Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Another Wonderful Long Weekend Away ...

Hello Everyone,

We arrived home last night (Monday) after a wonderful 4 days away at our caravan at Bonnie Doon (for those of you who don't know where that is, it is in Central - Northern Victoria, which is in the South East of Australia).

The weather was fabulous, if a bit windy the past day and a half. The sun never stopped shining (except at night, of course !!), and it was not too hot.
We left home bright and early Friday morning, taking along a friend for Chicky. The traffic was light, and we made good time, arriving well before lunch. We unpacked, and settled down for a relaxation session !! Hubby's sister and her hubby and kids were coming up, too, so it would be a fun and kid-filled weekend !!

Friday was a lazy type day, with a lot of catching up with people, sitting and chatting, eating and drinking ... the perfect way to start a weekend !!

Saturday started off with the magical sunset I shared with you last post. The day became quite hot, and the kids spent most of it in and out of the pool !! Later in the afternoon, we did a bit of 4WDing in the lake (don't worry, there is no water, our cars didn't need to be submarines!!), and more eating and drinking. In the evening we visited friends in the caravan park, who were having a sort of house warming ... they had just finished building their cabin, and it was their first big weekend there.

Sunday we decided to go off on a drive into the high country, or at least into whatever area we were able to get into, as alot of it was still closed as a result of the bushfires during December and January.

We entered the high country via the Jamieson end of the Howqua Track (this was where we drove in briefly about 6 weeks ago, when we went exploring looking for where the fires had been ... I shared some photos back in late January), and followed the track through the fire ravaged mountains ... so terribly sad to see.

As much as it was so sad to see the burn out countryside, it was actually very interesting, as with there being no tree cover, we were able to see so much more. It is very beautiful countryside, very rugged ... it must have been so difficult for the fire-fighters. We could see many signs of the work that was done by the fire-fighters ... bulldozed trees (to create fire-breaks), bulldozed tracks, and generally just a lot of mess !! I imagine the Parks & Wildlife people will be through eventually to do a huge cleanup ... there were many trees down, although the majority of them had already been removed from the tracks.

What amazed me, was how much regeneration had already occurred. There were so many trees, which had started regrowing ... they almost looked fluffy, with the greenery coming straight from their trunks ... no branches, they had burnt and fallen off. Quite bizarre looking, really, but very beautiful. Nature is simply amazing, with it's capacity to survive such a catastrophe.

Many trees looked like they had just got undressed !! Their black bark had just peeled off, revealing a beautiful white or yellow or red trunk underneath ... quite undamaged !! Almost like it had on a suit of armour, and then removed it !!

The track got quite agressive in places, particularly in the area where I took the above photo. It was very steep ... we had the car in 4WD low range, first gear ... the gears were pulling up the car, rather than having to use the brakes. 4WD's are wonderful inventions !!

I was totally fascinated by the scenery ... as you've probably figured from past photos on this blog ... I love trees, any shape, any form !!

We stopped for a quick picnic lunch at an area which I think was called Fry's Flat. There was a lovely little creek / river down there (unfortunately there wasn't a heap of water, but it was still flowing !). It was incredibly picturesque. The lovely greenery of this area, surrounded by hills devastated by fire ... what an amazing contrast.

After lunch, we basically continued along the track, through Sheepyard Flat, and back out onto the highway near Merrijig, then continued back into Mansfield and on to Bonnie Doon, back to the caravan park.

It was a magical day, spent with fun people (hubby's sister and family). We had an absolute ball. I really wish every day could be such fun !! We ended our day with dinner, drinks and an early night !!

Monday (a public holiday here, for Labour Day) started off much cooler, and quite windy. We started off slowly, sleeping in. Slowly started packing, and doing a bit of housework (ok, caravan work !!), and headed off for home around 1.30pm. Traffic was heavy, heading into Yarra Glen, but nowhere near what it would probably be later in the afternoon. Arrived home, unpacked, bought pizza for tea, and that was about it.

So, all in all, a wonderful long weekend.

How was yours ???

I hope to stop by and visit you all today ... looking forward to catching up with what you all have been up to.

I am working Wednesday and Thursday, shopping and helping my elderly friend at the retirement village on Friday, and then it's the weekend again. Chicky is excited ... netball starts again on Saturday ... whoo-hoo !!

Enjoy your week, everyone.

Take care,


Nicole said...

Thanks for sharing your weekend with us Connie. Ours was spent rearranging furniture and caring for sick kids. Hopefully the germs will be well and truly gone by this coming weekend and we can leave the house for some day trips. Take care. xox

Lee said...

Wonderful pics, Meow. I'm glad you all had a lovely weekend. It's amazing how quickly everything regenerates...it's nature's way of cleansing I guess...all new growth will soon cover the land. It is sad, though, to see the devastation caused by those terrible fires.

Greeneyes said...

Hello meow
I am soooooo glad your home safe and sound and back blogging a bit , you are missed but it is more important you have fuin and fun you did . You have some awesome pics there , the contrast is amazing , I agree , nature is awesome !!!!!! sounds like you had a relaxing fun filled time with bits of excitement tangled in there , 4WD , girl you need a 8 winged flying carpet with bungy cords attached LOL wish I could tag along , but reading this I feel like I was , great post , love it , hope you have a great week (while I sit in the snowbank hoping my butt freezes off, just a little ,oh! if it were only that easy LOL)
Take care Meow
Friend from across the Miles

herhimnbryn said...

