Today was another adventure with Corey and Mike. We drove away from Melbourne shortly after 9 AM and headed towards the Yarra River Valley. We made a quick stop in the Visitor Information Center in Upper Fern Gully and learned that the hike I hoped to take was closed for bridge repairs. We read the literature and checked the map and got a new hike in mind. We found a car park near a trail that went to a waterfall so we parked and headed to Olinda Falls. Many times I have been overwhelmed with the quality and workmanship in the trail construction but today I was under-welmed! The trail was very over grown and quite muddy and rough. As we approached the trail, I realized that there was a picnic area nearby so everyone must drive to the falls, they don’t hike, hence the trail being so overgrown!
We took a little detour on the trail and found a large mountain ash tree near a gravel road that had shredding bark hanging down within arms reach. After testing out the strength of the bark, the boys had fun swinging back and forth like Tarzan on a vine.
The falls was bigger than we were lead to believe it would be and we enjoyed our time at the falls platform. The hike out was a gentle uphill for 2k and by the time we returned to the car we were ready for lunch.
Our plan today included 2 stops at local breweries to sample the local brews. We went to the Hargreaves Hill Brewery, which also had a good reputation as a lunch spot. The boys ordered a flight of their beer which they enjoyed with a delicious lunch.
Our next destination was the Healesville Sanctuary to see some Aussie animals up close. We saw a fabulous raptor show and were amazed when a wild wedge-tailed eagle showed up to defend his territory when the resident wedge-tailed eagle came out! At the end of the show, we talked to one of the bird handlers and he said they have seen the wild eagle a few times before, but he had never swooped so low to try to get the resident eagle to move on! WOW~this was exciting!
We saw emus, dingos, wombats, tasmanian devils, koalas, a lyrebird, and kangaroos. The boys had an opportunity to feed the kangaroos like Jim and I did early in our stay here, and they loved the chance to interact with roos. After a great couple of hours at the Sanctuary, we drove to the second brewery for the day, the White Rabbit Brewery.
At the White Rabbit we were greeted by an enthusiastic bar keeper who gave us a fun tasting and talk of his beers. After tasting 4 of their creations, the boys each ordered a pint of their favorite and we sat on the deck in the sunshine reviewing the fun we had all day.
We ran out time to visit a winery, but that was OK, we were quite satisfied with our day. We encountered quite a bit of traffic for the last 8k of our drive home and the rain started as we approached our apartment.
Mike has been on a quest to find an American cup of coffee and everyday seems to bring him a bit closer. We are not coffee drinkers so we are no help to him when comes to what to order, so he has been working his way through the coffee options at some of the local cafes. The short black wasn’t right, neither was an expresso. The waitress in Port Campbell worked with him to try to get it right and came closer and this morning’s purchase was pretty good. I think he really wants a pot of drip coffee made, but they don’t do that here! The search will continue!
Liz is on a plane headed to AU and for all her trouble she was upgraded to business class so we are hoping she is able to get a good night’s sleep on the place. She is due to arrive here at 10:00 tomorrow (Friday) morning, a day late. We are then heading back to the airport late in the afternoon for our 6 PM flight to Hobart, Tasmania! She is a good traveler, so we are confident that she will handle all this travel with a smile!
Oops, almost forgot the weather update. It has been warm here! Yesterday and today the 20 C. barrier was broken, that is 68 F. The fruit trees, the wattle and fields of canola are all in bloom and it is beautiful!