NORTH WEST VICTORIA, Australia

To test my mettle I took off for a 5-day weekend car camping jaunt through north west Victoria.  It was a battle trying to find a free shower but in what could only be referred to as car glamping, I did not suffer second rate coffee, nor lack for entertainment!

My trip took me to the wild terrains of Vaughn Mineral Springs where I set up near a babbling brook, drawing drinking water from the nearby spring. I had my car hatch open and back seat down to sleep, a mosquito net wrapped from window to bumper.  It was the most freeing experience being so exposed to the night, the stars hanging close above and a gentle breeze teasing my toes.  And I jumped at every sound I heard throughout the night, mostly because I'm not sure I was camping quite where campers were supposed to be...

Suffering a rainy summer day, from Vaughn Springs I journeyed to Castlemaine for breakfast, then on Bendigo and to Echuca for the night.  The Tourist Information Centre directed me towards an idyllic free camping spot just outside of town on the Murray River.  Staying by the cool waterside with the quiet and assurance that I was legally camping made for an excellent night's rest.  I had not been to Echuca since I was very young and as with all things we experience when a child, Echuca seemed somehow much smaller than I remembered.  There is much to see and experience downtown, the historic port is well preserved and key to the success of Victoria's colonial economy. I stopped at Echuca Coffee Roasters for my morning brew and wandered the High Street, particularly delighting in Echuca Antiques where a scored a beautiful glomesh wallet exactly like my great grandmother's.

My feet were itching to keep exploring so I hopped back in the car, set Frozen (the Glee version) to repeat and headed for the Grampians.  I absolutely adore Halls Gap, there is nothing like being surrounded by these majestic, impenetrable mountains. This night I swapped free camping for a caravan park in the centre of town since I couldn't go another day without a shower! After a few days of being solitary I found the park too busy though and found myself much preferring being by myself and quiet off the beaten track.  Sadly the gorgeous breakfast I had at Basecamp Eatery cannot be shared, I have recently discovered that this cafe has closed.  I look forward to heading back to find a new eatery in its place.