And now back to your scheduled programming. Or rather, your scheduled programmer. Today, I can actually be bothered writing my post, so you won’t be hearing from Sarah (also, the fact that she’s gone home might have something to do with this).
Being Sarah’s last day here in Melbourne, the two of us decided to do something fascinating with our time. We didn’t really know what this entailed but it certainly wasn’t sitting around in the house (although Sarah did have to pull me off the piano because I got stuck into some Beethoven while she was packing). With no certain plans, we hopped into the car and drove north, past the edge of suburbia and into that mysterious land known as Regional Victoria. We went past Hurstbridge and over the windy, cliff-edge roads to Kinglake. It’s now been over a year since the Black Saturday bushfires, and about eight months since I drove there last. A lot of the trees are still blackened, but since I went there last year, there’s been a huge change in the amount of greenery. The ground is no longer a eerie burnt black, and in places, the charred trees are overgrown with bushy green regrowth (pictured).
We drove on, making a turn into Tooyangi State Forest. We stopped so that I could take some pictures, and I accidentally electrocuted myself on an electric fence as I leaned across it to take a photo. We drove into the forest for a bit, but the dirt road was getting very muddy in the rain, it was quite dark and we were hungry; so we turned back and went to a restaurant called the Toolangi Tavern. Expecting a truck stop-type of establishment, we were surprised to find that it was very nice, with very delicious-sounding food, a fireplace and great views. We split a chicken Parmigiana and had some positively humongous sundaes (with double cream, meringues, icecream and lots of berries) by the fire while reading a book of a local poet. Also, the coffee was fantastic. Would definitely recommend the place to anybody passing through the area.
Then further onwards to Healsville, a town that seems to consist almost exclusively of op shops. Sarah bought me a doorman-style jacket with large buttons and a cream coloured shirt from a Lions’ Club shop for $20 and I bought myself a shirt from the Salvos shop for only $4! I should definitely do all my shopping out there. And then we went home, retracing our steps, singing along loudly to music (including Philadelphia Grand Jury’s cover of Jay-Z’s 99 Problems) and stopping occasionally for photography.
After a final pack-up of Sarah’s things, some tea/coffee and goodbyes, we drove to the airport, which took almost an hour in very heavy traffic. We checked in her luggage and then drove round to McDonalds for chicken nuggets and frozen Coke before a final hug goodbye. Luckily, the drive back home was much quicker and after eating some fruit with chocolate sauce and whipped cream (how healthy!), I’ve gotten around to going through all the photos from today and blogging. And here’s a map of the trip we took today: