A Marlo Muster and a check-in like no other

Day 5 Thursday 17/2/22 Heyfield to Marlo, misty rain 21

It was a very wet night which meant that after yesterday’s warmth the van was hot. We wake to light rain and a much cooler morning.

We strike more roadworks on the way down to Maffra, where we fill up with fuel. It’s a joy to see that Stratford has painted an elephant mural on the side of the railway viaduct. For those who don’t know the significance of this, spare a second to read The Legend of the Elephant, you may need a tissue.

At Bairnsdale, we leave the highway and take the Lakes Entrance Bypass up into the hills and Bruthen. Where we stop to stretch our legs and it’s no surprise that we run into mates who have spent a couple of nights here in Bruthen and are out walking the town.

Grabbing some bread and a pastie and leaving the little valley where Bruthen is nestled, we climb into the timber country of thick eucalyptus so typical of East Gippsland. We catch up with the rain again as Woody is driving and munching the delicious but flaky pastie. As he’s yelping “Quick get it off” it’s the navigator’s job to brush the steaming hot turnips off his tits, sorry chest.

Snowy River camping and fishing spot near Orbost, Vic

The gentle drop onto the floodplains of the Snowy River reveals dairying land and the long snaking wooden bridges that are the only sign of the railway that was once here. We spin off the highway at Orbost and follow the Snowy River past some magical riverside camp spots to Marlo. As we approach Marlo Ocean Views Caravan Park a red light on the dashboard comes on. Here we go again, this car is becoming an attention seeker.

Being Covid safe we wait and wait outside reception as I & S are checked in. When it’s our turn to enter we find out why we had to wait so long. The check-in spiel rivals the Gettysburg Address in length and details everything including how to press the buttons on the toilet entry lock. I think I fell asleep somewhere between how to use hand sanitiser and how the magnetic sensor pad works at the boom gate. Forgive me I’m old and tired. El Prado walks in and the spiel starts again. Eventually, we pay our money and race out trying not to laugh. Then we notice the pole hidden behind the hedge that our caravan is sharply angled towards. Thankfully we manage to extricate the awning from the hedge and get ourselves clear, but from the state of the pole, a lot of caravans have found it too late. I wonder if that was mentioned in the check-in spiel? The park is in 2 sections, cabins near the sea and caravans further behind across the road. We soon realise that it would have made more sense if the office had been located on the road behind as we then zig zag through the cabins to the other park. Thank goodness our van is short.

There’s a lot to read but I particularly like the statement “No exceptions even for God”.

The caravan section of the park is treed and grassy with a garden feel to it. Happy hour is as informative as the check-in. The couple camped behind us have a top-of-the-range off-road van that has given them quite a bit of grief. The worst of which was the van sending them fishtailing out of control across a highway. Having the microwave fall out and gouge a hole in the vinyl would have been bad enough but the pantry cupboard fell out as well during other adventures. If there is one thing that we’ve learned over the years, it’s that a price tag is no guarantee of quality in the caravan world.

We cook burgers and sit outside until hungry mozzies drive us in.

Accom: $30.00

Towing Kms: 186kms

Fuel: $97.34

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