THeRe'S An AnGeL On My ShOuLdEr...

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Happy Trails 

Last night I couldn't sleep, so rather than think about bills, an impending interview, an impending funeral, the fact that I can't find my silver bracelet & all the other crap that usually fills my head, I turned my thoughts to a memorable family holiday.

I was about 8 or 9. The family (Mum, Dad, Sue, Simon & Me) hitched the caravan to the old Holden Premier & headed for the Grampians. It was the first of sever trips I have made there. A beautiful place. It was the September school holidays, hence it was cold and wet. Very wet. One of the wetest winters on record. It was the cold & wet that made the holiday so event-filled and memorable.

The first incident was when Dad took a wrong turn. As we were towing a caravan, a simple U-turn was out of the question, so Dad pulled into a farm to turn the car & caravan around. Well, that was the plan, until the caravan got bogged & we were stuck there for an hour trying to get it out.

When we finally got to the Halls Gap Caravan Park, we found that it was half underwater. Flippers were required to get to the toilet block! Because it was so wet, Mum thought it would be a good idea to get me some gumboots. She promptly told me not to play in the puddles, but of course, that's exactly what I did.

The first and second nights, I fell off the top bunk, thereafter being banned from sleeping up there & was made to sleep with Sue on the converted table/bed/thingy. I have a long history of falling off bunk beds in caravans & even have a scar to prove it.

Because of the cold & wet, there were more waterfalls than the regular sights, as all of the stone steps to the viewing areas for them ran with torrents of water. I don't remember seeing so much water.

The Piece de Resistance though was yet to come with a drive up to the top of the highest peak whereupon we found it to be snowing! We'd never seen snow before. Sue & I, after a quick exploration, hopped back into the warm car (the heaters worked well in the old Premier). Simon however decided to scare Sue by throwing a snowball at the car window. Good move....not. Of course we then discovered, the hard way, that the sudden change in temperature would cause the window to shatter! Brilliant!! We spent the next day driving to Horsham trying to find a replacement. Of course there was none available & we had to make do with plastic until we returned home.

For all of the dramas, it's still one of the best family holidays I can remember. But I'm glad that we eventually discovered on-site caravans and cabins for future holidays.




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