Come Fly With Me...

>> Friday, 16 May 2008

We’ve been blazing a trail along the coast of Victoria and South Australia, taking in the Great Ocean Road, and very beautiful it all is too. The weather has been fantastic; a little chilly, but more than made up for by the same bright bright sunshine we experienced in Sydney, with the result that everything seems technicoloured. Last year I bought my first ever pair of polarised sunglasses, and was amazed by the intensity of sand, sea and sky. I even informed Husband that I might just live the rest of my life wearing them, everything looked so much nicer... Well, along this part of the coast of Australia at least, you don’t need polarised sunglasses to make everything look gorgeous – it just is.

Our plan today was to go see the 12 Apostles (I’m Catholic, how could I not?), and then take in a little-known attraction called The Otway Fly. That was our ‘plan’.

We had not, however, taken into account the following:

1. The possibility that Boy #1's knee would have a disagreement with the paving stones outside the 12 Apostles visitor centre, necessitating a great deal of screaming, crying and shivering, a trip back to the car for extensive first aid equipment (an antiseptic wipe and a couple of Winnie the Pooh plasters), and medicinal biscuits all round.

2. The fact that the subsequent walk down the paved path would take place at snail’s pace due to Boy #1’s hideous injuries.

3. The visiting Japanese tourists wanting to sit down next to Boy #1 and take his photo (have I mentioned before that my children are gorgeous? I have?), and Boy #1’s rather over-dramatic reaction of jumping up screaming, and running to me 5 yards away, before taking another 5 minutes to calm down. (To be fair to Boy #1, if I was 4 years old, and some strange man sat down next to me and put his arm along the back of the bench I was sitting on, it would probably spook me too...).

4. Boy #2’s insistence that riding in buggies is for wimps. Not only was he not going to ride in it, in fact, but he was going to push it – all by himself. Preferably into the nearest group of strangers (mostly yet more Japanese tourists), and if at all possible, into the back of the legs of whomever was taking the group photo.

So, the first part of our day took a little - longer than we had anticipated, and by the time we had reached the Otway Fly and had something to eat, it was gone 1.00pm. (I later learnt that Husband had originally planned on leaving there for our next destination around that time. If you have visited or live in Australia yourself, you will understand at this point that we are both struggling a little with the concept of the distances involved here. Oh, yes, and with the fact that everyone actually sticks to the speed limit. Which, by the way, is no bad thing - we're just not used to it.)

Now, the Otway Fly (check the link if you think you might ever be in the area, it’s really worth seeing), is meant among other things to give visitors the chance to commune with nature in a peaceful and relaxed setting.

Not today, it didn’t. Well, not with us there, at any rate.

Where can I start? Perhaps with the discovery of the Dinosaur walk that prompted loud squeals and shouts of “See that one Mama? See? See?? That one is REAAAAAAALLLLY aggressive. Look out for his claws!” Or perhaps with Boy #2’s shouts of “Wheeeeeeee!”, as he raced down the hill. Or maybe, the peace was finally broken by the rattle & hum of the buggy’s wheels on the metal grating of the Fly (if you haven’t checked the link, bet you’re curious now, huh?), that alerted not just other people but all wildlife to our arrival (I think we saw a total of around 2 birds). Or could it have been Boy #1’s shouts demanding to be carried up the rather steep hill on the way back? Well, you can’t blame him. If I could have found someone to carry me, I would have gone for it. As it was, I was too busy pushing his younger brother up like a pasha in push-chaired splendour. As I told him when I could catch my breath again, and he wanted to know why no-one would carry him, sometimes life just isn’t fair...

The woman at the ticket office had informed us the walk would take an hour. Two hours later we emerged, tired out but unbowed, only for Boy #2 to repeat his older brother’s earlier mishap with his knee on a bigger, bolder, and much bloodier scale – and of course this time the car (containing the replacement first aid kit) was 10 minutes walk away.

All together now....Come fly with me...


Jonny's Mommy 16 May 2008 at 14:44  

What a hilarious post -- not that your kids got hurt, but the bits about the tourists, etc. So funny..though I'm sure it wasn't all that funny for you at times.

