Jan 5 – Road Trip Day Three: Byron’s Birthday

We woke up cold inside the car, with every item I could think of draped across me to form a makeshift blanket: skirt, sarong, towel, scarf. After cooking sausages on the public beach BBQ, we were ready to get out of the windy town and on to Mount Gambier.

The info center was a haven of helpful little old ladies and copious amounts of wifi, which helped us plan the day. The Cave Garden was a tranquil sunken pit surrounded by flowers and small waterfalls smack dab in the middle of town center’s hustle and bustle. Next we hiked around Blue Lake, the towns primary water resource and the bluest lake I’ve ever seen. Our trail continued past the remnants of “Leg of Mutton” Lake and then Valley lake and uphill to Centenary Tower, giving us an incredible view of the lakes, the city, crops and fields, and even an inactive volcano. We met two Aussie high school girls on the trail, which gave us the opportunity to ask questions about their school system and they asked us if we saw celebrities all the time because we’re from America.

After our strenuous hike and some leftover sausages for lunch, I brought Byron to a bakery I researched earlier that had birthday cakes. He picked out a chocolate one (surprise, surprise) and we brought it to Umpherston Sinkhole to sing, blow out a candle, and enjoy some birthday cake. For his present, I gave him wine from our vineyard day and little pieces of paper saying 24 reasons why I love him (he told me not to get him anything until Asia where everything is cheap).

The sinkhole was naturally formed and some guy (Umpherston) in the early 1900s decided to turn it into a beautiful garden with palm trees, hanging ivy, peonies, and roses.

From there, we drove to Port Fairy, but we were well on Empty miles away. We knew we’d pass through Port McDonnell and assumed we’d be able to fill up there. Wrong. The only pumps there were circa 1960 and didn’t take our credit card. We had to drive on the the next town of Nelson past fields of hay and small farms and nothing else in sight, leading me to conjure up plans if we ran out along this empty road.

Luckily we made it to Nelson’s one gas station (which took our card) and we chugged along to Port Fairy just as the sun set and we were stuck finding a place to sleep. Again, everywhere had signs banning camping in your vehicle, and once a local told us the police were strict about it, we frantically tried calling the caravan parks advertised in our brochure at 9:30pm. Luckily, one picked up the phone and was happy to have us stay. Since it was a “no dramas” sort of place, we were told not to pay until morning, park in the back, and enjoy the hot showers.

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