Archive for March, 2014

March 10, 2014

10 Mar 2014 Olinda to home

Really didn’t want to come home today. We’ve had a relaxing break in a great part of the world. Breakfast provisions came in handy again this morning. Packed up the car and went to look around Sassafras. It’s been so busy on the other days we couldn’t get anywhere to park. Lots of quirky shops very similar to Olinda and a plant nursery. Although Peter wasn’t impressed with that. Then off to the William Ricketts Sanctuary. That’s another peaceful oasis in the Dandenong Ranges. Not very big but well worth a look with sculptures of aboriginal people dotted around the park. 

Will have to start planning our next break!

March 9, 2014

9 March 2014 Olinda

Had breakfast in today with the provisions left by Frank and Sue. Fresh bread, jam, cereals, juice, tea or coffee. Eased our way into Sunday and off to the National Rhododendron Garden for a look. No rhodos out yet but there’s certainly a lot of them. Did the round-trip 3km walk with a few stops at handy seats on the way. It was very quiet with not many other people wandering around. Great views and an enormous variety of trees and plants. Even a row of cherry trees. Not sure how they made it in. Will need to go back in spring. It will be spectacular then.

Peter stayed at Balangara for a rest while I walked into Olinda for another look. Not sure what’s going on with the service in cafes here but I waited about 3/4 hour for a vege wrap at Olinda Cafe. When it didn’t come I complained and the staff said it was missed! They did it straight away then and refunded my money. The service around here is ridiculous. Looked around the shops but most things are too expensive to catch my eye for buying. I keep thinking I could probably make things better!

March 8, 2014

8 March 2014 Olinda to Mt Dandenong to Wantirna

After a relaxing start to the day we go up Mt Dandenong to the Sky High Restaurant for breakfast. Great views and the weather is looking good. Unfortunately the breakfast leaves a bit to be desired. Not many in for the meal but we wait for ages just to get drinks. Peter’s big breakfast is under his usual high standard. I get a bowl of crunchy granola that’s enough for 3 people with yoghurt that’s not even cold. The small jug of milk I ordered was not enough to wet the mountain of grain that’s presented. Oh well, we won’t go there for dinner on Sunday night as planned. 

Off to a gem show in Wantirna. Saw it advertised in the local paper. It was too good an opportunity to miss. We weren’t disappointed. It was well patronised and very similar to bead shows I’ve been to. Most of the stalls had raw gemstones in a spectacular range of sizes and colours. There were some bead stalls but I didn’t see anything I really wanted to buy. Peter had a mild interest in it as he used to tumble gems when he was younger. 

Sassafras was too busy to stop and look around in so we kept going and had a late lunch in Olinda. Then back to Balangara for a rest!

Tonight we are off to the Cuckoo Restaurant for dinner.

March 8, 2014

7 March 2014 Melbourne to Olinda

Picked up Peter in the city and drove to Olinda in about an hour – not long at all. Our accommodation, Balangara, at 500 Mount Dandenong Tourist Rd is a little piece of heaven. It’s secluded down a steep hill with tall trees and tree ferns surrounding the quaint 1950s style two-bedroom cottage. There’s even a creek at the bottom of the block. Next door is the Cuckoo Restaurant and a little further along the road lies the village of Olinda.

Frank and Sue greet us when we arrive and show us our home away from home. Everything we need for a very comfortable stay. I take a walk into Olinda and explore what’s left of the shops open on Friday night. Mangana takes all my attention with its eclectic mix of old and new bits and pieces.

It’s a lot cooler here than in Melbourne and Peter hasn’t even got a jacket! Off to Copperfields for dinner which is about a 10-minute walk away. It’s a little pricey but Peter says his steak was one of the best he’s tried. I had the rockling which was also good. 

March 1, 2014


Last Saturday (22 Feb) I had a tickle in my throat. Also had a headache but not too bad. It will go away, won’t it?

Well no it won’t! I am so sick of being sick. If I do any more than try to get to the toilet I cough my guts up. Slowly, from last Saturday the cough has got worse. So bad that for a while I couldn’t lie flat and sleep. It had to be sitting up, which is not very restful.

By Tuesday I had gone to see a doctor. Well, she scared the pants off me by saying it could be whooping cough! That meant I could be contagious and was in quarantine. No work for the rest of the week. No word until yesterday (28 Feb) about whether I really had whooping cough or not. I don’t. But that’s neither here nor there. I am still coughing my guts up. At least I’m not infecting anyone else now after the massive doses of antibiotics I had to swallow.

To make matters worse I think the infection has gone to my chest. I’m now wheezing and that’s not good for someone who gets asthma. Do I go back to the doctor on Monday? Or slog it out at work? I should be looking forward to a long Labour day weekend away. Friday off, three days in Olinda in the Dandenong Ranges. Haven’t been there for a long time.

Stay tuned on the outcome.