Day 22

Location:  

Mount Gambier

Weather:  

Calendar:  

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We departed from our too-short visit to Warrnambool, and after a pleasant drive through big sky countryside, bid farewell to Victoria and G'day to South Australia.   The speed limit immediately increased to 110km/hr.    Our first stop was the town of Mount Gambier, gateway to the Limestone Coast, incredible freshwater diving, and home of the spectacular Blue Lake.    We haven't seen blue water like this outside of the glacier-fed lakes of the Canadian Rockies!  Despite its name, there's no mountains anywhere near Mount Gambier (just the relics of extinct volcanoes).  We walked to various viewpoints and enjoyed the natural phenomenon caused by calcium calcite reflecting sunlight.  The lake is the town's drinking water supply, so no swimming here.  But Dad had more than enough time to get wet scuba diving in the sinkholes and stunning ponds just outside the town with the friendly folks at a brand new dive shop called Reef 2 Ridge.   "Pure Bucket List!"   Mom and the kids went to check out the famous Umpherston Sinkhole in the town, walk down Commercial Street, and explore the five acres of the manicured gardens at our amazing accommodation in The Barn.

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Breakfast: Dad devoured his smoked salmon, potato rosti, poached egg, beetroot labna and herb salad. The kids had scrambled eggs on toast. Lunch:    There's a reason why Avocado on toast is notoriously expensive in Australia.  It's so good!   The kids had a Fruit Bay smoothie (think Mango, Apricot and Yoghurt, not flying mammal) while Mom had a watermelon-honeydew hydrator smoothie. Dinner:  A meaty treat for our one month anniversary on the road. Grilled Porterhouse and Filet Mignon.    The kids had fish n' chips (didn't touch the fish) and steak n' chips (didn't touch the steak).  

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Breakfast:  With a gorgeous sea view at the Pavilion Cafe and Bar, Warrnambool. Lunch: The Preso Eatery, Mt Gambier. For Dad, a scarfed down butter chicken pie at the better than OK Pie Shop. . Dinner: The Barn Steakhouse,  one of the country's best steakhouses!  

My Favourite Pictures Today

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The Barn: A new and luxurious ranch hotel, with large garden suites and spa bathrooms.  We're in the countryside with a big sky and bowling lawn-like garden outside.  Wish we could be here longer!

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That South Australia is more relaxed than Victoria.  That the roadkill count increases dramatically once you leave the Great Ocean Road.  That nobody does tree tunnels like Australia.  That we're not the only parents with an iPad at a restaurant (especially an expensive one).  That cave diving is a highly specialized and technical sport.   That the countryside surrounding Mount Gambier sits on a spiderweb of underwater caves that attracts cave divers from around the world.  That the impossibly blue water of the Blue Lake is also the water source for Mount Gambier, and it's considered artesian water. How sinkholes form.  That different roses have different fragrances. That you shouldn't eat leftover chicken pizza that's been sitting in the car for a day, but you can have a great picnic with leftover steak sliced up for sandwiches.

Reflection of the Day

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For Dad:  Exploring Ewan's Ponds and Kilsby's Sinkhole, and meeting some really terrific people.   For Mom:  Having some time to play with both kids individually. For Raquel, it was the lemon popsicle (of course).

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For Mom:   Getting through another Raquel meltdown because the food didn't arrive immediately after we ordered it at a restaurant.  For Dad:  The roadkill...Oooh, I think that one was a koala bear?

We'll Always Remember

  • Name: Rob
  • : Cave diving in the Nullabor
  • : of new people, new places, and new memories.
  • : Travel young. Travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer.
  • Name: Laura
  • : Mount Gambier
  • : You get a better understanding of people's minds, and the food!
  • : Always do things from kindness, not selfishness.
  • Name: Ben
  • : Mount Gambier
  • : it expands the mind.
  • : Don't grow up too quickly, and listen to your Mom.
  • Name: Jo-Jo
  • : Jaygo Bay, California
  • : it broadens the horizons.
  • : Don't use plastic.
  • Name: Safari
  • : Sala Bay, Vietnam
  • : it opens your mind to new things.
  • : Love everybody and everything as you love yourself.
  • Name: Chris
  • : Queenstown, NZ
  • : you meet new people, new places, and it opens your mind up.
  • : Be a little more resilient when you're travelling so you can appreciate the moment.
  • Name: Tim
  • : Macchu Pichu
  • : it broadens your horizons
  • : Throw your iPad in the lake.
  • Name: Bec
  • : The Himalayas
  • : of the food you can taste and smells you can smell.
  • : Siege every opportunity.
  • Name: Harmonie
  • : France
  • : of new experiences.
  • : Be grateful.

  

  

Gali can't be left alone for a moment.  He face planted three times in the asphalt, caught his fingers in the closet and drawers, and threw our clean clothes into the full bath-tub.   We'd let Raquel look after him, except she tends to enjoy terrorizing her younger brother, who, it seems, was born to take it.    We're are having more success with Raquel in the car after giving her headphones so she can listen to Katy Perry sing Roar nineteen times in a row.  At least we don't have to.
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