DIARY/PHOTO JOURNAL - Page 24
Weeks 29/30 - October 01, 2018 - October 14, 2018
The beginning of these two weeks
pointed us toward Melbourne via the 'Sapphire Coast' where we were to meet up
with Michelle (sans John who was working in China) which we met way back in Week
11 when we were hanging around Exmouth. On the way, we stopped off at
Wilson's Promontory National Park to enjoy a day of walking, beaching and having
fun with some locals.
Crossed over the famous Snowy River (loved the movies) Just a beautiful building
Walk along the Tidal River Cinderoo and her newly added Victoria flag
Why it's called the Sapphire Coast (North Bay) Squeaky Beach and Picnic Bay
Had a close encounter with an uninterested Wombat Beach time - Norman Beach (at North Bay)
Crimson Rosellas - you think they have been hand fed before? Camp Wombat - so cute!
Next, it was off to Phillip Island.
We were excited to visit this small island because it is where you get to
experience the march of the Blue Penguins as they come ashore at night and
waddle to their burrows.
A stop at Squeaky Beach (squeaky because of the sound the sand makes when you
walk on it) along the way
A wallaby contemplating suicide and an echidna doing its best to hide
Phillip Island Blue Penguins returning to their barrows - so darned cute!
Just some of the beautiful roads and countryside coming into Melbourne
We easily made it to Michelle's home located in the 'mountains' behind Melbourne. A beautiful area dotted with quaint mountain towns, lots of walking paths and even Puffing Billy, a relic steam train that runs through several of the villages and right by Michelle's home.
Our first order of tourist business was to head to Healesville Sanctuary, home to many of Australia's unique animals and especially, the elusive platypus. We spent most of the day just wandering between areas where the animals are housed and of course, were front and center (literally) for the platypus experience.
Healesville Sanctuary Tasmanian Devils - love the snaggle tooth
It was all about the playful Platypus, so adorable, yet the male is venomous! Platypuses are fun
After the overload of the adorable platypus, we enjoyed viewing the other animals and especially liked the Spirits of the Sky bird show experience. Much like the bird show at the Australia Zoo in Queensland, the experience profiled birds from the area and it was fascinating.
A fake-looking tree frog
Possum hanging out
A contortionist Rainbow Lorikeet
Red-tailed Black Cockatoo Forgot the bird, but he was trying to not be seen
A Black Kite doing a back flip to catch his treat Beautiful Barking Owl Peregrine Falcon
Wedge Tailed Eagle
One of our favorites, Black-brested Buzzard - love the pantaloons!
This was totally unexpected. A Helmeted Honeyeater (endangered) thought our hair was good nest material.
Cannot get enough of the Echidnas Tree Kanagaroos - known for their unique blue eyes
And of course, a Koala
After the visit to the sanctuary, Michelle took us to Maroondah Reservoir Park and what a great surprise we had there. We stopped off at a picnic area and there must have been 50 Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, a dozen Rainbow Lorikeets, a couple King Parrots and even a few Crimson Rosellas (fast becoming my favorite bird). Let's just say these birds appreciate a free hand out (literally) and after being gifted with some bird seed from two generous little girls, we had an assortment of feathered friends perching on any horizontal surface our bodies provided.
King Parrot, Gerson, Michelle and me with Lorikeets King Parrot
I loved the look of the Cockatoo in the background...almost jealous
We spent the rest of the day just relaxing at 'home' and with Gerson and Michelle in the kitchen, we went to sleep filled to the brim with contentment.
The next day, we made it into Melbourne and happily accepted Michelle and John's generosity in letting us use of some of their 'hotel points' and stayed overnight at the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Melbourne, allowing us time to wander around the city and not worry about driving home that night. Melbourne is a beautiful city and has a classic feel that we did not get from Sydney or Brisbane. Melbourne seems to pulse with a casual creativity that we really liked.
