Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Travels with Lizzie

Today, unfortunately was the last full day of our BFF break.
Here we are, down in Aireys Inlet, staying in a lovely house, fully equipped with heating for these cold nights (a gas open fire, plus column heaters scattered throughout the house), silence when we want, but with a background of crashing waves upon a noisy beach.
Quite a contrast for the two of us, as we both live in rural locations far from the sea and it must be a 'woman thing' or some such phenomena, but it's a full moon tonight, combined with the waves crashing on the shore which makes me think I could perhaps spend a portion of my life down here per annum, and a portion where I do live with my spouse where the kookaburras and currajongs wake me of a morning already!
It really has been therapeutic but alas, like all good things is almost over, as we return to our homes tomorrow.
Yesterday was a drive to Lorne, where we ate breakfast which was more like brunch, then lunch, in the same cafe (read delicious food!).
We drove to the Erskine Falls, and walked down approx. 200 steps to the foot of the waterfall, then slowly slowly walked back up again. They have seats strategically placed along the way for those that need to rest along the way there and consequently we put said seats to good use as we re-oxygenated ourselves before attempting the next climb till we reached the top.
The walk down was ever so pretty and we were enormously pleased with ourselves for getting down there and up again without mishap. I can be a bit of a clutz from time to time, and have been known to fall over absolutely nothing, so those that know such an insignificant fact about myself will be pleased to know no such incidents occurred during our trekking.
A multitude of photographs were collected within our cameras and after our big walk, we had to return to Lorne proper to rehydrate and refuel before hitting the shops.
I was a passenger driving along the Great Ocean Road and Lizzie did a fantastic job of getting from A to B I must say.
There were occasional lands slips we were mindful of, with some pretty big boulders parked along the roadside in various places, but none were recent enough to worry us and there was evidence of road patrols from time to time, quick to report and repair any mishaps such as these were they to occur.
We left Lorne at a reasonable time and got back to our abode whilst there was still light, with a plan to access the lighthouse which is not far from here. Like all good women though, once we became ensconced in editing our photos and placing them on Facebook, not to mention speaking with our respective spouses about our doings of the day, changed our minds and decided to relax and chill for the evening instead. After eating so much in Lorne, dinner was a simple fare of chicken soup with noodles, toast, pâté and Camembert cheese instead of another pub mean. 
It's a tough life I tell you!
We were up relatively early this morning and away by 9:30 following an early brekkie of coffee, tea, toast and jam.
Our plan was to get into the Otways, find Beech Forest and the almighty redwoods.
We got to Colac late morning and stopped for coffee and cake (which you do when on a bit of a road trip break). We were the only customers there in this lovely large cafe with our lattes and SFW with chocolate ganache and carrot/pineapple cake. It was mightily delicious may I say at this point and the staff so very friendly to two out-of-towners. Such a shame the town was quiet and almost still apart from traffic going through. Not many people around unfortunately so business there must be pretty minimal.
We left shortly thereafter continuing on our road trip with the aim to find Beech Forest, neither of us having ever been there before.
Such a beautiful drive, well worth the kilometres and the closer we got to our destination, the more greenery, the more tree ferns and the more tall trees we saw.
Arriving at Beech Forest, early afternoon was good enough reason for a toilet stop and further our knowledge on how to get to our objective, the tall trees of RedWood.
From Beech Forest, we found our way to the Hopetoun Falls, where once again we stared fate in the eye, and walked down a multitude of steps to the foot of these falls.
The place itself was absolutely breathtaking and it was such an honour to be there, witnessing the beauty in this place. Amazing that such magnificence exists not that far from home...within a day or two's reach at least. The sweet smelling perfume of fresh air was intoxicating down there whilst the sound of water crashing onto rocks was deafening but music all the same.
We eventually retraced our steps ever so slowly again up to the carpark, encountering a woman who had hurt her ankle coming down, with her partner, plus, a business man who was between appointments apparently and thought he might just stroll down to the bottom of the falls in his shirt and tie, business pants and good shoes ( hope he didn't slip in the mud down the bottom) as he had an hour or two to spare!
