Week 60 | Railton to Ararat

Day 414: Railton to Latrobe

Our last few days in Tasmania sees us moving from Railton into Latrobe.  It’s another cold morning at 8 degrees which means a slow start to the day before packing up.  We’re only travelling 15km today to the Latrobe overnight RV campgrounds.  A council permit is required to camp and you must be fully self contained. The fee is $10 of which $9 goes to the local primary school.  Money is collected daily by the school volunteers and after chatting with them it’s great to hear about the benefits to the school and how much it is appreciated.  Latrobe is a very RV friendly town.

After we set up we head into Devonport to catch up on our washing as there is no laundry at Latrobe.  There’s a couple of thrift shops nearby so we check them out while waiting for the washing/drying to be done.  When we get back to Latrobe I head into the Main Street to have some retail therapy again on my own as I want to have a good look through the new Reliquere shop.  There are some lovely shops in Latrobe and I’ve managed to pick up a couple of gifts.  Back at the van and time to do a bit more work before dinner.  Below is our spot at Latrobe and some of the beautiful flowers around the neighbourhood.

Wildlife: cattle, sheep, dead pademelons.

Day 415: Latrobe

Another 8 degree start to the day and a long lie in bed.  It’s so hard to get up when it’s so cold.  Bring on the warmer weather!  We’re off to the House of Anvers for morning tea.  The Californian Bungalow was built in 1931 and is really beautiful inside.  There are two separate dining rooms both stylishly decorated.

Morning tea is a tasty selection of cakes and pastries. Red velvet cake, chocolate cake, lemon tart, strawberry cheesecake and a profiterole.  It was absolutely delicious.  We also watch the chocolates being made through the viewing windows and can’t leave without a couple of small purchases.

Next stop is Devonport to get a new pair of shoes each and pick up some scripts from the chemist.  We have a good wander around the mall and come home with a couple of items that weren’t on the shopping list.  It’s a lovely day outside with the temperature up to 19 degrees so the awning comes out and we sit outside for the afternoon.  We have a long walk around the block and meet a lovely resident of one of the old age homes as we pass his letterbox.  He was so friendly and just loved Cinta.  The cold wind drives us inside for our last night in Tasmania.

Wildlife: plovers.

Day 416:  Latrobe

Today is all about prepping the van for the trip tonight on the Spirit of Tasmania.  Our first job is to defrost the fridge and then secure everything in case we have a rough crossing.  Jobs all done and time to take Cinta for a walk into town and morning tea at Monclair.  A Beautiful building tastefully decorated with a lovely dog friendly courtyard.  The scones with jam and cream were delicious and served on a beautiful old floral plate.  A nice walk back to the van and a few more odd jobs taken care of.

Lunch is at the Thai Imperial Restaurant which is located within the Australian Axemans Hall of Fame.  Andrew orders an entree of spring rolls and they were delicious.  We’re hopeful that the main meal won’t disappoint.  Andrew chooses Honey Pork Belly and I have the Chicken Pad Thai.  Both were really good and the pad Thai was the closest dish that I have had to Spicy Thai at home.

At 4.30pm we head for Devonport and park the van up near the beach and have a long walk until 5.15pm before heading to the ship.  There is no bio security check for fruit and vegetables and Cinta did not have to have any further worming treatments to come back to the mainland. At check in there is a police sniffer dog in training & his handler hides some contraband behind the bus wheel next door to us.  He’s found it and is duly rewarded for a job well done.

Cinta is loaded into her kennel for the night and has a very sad face.  She’s not eating her treat, no doubt it will still be there in the morning.

After checking into our cabin it’s time for a lovely long hot shower which is really appreciated after free camping for 4 days. We enjoy a couple of drinks in the bar and a light dinner before moving outside as the ship departs Devonport.  The captain announces a smooth sail as the swell is only 1-1.5 metres. We are very pleased to hear that!

Wildlife: seagulls.

Day 417: Melbourne

The alarm is set for 5.00am.  It’s been a smooth crossing which now makes us realise our trip across was actually quite rough.  Another lovely hot shower and then coffee before collecting Cinta at 6.30am.  Deck 5 is extremely wet. Cintas bedding is wet, at this point we’re not sure if she wet her bed or if it’s from the rain or ocean coming into the deck.

She is super excited to see us.  She hasn’t drunk any of her water or eaten her treat. All loaded into the car we are off the ship and on the road by 6.48am. It’s a very streamlined and well organised process.  It’s  raining, 17 degrees and still dark.

Finally out of the traffic we stop at one of the big roadhouses to get some breakfast and let Cinta out for a wee. It’s a very big wee.  Back on the road and we’re now heading for Ararat, the traffic coming into Melbourne is horrendous.  We hate the big cities. We’ve reached Ballarat and the temperature has dropped to 14 degrees and it’s still drizzling.  Finally at our destination and it’s so great to see my sister Julie and all of the other family members.  Tonight is spent by the fire having a few drinks and catching up with Bugsy and Bones.  Cinta is pretty happy to see her boyfriend George again too!

Wildlife:  seagulls.

Day 418 – 420  Ararat

We’re waking up to 8 degrees this morning and hoping the temperature will climb to just under 20.  The last few days of this week are about spending time with family to celebrate my great nephew Matty’s 21st birthday.

I’m off for a long awaited haircut, the boys are all cleaning out the shed and then we’re off to the RSL for a few drinks. We’ve bought the last $5 worth of raffle tickets and then won a $30 gift card & a six pack of beer.  We were happy with that.

It’s party day, the shed is all set up with balloons and Bel has made a massive 21 covered in photos. The light bulbs have been changed to blue to reflect all the glow sticks, neon glasses and neck bands and the sound check has been completed.

It was quite surprising to hear some of the music choices being played and the older generation ended up on the dance floor singing their hearts out too.  Everyone had a great night.  Matty was put to bed before midnight…

Sunday was recovery day.  No time for budgets and blogs.  It’s been a great week  travelling back to the mainland and having time with family.  It’s starting to sink in that our journey now is heading towards home. With the threat of Coronavirus it’s difficult to know whether to change our plans.  We really don’t want to be stuck in a remote area with limited supplies and have to self isolate in the van.  Some serious discussions and planning are taking place moving into next week.

I’m a week late with finishing this blog.  Changed travel plans and a high workload have taken precedence over everything else.  Let’s hope I can get the past week completed today so that I’m up to date again!

Wildlife: sheep

Week 60 total expenses: $1072.12 over budget, however it was expected this week.



That’s a wrap for Week 60 of the Lap of the Map.

PS: Don’t forget to leave me a comment!