We walked through the South Melbourne
Market before meeting up with Michelle's daughter, Simone, for a wonderful lunch
on the beach. From there, it was all about walking around and looking up
at the magnificent buildings and admiring the graffiti artistry on several
The paella in the market looked delicious Having lunch at the beach with Michelle's daughter, Simone
Just samples of the architecture around Melbourne
Intercontinental Hotel- fabulous Loved the old and new contrast
So many lively streets
The graffiti was fascinating and interesting how American politics influences
Of course I liked this shop Melbourne Central shopping plaza
As we were luxuriating in a posh hotel for the night, we arranged to have dinner at B'Churrasco (a Brazlian restaurant) located near downtown Melbourne and as good fortune would be with us, our friend from Sydney, Adriana, was in town for her work and found a way to join us. Before we indulged in the Brazilian food, Gerson, Michelle and I stopped of at a rooftop bar (Vue De Monde) for a quick drink and a spectacular view of the city.
Views from Vue De Monde
Being in the fun moment, I missed
taking photos of our time at B'Churrasco and of Adriana, but the memories are
still with us.
Walking home from dropping Adriana off at her hotel - beautiful city at night
We spent our morning at the Queen
Victoria Market and then back to the hills to enjoy the afternoon amongst the
trees and to watch a gorgeous sunset from Michelle's back patio.
Queen Victoria Market One of many beautiful sunsets
We decided to spend a day close to home and of course, that meant us catching Puffing Billy going by the house. This historical preserved steam railway is a tourist, and I suspect, local favorite and like Cinderoo, he chugs his way uphill in style. We took a bit of a walk from Clematis into Emerald (the nearest town) and just enjoyed a very pleasant day.
Just a nice walk in the hills
Clematis train depot - so cute
Michelle's homestead has a variety of
winged visitors and one very interested cat, Bella, a beautiful Burmese that is
quite the personality. Although she would have loved to collect a feather
or two, she had to be content with her imagination.
My favorites, the Crimson Rosellas Kookaburra sitting on a kookaburra and having the feeling of being watched
Sulpher Crested Cockatoo Good luck Bella
Before we arrived, a very
large blackwood tree branch fell off Michelle's tree and she had to have the
tree removed. As such, a huge mound of mulch and a significant batch of
logs were stacked in her backyard. Fortunately, her daughter (Natalie) and
son-in-law (Adrian) and his friends wanted the wood and came over to haul off
the spoils. That was a great opportunity for us make a bit of Brazilian
feijoada (black beans and pork) and other fixins for the family. I was
enjoying myself so much that I again forgot to take many pictures, but I took away great memories.
Beautiful countryside around Clematis Adrian and friends working on the wood pile
We were fortunate that the weather was mild for the two weeks we stayed at Michelle's place as Melbourne is known for its having four seasons in one day. We took the time and weather opportunity to paint Cinderoo and ready her for her new 'campanions'. As we are a month from finishing our drive-about of Australia, we will be selling Cinderoo upon reaching Perth. We wanted to spruce her up by giving her a fresh exterior appearance and brighten up her interior a bit as well.
My supervisor, Bella
One beautiful animal
Loved this view from Michelle's kitchen
We were able to complete the painting
and finish a few maintenance repairs before rains did come in earnest and we
were happy with the results. Although, we only lightened the 'vanilla'
color and better matched the teal stripe to the curtains, Cinderoo looked ready
for her advertisement debut.
Before After Before After
Before Afer Interior after
We did take up a lot of time with the
cleaning and painting of Cinderoo and as Michelle does work after all, our time
together was best spent in preparing delicious meals and spending time just
enjoying this wonderful newish friendship. In keeping with the foodie
feel, we had a fantastic goodbye dinner at Elevation in Emerald. We wished
we could have stayed a bit longer as John was to arrive from China in several
days, but alas, Cinderoo was getting restless and we needed to continue our
Dinner at Elevation Bella was very comfortable with my company
Sometimes, just being with friends and people you enjoy is the best part of traveling and these past several weeks, from Brisbane to Melbourne, sure proved that point. Now, we are off to find Adelaide and as our luck will have it, more friends with which to meet.
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