Dandanongs – Sunday 8th and Monday 9th January 2012


The Dandenongs are friends of mine, although they’re rather small (many apologies to the Night Garden and Derek Jacobi for this) But if you get there early, they are hardly there at all! Mostly because of low cloud.

I know anyone without a child under 5 will look at this and wonder! Believe me In The Night Garden in a a bizarre programme with tombliboos and pontipines – seriously, they should also have Dandanongs.

I digress!

We arrived at 8.30 in the morning. The Dandanong National Park is full of the tallest trees, (maybe red gum) and home to many cockatoos. We’ve not really seen many cockatoos since Queensland. Their screech is raucous and their flight beautiful and bold. Please never capture them and make them sit on perches all day long.

This is a centre for cycling. It would seem that an early breakfast in a cosy cafe followed by a strenuous cycle is the order of the day for many. It’s a densely wooded area, with double bends and steep roads. Many of the villages have lovely boutique shops. It’s the first time I’ve seen such good quality toy shops full of wonderful puppets and wooden toys. There are also many many cafes.

For us it rained, and rained. The cloud was so low that at one point we pulled up to ‘look out’ and could only see cloud!

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Eventually the cloud lifted to reveal the scene. But it soon returned to cloud again. At times when we drove around we could only see 50 meters ahead.

It occupied our morning well. This afternoon we resumed our travel status, by moving into the Stay Safe motel, and then popped back to my friend’s house to thank him for such kindness over the last few weeks.

How wonderful it was to talk to someone who had a history with me. To be able to refer back, make ‘in’ jokes, talk about mutual interests. Perhaps that’s the one thing I really miss when traveling. Being with friends for a long chat over life.

In the evening we returned to the pier at St Kilda to say ‘goodbye’ to the penguins.

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We ended our day with another photo competition. Who could take the best moon photos?

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