Sunday, February 19, 2006 - Lake Eildon Tubing and Mt. Buller

7:00 a.m. I woke up early today at the lake house to the insistent calls of the kookaburras. It was either kookaburras or a pack of hyenas -- I can't be sure -- but they sure were noisy. I went outside and looked for them, but all I saw were the quiet, colorful rosellas.

#########

Lake Eildon

This morning Dean and Catherine put Catherine's father's powerful little speedboat on the lake and took Tom and me tubing. It was the perfect day for it, sunny and calm. The water was warm and wonderful and the scenery terrific. Great fun! I had a spectacular wipeout on the tube, but I was no worse for the wear.

#########

Wheeeee...

#########

Tom's turn to tube

Choco can't stand it when Dean jumps out of the boat to go swimming, so Dean threw Choco in so they could both be together. They make a cute pair.

#########

Nice day for a swim

We returned to the house for sandwiches, and in the afternoon we took a long, winding road to Mt. Buller, where a 15-minute walk leads to a fire-spotter's hut on the summit at 1,805 meters (5,922 feet). As dry as it's been here, the fire-spotter has a critical job! From the summit we had a dramatic 360-degree view of the Australian Alps. The only drawback was the thick cloud of flies. Dean and I each swallowed one, just inhaled it straight down.

#########

Fire-spotter's hut, Mt. Buller

#########

Australian Alps

Dean and Catherine hiked to the rocky summit of Mt. Buller in their "thongs," or flip-flops. I've heard them called thongs before, but when Catherine asked us earlier if we had thongs just before we went out on the boat, Tom and I immediately thought "nobody wants to see that," before quickly realizing that of course she was referring to sandals. In Australia, flip-flops are worn almost everywhere, almost all the time, by almost everyone. They are indispensable apparel, and every Aussie has a dozen pair. I find them uncomfortable and impossible to walk in. I could never pass for a native.

#########

Hiking in flip-flops

Returning to Lilydale, we stopped for take-away at a fish 'n chips place near Dean and Catherine's home. Instead of fish, I opted for a steak sandwich and Tom a burger. They were both pretty average and pretty greasy, but we were hungry and they did the job. For the most part we've found Aussie serving sizes to be far smaller than what you get in the U.S., but one order of "chips" (fries, of course) is enough for a family of four! This was our last night with Dean and Catherine, but we still had one night in Australia to go.

#########

Gnomes only!

 

Continue to Day 8

Australia & New Zealand Journal Main Page

Tom Goetz's Homepage

Sign our guestbook

View our guestbook