We don’t have much time to spend with Roselin, and we still have quite a ways south to travel, so the girl’s grandmother decided to travel with us for one more day and soak in the girls’ presence. After consulting the map, we decided to head for the closest body of water — Lake Conjola — where we paddled in the cool waters and played on the surrounding equipment.

Campfire with The Gifted Gypsy, December 2012
Roselin keeps the fire going in the morning so we can boil water for cups of tea. Brioni slept in her little play-tent last night. She loves to use it whenever she can. Because it's a pop-up tent, it's easy for her to put up, and I can put it away just as easily. They're so much easier than a tent with poles!

We didn’t head off very early. With an extra set of eyes at camp, I could use the time to get some small items fixed on the bus. I’ve installed USB ports at every seat, and some of these had burnt out after an electrical short. But when the sun got hot, we were soon on the road again, seeking out a cool place to play.

Brioni playing on a branch on the shore of Lake Conjola, December 2012
Brioni is always keen to go swimming, but the weather has turned chilly and she doesn't last long in the water.

Brioni and Lauren at Lake Conjola, December 2012
We park the bus close to the water's edge and enjoy the parkland and jetties nearby.

Aisha fishes off a jetty with a tree-branch and manages to snare part of a jellyfish. This is exciting enough to encourage the girls to keep "fishing" for more sea creatures.

Calista and Aisha playing at Lake Conjola, December 2012
The girls devise an elaborate game, collecting branches to camouflage themselves themselves from "the bad guys".

Before sunset, we said good-bye to Roselin and continued our way south. We were able to connect with our good friend Luke with whom we camped last year, and it’s fantastic to be able to see him again!

Lauren and Luke, December 2012
Luke holds a special place in our hearts, and I'm so glad to talk to him face-to-face about this last year's events.

Luke with Calista, December 2012
Luke has been practising heaps on the didgeridoo and can demonstrate the techniques he's learned in the last year. His didge was hand-made by a mate and gifted to him.

Luke and Lillith, December 2012
It's lovely to meet the lady who has captured Luke's heart. Lillith is interested in photography and is great with children — a fantastic combination!

Lilith talking to Delaney, December 2012
Lilith spends time getting to know Delaney and discovering her interests. I can't help but particularly admire adults who talk to our children directly, who seek to know them as individuals, and don't just ignore them as background noise.

Calista sleeping on the floor, December 2012
Calista falls asleep, exhausted from a full day's play. Luke has brought out his fabulous collection of scavenged beads and we've been making bracelets and necklace with the girls while we've been catching up on each other's news.

Luke with fire-twirling stick, December 2012
Luke likes to practice with his fire-twirling baton (minus the flames) in the evenings.

I’ve done my calculations, and we have a couple of hours to drive in the morning to make our next date, so we’ll be leaving early in the morning before Luke and Lillith are awake. Although it’s such a short visit, we assure ourselves that next time we’ll spend more time together, and Luke and Lillith will introduce us to some of their favourite friends and places in the Bateman’s Bay area.

Some photos from Roselin Fisher.