Rainbow in Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountains
Mug and Mountains
Moody Sky Blue Mountains
Well, we're on our way to nowhere, and everywhere!
"Vinnie" has had a few minor ailments that needed some fixing before we finally got out onto the open road - new radiator, new front brake pads and discs. Aine snitched that I was a tad heavy on the brakes - everyone gasps in surprise! Not!!! While this was being arranged, we stayed 3 nights with friends of my brother, Denis, who lives in Adelaide. Trent and Teshia, who live in Menai, were simply great hosts. They gave us the run of their home and helped us out in any way they could. After being sufficiently fed and watered we took Vinnie on a small excursion prior to undergoing his surgery. We headed to the Blue Mountains, about 2 hours drive from Trent's. 4 nights there and many walks which were really enjoyable.
Back to Trent's for 2 more nights as Vinnie underwent his transplant. Was so uptight over the surgery had to down a quart of Cooper's pale ale!!!!. As it turns out there was no need to worry - Vinnie was in the hands of a skilled surgeon. I was informed that the transplant was a complete success and just in time too as he would have croaked it should I have attempted to do any long journey in him. I just hope he's grateful for our kindness and repay us with a first class trip around Aussie.
So after a second farewell to the Robinson's we headed south along the coast road en route to Melbourne. We landed at 7 mile beach where we parked the night in the beachside car park. Next day went for a 3 hour walk on the beach in the glorious autumn sunshine. We ventured further down the coast to Booderee National Park where we booked into the local campsite set amongst the gum trees. We set a fire in one of the communal fire pits and watched the stars come out in the night sky. Fabulous. Next day we did a 12km hike around the headland and stopped at crystal clear coves and beaches and collected some shells for Anna, Eoin and Charlie (Aine's niece and nephews). We finished the day on a remote beach before heading back to the campsite for a much earned shower and dinner.
Kittys Beach Booderee National PArk
This is the life..
Wave in evening sun
Making brekkie on Hyam beach
We saw on our map that we were not far (in Ozzie terms) from Mt Kosiuszko, Australia's highest peak (2228m) so of course we had to head towards it. As Aine says 'Mountains are like magnets for me'! As we gained in altitude the air grew crisper and colder. We stopped at a little town and Aine went to get ice cream and she saw this sign on a pole over the handicapped parking area "Stupidity is not a "handicap - find another parking space". Definitely brought a smile to our faces.
Found a really lovely camp ground some 36 km from the start of trek. Set up for the night and after dinner we lit a camp fire and sat around wrapped up warm. Temperature is a lot colder at this altitude and it can get below zero at night. As we sat by the fire we heard a rustling nearby and a possum shyly made its way over to check us out. All three of us sat staring into the campfire for a few hours. Cute little bugger! (the possum that is....)
Next morning woke up at 6.30am and decided we'd leave early to get a head start on the day. Aine had different ideas and by the time we got under way it was 9am. It was really cold and we required 4 to 5 layers of clothes. But it was really worth it. (Seamus forgets to mention that he chose the hardest and longest route to the top being 20km+. Ouch). Five hours to the summit but unfortunately the clouds were down and visibility was only 30 yards or so. Nonetheless we really enjoyed the ascent as we cocooned ourselves in our own little reverie - in other words we convinced ourselves it was the most magnificent day and we were the Centre of the universe (well, reality is only what you believe it is!!! Oh yeah where was I .........) we reached the summit and had a very quick lunch and put on an extra layer of clothing to be sure to be sure. Anyway we needed it and then some. The landscape here is SO like Ireland. You could have been in the west of Ireland. We loved it.
Ireland or Australia???!!! On way to Mt Kosiuszko
Snowy path of Kosiuszko
At the summit - We made it!
On our way down, via a different route we happened on a really cute little hut built in honour of a man by the name of Seaman, (who had lost his life in 1929's on a skiing tragedy), and when we went inside it had a little stove which was burning bright. It was a super welcome on a really cold and windy afternoon. We warmed ourselves sufficiently and then headed on our merry way. Eventually we got back to lonely little Vinnie after 7 hours of icy cold slogging. Straight back to our camp and several hot toddies later we were right as rain!!!!!!!! Of course nothing would please Aine more than to light the biggest camp fire in the place. (Though I must admit it was so homely). Of course we had a lovely bolognese for dinner and as we made our way back to our site in the dark, (me guiding the way with my head torch), I was being extra vigilant as Aine was carrying the utensils, and i go and trip over a tree stump, and fly head over heels barely avoiding serious head injury. But my wonderful wife just cracks up laughing at the good of it and nearly wets herself in the process. Some sympathy!!!!! Though I suppose if the roles were reversed I'd probably do the same. BUT she's still laughing, 2 hours later. Is this really love? ????.
(What Seamus is not telling you is that just as he fell he was accusing me of trying to trip him up earlier in the day with my walking poles (which were being blown across his path by the wind) - oh revenge is sweet!
Respite from the cold Seaman's hut
After Kosiouszko we headed down towards the coast across rolling dry pasture land and very few houses. We hit the coast near Orbost and spent the night camped along the banks of the snowy river, which rises in the mountains we had just come from. Next day we headed along the coast and found our resting place at Port Albert, where a steam paddle ship called the Clonmel had foundered. The next day was wet so we headed along the coast again and stopped in the little village of Inverloch where there was a little market on. That night we camped right along side a rocky surf beach on Cape Paterson one of Australia's most southerly points. As usual we parked in a carpark beside the sea (with great big no camping signs!) and were visited by the cops that night. Thankfully they didn't move us on and we fell asleep to the roar of the massive waves pounding the rocky shore. Who needs sleeping pills?!
Moon rise over Port Albert
Our final day before hitting Melbourne and we visited Philip Island, home of the unusual marriage of a penguin colony and the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix track. Dined on lamb chops, spuds and brocolli at a road side bbq area and hit the road for the city where we are currently staying with Dan Singleton, his wife Joe and kids Aidan and Ciara. Dan is an old firend of Seamus' from home and yet again we have the run of another house for a few days! The joys of the simple things like a good shower and a washing machine! Life doesn't get much better that this!!!
Yesterday we checked out Melbourne. It's famous for it's street art in the city centre laneways. Of course we made it about 10 yards up one lane when we spotted a recommended tapas bar which we could not pass by. We ate the most amazing meal of tapas this side of Barcelona. A nice change from cooling our food on the gas stove by the side of the road!
Girl and grafitti
Need a hand luv?
The real story...