Sunday, September 24, 2006

Romantic Holiday! (Day 1)

Yesterday we had a very full and fulfilling day. We stayed Friday night in a motel in Hamilton where I was to preach on Sabbath morning. After attending Sabbath School with the little flock in Hamilton and preaching we headed out to the southern Grampians for a hike.
Jenny has always loved the Grampians and wanted to climb a mountain. So we did!
As we were nearing the town of Dunkeld Jenny kept saying we need to stop somewhere to get some boiled water (most petrol stations have coffee machines with free hot water!) so that she could cook up our instant soup to give us some energy for the trip up the mountain. Finally when we got to Dunkeld she asked again and I said, “’I have food you know nothing about’—to quote a friend of mine.” She looked at me with a incredulous expression. When we stopped at a picnic area I produced an entire picnic hamper and she couldn’t fathom where it had come from! What a great surprise! ☺
I had asked the head elder of Hamilton to arrange a picnic lunch and gave him a budget. I reimbursed him and collected the lunch from his wife when Jenny wasn’t looking. And what a great lunch it was! Delicious.

After our lunch we climbed Mount Sturgeon—a 7km round trip hike that ascends 343 meters from the carpark to an amazing abutment of rocks that overlooks the valley in a panoramic 360 degree vista. It was truly amazing.

The first 1.5km was relatively flat and wandered through a surreal plain that had recently been burnt.

It felt like we were on a different planet walking through blackened terrain.

The sun came out from behind the clouds for the full time we were at the top and we enjoyed it’s warmth while resting on the cliff top!

We managed to accomplish the entire climb, with a 10 minute pause at the top, in just over two hours.

After returning to the carpark we drove to Warnambool, then down the Great Ocean Road. The sun had been hiding for most of the day, only peeking out when it was absolutely needed. It emerged about 30 minutes before sunset and we were able to watch it descend over the Bay of Islands and finally watch it set from the Loch Ard Gorge.
We finished our drive to Apolo bay and arrived at Whitecrest at about 9pm. A day well spent!

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