This is our home in Australia
 We have arrived in Australia and we are exploring the Great Ocean Road which is a beautiful stretch of highway that follows the coast west of Melbourne. This is our second day here and we have parked our camper van in a small parking lot that is just off the highway and is surrounded by a protected forest.  When we drove in last night it was dark and just after 9:00pm, we already had our dinner and decided this was a good place to stop for the night.  After getting through the routine of converting our van from a vehicle of transport into a mini hotel we all settle in to sleep.  Carolyn and Allegra are sleeping in a double bed that folds out inside the van and Birch and I are in . . .

the "penthouse" which is basically a "Thule" roof rack that opens up into a small tent, very convenient and cosy.  After setting up we snuggle into our silk sleep sacks (unbelievably warm and cozy), say our good-nights and doze off into our individual dream worlds.
    The beauty of sleeping in the top tent is that it feels like we are closer to our surroundings allowing us to enjoy every sound from the forest whereas sleeping in the actual van the sounds are more muffled and less pronounced.  The next morning comes alive with a symphony of sounds from all the birds roosting in the trees.  These sounds are so melodious and unfamiliar; warbles, tweets, short choruses.   All the birds are singing their individual songs welcoming the day as if to say, "here is another day fresh with no mistakes" or "Yahoo we survived another night"!!    As I lie there and become more and more aware of my surroundings I can hear each individual call and off in the distance I can also hear the relentless ocean surf crashing against the shore. 
It truly is a special way to wake up each morning and I am grateful.

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