With Friends and Then Without
Jindabyne > Blackfellows Beach > Melbourne > Devonport
Two weeks at Blackies was a welcome change. Familiar spaces, faces and places. It was a different feeling launching into a two week stint there this year. In the years to date, as a change from our time in the office and away from the helter skelter of school runs and sport commitments we were desperate to put the feet up and enjoy the open air. This year, it was all about catching up with friends and putting the roots down for more than our longest stop of the trip thus far (5 nights).
Blackies produced its usual mix for us; buffeting winds, soaking rain and periods of magic sunshine. The former leading to some wonderful moments of midnight mega tarp management by Ben and Julie as reported in by Mick the following day. It also produced all the usual activities including surfing, fishing and feasting. Unfortunately the waves were not as good as they could have been and the fishing produced only moderate catches. On the other hand, with arrival of celebrity chef “Kiwi”, the feasting stepped up a whole new level. How good were those anchovies Deb?
As the two week period drew to a close, we watched our friends pack up and disappear over the hill on their ways back to Sydney. We were left with our set up standing alone and lonely on the beachfront.
We tossed up spending some more nights at Blackies with a view to sorting out some schoolwork but in the end, we needed to move on. So, after one more wet and windy night, we packed up and set off for Melbourne. The drive which was supposed to take us a few days ended up being done in just the one. I don’t know why, but we just couldn’t stop. Before we knew it we were in St Kilda sipping lattes and having pancakes for brunch.
The kids notched up a possible tour high point in St Kilda. For three days straight we ploughed through school work each morning. Only bribery could produce this sort of work ethic. And the prize? Luna Park. Yet again I proved to myself that I don’t have the stomach to be propelled and rotated at unnatural speeds. The kids however, had an absolute ball and Hamish managed to go on every ride he was big enough to qualify for; which was most. In the end, I was happy to ride the picnic seats while the rest of the family went on one more loop of the roller coaster.
More trailer repairs and servicing were just barely completed by the time our ferry to Tassie was ready to sail. Over the last few days we had topped up on camping goodies and good coffee, picked up a large box of Travelcalm and we were ready to cross the big creek. Thankfully, the trip proved to be fairly calm and to Courtney’s delight, she did not fall out of her bunk during the night. Indeed, not one Travelcalm was required. Thanks to Mum and Dad’s warning, we were out of bed and breakfasted with plenty of time to spare before they called us down to the cars. In fact we probably could have gone back to bed after breakfast as it turned out that our arrival time was about an hour later than Mum and Dad’s and I needn’t have set my alarm so early. Of course, Deb has hardly mentioned this at all.
Finally, with no real set agenda for the next 5 weeks, we rolled off the back end of the ferry to be greeted by a bright and crisp Tassie morning. Magic.
Deb’s Did You Know:
The oldest continuous operating roller coaster in the world is The Scenic Railway in Luna Park Melbourne. It was built in 1912 and was just shy of its 100th bday when us McGraths hit the theme park. I have to say it looks old and we had everything crossed in hope that it will be receiving a letter from the Queen. It was a rickety, bumpy and nerve racking ride for some. One ride wasn’t enough for most and one ride was too much for one particular person. Yes, Stew our much devoted outdoor adventure loving guy (well almost)…the kids and I have learnt something new about him…he has a fear of roller-coasters and basically any rides that go up and down, up and over and side to side. And yes even the Ferris Wheel is included. Much to the kids amusement they left dad happily doing many laps on the dodgem cars. Disneyland next??? Mmmmmm.