In the time of Coronavirus

We are on lockdown mode. All of us are staying at home. We don’t have anywhere to be, nor really anything much to do. It feels like a vacation, yet it is not. We can’t go out as and when we want to. We can’t hang out with friends and family. We can’t travel. We are lucky if we are healthy, our distant family and friends are safe, have enough money for food and other emergencies.

It’s a weird situation we have all been thrown into. And the end is nowhere in sight. At such a time we can either easily lose ourselves in the rabbit holes of our miseries, dragging everyone else down as we go, or we can try and remain positive, spread cheer, help pull one another up.

We have been reading a lot, sleeping a lot, watching shows a lot, eating a lot, chatting a lot and of course quarreling a lot. Trying to keep a distance from the others has meant that family members have been tossed too close to one another. We are bound to step on one another’s toes, get on each other’s nerves…. But all is not so bleak at the Pejavar household.

Some of the things we’ve been doing to keep our spirits relatively high are-

1. Talking to family and friends. We have been video-calling our old friends and family members who we haven’t talked to in ages. It’s nice to be reminded that we are all sailing in the same boat.

2. Going out for walks around the neighborhood, adhering strictly to social distancing rules and maintaining hygiene after return.

3. Enjoying coffee and meals as a family. Before, we all ate at different times and in a rush. Now we talk to each other and take it slow.

4. Spending a lot of time outside in our balcony or at the rooftop under the sun just reading or talking.

5. Cooking together as a family. Kids are helping out with the cleaning and peeling and of course deciding on the menu.

6. Homeschooling- I’m encouraging my kids to do a bit of cursive writing practice, a bit of math, a bit of reading their text books, every single day.

7. Watching good shows on tv, netflix and amazon. Kids are enjoying the re-runs of Ramayana and Mahabharata, our great epic sagas on DD channel.

8. Working out in our home theater. We play “Workout with kids” or “Yoga for beginners” or sometimes Zumba on Youtube and follow along. It’s amazing how full of energy and inner and outer glow we feel after a bout of exercise.

9. Working on side-projects. I’m doing a lot of alterations on our existing clothes and working on sewing new clothes too. Medha is into drawing and Madhav is very much into Origami and stuff.

By Medha

10. Not listening to or reading news all day long. Disconnecting from social media to avoid constant negativity.

Also, Giving ourselves grace when things don’t go the ‘right’ way, when someone isn’t being ‘nice’, when WE are not being ‘nice’, when plans unravel, when trips get cancelled, when there’s nothing to do, when there’s too much to do…

Just… you know, taking it one day, one single precious moment at a time.

We will all get through this . Together.

Manasa.

Australia Part 3

You can read part 2 here.

Day 5

We drove to the mouth of Snowy river, a major river in South-eastern Australia. At a cool picnic spot by the river, we cooked Tandoori masala. Neel enjoyed running around the place.

On our drive to Lakes Entrance, we saw a lot of wallabies. After checking in at our caravan park –Eastern Beach holiday park, we headed to the beach and took a long walk before heading back and cooking Pizza toast for dinner. Park cost AUD 43/ night.

Snowy river

Day 6 & 7

We drove from Lakes Entrance to Wilsons Promontory National park. It was a 3.5h drive. We stopped at Yarram to have an amazing lunch at Yarram coffee place. When we reached the National park, we booked a spot by Tidal river inside the park. It was peak tourist season, so we had to pay around AUD 62/night. We took a walk along the Loo-Errn track. Dinner was pasta for Neel and Maggi for us with delicious mangoes for dessert.

Tidal river campground
Loo-Errn track

On our 7th day, after a breakfast of scrambled eggs, we took a long hike around Lilly Pilly nature walk and Lilly Pilly circuit. As Neel was still too small to make such hikes, we took our stroller. It was a 6 km hike and so beautiful, we really enjoyed it. Once we got back, we spent sometime on the beach, letting Neel play on the sand. In the evening, we took another hike to Pillar point. It felt like we were walking into the sets of Lord of the rings. And when we reached the lookout point, the view of the beaches and the river was so surreal, it was magical!!

Lilly Pilly Nature walk
Pillar Point

Day 8

We drove towards Phillip island hoping to stay there to watch the penguin parade. Unfortunately, it was fully booked and we also found out that they came out only after 7pm which we thought was too late with the little one. So we visited the Phillip Island Wildlife park where we got to see kangaroos, wallabies, emus etc. We even got to feed them. Neel was happy and so were we. From Phillips island, we drove towards Mornington Peninsula and from there to Sorrento, where we took a ferry (AUD 85/adult) to Queenscliff and stopped for the day at BIG4 Beacon Resort Queenscliff which cost us AUD 100/night.

Phillip Island Wildlife park
BIG4 Beacon Resort Queenscliff

Day 9

We drove through Great ocean road. Anyone visiting Australia must take a trip along this road. The views are to die for! After stopping to take pictures, we drove to Lorne where we had lunch at an Indian restaurant. Lorne is a seaside town popular for surfing and beach cafes. We camped for the night at Bimbi Park in Great Otway National park. After setting up, we took a 2h walk to the Lighthouse. It was really hot, full of mosquitoes and the lighthouse was about to close. But it was still worth it! We had a great dinner with burgers and fried potatoes. Camp costed AUD 40/ night Plus an additional AUD 2 for shower.

Great ocean road view
Great Otway National park
Walk to the lighthouse

Day 10

We drove to visit the twelve Apostles. On the way we stopped at Ottway Bistro to have breakfast. It was amazing! I had eggs on toast, avocados, roasted tomatoes, hashbrown, mushroom and spinach. Yumm!

Twelve Apostles was just as I had imagined.

Breathtaking!!

Twelve Apostles

From there we drove to The Arch and then to Bay of islands, all the while driving along the Great Ocean road. After another short drive, we drove to Warnambool. It was very difficult to find a free camping spot as every caravan park was fully booked and the reception was closed (due to Christmas holidays) and so we could not contact anyone. We drove to Port Fairy and finally found a spot available at Southcombe Port Fairy caravan park.  I made Dum aloo curry for dinner and after eating it with naan, we walked around a small but beautiful reserve near the park. The camp costed AUD 55/night.

The Arch
Bay of Islands

More to follow…

Madhurya.