The weather has become rather windy and wet, so it seemed like a good time to go underground and visit the limestone caves in Buchan. Had to smuggle james dog into the reserve and bribe her with edible treats while we did the cave tour- an impressive set of interconnecting caves with excellent calcite features.
The previous night we camped up on the side of a small road near Buchan in order to get to the caves early and the severe gale warning maybe should have been heeded a little more carefully. At 4 am we were woken by bits of tree crashing down onto the roof of a rocking van and we had to decide whether to move out into the open and risk being blown over or stay put and risk being crushed by a tree. The trees seemed a more immediate danger.
With the weather worsening and the winds still wild we kicked free camping into touch and opted for a caravan park the following night near Lake's Entrance. This is a seaside town which had about as much appeal as a damp October Sunday in Blackpool. Ness, being a Kiwi, gets all misty eyed whenever she glimpses the sea or gets a mild sniff of ozone but I must confess to not being a huge fan of seaside resorts.
Sitting on a rock overlooking a sandy bay watching whales is unbeatable, but the down side for me is that unavoidable buffer zone between sea and land which is universally shabby, dirty, packed with architectural carbuncles and oozing tackiness, and Lake's Entrance had the lot in spades. It should be beautiful, a town port adjacent to the point when three large lakes meet the sea, with a 90 mile sandy beach but it fails miserably.
However as we had decided that for our own safety we needed a caravan site for the night we were in the right place, with no shortage of Holiday Haven Lakeside Beachside Ocean View Tourist Holiday Village Resort options with alpine style chalets and classic spa cabins. We parked the van between 2 sturdy wood effect chalet style cabins and availed ourselves of the facilities- mains water, electricity, clean spacious hot showers and toilets that did not need manual emptying. First night in ages that we have been able to heat the van, it was heavenly.