Sunday, February 03, 2008

Life Continues ...

Hello again, thought it was time for another post ... it's been nearly a month since my last one. I feel like I am being a bad blogger, and all my readers are forgetting me through my neglect. I haven't been by and visited like I promised last post ... life has just been such a whirlwind ... will it ever slow down again !?!?!

Anyway, since I last wrote, we have been pretty busy. I have been working 3 days a week, usually Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and the other days have been full of other stuff. It has been school holidays, too, which has kept me busy, although the kids returned to school last Thursday (31st January). My Chicky is now in Year 8, her second year of Secondary School (High School). She is happy to be back, I think, as she missed many of her friends, who she didn't have a chance to catch up with during the holidays.

We had a long weekend a week or so ago ... Australia Day Weekend. We, as usual, headed up to Bonnie Doon. We went for a drive into the High Country again on the Sunday ... this time with only one other car. It was a nice day, not too hot, but apparently very windy down at the lake (which we missed out on whilst we were driving ... yay !). I have some photos to share with you .....

This first photo was one evening at Bonnie Doon, we thought a storm was coming, the thunder and lightening sure happened ... but ... no rain.


This time, we headed around to the right of Mt Buller. We went up toward the Bluff Hut, which had suffered terribly during last Summer's bush fires. Here is just a photo of some burnt trees ...


The following photos were taken a few years back, but they show what the Bluff Hut used to look like (before the fires) ...

They have now started work to rebuild it. This is what it currently looks like ...

It is terribly sad to see how much of the high country was destroyed by the bush fires ... it is even sadder when you see how much of the bush is actually still black (besides the undergrowth). In so many places, the trees are just dead ... no regrowth is happening at all.

We headed in the direction of Lovicks Hut (which is also gone, and apprently no restoration has started), although we decided not to go there, as there wasn't anything much to see, anyway. We stopped at a little clearing for some photos. This one shows a distant glimpse of Mt Buller resort ...

More trees ... this one looks like it is trying to regenerate !!

The following photo was taken through the car windscreen, which had a fine film of dust over it, hence the photos may be a bit milky looking !! This one shows more forest, which doesn't look like it will ever be green again ...

After driving some distance, we arrived down at Pikes Flat, and this wonderful river. It is quite shallow, and crossing over it brings you to another track, taking you further up into the hills again. We didn't do this, this time, but the kids did paddle a bit in the river. It is very beautiful here.

From here we drove a short distance to Bindaree Hut, where we had lunch. This is an old hut, full of spiders and webs, but quite photogenic.

We had to do a bit of a river crossing here, which was quite rocky. If you weren't careful, some damage could be done here. This photo is of the river, near the crossing.

From here, we travelled some way, heading up towards Craigs Hut again. It was the grand opening weekend, for the newly build and finished Craigs Hut. Some of the tracks had been graded, taking away much of the challenge for 4WDers ... I'm sure these tracks will become chewed up again in no time, though. It was like the city centre up there, with so many cars. We had to move aside to let cars pass, in places where the track was just barely wide enough for one car, let alone two. We had never seen it so busy. We weren't actually aware of it being the opening weekend, we only discovered this on the day. We missed all the pomp and ceremony (thank goodness), but there were still many cars in the carpark when we arrived. Someone had even towed up a trailer-load of porta-loos !! There were many people using the facilities that had been built up there ... picnic tables, shelters, bbqs ... it was amazing to see. Although, it has now lost it's sense of loneliness up there ... it used to be just the hut ... very touristy now, unfortunately, but still beautiful.

This photo was taken inside the hut, showing what it used to look like, and how it was after the fires went through.

A view of the surrounding mountains from outside Craigs Hut. The views from this mountaintop are just incredible, and you can see for miles. It was a little bit hazy, though.

The group of us, minus the photographer ... that would be me ... on the verandah of Craigs Hut (a typical pose ... I'm sure many people have, and will, take a similar photo with their own groups of people) ...

The finished hut ... it is just beautiful up here ...

Driving through the Snow Gums on the way to the top of Mt Stirling. It was like driving through an avenue of trees, that were trying to reach over and touch our cars ...

From the top of Mt Stirling, a view of the Mt Buller Ski Village ... the opposite side of the mountain to an earlier photo in this post ...

We had a great day, leaving at around 9am, returning to the caravan park around 5pm. We were all tired, and dusty, but very happy with the day we had. The cars did wonderfully ... it never ceases to amaze me the places one can go in a 4WD vehicle. There were many, many campers in many places throughout the high country. This is something I haven't ever done, but when we sell our caravan, and get our off-road camper trailer (a TVan), we intend to rectify this. Apparently, the TVan can go anywhere the 4WD can go. We aim to prove this !!!

As I mentioned, Chicky is now back at school, so my life is back to being routine. I drive her to school in the mornings, and Mon, Wed & Fri I head off to work. She then comes home by bus. This week, Tuesday, I am heading straighto over to my parents, after dropping Chicky off to school, for a visit. We haven't been catching up as often as I would like, which makes me sad. On Thursday, I will be doing some work over at the boarding cattery, where I always take Bambi when we go away. I often help out there, in varying capacities, usually bookwork or computer stuff, though. Chicky's dance classes resume Monday night, 1/4 to 6 until 7.30pm ... I take here there, and use the time she is dancing to go to the library, do some shopping, or just sit in the car and read. A bit of "me" time, really. Her netball training resumes on the 21st Feb, and the matches resume on the 1st of March. So, that's my life again ... busy, busy, busy.

I have been getting in some reading, though. I have gotten into Di Morrissey novels ... wow, she's brilliant, and her books are set in this wonderful country of Australia. Her writing is just amazing, and I find I cannot put down her books once I start (this has also contributed to my lack of blogging, I'm afraid !!). So far, I have read "The Valley", "Barra Creek", and "The Reef".

