Meandering Journey from sw to Central Victoria ——–and Home Again

We set off for our animal minding duties in Castlemaine in the early afternoon driving first to Mortlake. Here we bought home made meat and veggie pies from Celtic Cottage and drove on to Woorndoo before they were cool enough to eat. Next stop Lake Bolac a tranquil place even when dry, certainly not the situation this time.Image

We reached Castlemaine just on dark and were checked out by the two dogs and two cats we were to mind, almost as if we were strangers. Next day it was Frank who received all the strict feeding and walking instructions. That night we ate delicious curry at the Stable in Guildford, an early birthday celebration for Genevieve and I. Castlemaiine 002

Our favourite and most often visited place is the Botanic Gardens with majestic old trees and a lake complete with ducks. Lots of changes had taken place since our last visit there; old structures had been renovated and a wonderful adventure playground had been created. Castlemaiine 009As I often do I wished adults were more welcome in these  exciting playgrounds, Castlemaiine 006not just those with the excuse of children to supervise. I couldn’t resist the huge magic mirror which changed one’s image as it was spun around.

We visited the rough ironbark forest at Kalimna Park and saw near there what turned out to be the best sunset of our stay.Castlemaiine 003 I had expected to see several of these from Genevieve’s deck but weather didn’t oblige too often. Thus we spent many cosy hours indoors with the cats while Frank ensured the dogs didn’t miss out on two walks a day.

We had a couple of drives to Maldon, and from there to Mt Tarrengower, shrouded in mist. Castlemaiine 011

We drove over to Cairn Curran like an inland sea with its small waves and all. Castlemaiine 001   If I lived in this area I would be so dependent on this place as a substitute for the sea now so close to home. In winter it could almost suffice but what about summer with  lower volume of water in the reservoir?

Vertigo too caused me to lie low and not attempt the two train trips I had planned to Melbourne and Bendigo respectively. I forced myself to walk each day though and it was after one such walk I decided to seek out a doctor about this vertigo. As strangers we went into a clinic I had often noticed and before I knew it the diligent , caring Indian doctor had me in hospital!

Time out I hadn’t planned for but Castlemaine hospital was a pleasant, caring place where I received physiotherapy for my ailment and lots of care and attention.Castlemaiine 025

Doctor wanted a ct scan done in Bendigo so we drove there and I got my trip to Bendigo after all. Driving around the city for Frank wasn’t nearly as daunting as we’d expected and I loved reacquainting myself with the lovely old buildings and statues;Bendigo 003 and even got a little lost in the rain forest area of the beautiful parkBendigo 006 bordering the CBD. I certainly won’t hesitate to drive to Bendigo next time we are in Castlemaine.

That night the kind doctor visited me back in the hospital yet again and pointed out that the scan showed there was some inflammation in  bone of my inner ear that could well be the cause of my vertigo. He would have liked me to go to Bendigo Hospital to see ENT specialist and have a MRI but it was close to the days of Genevieve’s arrival home and our return home so I assured doctor I would continue the process back home although I knew this would not be nearly so streamlined.

So back to Genevieve’s  and to colourful Wesley Hill market next morning, another favourite place. We bought delicious food and coffee to take across the road to the diggings in Forest Creek where I delighted in walking the beautiful labyrinth Castlemaiine 016that seemed a reflection of the journey we had been on. I panicked when I couldn’t make my way out and had to scramble over a rock!

That afternoon we saw ‘Satellite Boy’ in the historic

Theatre Royal Theatre Royal sitting on a leather couch with a foot stool. I was so relieved to get to see one of the films I had planned on seeing.  Sarah arrived then and we celebrated our mutual birthdays a week early with takeaway Indian and cake.

Next afternoon we headed towards Daylesford also on the Must Visit list and at least got to Mt Franklin, and stopped there,  before the rain set in again and we turned back.  We detoured a little to Vaughan Springs,Castlemaiine 023 poetic place and filled our empty bottles with mineral water. I reflected what a lovely cool place this is in summer.

That night we saw the first showing of ‘Cloudburst’, the other film I didn’t want to miss.

Genevieve arrived home late that night. Next day I tried on lovely garments for summer.Castlemaiine 004 and we packed for departure next day. Genevieve had to cancel the meal out that would have been the birthday celebration because of a bug she had brought back from Thailand, and which incidentally we picked up and brought home to Koroit!

The journey home was slow and pleasant, a spider in my knickers giving me surprise in Carisbrook, and two of Avoca’s famous pies for our lunch giving sustenance. After Ararat we came close to the source of then Hopkins and would have travelled  close to the river for the rest of our journey, seeing it again in Ellerslie where it flowed under Victoria’s oldest surviving timber bridge.Castlemaiine 031

It was dark when we reached home but fine conditions meant an easy drive. There was the pile of mail to sort through, hws to switch on, and our own bed waiting!

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