We have been doing a significant amount of travel of late but I don't have any photos to share from my travels. My sister
is my main photographer which is awesome, and although we spend most of our time together, unfortunately she can't accompany me on every excursion as a personal photographer (sponsors welcomed!). I do a fair amount of travel especially accompanying The Captain on work trips. This last fortnight has been non-stop travel around the state.
A while back I mentioned some of the difficulties in travelling with a baby and finding places to feed and change a newborn whilst trying to shelter from the summer heat. Last week our trip to Swan Hill was much easier than our first trip because the weather was milder. It also helps that I am now more confident, experienced and Roo is older and more used to travelling (To be honest, The Captain does more complaining on these trips now than Roo ever did).
We have done many trips around Regional Victoria with The Captain with his usual work travel destinations being Hamilton, Horsham, Warrnambool, Ballarat, Castlemaine, Bendigo, Echuca, Swan Hill, Mildura and Shepparton. We have also stayed on the Bellarine Peninsula over Christmas with family, as well as some weekends away in Torquay, Yarra Valley, Geelong, and a number of stays in Melbourne too.
All of these trips have been in the car and all have been fairly manageable although on our first trip to Mildura, Roo was teething and refused to sleep in the car resulting in two very tired, grumpy parents. The last two Mildura visits have been without a hiccup. Well at least not from Roo anyway (I may have accidentally flooded the kitchen in the hotel in Mildura last week whilst preparing Roo’s bedtime bottle….).
Initially travelling with Roo was quite stressful. Suddenly adding a baby to your travel means packing additional luggage you never needed before and struggling to fit everything into your car. Even having purchased an SUV to accommodate for the extra baggage it is still a struggle. I worry about whether to pack extra nappies, toys or food and hate the hassle of re-packing your luggage and trying to fit it into the car when moving to the next location. Now that we are well practiced our main concern moves to other things such as where to visit, shop or eat while The Captain is at work.
Every city or town we visit is beautiful in its own way and each time we visit we discover new and interesting things.
Castlemaine is a favourite spot for The Captain. I have enjoyed going there since I was young as my Grandpa always loves to visit the big shed. I have no idea what the store is actually called, but it resembles a giant shed and is filled with antiques, hardware and plenty of miscellaneous items. I dare not go there with Roo just yet. We usually take a drive or walk up to the old gaol. The views from the Governors Café at the top of the gaol are magnificent. Every time we visit I feel as if the landscape around us has changed. Autumn is the most beautiful time to visit but seeing the view in every season is wonderful. In winter the landscape is covered in thick fog and usually clears to a crisp but bright sunny morning. The walk to the top (especially with a pram) is a big workout, but makes the view even more enjoyable on arrival.
Ballarat and Bendigo usually involve a lake walk. Lake Weeroona in Bendigo is smaller than Lake Wendouree in Ballarat and is not as windy. The landscape changes every season and I enjoy getting a cup of tea to take on our stroll or sitting on the deck at the Boardwalk Cafe. Usually at Lake Weeroona, Roo and I make our way to the northern end in front of the rowing club to sit and watch the locals sail their radio controlled model sailboats. Roo entertains the local gents with his big grins as they show off their boats. In Bendigo, I also adore Eaglehawk, which is a pretty little historic village (an outer suburb of Bendigo) that has a lovely and brisk walk to nearby Lake Neangar and Lake Tom Thumb. These lakes are bigger than Weeroona, quieter with less pedestrian traffic and also look magical in the early morning no matter the season. Funnily people often look at me surprised when I mention we are headed to Eaglehawk – but it’s often that visitors see things with different eyes than locals.
Currently Roo and I have been enjoying watching the lakes change over from winter to spring. Although autumn is always beautiful, there is a certain sense of anticipation when the odd tree starts to develop soft pink buds on its branches and we notice more and more signets and ducklings on each visit.
Enjoying the seasons whilst out walking in the different picturesque towns of Victoria has become an unexpected highlight while on family leave. Having a little man to share it with while The Captain is at work just makes the whole experience that much more special.
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