I also enjoyed watching alot of the Australian Open Tennis recently. I had many late nights, through watching some amazing matches. Too bad my favorite, Roger Federer, didn't make the finals. Also, it would have been nice if our Aussie, Leyton Hewitt, had've made it to the finals. Oh well, there's always next year.

Anyway, I need to get moving, I have a spare bedroom which I need to attack. It appears there is a floor in there somewhere ... time that I found it again !! I guess it is fortunate that I can keep the door shut on this room, and nobody needs to know what it looks like in there (except me ... sob !!).

So, sending you all big hugs and best wishes. Hope to drop by your blogs soon.

Take care,

21 comments:

Diane J. said...

Gorgeous pictures again, Connie. I'd love to camp beside one of those rivers! Lovely, lovely places.

I understand how easy it is to get caught up in just living. Before you know it, a week has passed and you haven't posted, and then another week, and so on.

Take care my friend,

Diane

Gattina said...

Wow ! Or you don't write for a month or you write a whole romance, lol ! Now I have something to read for the next days. The pictures are very nice and interesting, but also sad when I see the damages the bushfires have caused !

Puss-in-Boots said...

Welcome back, Connie! You certainly have been a busy little Vegemite, but it was good to see that you got away over the long weekend.

Wonderful country around where you go...I've never been 4WD-ing, not sure what I'd feel about it.

If you like Di Morrissey's books, see if you like Judy Nunn. Her books are also set in our wonderful country and are just as good as Di's.

Clare said...

Fantastic pictures again Connie and hope all is well with you. Have you been watching Neighbours lately? The whole Rachel storyline is good.

Peter said...

Hi Connie, a fine return to blogging, all of those mountain huts have such a romantic history to them and with the exception of "Craig's" were all built as shelter from the fierce weather conditions that can spring from nowhere in the mountains.
Although "Craig's" is different in that it was built as a movie set for "The Man From Snowy River" it has by far the most spectacular views of all the huts.

Renae said...

Such beautiful photos!! It is sad what a raging fire can do. It is also nice to see the land pick itself up and try to regenerate growth again. Have fun tackling that spare room....I know I had a so called 'blast' when I did the one downstairs....it wasn't pretty, but I survived. I too also found a floor in there, LOL !!

Nicole said...

I can totally relate to the first and last paragraph. Everything in between was a treat. Your photos were fantastic Connie. xox

Jeanette said...

Hi Connie,Great photos of high country, beautiful scenery, its so sad to see the devastation caused by the bush fires.

Im another Di. Morrissey fan,ive read quiet a few of her books including Barra Creek,reading the Valley now,if you get "Heart of the Dreaming", dont forget to buy the the sequel to it "Follow the morning star"I read the Heart and didnt relize till i finished it there was a sequel.. well worth a read..another one I enjoyed was "The Last Mile Home"...Plus a few more...
Enjoyed our time together at Merle's and would be great to catch up again sometime... Happy reading Connie.. Jan

*~Tey~* said...

Those photos are very nicely taken. You are good at photography.

You do sound very busy, much like myself these days.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope to blog more in future.

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

I never got to go there when I was living back in Australia but always wished I had.. but I am still breathing and so I can still make it there... one day I will get there... for sure... love the photos...

http://flissyscorner.blogspot.com (I have some photos of Sydney there when I was back home recently)

Dawn said...

Wow Connie the pictures are amazing. I want to go there now! I think everyone is getting busy and I have found myself not blogging as much. I miss it and when I can I get as much blog hopping in that I can! Hope you have a great week!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Good update with excellent pictures, Connie.

Merle said...

Hi Connie ~~ At least when you do post, you make it a great one !!
Loved all the photos and so glad you had a wonderful trip ad always ending up at Bonnie Doon. Ah the serenity!!
I am usually here Connie, so any time you are in the area, you are most welcome to call in. You will always get a cuppa or a Coke.
I have given you an award on my blog.
Take care, Love, Merle.

Margaret said...

Wonderful photos as usual, I hope you were able to find that floor without too much bother. I had a floor search just last week which took up a whole day. Thanks visiting.
Cheers and hugs Margaret

Melinda said...

Hi Connie,

Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment. We definately have to catch up real soon Peppin at the moment is so weird we all seem to do our own thing! and hardly ever catch up altogether. We didn't even see that much of the S's or the H's oh well I guess when the weather is cooler and the boats have been put into storage things will change.

Hope to talk real soon
Take Care Love all of us xoxox

Melinda said...

Me again !!

I forgot to say what a great post, Love the photo's they look awesome. Looks like the building of the new huts is really taking off. bye bye :-)

Jon Cox said...

AWESOME and BEAUTIFUL photos! Wonderful update. I'm glad you are doing well and keeping busy. Great post!! :o)

Ruby said...

Hey there!!! well if you think you're a bad blogger after only one week away, then what will you think of me??? I'm back after more than a year!!!! wow!!! Anyways, just wanted to say hi again!

wazza said...

Gidday Connie,

I know what you mean being a "slow" blogger. I must admit my posts have not been as regular as they used to be. Nevertheless when you do post they are beauties and well worth the read the pictures do justice to the words. This part of Aussieland is just beautiful.

Pear tree cottage! said...

O!~ that was a wonderful trip down memory lane........when our children were young we did that lovely 4x4 track to the top of the high country. thank you for reminding me what a lovely life we all have here in Australia and how lucky we are.

Your photos re stunning!

I know you have not been on your blog but forgotten! NEVER!

Lee-ann

Michael Manning said...

MEOW! Nice photos and you're right, it's been a while. Good to see you!