We both made it back up to our car yet again, with nary a splatter between us (going well here) and continued on our journey to the main objective of the day.
We shortly then found the entrance to the gigantic redwood forest which was planted in the 1930's with Sequoia redwood trees as a plantation experiment. The trees are now approximately 60 metres tall and the place is almost sacred because of its beauty and peaceful hush when you enter into it.
The bark on many of the trees is quite soft and there are various forms of moss and lichen growing on some, but not all. The floor of the forest is a carpet of leaves and small needles and twigs and as you wander in there, you cannot help but gaze up to the tops of the trees where the sun is allowed to partially penetrate through, enough to give the growth up there it's required sunlight. There is a stream that runs through the place which has ferns, mainly tree ferns of various sizes inhabiting its banks, with the odd tree which has fallen over to the other side of the stream.
The place is magical. It is serene, ever so quiet with not even any bird sound, due to the shadows within I would think, just the sound of the running healthy stream which I am sure accommodates shy platipii and other nocturnal creatures who wait for the humans to leave for the day before they show themselves.
We are delighted here, and spend a large proportion of our time wandering through this little (not so little) forest, photographing from all angles and all places. I have the feeling I do not want to leave (yet again) and decide when it is my turn, I would be quite happy to have my ashes scattered here for posterity.
Alas, we must go eventually and as Lizzie returns to her car, I stay for one more photo (read a dozen).
As I walk out to the carpark, Lizzie tells me she is injured. Her tripod has decided to demonstrate who is boss and has somehow managed to slice her finger open and there is consequently a bit of a bloody trail by the side of her car. A good little Pommy bleeder is Lizzie, so, pressure on the offending finger is the order of the day until I can whip a couple of kiddies band aids on her fingers until we can get some kind of adult dressing onto it when we get into a pharmacy.
As I am playing out my Urgent Care nurse role, we spy a beautiful pink breasted, blue wing tipped (what appears to be) willywag tail/robin kind of bird. Neither of us have seen a bird of such colour before so it will certainly be interesting to look up its specie on return to our respective homes.
Of course, before we could even think of photographing such a beautiful creature, it had flown off, causing us to wonder what on earth it was that we had seen.
We are soon on our way again, regretfully leaving such an incredulous destination, and wind our way down the mountain range to Apollo Bay where we partake of a local delicacy known as a scallop pie which was quite scrummy (mine was in a curry sauce, whereas Lizzies, a mornay sauce) washed down with a mug of hot chocolate (marshmallow on the side). Just the ticket for replacing those calories we had lost through our earlier walking exercise.
It was then home again, along The Great Ocean Road from Apllo Bay, past The Cumberland River, Wye River, Skenes Creek, through Lorne and back to Aireys Inlet before we knew it. 
Sad to see the devastation brought about by the bushfires along the roadside and once again, it was well demonstrated just how fickle fire is, demolishing some properties in its path,but leaving others.
The positive side I suppose is all the building going on, where people are busy replacing their homes that were lost not so long ago. I admire their courage in rebuilding once again and can only hope that history is not repeated for them in their lifetimes of living where they are.
We are again soon back in our warm and cosy abode with a cup of tea on the agenda as a priority on our return.
Such was our travel on these two, few days.
Our plan is to revisit sometime again in the not too distant future ( maybe twice a year) as a defined stay for a few days is far simpler to organise than a day here or there, given our tyranny of distance living where we do in our real worlds.
It's funny how we both think alike, and with a look, know what the other is thinking at times. I guess that comes with many friends who have supported each other in good times as well as the not so good times but it's reassuring to know that my friend has my back, as I hers.
When living in our own worlds, we may not communicate for weeks on end but like all good friendships pick up where we leave off each time. 
Such a few short days recharge the batteries and reaffirm what we already know.
We then ask......
"What the bloody hell happen with 'The Kettering Incident'"?????????

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