Welcome back folks!! When last I left you, We had arrived at Bimbi Park exhausted, dirty and in pain, took a shower, set up camp and had dinner before retiring for a solid sleep. When We awoke the next morning, there seemed to be so many people in this park!! We asked someone why, and found that it was a long weekend for everyone (Queens Birthday), but since it was Monday it cleared out fairly early in the day. During the hustle and bustle of the park clearing out, We met some very friendly folks. Some of the vacationers are practically family with the park owners and We managed to get in on a group conversation in the office with all of them that ended up being lovely. We talked about Australian politics, American politics (I say We, but we all know that I personally know nothing about world politics so it was really Cali and them while I stood about listening) and Our walk so far. One family left their phone number with Us to get together when We reached Melbourne. To say it was pleasant would be an understatement 🙂
After being up a few hours, We decided to talk about the possibility of continuing the walk. I was still in a good amount of pain that wasn’t subsiding, and injuring myself further seemed likely. We had reservations to be at Bimbi for 2 nights before heading out, but if We weren’t going to finish the walk, where would We be heading? We had made quick friends with Kat, the proprietor, and she was genuinely concerned with Our state of being. We talked with her frequently and upon hearing that We wouldn’t be able to finish Our walk (after paying over $100 for the non refundable state sponsored walk in campsites) she offered Us to stay at the park resting for the remainder of the week. I’m not sure she isn’t an angel. We accepted and stayed on at this beautiful park until Friday as We didn’t have accommodations in Melbourne until Saturday.
Let me tell you about Bimbi Park…its on 20 acres of beautiful landscape in the Otways. There are Mana Gum trees everywhere, and in these trees were koalas! Koalas love Mana Gum trees and therefor love Bimbi Park. We were able to see them in the trees, on the ground, eating, sleeping, and just being koalas in their natural habitat.
The park also has beautiful shower and toilet facilities (built by Kats husband Frank) and many trails to explore, including one that leads down to the beach. We weren’t able to do much exploring since that required walking, which I wasn’t doing much of, but We did do some and saw heaps of beauty.
One night, We were able to assist Kat in recapturing some escaped horses and another night she invited Us to join her in visiting the Eco center where her son volunteers weekly. We saw probably about 100 grey kangaroos and 3 endangered spotted tiger quolls. What an experience to see an endangered species most people will never lay eyes on. Sidenote, they have a chicken coup and I couldn’t help but take a picture of a black chicken so I could post it as an “Australian black cock” bwahahahaha
We spent Our days resting near the office using wifi, or doing a little walking around and Our evenings were spent in front of a campfire snuggling and talking about Our day or looking through Our photos.
One evening, We heard noises nearby and turned on a headlamp to try and spotlight the cause. What We found was this guy:
A bushy tailed possum. He looks more like a giant glider to me than a possum, but what do I know about Australian wildlife? He came back to visit Us nightly after, likely looking for a handout 🙂
Aside from the koalas and possum, the park is home to many many different types of birds. We saw gallahs, king parrots, kookaburras, cockatoos and others that I forget now. It is truly a magical place to be.
One day, while hanging out near the office using wifi, I checked my messages to find out that We no longer had a place to stay in Melbourne. It was somewhat distressing to hear since We definitely hadn’t budgeted for accommodations after finding out We could crash on the couch of a friend of a friend. She had a family emergency to tend to and would be moving out of her apt Saturday…uh oh 😦 I told Cali and We decided to go out on a limb. I rang up Bec, the lady of the house that left their number with Us, and inquired about renting their spare room that had been mentioned in conversation. She wouldn’t hear of renting it to Us, but would let Us stay free of charge. WHAT??! Yes, that’s right…someone who had only just met Us, in a foreign country, and talked to Us only for about an hour invited Us to stay with them for about 10 days. It was almost unbelievable but seemed to go along with the norm so far. Everyone We had come across so far in Australia had been incredibly accommodating and helpful which was such a refreshing change from most strangers in the US. I say most because, as you all know, We met some angels in the states as well 🙂 We now had a place to stay and could take Our minds off of that and just figure out how to get back to Apollo Bay to catch the bus to Melbourne. Turns out, We didn’t have to do much figuring on that either. Pat and Cyril, longtime residents of Bimbi, were going into Apollo Bay on business Friday morning and would take Us in with them. All that was left to do then was relax until Friday.
I could go on and on about the amazing experience We had at Bimbi, and the truly remarkable nature of Kat-but I won’t. It will live on in Our memory and I hope at least one person who reads this gets a chance to visit Bimbi sometime to make memories of their own.