Monday, January 26, 2015

New Year road trip: our last day

We were met with gloom and drizzle when we emerged from our motel the next morning, although it wasn't cold. Despite the expected limited visibility, we headed back to Powers Lookout, which I had managed to locate on a map in a tourist brochure on the Prosecco Road I picked up in nearby Milawa. (Side-note: this part of Victoria is called King Valley and it's notable for its food and wine offerings. And I like prosecco.) (Further side-note: I just spotted Powers Lookout on the map I had with me the whole trip. Map-reading fail.)

We couldn't see a thing when we got to the lookout. It was more a case of no visibility rather than limited visibility.

 Nice um...tree

 Anyone for a picnic?

Oh well. The King Valley isn't that far from Melbourne and there's plenty of other things to see/eat/drink up there, so we can come back again in better weather.  Not that the weather bothered me much. Yes, it would have been nice to see the reportedly amazing views from the lookout (a friend had recommended we take a small detour to see the view), but the low hanging cloud/fog was quite picturesque in itself and added a dramatic atmosphere to our photos that's often missing when it's a sunny day with blue sky. And besides that, the rain made the bush smell AH-MAY-ZING. All fresh and eucalyptusy. I love it. 

The rain was widespread in Victoria that Saturday, so the clouds stuck with us most of the day. Our next stop on the way home was Mansfield, which was conveniently located at the end of the road we travelled on to get to Powers Lookout. Road trip serendipity. Serentripity. 

We stopped for a quick look around Mansfield - the bakery, the lolly shop, the gun shop, the horse shop (no, it doesn't sell horses, just horsey stuff, including horse shoes that are like human shoes that you actually slip your horse's hoof into). Although I grew up on a farm, the gun shop and horse shop felt like being in a different country. My dad had a gun, but I don't remember seeing gun shops in town. And I was scared of horses from when I was a small child. (I'm still not a fan.) 

But Mansfield is in the high country, a long way from where I grew up, and guns and horses are clearly an integral part of the culture there. We even saw people - young people! - walking down the main street wearing cowboy hats. Nobody wore cowboy hats in the Western District where I grew up. Yes, we giggled at them. 

Next up, we hit the road to Alexandra, which felt like a verrrrry long drive on more winding roads through the mountains, skirting Eildon National Park and past Lake Eildon.  

More photos of rural serenity...and cows. 

These cows retreated to a safe distance before stopping and turning around to watch us intently as we took photos. We saw a lot of cows on our trip and few sheep. Clearly east of Melbourne is Cow Country and west is Sheep Country. Maybe that explains the lack of cowboy hats where I grew up...

 Lake Eildon (an artificial lake, hence the drowned trees)

Lake Eildon again

 This might be the Goulburn River? 

Or maybe is isn't big enough? I dunno

We stopped at Snobs Creek to visit the falls, another spontaneous decision as we'd never heard of this waterfall before, despite its relative proximity to Melbourne. The actual creek that Snobs Creek takes its name from is a pretty insignificant watercourse, so we were surprised when we got to the falls and water was fairly thundering over the rocks. 

 The top of the main drop (hard to get more than this in shot)

 Above the falls

The cascades

I've said after previous holidays that it's not a proper holiday without me falling into something (e.g. a creek in Tassie) or stepping in something gross (stagnant mad that looked like beach sand on the Coorong). This time I slipped and fell on the rocks, hurting both wrists and my left shoulder, and getting a wet patch on my bum. Kind of serves me right because we had slipped through a gap in the viewing platform and walked out onto the rocks to take photos. Miraculously, the family that was at the viewing platform mere minutes before wasn't there when I looked up, and Luke had his back turned. That's called winning at falling. 

Our next and final stop was Alexandra, where we stopped for a late lunch before thee final stretch of highway that took us home. It was sort of nice to be home - I really enjoyed sleeping on my own pillow, which I had forgotten to take with me - but honestly, I wish we could have just kept on driving. One day, I'd like to take several months off work, and just drive keep on driving.    

A note about my photos: I've realised I need to recalibrate the colours on my laptop, which is why my photos probably look over-saturated on your device. They look fine on mine!  I'll fix that when I work out how to do it...

1 comment:

a work in progress said...

Looks so gorgeous - and GREEN! Victoria was so dry last time I visited, so it's nice to see it looking so lush and verdant :)