Melbourne – The Dandenongs & Yarra Glen
Scrubbing in new rubbers
Between paperwork, lawyer’s office appointments and the consulate, I managed to find and book in to replace the old and in with the new rubbers for the Lawnmower. I was also gearing up for a longer stint away as I had lodged the main documents that I needed to present for an application – this meant that the processing time would be anywhere between 1-3 months. I wasn’t going to be sitting about looking at my bellybutton fluff for that time, hence looking towards a bigger ride further west, north-west towards South Australia.
Sitting in coffee shops, and libraries to use wifi, I started plotting potential roads and places that I wanted to check out. I knew I had some time up my sleeve, but there could also be the possibility that the consulate would call me for an interview to review my application within short notice. Due to this I could go touring but had to be within a 2 day ride back to Melbourne, which was about my only constraint at the moment.
Didn’t take long in the waiting room to get back the Lawnmower with his new shoes. During that time I was looking at google maps on my phone of where to go and miss the on-and-off rain clouds. Where did it look nice? Or fairly clear? The Dandenongs and surrounding hinterland it was!
What better way to scrub your new rubbers than to head towards some Melbourne hinterland mountains and ‘get lost’? And get lost I did! A few times, plenty of U turns and even into dirt roads… But none the less, still had fun in the sun, was down to only 2 thick layers and this unhurried ride gave me a chance to work on my almost non-existent navigating skills. Generally I only follow a line on the phone’s map… Amazing what there is to discover when you get lost…
The first stop was Mt Dandenong – Sky High Dandenong. Looked good on the map and I read that there was a coffee shop / restaurant at the top with a nice lookout – . That was good enough for me. What I didn’t know is that there is a $2 cover charge to get in (?!!). However on this day, I managed to skip the entry fee due to having to fumble underneath so many layers with gloves on to get my wallet out! Since I didn’t realise that there was a cover charge, I didn’t have the cash prepared. And after so much fumbling, and cars piling up behind me, the booth attendant worked out that my $2 was not going to make much difference – and waved me on. Ha! Take that establishment! LoL. Just goes to show that so many of these tourist places really like to fleece people more than they need. Anyhow, any small favours are to be thankful for 🙂
The view was nice from the lookout and much reminded me of Mt Cootha in Brisbane, although much bigger. I can see how this place would be nice to come to on a Sunday arvo for a cuppa and piece of cake, while overlooking the vistas. However, due to the amount of traffic getting up here, it’s something I wouldn’t do every weekend. Time to move on.
On one of those ‘getting lost’ moments, on a random road, it was a thrill for me to be able to see the nature’s seasonal changing colours in all her glory. With autumn evidently on display. The display of oranges, reds and yellows between lush greens is just stunning! These are the moments that I wish I had a much, much better camera to capture this in all the technicolour. ❤
These parts of Melbourne seem to me to be a bit upper class judging by the types of houses, yard plantings and manicured laws. There’s always a big presence of yard sculptures and art. I gives it a nice flavour for when riding but I wouldn’t want all the city to be like this – not enough diversity otherwise.
Warburton to Healesville via Archeron’s Gap (Archeron Way) was partly gravel. Doh! Not was I was intending for such fresh tyres, but this meant the rubbers were now nicely scrubbed in. Luckily the gravel was only a short few kms and it was in good condition – hardly any pot holes and the dust was kept down by yesterday’s rain. It was rather pretty and the twisties just before and after the gravel section were tight and no cars about – just what the doc ordered! Only issue was the number of wallabies around, and I had at least 2 jump out in front of me from the understorey. A couple of little scares to make sure you’re still awake on the bike.
Last but not least, my last (fortunate) wrong turn, took me to a very decadent place…. A chocolate factory along the Old Warburton Rd. Yum! I was able to add another BIG thing to my collection: The chocolate bar.
Chocolate being my favourite I was a definite excited little puppy. The great thing about this place is that you get to see a lot of free stuff (perfect for touring on a budget). They have a nice garden and café, they have a window into their factory to see how the chocolates are hand crafted.
There are little demos put on by the servers and then… the best bit…. Free tastings!! Get in ma belly!!
I sneakily went back for a second try, and made sure the person handing out the free chocolate dots was not the same that had served me previously. Which meant a success in being able to sample both the milk and dark dots. *fist pump* It’s the small things that count 😉
The temperatures were starting to drop again as the sun was getting lower on the horizon. Mission accomplished – new tyres, then scrubbed in and checked out some other wonderful new places! Went back to my accommodation to thrown on the bag rack on the Lawnmower, and pack for a departure towards South Australia in the morning.