A big grass fire up near Tooleen on Boxing Day, helped us to make the decision to postpone our trip to the block in the interests of staying safe.
Temperatures in the high 30’s are much more pleasant when spent around a home pool rather than a dubiously muddy dam….
With the CFA Fire Ready & VicTraffic apps downloaded, we loaded up the camper and car and set off. The journey up was incident free and took around two and a half hours including a stop (mistake) for fast food on the outskirts of Melbourne. We would have been better off, financially and healthwise had we waited for the healthier option of a salad roll at the Heathcote Bakery.
Gate unlocked and we took a slightly different route in (2nd mistake) and arrived to notice a rear tyre rapidly deflating.
We unpacked to lighten the car and the tyre was repaired.
This trip saw us taking up a few 20 litre buckets and a newly constructed toilet pedestal for a composting toilet, as well as a small supply of solar lights and some other bits and pieces that we intended to leave up there.
The toilet was placed in the “en suite” that sits high on the hill.
No water or plumbing connected, but it has potential to have it connected as well as an external power point to plug in the power.
However we solved the lighting problem by installing a solar shed light that reflects into the mirror, giving lots of light.
The porcelain septic pedestal was removed and the wooden pedestal placed over a bucket, which will be used for composting in about 12 months time.
Another large bucket of sawdust fits into the cubicle and that is used in lieu of flushing with water.
Handwashing is either with antiseptic hand wash or in a bucket of water outside, to be used later to water some of the succulent plants that are scattered around the living area.
The view from the loo is quite peaceful as well, looking towards the back fence and small birds can be observed in the trees.
We discovered that they like to forage for small insects and spiders in the dead mistletoe high up in the branches.
On our second day, we had day visitors for lunch in the cottage.
Having the futon and a card table has made a difference to our seating arrangements and we decided against eating in the shed as it warms up quickly. No doubt it will be chilly in there in winter.
The paddock bomb was fired up and taken for a drive, needing one rescue by the Patrol when the battery died…. It got going again and the visitors were taken for a tour of the boundary fences…. doing a bit of bush bashing through the scrub that needs to be slashed.
Another visitor for dinner that night, our good friend Peter, who has built a mudbrick cottage some 16kms away. (It is on his property that I have built the labyrinths). Good wine, good conversation and and agreement to celebrate New Year’s Eve in a similar fashion…..
Peter arrived late afternoon and we strolled down to the top dam. The kangaroos didn’t seem too perturbed by our presence and allowed us to get within about 20 metres before hopping off.
The temperature was somewhat cooler down by the dam and we wandered down to the lower dam to watch the sun go down.
All very peaceful….
Realizing that it was after 9pm, we strolled back up to the cottage and sat outside with fruit and wine to observe the stars.
I’m thinking that my next purchase for the block will be some banana lounges so that our necks don’t get cricked looking up at the Milky Way.
Satellites crisscrossed the skies at regular intervals, some traversing North/South, some the other way and others travelling West to East.
Suddenly we realized it was approaching the magic hour when the year ticks over to the next…..
….and there it was….. a new year, with a new moon on New Year’s Day.
What a great start …..!!