Glad you are having a blast.

Frog in the Field 16 May 2008 at 15:25  

Very funny post.
Japanese tourists took photos of my daughter also wherever we went in Oz, do they not have children there?
Ha Ha! Beat you Pig!! (sorry)
Well what do you expect, you go off and leave us at home and wonder why we get up to mischief!!

Pig in the Kitchen 16 May 2008 at 16:08  

'tired but unbowed...' you have the patience of the 12 apostles! It sounds fab, not at all jealous. I'm having to wear two pairs of polarised sunnies, it's sooo hot here, has anyone told you about the heatwave you're missing?

'..Tall and tan and young and lovely
The girl from ipanema goes walking
And when she passes, each one she passes goes - ah..'

aims 16 May 2008 at 17:36  

Now I'm wondering if you brought enough bandaids. Do you think you did?

Apparently Frog and Pig are getting into trouble while you are gone. How long did you say you would be away?

You know little girls are so stoic and angelic about falls and scrapes. Unless of course it musses the dress....

Sounds like you are having a wonderful time!! My brother's sister (you know the story) had her wedding picture full of Japanese tourists who had to get in the picture.

What memories you will have!

aims 16 May 2008 at 21:53  

There's a very funny post over on bermudabluez about people 'thinking' about having children. Perhaps this was something you should have done beforehand??

Stinking Billy 16 May 2008 at 22:34  

A friend (aims)has reminded me that I should be checking you out because a] I was in NSW for four weeks nine years ago, and b] because she thinks your writing style resembles my own.

I wouldn't argue with what I read in either a] or b], except that you are even worse than me in falling back on parenthesis, with one bracketed section comprising three full sentences.

Smarten up, girl,and stop being so lazy. P.S. I enjoyed your post, of course. ;-)

Noortje 17 May 2008 at 04:19  

Mmm...your enjoyment of your holiday seems to be very much influenced by the presence of your children. Could this be right? Ought they have to have that much leverage?

Grit 17 May 2008 at 19:39  

haha! we never got to the 12 apostles because there was too much screaming on the ocean road. we gave in, stopped at apollo bay and spent the rest of our holiday there!

Tracey 18 May 2008 at 01:44  

Sounds like you'll be propping up the local economy purely through the purchase of bandaids!

We've had a very similar experience - a 4 and 2 yr old, the stroller gig, the grazed knee, whilst trying to do a rainforest walk! (The 4 yr old with the "life-threatening" knee injury ended up in the stroller because she couldn't walk, while we carried the 2 year old, and wondered what possessed us to leave the backpack carrier at home!)

All through our trip to NZ a few years back my husband and I kept noting places we wanted to come back and experience WITHOUT THE KIDS! Except that we're so totally into the whole family holiday thing, of course!
(And even if we could get grandparents to mind our kids for 3 weeks while we swanned off overseas, we would probably miss the little buggers too much!)

Potty Mummy 19 May 2008 at 12:01  

Hi J's Mommy, thanks. And I was laughing, really...

Frog, thanks. Not sure about the children thing. It's probably just because they are so wonderful...(hmmm)

Pig, no, a heatwave, really? Typical...

Hi Aims, funny enough, I'm heading for the chemists tomorrow in search of more Disney bandaids - be prepared, that's my motto!

Hi Stinking Billy, thanks for the visit and the critique. I am lazy, you're right. (But not sure I'll be ditching the brackets anytime soon...).

Noortje, don't worry. Don't forget, you are only hearing the bits worth blogging about - I'm sure that if I wrote about idyllic meals on the sea shore or posted pictures of my children looking model perfect as they chase the waves that no-one would continue reading for very long...

Grit, I think you may have made the right choice. Though obviously you wouldn't have got to visit Summer Bay (aka Lorne), which I must admit was a highlight. Though you probably didn't need to hear that.

Tracey, that just about sums it up. It would be lovely to have some time off - but anything more than 4 days I start both missing them and feeling guilty. Plenty of time for holidays without them when they're much too cool to be seen with us, right?

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