Before saying goodbye to the Parkyns and Waratah Bay this morning, Kev and I had the chance to take the kids down to the beach while Tania and Sal did some cleaning and packing.
This beach is one of those very flat ones where the difference between high and low tides is about 100 metres of extra beach width. We arrived with the tide fairly low and the kids got straight to playing in the sand. Our main company on the beach was the thousands of tiny crabs which would burrow into the wet sand as you approached, only to pop back out after you'd passed.
Kev got on with the task of designing another of his legendary beach mazes trying (for the first time, I believe) a square rather than round one. I was keen say I'd swum in the Bass Strait and so took the plunge. The water was certainly invigorating but there were some nice little waves for body surfing that made it an enjoyable, if brief, swim. Larissa and Pip ended up spending some time in the water too, while Patrick worked with Will and Alice to build sand structures and catch unsuspecting crabs. With Kev's maze complete, the older kids all had a go, finding it easily one of his most challenging they'd tried. As we left to walk back to the house plenty of other people had arrived on the beach and we noticed some of them attempting the maze too.
Meeting and spending time with some families along the way has been a real highlight of the trip. In the case of the Parkyns, who we met way back in July at Uluru, we've loved hanging out at various points along the way during our adventure (and theirs) and it was a bit sad to realise this goodbye was the last one for this trip. But hopefully there will be other adventures with them in the future - thanks for adding some real fun to the last few months guys!
On leaving Waratah Bay we headed east along the Victorian coast. We'd thought of spending one or two nights along this coast before getting to Canberra but as our thoughts turned more and more towards home, so did our car. We ended up turning north and heading up the Monaro Highway towards Canberra, making it into NSW to a little town called Bombala tonight. We're in a beautiful little caravan park on the banks of the Bombala River: $20/night with spotless showers and toilets (as much as ever the litmus test for the kids!)
The kids played in the playground adjoining the caravan park while I attempted some platypus spotting in the river - apparently they're there but I didn't lay eyes on the elusive creatures.
Apparently Bombala was proposed as a site for the nation's capital early last century because it lies fairly equidistant from Melbourne and Sydney. Tomorrow we head to the site which was ultimately successful in gaining that honour.