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,
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.
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
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.
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