Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Touching clouds, hugging earth…

Well our two families got packed up relatively quickly, but all plans of a quick take-off were thwarted by one little tiny detail…

Note to self: Don’t move car forward or backward to line up with trailer hitch without unplugging!!! :)

After a quick repair to the Anderson Plug and the Electric Brake/light plug for the trailer (thank goodness I brought an Electrician with me)…we headed off to follow the winding Murray. I really enjoyed this part of the country…and No it wasn’t just because I was driving! (Daniel has thus far been the King Of The Road!) We crossed the Hume Weir and headed into Albury to meet up with some of the Mann Family to collect their eldest son. And to have some lunch. Boy it was HOT.

We drove across the bridge into Victoria and filled our water tanks in Wodonga at the Information Centre there. They were lovely! Then we had a nostalgic drive along Prague Avenue where Daniel spent the first few years of his life. He was born here. Kind of funny that we drove the length of the street filming it, cos he wasn’t sure exactly which house was his. We know now that it was #12.

After this we headed south. Winding our way through numerous small communities overlooking the edge of the Alpine National Park. There’s a memorial in the middle of a valley, recording the crash site of a light aeroplane called “The Southern Cloud”. Apparently as a direct result of this plane going down and the fatalities of all onboard, changes were made to aviation in Australia. Planes,from that time on, were required to carry Radios (something they previously hadn’t). An interesting little story from a memorial on a Lookout in the middle of no-where.

[just a reminder…click on the photo to open it in a separate window]

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Southern Cloud lookout

About the time we reached Mount Beauty and came across a


Narrow Winding Road

NO Caravans or Articulated Vehicles Past this point…

I decided I really didn’t want to repeat the experience we had going to Jenolan Caves…as we encountered a similar sign there; ignored it and consequently I spent the rest of the day recovering from the panic attack of that drive…think sheer cliffs, skinny, winding road and one chicky seriously terrified of heights!!! Ay yi yi. So, after discussing our options with the Manns, instead of heading to Falls Creek we turned around, and headed across to The Great Alpine Road.

What an amazing experience.

We were enjoying the drive through little places like Harrietville (such a pretty spot)…and then we headed for Hotham thinking the drive there would reward us with more of the scenic views that we had already encountered…..

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Oh my Goodness! What an experience!!!

About half-way up I started taking photos to distract myself from the sheer drop beside the road.

Road to Hotham

Then we stopped at an amazing Lookout on a Bluff to take some photos and I was keeping it together, and from that moment on the earth dropped away and it was sheer on both sides….nothing but clouds! Ohhhhh boy, what an experience! We were looking down on the clouds, at an elevation of 1840m above Sea Level. And I’m embarrassed to say I was freakin’ out! Oh My!!! You’ve never seen anyone grip the dashboard like I did that day. I am still glad we did it. I’ll remember it for the rest of my life….the day we almost fell off the mountain and died!!! No, seriously….the day we conquered Hotham in our slooooowwwww vehicle pulling a heavy trailer, rolling at ohhhh 3 1/2 ton! I got Daniel to stand beside one of the orange markers that mark the side of the road for when conditions deteriorate…. Check it out…those things were so high he couldn’t even touch the top of them. I’m not sure that I want to experience those conditions pulling our camper trailer.

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I tell you what when we rounded the bend and drove into Hotham I breathed a sigh of relief. Civilisation…. And then I became aware of the suspended ski lifts sitting dormant above us and disappearing down the side of the Hill. There were so many chair lifts! It surprised me. It seems this is one of the only places in Australia you can ski from the front door of your chalet and then catch a ski/chair lift back to the front door!

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So, we were in the heart of the Victorian Ski fields with not a skerrick of snow in sight, actually there were scatterings of wildflowers here and there and lots of dead trees….and AMAZING breath-taking views in all directions…..phew. What an amazing God we have with such an extensive palette to paint with. I’m truly gobsmacked.

We didn’t stop in Hotham. We pressed on cos it was getting late and we had to set up camp and feed kids etc etc. We did so just on the other side of Hotham, at Victoria Falls Road Campsite. I didn’t actually see any Falls but I really appreciated having firm ground under my feet, and countryside on all sides that didn’t tilt away at odd angles…. It was quite a pretty spot actually. We set up, and enjoyed a hot casserole out of our Dream Pot. I am sooooo glad we made that meal before we left in the morning. It was really really good after such a harrowing day.


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