We’ve been free-camping outside the Victorian town of Alexandra for several nights now. It feels good to be in just one spot, close to the Goulburn River, with lots of birdlife around.

Brioni and Aisha walking in the bush, November 2013
The older girls have started taking their sketchbooks with them whenever we go on bushwalks. They note any wildlife we see and often draw details from the scenes around us.

Goulburn River, Victoria, November 2013
Here the Goulburn River is swift and cold. The girls only go in it with my assistance, and we stay in the stoney shallows while we wash and fill up our bucket.

Lizard on the path, Victoria, November 2013
A lazy lizard is sunning itself on the path when we go back up, but it quickly disappears into the grass again.

It’s here that I feel like we’ve regained our peaceful equilibrium. The girls are all best friends again, and I’m in harmony with their needs and desires. We all sleep together, wake together, eat together and play together. The older girls have been reading lots and the younger two rarely stop playing.

Playing outside the bus, Alexandra, Victoria, November 2013
Later, the girls are organising their own dance-off in the setting sun. Someone has chosen the music for the event, and they take turns recording each other's moves.

Aisha playing, November 2013
Aisha dresses up for her performance. She loves the purple sarong we bought in Bali and often brings it out for her games!

My time away from the girls was too long, we all agree. It’s taken a month to get back into the routine of being us — where we live in peace, make decisions via consensus and travel in search of adventures. The girls reflect my new energy for life and optimism for the future, as I feel refreshed by this location, reinvigorated by the Victorian bush and ready to approach a summer of fun and many more outdoor adventures in Tasmania. Let’s go!