Archive for September, 2013

September 30, 2013

30 September 2013 On the way home from Warburton

Woke up to an extremely windy day in Warburton. I was worried about whether I could ride the Lilydale to Warburton rail trail or would have to get the bus again! It turned out the wind was in my favour for most of the way. I took a lot of short breaks and took in the scenery. It really is spectacular. So green and many birds to see along the way. Lots of ducks as well as parrots. There were a few crazy people riding the other way to me. I made good time and got to Wandin where I had lunch at 11.30am after leaving at 9am. Great cafe just off the rail trail. Took 3/4 hour to gather some strength for the rest of the journey after a chicken and salad sandwich and two coffees. Reached Lilydale in time to get the 1.10pm train to Flinders St. Just caught the Williamstown train by a few seconds. So glad I didn’t have to wait. Much better than the journey to Lilydale!

September 30, 2013

29 Sep 2013 Warburton

Feeling much better today after my ordeal yesterday. Dinner last night at the Riverview Cafe was great. Vege pizza and baked cheesecake (I know my resistance is down). 

Was up early (unusual for me on a Sunday) and watched three or four different parrots eating the seed I had left them in the bird feeder on the balcony last night. It’s obvious that they look for it. There was seed provided in the accommodation for the birds to munch on. What a treat. They are so gorgeously coloured that it is only when they are up close you can truly appreciate them. Bright greens, blues and reds.

This morning I rode to the Millgrove Market not far along the rail trail. It is much better weather than yesterday. The wind has died down and the sun is peeping out. I sat in the sun at the Millgrove Bakery and had coffee and an egg and bacon sandwich. It wasn’t greasy at all. Really enjoyed it. 

Browsed the market which is mostly secondhand goods but some stalls of jewellery and clothing. I bought a soft floaty black and white scarf and a silver and black double strand stretchy bracelet that would be good to copy. Total of $9 was a bargain. 

Rode back along the rail trail to Glenbrook House. Trying to sort out the GoPro card which says it is full. I have pulled a heap of stuff off and it is still not co-operating. It works okay in my camera! Off for a walk now then lunch.

From Glenbrook Rd I turned right into Station Rd, turned left at the police station and left into Warburton Hwy. Crossed the swing bridge and left along the Yarra River beside Dammans Rd. Walked to where I stayed last time at Clematis Cottage on the corner of Martyr Rd. Didn’t see it advertised when I was looking for accommodation this time. Crossed the Mayer Bridge and past the tennis court where the swing bridge is. Beside Thomas Ave there were ducks cavorting in the water. They are quite spectacular when they land and also very cute. Went on further past the Brisbane Bridge (for cars) and the Bramich Bridge near Warburton Reserve and children’s playground. On a little further there is a spectacular clutch of Californian redwood trees dated circa 1922. It is so unexpected and unusual. As I pass there are other walkers admiring them. They are truly special. On the opposite side of the fence towards the Warburton Hwy there is a great expanse of land for the Redwood Community Centre. Further along the river path is the Redwood bridge made out of redwood. The path stops at the Signs Bridge (cars) on the Warburton Hwy side but continues on the other side past more tennis courts to barbecues on Woods Point Rd where it crosses the river again and comes back on Riverside Drive. I go back to the Redwood Bridge and cross to the far side where I enjoy the scenery from the opposite side of the river. Back across the Brisbane Bridge to the shopping centre. A brief stop at the Waterwheel information and on to the Cog Cafe for lunch.

The Cog Cafe is perched near the end of the Lilydale to Warburton Rail trail and today is packed with diners. It is ideally situated under many shady trees with dappled sunlight. There are many people – walkers and bikers alike – making full use of the lunchtime menu. I order a chicken and pear wrap and my usual skinny cappuccino and perch myself inside, near the open window. It is a great place to watch people coming and going. 

Back to Glenbrook Cottage to make the most of the sun-filled balcony to watch the multi-coloured parrots feed while I read the paper. Ah bliss! There is a large green parrot with an orange belly on the bird feeder at the moment. Later two sulphur-crested cockatoos were balancing on the bird feeder.