Sounds like a great break. I am still amazed by tree regeneration. The new growth looks so vivid doesn't it?

Merle said...

Hi Meow ~~ So glad you had a great long weekend and shared it with us.
I am amazed that the trees are already regenerating. Wonderful.
Thanks for your comments, glad you enjoyed the jokes and the 57 cents
story. I feel better this week, but wasn't too crash hot last week. It is
terrific not to have those very hot nights.Take care Connie, Love my Dixon's Creek photos, thanks.
Love, Merle.

dragonflyfilly said...

beautiful photos, once again, miss meow...i don't know why but whenever i read Bonnie Doon in your Posts i think of a place in a far away time like some magical mystical fantacy place... Bonnie Doon... its weird....

...and it makes me want to pack up and come along camping with you....well, i can only read and dream....

cheers for now,

Puss-in-Boots said...

Ahhh, what a lovely weekend, I feel quite relaxed! It's amazing how the bush regenerates so quickly, isn't it. But that's the nature of the Australian bush...fire regenerates it.

Have a lovely week

Gattina said...

Must have been a great weekend ! I was surprised that it's still warm enough to swim I thought you were going into winter by now. For the moment here in Belgium the weather is just beautiful (happens not very often) we have 15 to 17° and a beautiful sunshine. Spring is here very early at least 3 weaks ahead. Since then Arthur is going out again, not very far but at least in the garden and on the street in front of our house. He has to look after the neighbors, lol ! If you have no time to post on tuesday for the cats, post it later or earlier, doesn't matter.
The pictures after the bush fire reminds me of what I have seen on the Canarian islands (Spain) it just looked the same after a terrible fire and it's really amazing how quickly mother nature starts to repair !

Deana said...

What beautiful countryside. Sounds like a perfect weekend. (I always enjoy your music.)

Stinkypaw said...

Glad to read you had a lovely weekend. From the look of it, it was quite picturesque, and it is amazing how nature survives the worst!

Have a great week & thanks for sharing!

Renae said...

What really neat pictures! I love your description about natures way of life. Have a great day! Cheers....

Badoozie said...

yes, it is always sad when fire sweeps through beautiful places, but sometimes necessary regrowth occurs. makes you wonder what it was like years before when there were no firefighters to put it out.

Glad you had a great time

Munchkin, Missy and Monte said...

Thank you for sharing your weekend with us, I miss trees and mountians. We have nothing but pretty much flat land here, and only a few trees.
Is netball like volleyball?

LoraLoo said...

Nature's ability to rejuvinate itself is so amazing, isn't it?

Even though there's been a fire, the scenery is still quite beautiful.

I'm glad you had a great long weekend. Have just as great a week!

Margaret said...

Amazing pictures Meow. Glad you all had a wonderful weekend. So pleased you were able to fall into a job that suits you so well, doing something you love and with a very suitable time frame it would seem..
Cheers Margaret

Lee-ann said...

Connie, your weekend sounds so nice and I remember when we used to go camping with our children before they became parents themselves what fun it was. Even now when we are all together the conversation turns to those times.

Now when is our next long weekend?? :o) It cannot come quick enough for me......lol lol
have a lovely day

angel, jr. said...

The pictures that you always post make me want to visit!

Peter said...

Hi Meow, that sounded like a wonderful weekend in the bush, I a bit concerned though about what happened to Saturday between sun-up and sundown,
"Saturday started off with the magical sunset I shared with you last post."

PEA said...

It certainly sounds like you had a wonderful weekend away and I so loved seeing all the pictures! It is indeed sad to see the damage the fires did but as you say, it doesn't take nature long to rejuvenate itself!! xox

Cecil said...

I enjoyed your pics Meow! Had a great weekend.. ready to go back to work tomorrow... I guess.. sigh! lol

Connie said...

I am starting to feel as if I have been to Bonnie Doon myself. Love your vacation stories from there. It always sounds like good old fashion family fun...These are the kind of trips the kids will talk about when they get older with fond memories.

It is sad to see those trees in such shape but I hope in a month it will even look better...

Take care,

Dick said...

I like your photos. Fires are nature's way of cleansing things in order to start over. In the long run it really can help although it is hard on man-made things out in the woods.

By the way, I switched to Mozilla Firefox rather than Internet Explorer and I find that your dancing kitty dances faster than it did in IE. I've not made any other changes so guess it must just be due to Firefox.

Michael Manning said...

That looks like a great weekend and cool you took a friend along for Chicky! That brought a smile to me! :)

Raggedy said...

Thank you for sharing your fabulous weekend with us!
Great pitctures.
Have a great day!

Meow said...

Hi everyone, glad you are enjoying all my photos and stories of our travels. I really enjoy sharing my lives with you all, and love the comments you all leave me.
Once more, huge apologies for not answering your comments individually ... thanks again everyone.
Take care, Meow

Jeanette said...

Hi Meow Great photos to show how every think out the is regenerating after the devastating firesand sounds like you had a great weekend. thanks for sharing.

Meow said...

Jeanette ... thank you, it was a great weekend.
Take care, Meow