Here we are at Ballarat and all jazzed up!

With The Burrow safely nestled at Shady Acres just out of Ballarat we have experienced a couple of cool nights with warmer days heating up as each day passes.

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Arriving here on Sunday after an easy run up from Melbourne we settled in and had a trip into town to determine where the Jazz Convention Activities were.

 

 

 

 

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Hepburn Springs3

Monday morning we set off for Daylesford and Hepburn Springs and walked our little legs off in both places stopping for lunch at Wombat Botanical Gardens in Daylesford.

A lovely area which stirred up some early childhood memories of a time spent here one holidays walking and sampling the local spring waters.

After returning to camp we packed some sandwiches and wine and headed for an open air jazz concert in an historic courtyard outside the old police barracks where the police oversaw the miners in the gully below during the time of the gold miner’s revolt and Eureka Stockade. P1080156With a spirited crowd we were entertained by several bands for close on 3 hours.

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Tuesday was a day to remember. We chose 6 different venues and 11 different bands for a day of music from start to finish. We went from The Sweaty Palms Orchestra to The Hot Sizzlers and on to The Merri Creek Jazz Band, The Barrie Currie Jazz Ensemble and The Ballarat High School Jazz Band. P1080194Follow that with Jazz Biz, The Goodwin Gang, Mal and Baz’Sandgroper Four . Next came Bob Whetstone’s Doyen Dixielanders, Bob Paties Hot 5+ and the icing on the cake Perspiration Hall Jazz Band where Dawn got to hear her favourite Aussie clarinet player, Nick Polites and Canberra Jazz acquaintance  and trumpeter, Tony Thomas.

We headed back to camp totally jazzed out but with feet still tapping.

Melbourne..hot one day and freezing the next

December 20th saw us packed up and on the road to Melbourne on what turned out to be a hot blowy trip along the South Gippsland Highway.

Well, it was loosely referred to as a highway. Maybe it was once, but definitely not now. A welcome stop at Leongatha broke the slow trip due to the gusty conditions and poor road.

We met our Melbourne friends Glen and Jack,  and followed them out to Vicki and Sam'sSam and Vicki’s place at Plenty where The Burrow has had a few days break. Back to Glen and Jack’s where we have enjoyed wonderful  hospitality.

642 front Carrum Bch to sth

My early youth in Melbourne was spent at Currum where my parents had a grocery store on Nepean Highway. Dawn and I took a drive down to Carrum and met the current owner of 642, George Mckail, who looked after us like silkworms. The shop is now “Beach Lane” and houses several businesses in a co-operative manner. We sampled the fare of The Wholesome Nest Café ( thankyou Georges), and looked through Love Iluka, Bobbins and Bliss and the upstairs studio which hosts yoga and pilates.

It was great to see the changes in my old stamping ground and home, and to be able to shed a little light on the history of the building from the 1950’s era.

Check out this now very visitable part of Melbourne at www.beachlane.co

The only dampener on the day was a $70 odd parking ticket for parking behind the old shop. I will happily owe it to the council for the rest of my life rather than do them out of it!!

Melbourne turned on a hot and windy Christmas Day and thanks to Sam and Vicki we had a wonderful day and lunch at their beautiful Plenty home. A dip in the new pool cooled us down nicely and we were gloriously overfed along with their family.Chrissy ham

GrangeWe have shared many a good wine and meal with our Melbourne friends including a 1985 Penfolds Grange Hermitage.

 

 

 

With a Boxing Day sale excursion under our belt we are packed up ready to hitch up The Burrow and head for the Australian Jazz Convention at Ballarat tomorrow.  The temperature has dropped from 37 deg to 13 deg.   More to follow….

 

Eating the fruits of our labours

Restaurant ready to openWell here we are on the last of 5 nights at Woodside Beach Caravan Park. This has been a most enjoyable camp. The park is somewhat rustic in nature with powered sites and plenty of camping spots. There is no water connection or sullage but the amenities are very good and there is bore water and tank water available.

