A caravan park it was – for after the camp I needed to wash my clothes and my body and relax in the glory of 240 volts and running water – HOT running water, what a pleasure in this cold, rainy climate.
The next morning I spoke to a few locals and got directions to a bike trail not far from where I stayed. The Great Southern Rail Trail was an old railway linking towns that, unused, had since been removed and given way to a smooth riding track with beautiful surroundings. I met a local, Anne, who gave me guidance on which of the two paths to travel from Foster, Anne also invited me to a concert as part of the Prom Coast Seachange festival the following night.
The ride was stunning, thick forest gave way to rolling farmland hills dotted with cattle, and to my delight a large apple tree bursting with fruit for the taking – of which I had to carefully contend with swarms of European Wasps for the reward. Along the path were many wombat holes so large that if I was curious and mad enough I could surely crawl inside, but instead gave a wide berth and wary eye. I caught up with a girl named Sunny who pointed to her friend performing aerobatics in his old fighter plane high in the sky. By the end of our rolling conversation we had reached Meenyan, 35 kilometres from where I began, my legs ached from my maiden bike voyage and I turned around to do the same in reverse, but this time with more downhill and refreshing tail wind.
I was sweaty from the ride but did not feel like being locked into a caravan park just for a shower. I found a beautiful camp just off the main road, after dark fell I heated some water and stood naked in the park pouring the glorious warmth over my body.
The next day I met the other residents of the reserve and we noted the difference between staying in a free camp compared to something like a caravan park, it seemed that when open and free, friends were made easily, gifts were shared such as wine and food and lasting relationships were made from the start. Caravan park residents were cautious and slow to approach and few words were spoken unless you had been there for a while – something which I could not do with my budget.
I mentioned earlier that I received an invite to a show, it was a 35 piece men’s pop choir from Melbourne called Low Rez held at the Fish Creek town hall, which was part of a festival called Seachange held around the Wilsons Promontory area. A fantastic performance in a packed out hall, those seated around me provided wonderful conversation and made for a nice change in social circumstances (most of my camping so far has been a solitary experience in deep forests).
Today I and my van are blessed to receive a few minutes of sunshine and even more so to share a few bottles of wine with my neighbours tonight. Tomorrow I journey to Sale to have a camera repaired.