Exploring,  Interesting Places,  Travel,  Weekend

A Romantic Interlude

Over the Easter 2019 long weekend, my Beloved and I went on a short break away from the stresses of work and home. I say “stresses”, but mostly it was Rebecca’s stresses we were getting away from. She has been working long hours at her 2 employers, and studying part-time, and she really needed a break from all that. Me? I’m not that stressed, and so didn’t particularly need the break, but it was still good to get away with Rebecca, even if just for a few days.

We dropped Eliana off an the in-laws, and the continued south towards Macclesfield, the place we would be staying for the weekend. Being a long weekend, we expected a lot of traffic on Good Friday. And on the Hume Freeway and some of the other major highways there was a considerable amount of traffic, but there was even more going the other way, and the journey was pretty stress free, mostly, and we arrived at our accommodation in Macclesfield by about 3pm. Macclesfield is a rural district, not far from Emerald, in the Dandenong Ranges, and where we stayed was very rural, being an equine training centre called Avoca Park on acreage away from the main roads, in rolling hills, with views to the distant mountains. Very serene.

Horse, Avoca Park Equine Centre, Macclesfield, Victoria.
View from Avoca Park Equine Centre, Macclesfield, Victoria.
A parrot. I think it is a Rosella.

The owner who we met asked us not to feed the dogs and cats, as they had a special diet. Fair enough. We prepared an evening meal and then this arrived where we were having our meal…

Dog! Avoca Park Equine Centre, Macclesfield, Victoria.

He obviously wanted some of our food. You may have noticed that some young children can give you a certain look to get what they want. Well, this dog seemed to have a similar ability to “work it”. With every mouthful we ate, it seemed that this intelligent creature’s face would appear a little more forlorn. But we didn’t give in to “the face”.

Living as we do in a country town, on a residential street that is not usually busy, we are accustomed to the peace and quiet. This is a good thing as it was very peaceful and very quiet where we stayed. After a good sleep, we headed off to church. This church was where I did a lot of my “growing up”. and it is where my parents still attend. Following church, we had lunch with mum and dad, and by late afternoon we had returned to our accommodation in Macclesfield. Rebecca decided that she wanted to have a “horizontal life pause” (aka, a nap), so I decided to go for a walk along some of the country roads near where we were staying. The Sabbath afternoon walk is something that enjoy often, when I can do it. And it’s always extra nice to be able to walk somewhere I have never walked before.

Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Macclesfield, Victoria.
Alpaca in a paddock, Macclesfield, Victoria.
Cows at a Trig Point, Macclesfield, Victoria.
A farm building, Macclesfield, Victoria.
Pond, Macclesfield, Victoria.
Trees of Autumn, Macclesfield, Victoria.
View of countryside and distant mountains, Macclesfield, Victoria.
Mount Dandenong towers, from Macclesfield, Victoria.
Sunset, the close of Sabbath. Macclesfield, Victoria.

After I returned to our accommodation, we had our evening meal. No dog “working it” this time. Maybe it realised we would not succumb to it’s canine wiles.

Sunday morning we discussed what to do. The discussion went like this…

Rebecca: “What do you want to do?”

Me: “I don’t mind. You choose. I am happy to do whatever you want to do.”

Rebecca: “But what do you want to do? I don’t want you to be bored.”

Me: “I really don’t mind what we do. You decide.”

I gave her some suggestions, realising she would probably not want to do anything too energetic. So we (she?) decided we would would go and have a look at the rain Forest Gallery, near Warburton in the Yarra ranges. The Rainforest Gallery is nestled into the mountains, with parking near the Mt Donna Buang road. And the walk is short but interesting. It had been a long time since I had been in a rainforest, maybe a number years. And it was really pleasant to re-acquaint myself with these ecological wonders.

Rainforest Gallery, near Warburton, Victoria.
Rainforest Gallery, near Warburton, Victoria.
Rainforest Gallery, near Warburton, Victoria.
Rainforest Gallery, near Warburton, Victoria.
Rainforest Gallery, near Warburton, Victoria.
Rainforest Gallery, near Warburton, Victoria.
Selfie of me and my Beloved. Rainforest Gallery, near Warburton, Victoria.

On one of the interpretive signs on the Rainforest Gallery, it said this:

What’s special about these old wild places?

Question: What do many Biblical characters, Knights of the Middle Ages, and Shaman and the initiation rites of many indigenous peoples have in common?

Answer: Time alone in the wilderness

Following the Rainforest Gallery we drove up to the summit of Mt Donna Buang. Rebecca ventured to the top of the lookout tower there, but I decided against it. So Rebecca can say she did something I didn’t. Then we went to the Blue Lotus Water Garden. As you would expect with a name like that, it had lots of water, and lotuses. It also had water lilies, including the largest water lilies in Australia. And the whole garden had a really Asian / tropical feel about it – very pleasant indeed.

Blue Lotus Water Garden, Launching Place, Victoria.
Blue Lotus Water Garden, Launching Place, Victoria.
Blue Lotus Water Garden, Launching Place, Victoria.
Blue Lotus Water Garden, Launching Place, Victoria.
Blue Lotus Water Garden, Launching Place, Victoria.

While at the Blue Lotus Water Garden, we saw the world’s largest Water Lily species, the Victoria Amazonica, a native of the Amazon River basic in South America. This species of water lily regularly grow lily pads over 1.2 metres in diameter and underneath the lily pads is what looks like a skeleton radiating from the centre of the pad to the outer rim which would seem to make it very strong.

Largest Water Lily species, at Blue Lotus Water Garden.

After leaving the Blue Lotus Water Garden, we went for a drive around the Dandenong Ranges, sampled some of the products of the Emerald Bakery. Then it was back to where we were staying for the weekend. The next day we drove back home, picking up Eliana on the way, and life proceeded to return back to normal.

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