16/12/88

V.HOT
WENT SIGHT SEEING
METUNG¹
LAKES ENTRANCE²

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Lake’s Entrance, East Gippsland, Victoria.


LAKE TYREE
SOLD OUR CAMPING GEAR FOR
$25-00.

THE BLACKADDER³

“LET ME JUST TEST THE WATER…
SUPPOSE I WAS TO SAY SOMETHING LIKE “I’M A GOOD FRIEND OF THE QUEEN AND I’M SURE SHE WOULD BE VERY INTERESTED IN HEARING ABOUT YOU AND MOLLY AND THE WIMPLE SO WHAT SAY WE JUST CALL IT QUITS EH FATSO”!”

¹ A small restoret town on the Gippsland Lakes.
² Lake’s Entrance is a resort town on the Gippsland Lakes at the point where the lakes drain into the ocean.
³ I was, and remain, a fan of the British comedy series Blackadder. The quote I recorded in my diary comes from an Episode entitled Blackmailing the Bishop.

13/12/88

FINE. Got up and packed the car for the last time. Drove out of Jyndabyne and turned off onto the Buchan Rd. The drive was great. We went over some very steep roads & down

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Somewhere in the Snowy Mountains.

some steep climbs and it was a wonder the old shit heap made it¹. We followed the magnificent Snowy River for a time before leaving it to climb the last & steepest hill, Black Mountain, to a height of 900m. The top of B.M. opens out into good farmland. We dropped down Buchan² for lunch then drove down to Bairnsdale³ which we reached at about 3:00. The car was dead!

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The NSW/VIC border in the Snowy Mountains.

¹ We were putting oil into the engine every few kilometres!
² Buchan, in the state of Victoria, is famous for its caves.
³ Bairnsdale, in the Gippsland Region of Southern Victoria, was home to our friends the Farquhar family. In 1980, my brother had lived with them for a year as an AFS exchange student and we had maintained contact with them. I had visited Bairnsdale on my trip to Australia in 1987.

 

12/12/88

We got up at about 9:00 this morning & [had] brekkie, packed & did our duties. Packed up the car & left Thredbo & drove down to Jyndabyne¹. Had morning tea there then booked into a van unit in the caravan park. Then we drove up to the Ski-tube. The Ski-tube is a rachet railway that runs through the longest rail tunnel in the Southern Hemisphere up to Blue Cow ski field. Great view from the top of Mount K. & the Snowy mountains.

¹Jyndabyne is a resort town in the middle of the Snowy Mountains.

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My diary page for 12/12/88 with the Ski-tube ticket attached.

11/12/88

Today saw us in the youth hostel at Thredbo¹ at the foot go “Mt Kosciusko².” We arrived here yesterday in the midst of a violent electrical storm and a torrential down-pour. Today dawned rain-less but cold, windy & unsettled. We took the chair-lift to the top of the Ski-field then climbed into the teeth of a bitingly cold southerly gale hoping to get a glimpse of the Big “K”. Swirling mist & cold prevented us seeing anything but it was worth it to get into the high basins again with clear running water and cold swirling air. The top of the field is like the high basins at the head of the Hewson & Phantom³. We descended to the restaurant at the top of the lift & sat in the warmth drinking red wine while the wind screamed and a few flurries of snow fell. When the the weather cleared a bit we took the chair-lift back down & spent the rest of the afternoon in the pub.

¹ Thredbo is a ski resort in the Snowy Mountains of southern NSW. The Snowy Mountains, made famous by the AB “Banjo” Patterson poem The Man From Snowy River, are a series of rugged ranges in the south-eastern corner of Australia.
² Mount Kosciusko (pronounced “koz-ee-oss-ko”) is Australia’s highest mountain. It is a modest 2,228 metres (7,317ft).
³ The Hewson and Phantom Rivers are on Dry Creek Station, Linda’s home and the place where I had spent the previous two years working as a shepherd. The high country of the Snowy Mountains obviously made me nostalgic for the big open basins in the ranges at the head of these rivers!

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High Country. Mount Kosciusco is in the background.