Approx 1250km away from Marrawah and still hearing “Yeah, I know Staff!”

On Saturday we packed up our site, said goodbye to our best friends (NOT) next door and headed the 50km’s to our next destination, Tathra. Because it was only a 45minute drive, we arrived at around 11am and thought we may be pushing it to get into the caravan park that early. Not to worry, a quick trip to the beach and a sample of the local bakery’s cheese and bacon pie by Koel killed an hour so we headed down the road to our park.

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There was abit of a mix up. Koel has been using wikicamps to book all accommodation and saw a review about the park with kids waterslides, jumping pillow and massive playground. Turns out the person had reviewed the wrong park, we were instead staying at the Big4 directly opposite. And of course the jumping pillows and waterslide were on full display from the road. We spent majority of the day avoiding questions about when we could go to the waterslide! Thankfully our park did have a pool and small playground, and was only across the road from the beach. It also had the most beautiful camp kitchen/games room we have seen so far. When the girls walked in they asked me where the beds were, they thought it was a hotel room haha! They loved kicking back on the couch watching their shows. Koel and I had a quick game of table tennis while they were occupied and we had some epic matches over the three days. I came out winner twice out of about 30 games. Even blew a ten point lead at one stage!

After setting up we went for a bit of an explore, finding a thong pole and of course the local footy ground! We decided to go for a drive into Bega, about 10 minutes from Tathra. Bega is my Mum’s hometown and I have never been before so was pretty excited. Even more so when I saw a Big W sign(hadn’t been to a shop for who knows how long), we killed a good hour walking through, buying the girls a new pair of velcro shoes each because we were sick of buckling their current ones, and letting the girls “look” at the toys. Man do they have a long list of things they are apparently getting in Brisbane! But for two little girls who are so used to getting a “surprise” everywhere they go, they have adjusted so well to caravan life/not buying every toy you want!

We both were just shocked at how green the farming land was in Bega, especially after being through Adelaide and Victoria which is pretty much brown. The locals said that they were starting to worry in November, but have had really steady rain since then. It was just beautiful with the rolling hills of green grass!

On the way back to the caravan park we stopped at the footy ground for a kick. It was absolutely covered in Kangaroo poo so princess Frankie went and sat on the stands cheering for Lila-Rae while she practised her kicking. At one stage it started raining so we ran under cover and read the honour boards through the window. In 2014 some guy kicked 158 goals for the Tathra Sea Eagles! The rain soon cleared and Lila-Rae was back to kicking goals and marking. After about 5 minutes she seemed to loose focus on what she was doing and kept missing the ball. She completely lost it shouting ” I’M JUST NOT GOOD AT THIS!” grabbed the ball and ran across the field, throwing it next to the fence and sulking back. Talk about taking your bat and ball and going home, I think she takes after her uncle Staff haha.

The caravan park had a massive notice board with events around Tathra and the nearby towns, one of them being the Candelo Sunday market. We decided to head there, best decision ever! The market was huge with all kinds of stalls, we could have walked through all day but it finished at 12! As we were heading down the main bit I saw a guy selling kelp and noticed he had some Marrawah Gold. I told him my Dad was Stafford Heres, and he just cracked up laughing saying “What the hell are you doing here”. He introduced us to his wife and told us about how he had stayed in Marrawah etc, Koel and I couldn’t believe it. Middle of nowhere and find someone who knows Dad!

The girls had a ball looking at all the jewellery and Nic-nacs. Candelo, Merrimbula and Pambula take in turns holding the market every Sunday but have a break on the fourth Sunday of the month. I can’t believe we didn’t take more photos but there was just so much to take in!

After the markets we zoomed back and had a quick lunch before heading to Merimbula to catch up with my Uncle Geoffrey (mum’s brother) and his wife Suzanne.  It was so nice to see them, they took us around the boardwalks at Merimbula which made us fall even more in love with the place!

We made it back in time to watch some of the big bash final, and I white lied to the girls and told them ABC kids isn’t on on Sundays anymore. What a horrible mother. With that being such a disappointment we were back at the van pretty early. We decided to go for a walk and kick of the footy at the beach just across the road. When we got back I was trying and failing to get phone service, wifi or hotspot to work so I could write a blog. NONE were successful so I read a book instead. Koel has also started reading of a night flat-out, I’m pretty sure he has finished more books then me this trip so I better get busy!

