our food we walked down to the jam factory and got tickets to watch sausage party, and while we were waiting jumped into TGIF for some cocktails.
Dad fell asleep during the film, and I nearly did! Not because it was boring, far from it! It’s absolutely hilarious! But because it had been a busy day.
Luckily we were just a short train ride away from the hotel so we jumped on the train and then as soon as we got back to the hotel fell into our beds and were out for the night.
Saturday 17th September
We didn’t have to check out the hotel until 11 so we had a bit of a lie in but still made it out in time for breakfast. So we packed away all of our stuff and left it at the hotel while we went and enjoyed our last day in Melbourne.
First stop was a café in the laneways for eggs on toast and some coffee.
Then we jumped on a tram over to St Kilda and strolled around the beach, and the shops and then the botanical gardens which was really nice.
We walked up the big peer on the beach where the turtles are during the morning and we were hoping that we might see some but we didn’t! Typical again! Haha, but it was a nice walk up there and the view was good too.
I kept having to stop because my feet were hurting as I had been walking around all day yesterday with the wrong shoes on so I ended up getting big blisters on the balls of my foot again, which happened nearly a year ago when I started travelling! Surely I should have learnt my lesson when it comes to shoes! – Clearly not!
After the peer we decided to go and grab some food in one of the restaurants along the seafront and we had to wait a little while for a table as it was lovely weather which it hadn’t been for a while so everyone was out making the most of it, but we didn’t mind as we wanted a good table.
We both got some seafood and I ended up getting the biggest platter I have ever seen! Is this seriously for one person??
When we finished lunch we got a tram back to the city and went to Kathmandu (it’s like an outdoor shop in Australia) dad bought himself a new backpack as his one was breaking, and he got some walking shoes.
I got myself a lightweight waterproof coat as it rains a lot in Malaysia and Bali as they are so tropical so thought it would be a good idea, and I also got myself some sensible sandals as I obviously need better shoes!
After the shopping we went to the hotel and dad changed over his backpacks then we headed back out again – with the old backpack because I said I thought it would be nicer for him to give it to a homeless person (there are so many in Melbourne)…anyways all the homeless people we walked past had bags galore and don’t think they really needed another one so we ditched it and went to a couple of bars by the river instead. The bars were really nice and it was a nice way to leave Melbourne.
Then back to the hotel, time for an uber and onto the airport…..next stop Malaysia!!
(I can’t believe I’m leaving Australia after a year!! It feels so strange!