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[Thursday, 2013-03-28 20:09]
Cobdogla Camping, and has it really been five months since my last blog?
I'm writing this blog with a guilty conscience that I haven't actually done a blog entry in four whole months. In fact its almost five months.
The last blog entry was a very brief paragraph plus a few photos a few hours after Aliana was born. This was at the end of October 2012. Absolutely heaps has happened in five months, but I've hardly had chance to sit at the computer, let alone get stuck into the blog. I think next week I might have to do a mega blog entry as a catch-up for the last 5 months!
Our most recent adventure is a camping trip to Cobdogla, a small town around 200 km from Adelaide. It's in the Riverland, 5 km before Barmera. There's not much in Cobgodla itself, it's a few houses, a primary school, a liquor shop, a second hand shop and of course there's the Cobdogla Station Caravan Park.
There's also the Cobdogla Steam and Irrigation Museum that I desparately want to visit but as it's only open four times a year I've not yet had the opportunity. I really just want to see the Humphrey Pump - a massive pump that moves 6 TONS OF WATER with each stroke. I can almost feel the vibration and noise now ...
Anyway we went camping with my parents last year over the Easter long weekend. This year we have taken the trip just ourselves and it's the weekend before Easter so its still quiet (for those that don't know, Easter Weekend is THE weekend to camp and pretty much every caravan park in the state will be booked out).
Briony picked the Cobdogla Station caravan park as its not far from home, there are several towns near by and the caravan park has some animals that we are allowed to feed.
We arrived to the caravan park on Thursday afternoon after a fairly smooth and uneventful drive. Majandra was demandng of attention and supervision, plus Aliana was unsettled, which meant I ended up unpacking the camper trailer and doing most of the setting up by myself. The setting up took way longer than it should have, but thats OK as we sort of expected things to take longer anyway.
While we were setting up, a nice man from a nearby caravan came to help us put up the front awning which is the hardest part of the whole setup. We got that done, and eventually started making dinner. In a moment of distraction while I was not thinking, I picked up the hot pasta dish by the handle, forgtting it would be hot. I burned my fingers, and dropped the pot back onto the stove. I thank my lucky stars that I didnt spill any hot water on Majandra as she was quite close to me.
Briony and i were a little concerned about the overnight temperatures up here which are around the 10 degrees. For this reason we'd settled on a powered site and we'd also brought a heater. As it turns out Aliana was perfectly warm enough without the heater.
Majandra was be just toasty in the new 'tent bed' we got for her. Its called a Kindercot and we bought it because its easier to transport than the traditional portacot. Its awesome as it is mosquito proof and as its fairly enclosed it seems to stay quite warm. I can't believe I didn't find these online ages ago - they only weigh two kilos and they fold up into a a bag which is about the size of a small overnight bag. It sure beats the other ones we have which are really heavy, a pain to set up, and take up heaps of room. It comes with a self-inflating matress and also includes small sleeping bag.
Today we all got a sleep in until 845. After shower and breakfast we went to Banrock station winery. They have some nice walking trails including a boardwalk through wetlands. The wetlands were dry, but the hour's (slow) walk was still nice and Majandra was quite happy in tbe child carrier on my back. After the walk we had lunch and fruit smoothies on the deck and both girls were well behaved. Briony had a Panna Cotta for dessert and Aliana was eyeing it off, while Majandra was busy giving herself a milkshake moustache.
On the way out from Banrock Station one of the staff asked where we were from and where we were staying. She mentioned there was a gala at St Josephs school in Barmera that night, and that it was free entry. Since it was fee, we thought we should go.
We went for a drive so the girls could sleep before the gala, and the drive took us into a reserve near Overland Corner. The reserve was a nice area along the riverbank with a few tents and caravans along the stretch. We found a quiet spot where we fed Aliana then headed back to camp to get changed.
The gala at Barmera was good. When we arrived and parked the car, Majandra saw the bouncy castle and almost wet herself with delight. There were a few stalls, the obligatory sausage sizzle, and entrtainment for the children. Majandra went on the bouncy castle, had a pony ride, spent some time on the playground and then had a sausage while I had a steak sandwich. There were no vegetarian options in sight. We finished the evening with a coffee and cake.
After the gala we headed back to camp and got both girls to bed wihout any complaining as they were both dead tired.
For our second night at Cobdogla we had a nice sleep, but were woken just after dawn by loud banging noises, again and again.
The moment I heard the noise i knew it was gunshot. I then associated this with the game reserve down the road and I knew they were shooting ducks. I assumed Briony also knew what it was but I was mistaken. When I asked her if she had heard the gun shots, her face changed as she suddenly realised what was happening. From there we had to ignore the noise and not think aout it. For the record, we're definitely OPPOSED TO ANY FORM OF "SPORT" THAT INVOLVES SHOOTING OR HARMING ANIMALS!!
