Friday, 16 October 2009

Get them wagons rollin...

We have been away for just over a week.  It was meant to be a very relaxing holiday, which it was in many ways.  We went on a horse drawn colonial wagon holiday.  We being Dh and I and Toby.  We had to cross the 200+miles across Bass Strait first.  So a night trip on the Spirit of Tasmania Ferry. I booked a cabin as I could not imagine sitting/sleeping in recliner chairs with 100+ others all snoring and what ever else and feel rested at 5:40am when we have to get up and get organised to move down to the car, and continue our journey.   So a7 plus hour drive (including dog stops and walks, lovely walk with Toby around Deloraine along the river.

) to Devonport to catch the boat, the overnight trip, all was wonderful.  Off the boat and through Melbourne, out and on the way to a very tiny place called Rehola (about 50km from Bendigo) where we were to commence the caravan holiday.  Only problem is I was in such a mood and had a shocker of an argument with my DH..which made the journey so horrendous for the last 1+hours.    I don't understand it and these moods swings of mine fluctuate so widely and come on so quickly.  I guess the tired factor and stress of getting on the way did not help.

I have to ask myself why does going away cause such a great deal of stress? 
Are holidays stressful for others out there?
Okay the holiday was very different, think camping trip, with more comfortable beds, and living setup, hard roof, and the fact you could pack up and move each day (if desired to a new location).  No power, hot water unless you boiled it up, not flush toilet, no TV, computer , telephone,  shops, or mobile phone (only because my battery ran out and I could not be bothered to ask Patrick the owner of the set up to charge it, he would have very happily).
We had a basic fibreglass wooden caravan, in a bit of a gypsy style.
With a gas grill and hot plate, gas light, double bed and two single beds.  Plenty of storage, a grill for bbqs, a dutch oven for cooking over the fire, and a bush toilet, consisting of a shovel, bucket and toilet seat construction you could use.  For us it was just easier to dig a hole and be very basic.

Our lovely Clydesdale horse Penny, a fiesty 14year old, with a similar dispostion to mine at times.  Wanting to be in control most of the time and requiring some real relaxing to let others take over.  (something this holiday kind of assisted me to grasp a bit more, thanks to my DH and Penny).

Patrick or his daughter Amanda came out every day we were moving, and harnessed up the horse, and ensured that we were comfortable managing the horse and caravan.  They would show you were you were going and assist if needed at steeper parts fo the road, and if they were going a different way to normal for the  Penny.  I loved the slowness (7-8km an hour) of the journey, and the smell of the horse and her distinct personality.  Both of us humans had visions that we would walk along beside her for an hour or so, needless to say our fitness level would not allow it.  Toby loved it once he got into the swing of being a real working dog (as Patrick described him he was a bit of a well he is a pet).  Toby's first experience was to sit on the wagon at my feet and just watch, but oh no he wanted more, so he managed to jump off (out of my grasp) and almost get killed as he went forward infront of the wheels next to Penny, and not being aware of the speed we were travelling tumbled in a distinct sommersault.  Almost getting run over..thankfully he was not hurt just a bit bruised and shaken.  After this he settled down (particularly if we ignored him) to running alongside Penny. He loved it.   He was foot sore, and I would assume muscle sore, but did he want to stay on the wagon, NO WAY, he had to be running along side.

We had two days where we moved campsites, and then wanted to stay put for two nights, which was brilliant.  Sulpher crested cockatoos, and galahs abounded in this area, as to grey kangaroos, which we only saw a couple. The area had, quite a bit of rainfall very recently and was lush and green having been in drought for a few years.  It is a gold mining/fossicking historical area.   We had two periods where we had a full day without moving so two nights in one spot, for us this was the best in that we sat around relaxing, reading, drawing playing cards, or just watching the birds, nesting.  The song of the magpies was wonderful and the dawn chorus spectacular.  Sunsets serene and bliss in so many ways.  Peace and not another person around.  Sheep in the paddocks at times, but just us and Penny.

I would not enjoy it in much warmer temperatures as the flies and heat for me would be too much.
Strangely we had much colder nights there than at home, our first two days were windy and cool, with a shower.  However the rest of the trip was sunshine, warm days and blue skies. So nice to have had this as on arrival home it was still wet and cool.

I would like to have included more photos however sadly on our second day,  somehow I dropped my camera (not realising it) and Penny accidently trod on it, and or the caravan rolled over it.  Digital cameras do not survive this treatment very well.  We had no showers for a week(well I did have the opportunity at one point two nights before we left, but soap would not lather, it was nice to have running hot water.   We only changed our outer clothes once in the week as it got hotter.  We had a great time, an interesting time, and for a family holiday it would be something really special if you like camping.  I am glad I did but my days of camping are a thing of the past.  I like a few comforts and these are simple really, flushing loo and hot water on tap. 


JOC said...

I'm with you on the hot water and flushing toilets. Mainly as I can't squat as well as I used to, I can get down but up is another story!
It does sound lovely though, horse drawn caravan, no other people etc.
But I think my camping days are over for the moment. Perhaps with a new knee I could manage again, the bionic woman here I come....

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

What a great holiday! That´s something I would like to try one day. I think we can rent wagons and horses here too. My dogs would certanly like to run along side with the horse :-)

Great pictures but to bad about the camera!
Have a great day now!