A walk of about 150m and you are on 90 mile beach, which as you would expect goes on “forever” to the north and south.90 mile bch2

 

 

 

 

 

The options here are threefold: swim, fish or do nothing. The do nothing option includes watchingthe local birdlife of magpies, blue wrens, black cockatoos etc, and being entertained by the morningand evening antics of numerous wild rabbits.Sandcrab

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Our fishing expeditions have resulted in a meal of fresh sandcrab and this evening will be a feed of nice flathead caught this morning.

The weather has been fine for our stay here and we are taking on a definite bronzed hue. Our one venture away from this restful oasis was a 25 min drive to Yarram for a small shopping exercise.

Thanks Steve for helping make our stay here a memorable one and certainly one to recommend to our friends and fellow travelers.

Dunked our feet in Bass Strait

Yesterday was our last day in Lakes Entrance and what a great day it was. Lakeview Golf Course2Lovely fine weather encouraged us to start with 9 holes of golf at the Lakeview Course. We wont say who won but I had a very good game.

 

 

 

 

 

Lakes4After lunch back at the Burrow we headed over to Metung and captured some lovely shots of the entrance and lakes along the way. Lakes7

 

 

 

 

 

Metung SculptureMetung is a picturesque village set on the lake front and is obviously a boaties paradise. We sampled a coldie at the local hotel and had an explore around the village.

 

 

Back at Lakes Entrance we bought some fresh flathead fillets on the wharf and had a home cooked feed of fish and chips a’la Burrow.Monday Dinner

 

 

 

 

 

 

This morning was threatening rain as we packed up and set off for Woodside Beach Caravan Park, travelling via Bairnsdale, and Sale where we stopped for a stretch and coffee.

We arrived here in time for a late lunch after setting up camp. Had a quick walk on the beach and dipped our toes in Bass Strait.

We are nestled in the dunes behind 90 mile beach and it is great to hear the sea. In this bush setting our neighbours have so far included black cockatoos, blue wrens, magpies, black birds, and numerous wild rabbits. We will have to keep the Burrow closed tonight or we may be invaded!!

The beach fishing appears good so we will try our hand over the next few days. Keep checking for either some evidence or stretched stories…..

We have found our legs!!

The footbridgeWith a fine cool morning we decided on a good walk to start the day and set off from our camp across the footbridge to the Lakes Entrance Surf Club.

From surfside of lakeThe views back to town were good with the morning sun on the water. From footbridge

We walked a bush track towards The Entrance and on the way back walked part of it along the lake edge.Simson and donkey

Successfully wound up with wet feet as the tide was full. Watched several of the lifesaving club activities on and off Ninety Mile Beach.

After a change of footwear we headed up to Wyanga Park Winery and enjoyed a couple of tastings and a shared sample platter.

One of several chainsaw sculptures around Lakes Entrance

On a more mundane front the washing and ironing is up to date and Burrow storage re-arranged. Getting ready for happy hour and home-made burgers for dinner.

We made it this far

Our last night in Cann River was a cold one and we packed up this morning in trackie daks and hoodies.Pub

Orbost, at the base of the ocean side of the Snowy Mountains in Victoria

The drive down the Princes Highway to Lakes Entrance was an easy one and we stopped at Orbost, on the banks of The Snowy River, for a coffee break and hedgehog at the local bakery.

It is windy, fine and cool in Lakes Entrance and we have restocked the larder and bar, and refilled the chariot, after a lunch of local fish and chips. The forecast is for a fine and cool couple of days so we will enjoy some exploring.

Dinner tonight will be Roast Pork and roast butternut  pumpkin stuffed with walnut, mustard, cheese, breadcrumbs and sage…all a’la Weber. I guess that we will find something to wash it down.

Whoops, I was going to take a photo but it looked too good so we ate it. Yum!!!

Cheers..

From Eden to Cann River

It was an easy hour and a half run down from Eden this morning,  and into Victoria to Cann River in East Gippsland.