Took a walk up Highfield Rd, which overlooks the Warburton shopping centre. Boinga Bobs house/workshop is a sight to see. It is a mishmash of wood and rope and whatever else they could get their hands on fashioned into a workshop on one side of the road and a house (I think) on the other. Best viewed from the walking track in between Highfield Rd and the shopping centre. It might account for the few hippies I’ve seen dressed like it’s still the 1960s!

Off to Wild Thyme for dinner tonight. Not much open on a Sunday. I had pumpkin penne which was like soup. Not the greatest. The waitress was new and wasn’t familiar with the menu. It was like intruding on someone’s house. Very weird.

September 28, 2013

28 Sep 2013 Newport to Lilydale to Warburton

What a day it has been! Left home to catch the 8.30 train to Parliament station. Changed platforms and got the Lilydale train. So far so good. Get myself settled in the last carriage and look at all the info I have on the Lilydale area. At Blackburn station an announcement says that the train is going back to Flinders St. Everyone out please! There is a signal failure and we are stuck here. Buses will be called but I won’t be able get on any bus with my bike. What to do?!

Only thing I can do is keep going. The maps on my phone come in very handy. The easiest way to go is on Whitehorse Rd (Maroondah Fwy) but I know it will be too busy. Riding on the footpath and service roads if I can is slow going. Blackburn is 20km from Lilydale. It’s do-able. 

There is a strong westerly wind which is blowing me along. Eventually I run out of footpath and cross the highway to find more footpath. There is a small bike path marked but it runs out in a few minutes. I end up walking on grass pushing past the undergrowth close to the road. Eventually there is another service road but it’s mostly uphill! Then it starts to rain. Can it get much worse? A runner overtakes me. God I am really slow! I go down a path but realise it’s to a creek and I won’t be able to cross it. It’s also very steep and I don’t fancy getting up the other side. The runner comes to my rescue and shows me an easier way. 

Finally I make it to Lilydale at 12.30pm after leaving the train at about 10.30pm. I find a cafe and gratefully sit down for some lunch. It’s easy to linger and I have another coffee and a piece of cake (I deserve it!). It’s about 1.15pm when I leave. 

Finding the Warburton Rail Trail is much easier this time. It is clearly marked and I ride around the high school and to the Warburton Hwy overpass. By this time I am already puffed. I don’t fancy my chances of getting to Warburton before dark at this rate. 

Back to Lilydale station and hopefully the bus will take me to Warburton. It’s school holidays and there are plenty of teenagers around. I look a bit odd waiting for the bus with a bike. Just to make sure I’m not on a wild goose chase I ask one of the bus drivers if they can take bikes. When he says yes I feel so relieved. Only problem is you have to open the hatch and put your bike under the bus yourself! It takes a bit of manoeuvring and I have to put it in back wheel first. Shove in the panniers and jump on the bus at 1.50pm. It takes about 45 minutes and I ask the bus driver to drop me at the Patchwork Teahouse. It’s the only landmark I remember. All my maps are under the bus! 

Of course, as soon as I get off the bus it starts raining again! Oh well, it shouldn’t be far to Glenbrook Cottage. Across the highway and under the railtrail gets me to Station Rd. Good start. Glenbrook Rd is off Station Rd. Unfortunately the only way is up. Lugging two full panniers is not much fun. Not too far along is Glenbrook Rd, a dirt track uphill! 

Glenbrook Cottage is not far up (thankfully) and even in the rain it’s a delight to see. It’s a very pretty little house overlooking the mountains. Two bedrooms, a light-filled lounge with a balcony, bathroom (with a bath) and large well fitted kitchen. I panic a bit when I see the instructions on how to light a fire. Not my forte but I give it a go and leave it to catch while I have a shower. It’s out by the time I get back. If’ I’d looked a bit further I would have seen the control for the heater on the wall. Thank goodness I won’t freeze tonight.

Time for a walk to the shops for some supplies. The supermarket is at the far end of the shopping centre. I have a restorative cup of tea and vanilla slice at the bakery on the way back. The shops are bare of people. Everyone is watching the grand final. I browse the few shops that are still open. Seems Warburton has gone upmarket since I was last here. Plenty more options for dinner though. Last time it was pizza or nothing!

The Riverview Cafe is open until 10.30pm so I think I’ll try there. They also have free wifi so I can catch up with the outside world. I think my phone is a bit waterlogged and not working properly. Hopefully it dries out.

At the Riverview Cafe now and guess what I’m having – pizza!