Well, a month.
I’ve had a couple of trips since the last post – just outings, I guess you’d call them. One was to Williamstown, which I had initially thought to travel to by ferry, but as it was very windy on the day I decided to go, I went by train, which was quicker (and cheaper). Unfortunately, the wind was cold, so any plans to eat my fish and chips in the park went by the wayside.
I get ahead of myself.
Exiting the train station I walked in the wrong direction for heading south to the seaside, or to Port Gellibrand coastal heritage park, to be exact. It was a roundabout route instead, past an interesting hotel with a Titanic theme.
The park was more barren than expected – just a huge grassed area with a timeball at one end.
I walked about two-thirds of the way then sat on the other side of the road overlooking the sea. I saw birds on rocks and with my camera identified them as cormorants.
The seagulls were fun to watch as well,
and the container ships in the distance.
I wandered back towards the shopping area, spying a Willie Wagtail hassling a raven (must have been a nest nearby). The raven wasn’t at all bothered.
I wandered out onto the pier. It was a pretty strong wind.
It was early for lunch, but the cold wind made me want some hot fish and chips at the renowned fish and chippery. I sat out in the sheltered part behind the shop and protected my food from a persistent seagull (who I was just about to take a photo of when someone shooed it away).
It was a huge serving and very tasty. I couldn’t finish all the chips.
I headed over the road to the information centre and grabbed a few brochures on walks around Williamstown. I like visiting local botanic gardens so headed that way.
It was a small botanic garden but pleasant
There were a lot of dragonflies around – I’d never seen so many.
I kept going towards the attractive beach, sat for a while and observed people, then walked to Williamstown beach train station. There were a lot of secondary school kids on the platform so I headed to the carriage at the front and avoided them. It had been a pleasant day.
The second, more recent, outing was by car with C and W to Daylesford and Castlemaine. Earlier in the year I had wanted to go to Castlemaine by train but then winter set in. C wanted to go to Daylesford on the way. W drove but wanted a coffee before we got there so we stopped at Macedon, a little village at the foot of Mount Macedon. It was a sweet little place.
We sat in the warm sun and had our drinks (it was wonderful to finally feel some warmth, such a crap spring it’s been).
Onto Daylesford and parked the car to wander the shops and find somewhere to eat. A nice place. I haven’t yet come across a rural town in Victoria that isn’t attractive. Maybe it’s the architecture.
We had lunch at a vegetarian place but had to wait ages for our food. I wasn’t impressed. I don’t like wasting time waiting for food. It impacted on our visit to Castlemaine. After lunch we visited the botanic gardens on Wombat Hill, and I was delighted to hear the sound of kookaburras. The sound always makes me grin. W spotted them in a tree.
That had to be the highlight of the day, really.
My initial plan for the day was to visit wineries near Castlemaine but as C is a drinker of cider, decided to visit the nearby cidery. This made us late for visiting Castlemaine but it was very pleasant in the sun with our sampler, and we liked the cider so much that C and I bought a couple of bottles each.
By the time we got to Castlemaine, it was about 4.30 – enough time to have a brief visit to the art gallery and museum. Much of the painting was modern – I’m not a great fan, preferring the more traditional landscapes.
We had a brief walk around but everything was, by now, closed. Incredibly, for some insane reason, the botanic gardens are closed in the weekends. How bizarre is that? Isn’t that the ideal time, when people have to the time to visit, to open them? Just weird.
Again, some wonderful architecture.
We headed back to Melbourne and I enjoyed the countryside. Some of it reminded me of NZ, especially on the back roads that we took.
We had dinner in a Malaysian restaurant in Flemington, then C and W dropped me home. It had been a great day.
I won’t write again until after my Asian trip.