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We set up in fine overcast weather and went for a bush walk in a neighbouring rain-forest reserve, which is supposed to be home to a bell bird colony.

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We didn’t hear a tinkle, and our only wild life encounter was with a brown snake which went bush at our approach.

Two nights and bit of an explore here and we are off to Lakes Entrance.

Collective Musings from Eden

Monday morning we rolled out of Queanbeyan after a quick brekkie.

We stopped for a break and coffee at Nimmitabel and downed a very tasty spinach, fetta and tomato muffin at the local café.

Light rain had started to fall near Cooma and it slowly increased as we headed for the coast. Brown Mountain was almost greyed out in fog and rain and the trip down was a little hairy at times.

Four hours after leaving Queanbeyan we rolled into a wet Eden and set up camp in the rain.

Wharf txtAfter a brief sortie in and around Eden and a refill of gas in the chariot we had a great feed of fresh fish and chips at Eden Fish and Chips in the main street. Service was from  friendly and hospitable staff and it was great food.

Hoping that tomorrow will be a finer day as we are planning a walk in the Ben Boyd National Park at Green Cape Lighthouse.

Well the day dawned a replica of yesterday after a wet and blowy night. Rain or shine we were determined to drive to Green Cape.

We could only imagine what the views would have been like on a finer day but still they did not disappoint.

 

The catch of the day txtDisaster Bay lookout was our first stop and then on to the track leading to City Rock. By now the chariot was mud covered.

Green Cape Lighthouse Ben Boyd Nat Pk txtThe walk out to the lighthouse and back was a case of “hang on to your glasses”.  The wind was quite strong  and we thought of the sailors who had been shipwrecked here in years gone by,  and of the Sydney to Hobart yacht racers who have had to put into Eden on numerous occasions. Green Cape 1 txt

The coastline here is very rugged.

Back at The Burrow we are listening to the tinkle of bellbirds and are contemplating a dinner of chicken Maryland and baked butternut pumpkin on the BBQ. Someone has to do it. The forecast is not good for tomorrow.

Well tomorrow arrived and the BOM were their usual accurate selves. We have clear blue skies and a light breeze.

Merimbula txtOff to Merimbula and Pambula and we had a pleasant coffee stop beside the lake at Merimbula before vising the beach at both towns and a quick look at Pambula Lake. A walk on the local boardwalk showed us some local wildlife with our first glimpse of the bellbirds.

Visitor txt Two Fold Bay across to Aslings Bch txtOur camp was visited by some local kangaroos and we have finished a fine day with a glass or two with our neighbours, and a lovely feed of fresh fish which we bought at the Snug Bay wharf, and cooked on the BBQ.

Next stop is Cann River tomorrow.

 

Where in the world is Sydney?

After 3 weeks, a new radiator and electrical repairs to the chariot, and rejuvenated suspension to The Burrow, we have left Sydney (not sure where in the world it is anymore), and continue on to see Australia.

Heading for Canberra on Friday, the plan was to camp at the Cotter Campground for 3 nights while catching up with family and friends in the capital.

About 5 minutes away we were confronted by a flashing sign advising that it is closed for a week for maintenance.

Queanbeyan RiverPlan B swung into action and we ended up at Queanbeyan Riverside Park where the roads were melting in the heat.Queanbeyan River Weir

 

 

 

We spent a delightful evening sharing pizzas and wine with some friends we have not seen for some time. Commonwealth Ave BridgeThe Carrilion

Life is wonderful with its unexpected pleasures.

We are in for a warm weekend and will roll out of here on Monday headed for the coast and places to the south.

Saturday we enjoyed lunch with Dawn’s sister and brother in law and after a wine tasting at Jim Murphy’s in Fyshwick we were home to The Burrow for a short Nanna nap and BBQ’d lamb chops.

Such is life!!

Today we have another lunch with a long time friend of Dawn’s and it is shaping up to be a very warm day. We are planning an early start tomorrow morning with an overnight stop on the way to our first coast stop on the run down to Melbourne.