Fog hangs lows and clings to the coast, it descended around Aires Inlet and the temperature dropped outside the car. We noticed and wound the windows up, at least today we wouldn’t have any concerns with the car overheating.
We are driving again. Shorter distances than before, making our way along the south Australian coast to a camping ground for a few nights. A few nights away from home as something to do for our twelfth wedding anniversary.
We loaded the kids, camping gear and some food into the car and set off down towards the great Ocean Road, towards Kennet River.
Along a Long Road
The road winds slowly around the coast, up short hills, round tight bends, sometimes close to the waters edge and other times it is a great drop down the the water. Eucalypts grow along the road, their smell drifting in the window as we make our way down the great Ocean Road.
Previous trips have left a few of our passengers car sick, driving too fast along the squiggly coast line. Last time we drive this road Joash “spooked”. This time I drive slower. A slower trip encourages the boys who could be travel sick to take a look out the window, rather than focus on the twists happening in their mind.
A sea mist clings to the coast after we get through Aires Inlet. We pass through the town and drive down a short hill to Moggs Creek, the sudden drop in temperate and the fog covered coast line reduce our expectations of having nice weather for the weekend. Usually we can see the coast stretch to Lorne, but not today.
The Kennet River camp grounds are located across the road from the beach.
Waves roll in from the sea, a perfect tube created below the white foaming peaks before the dump and crash into the rocks. The sky is still shrouded in mist and dark grey clouds threaten a heavy downpour, which never occurs.
The boys run along the beach, determined to test the warmth of the river and to play at the beach during a summer break which feels more like Autumn.
As dusk falls around us, after dinner has been eaten, the boys ask about a trek into the bush to see glow worms. I shrug at the idea, but Jacqui is keen, so we get everyone into the car for a night time drive.
The gravel road is corrugated in places, it runs along side the bush as it winds up and up the hill, taking us from the beach to the rainforest hidden behind. At one stage a wallaby makes a quick dash in front of the car, I brake hard, glad that it missed the bumper of the car. The boys try and spot it as it disappears into the bush, the excitement keeps them on the lookout for potential wildlife crossings.
Over the hill and down into the rainforest. The trees reach up above the car, in the day time we are sure that it would be a magnificent view.
We get out of the car and remember all our torches are back in the tent. So with the pretence that we know where we are heading, we join up behind a group of people who do know how to find the glow worms. Down the hill, across a bridge and along side the road, where the fern fronds hand over our heads.
If you are quiet. Walk softly. Talk in whispers. Then looking into the bushes to see glowing dots hidden in behind the leaves. The clumps and clusters shine back at us. Glow worms. Whispers of awe and marvel are heard up the gravel road.
Levi asks if he can walk into the bush and take some home. He sounds disappointed when we say “no”. Ezekiel agrees, but we decline.
I take very small steps as both the little men decide that the dark sky, overhanging trees and quiet bush is too scary to walk in. I hold them both as we walk up and down the hill, looking at glow worms, while they both whisper "Dad, I want to go back to the car now."
We pack up and head home on Monday morning. The sun was shining when we stop for lunch at Lorne, to enjoy chips by the park. It was a nice finish to a lovely weekend.
Camping is not something we have done for an anniversary before, Jacqui thought that if we didn’t do something different then we would do the same thing we do every year. It was a lot more effort that doing the same thing, but it was different and that was just what we needed.
12 Years is a long time, even though it doesn't feel like a long time. Twelve years ago a young James stood at the alter and waited for his bride, that guy never knew what was coming. He still doesn't, but he still married to the most beautiful lady, with 6 children and a life that is always unexpected.
Love you, My Dear.