We had planned to check out Monday but were just loving Tathra so much we went and booked for another night. We did a Woolworths run to Tura beach and checked out the spec homes, it blows our minds how many subdivisions are being built around the area, its just crazy! The homes were so beautiful and on the way back to the caravan park Lila-Rae said that she didn’t want to live in the caravan anymore, which was the first we had heard of that for awhile. She soon cheered up as we spent the whole afternoon in the pool. Koel disappeared for awhile and came back with a brand new body board for me! I was pumped and wanted to head to the beach straight away but majority rules meant pool first. Frankie who is usually the less keen swimmer of the two, got out once in 3 and a half hours. I was worried she was going to shrivel up! Even though Lila-Rae got out and in a few times, it never effected the game Frankie had going! Her imagination is just beyond belief haha!

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After such a massive afternoon they both sat on the couch barely moving while I cooked tea in the camp kitchen. They perked up abit when Koel and I were playing table tennis, both loving to retrieve the ball and give it to the server! I convinced them to come to the beach at 8pm so that I could try out my new body board, thankfully no Max Ray’s to throw rocks. The water was just amazing but it got dark pretty quick so we headed back. I think they were pretty happy to crawl into bed that night.

We woke Monday and packed up to leave Tathra. We utterly and completely fell in love with this part of Australia. A lot of places we have loved but we could genuinely see our selves living somewhere between Eden and Tathra. Koel spent a few hours looking at real estate Sunday night and if someone would kindly buy our house we have some pretty big plans!

Our next stop was Batemans Bay. As we drove we stopped in a little town called Norooma for a toilet break and in hindsight wish we had of stayed here! Batemans Bay was nice but it just didn’t have the beautiful beaches like the other towns we have passed through. Just before Batemans Bay we drove through another little town called Mogo and after setting up the caravan went back for a look. This was probably the highlight! All the little shops were just full of beautiful goodies, I’d say a lot of it they import from Bali. Some of it was really hippy and quite out there but all was beautiful at the same time. I’m not sure what kind of market they cater for and it amazes me that about 5 of the shops we went into pretty much sold the same thing, but it was just brilliant.

The girls and I set up a nail shop at the caravan park, and after painting their hands and toes they suddenly had lots of customers! They would find a toy inside the caravan, walk out and say “Not another customer!”. It entertained them for ages and I’m pretty sure Anna, Elsa and their my little pony toys have never looked better, but I’m still trying to get the nail polish off Frankie’s legs.

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We finished the night with a walk around the caravan park to suss out the pool and jumping pillow. Poor Lila-Rae got halfway along and informed me she had run out of batteries and could no longer walk. I should have videoed her attempts to get off the ground, but I walked over and replaced her batteries (by patting her arms) and she was good to go! We even found a little stage so put on some music and watched their animal inspired dance moves!

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On Wednesday the girls woke up in just a horrible mood. Nothing in their little lives was right so we put them in the car and went to the information centre. This proved to be abit of a disaster aswell. I walked out and left Koel to deal with it, so much for my morning giving me some zen!

When we got back to the caravan I sat down to try work out the laptop issues while Koel took the girls to the jumping pillow/mini golf. I’m so thankful that he just know’s when I need abit of a break, as amazing as this trip is we have our moments!

After giving up on the internet I went to find everyone with the pool bag in hand. Lila-Rae was again throwing her club saying she was no good at golf. It breaks my heart and of course I pumped her up saying she is good at lots of things but you know it just wasn’t helping.

It’s actually hard to believe how much the pool changes their moods. Although still bossy towards mum, they happily played for over an hour. Water definitely has a calming effect on kids, its amazing!

After the day we had had, with the pool being pretty much the only highlight we decided to treat ourselves out to tea. Our first stop was the soldiers club, however it is policy you show a drivers license on entry. Anyone that knows me knows I never carry important things on me, so no I didn’t have my license. We got back to the car and I found my wallet, but ended up going to the golf club instead. Got inside and this place had the same policy, I’d again left my wallet in the car (turns out its NSW law to sign in, who knew?) so quickly ran out and grabbed it while Koel probably seethed inside haha! There was also a no thongs rule that we were nervous about but managed to slip through!

Tea was nice but I realised I don’t really miss eating out! Its probably more the not having to think about what to have for tea!

We got back to the caravan and the girls decided they better FaceTime Grandma and Georgie. They spent bit of time colouring in their toys before heading to bed. They have been so good going to bed, jumping in as soon as it gets dark.

The caravan we stayed at was really strict and our passcode expired exactly on 10 o’clock the morning of check out which meant if we were late and got locked in we had to pay extra! So we got organised Wednesday night and pack up which made it an absolute breeze Thursday, I think we got it done in 25 minutes! We will definitely be trying to get organised the night before we leave from now on haha!

Our next stop is Canberra, the Australian capital. I’m really excited to go to the War Memorial and Parliament House. We will blog about that soon.

Obviously I, Belle, wrote this blog. Koel said he would do it but after finally getting it to work again I was to scared to put it down! He will definitely be doing the Canberra one though, so stay tuned for that 🙂

 

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