After hot cross buns for breakfast, Majandra and Briony played catch and then Majandra took all her clothes off and did a squat-pee on the grass. You only have to show her things once! We showered and headed into Barmera at around 11. We went to the playground adjacent lake Bonney. We spend around 2 hours there, then walked to Barmera main street for some lunch. It was very quiet in the town and we were disappointed that the bakery was closed (it was a Saturday). We ended up going to the supermarket and getting crackers, cheese and a chocolate milk each. Not quite what we had in mind but it was still a nice family lunch. We also grabbed a few vegetables for feeding to the animals back at Cobdogla Station Caravan Park.
We were heading back to the car and Majandra piped up that she wanted to go in the water. She was referring to Lake Bonney which was only 100m from where we'd parked the car. We took her in the water wearing just a shirt (and sunscreen) since we didn't have her bathers with us. She spent some time messing around under the jetty and also watching a couple of teenage girls who were jumping off the jetty, while Aliana stayed in the shade on the grass. It was a lovely 27C so once Majandra got out of the water she was dry in no time at all.
Back at the caravan park we fed the animals, bathed Aliana and put her to bed, then has pasta for dinner. I did't burn my fingers this time! After dinner and some wind down time Majandra went to bed without any hassle.
The trend seems to be that while away camping, we get a sleep in ... perhaps we should go camping more often!
After breakfast and shower, we headed in the general direction of Renmark for the day. Aliana was having a big scream in the back of the car and Majandra was asleep. We'd stopped a couple of times to give Aliana her toy but that only lasted a few minutes until she cried again.
On the highway I saw a sign showing the way to a place called Lyrup, along with a note that it's the same direction to the Lyrup Ferry. I thought it might be nice to have a Ferry ride so we headed across the river. Majandra enjoyed the Ferry although being a narrow crossing we had to get her out of the car, look around and then get back in the car all within about three minutes.
There wasn't anything to see at Lyrup but we did notice a playground on the river bank. Aliana was still screaming so we decided to stop at the playground for a feed. As it turns out, the playground was a bit hit with Majandra and we ended up staying there for about an hour. We had tears when it was time to leave.
After Lyrup we continued onto Renmark. There's a lovely park on the river bank so we decided to have a late lunch. I left the girls at the park and I walked to the same fish and chip shop as last time and grabbed some food. Majandra decided that my chicken burger was pretty good, and she didn't mind the chicken chippees either.
Most of the normal chips got fed to the seagulls and I have to admit I did take pleasure in Majandra's torment with this one! I threw a few chips on the ground near her and the seagulls flocked around her to eat the chips. Her reaction was so funny that I couldn't resist but to throw a bigger handful of chips. Of course all the noise sort of freaked Aliana out a bit, so I asked Majandra to walk away a little bit then I threw another handful of chips in her direction. Hopefully the following video works, it's quite amusing!
After Renmark we headed back to camp, wound down and went to bed.
This was our last day out camping. We'd actually decided to stay an extra day and even paid for an extra day at the caravan park but at the last minute Briony remembered she had a dog sitting commitment so we unfortunately had to leave.
While Briony showered I took Majandra and Aliana to the waterfront. There's a small pontoon (floating jetty) down there and we sat there overlooking the water while we ate our corn flakes. We threw a few into the water aswell, I was hoping to see some big fish but we only saw little tiny ones. Aliana started getting restless so we had to head back to camp.
Packing up the camper trailer and tent was a monster effort as Aliana was crying and Majandra needed supervision. The whole exercise took about 3 hours by the time we were done. Briony had a little dig at me that it would be quicker if we had a cabin. I reminded her that even if we had a cabin we'd still need to pack all the bags and bedding which would easily take over an hour, and the price of one night in a cabin was more than the 4 nights cost us in the camper trailer. Plus, cabins are no fun. Am I allowed to say that cabins are for wimps?
Once we were packed up we left the trailer on our site and spent some more time at Lake Bonney at Barmera. This time the bakery was open and we got some broccoli and cauliflower pies that were just amazing. Majandra and I spent some time dipping our feet in the water and drawing pictures in the sand. I drew some pictures and asked her to tell me what they were. I was quite surprised that she didn't guess the aeroplane, but also quite pleasantly surpsrised that she knew what the traffic lights were!
After Lake Bonney the two girls were tired and we started the trip home. Majandra was asleep before we'd even reversed out of our parking space. We went home the alternate way via Loxton, Karoonda and Murray Bridge. Briony complained that it took longer but I enjoy the different scenery plus also nobody else goes that way so there's hardly any traffic at all!
That's all we have time for today - another blog entry soon!
Last modified: Sunday, 31-Mar-2013 22:42:19 CST
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