Sunday, April 16, 2017

Not unlike... Peninsula

Ra Ra Ra, Hey!


Reflecting on my trip to Melbourne in February, a nostalgic mania must have overtaken me!
Hanging around old haunts, spinning freely on my bicycle and riding trains.... not much money but no limitations and an eager desire to recapture youth!






I'd never spent any time on the Mornington Peninsular when I was young. To us that was the wealthy side of the bay. We holidayed over at St Leondards, pretty much a fishing town, with only a meter's width of coarse grit sand to play in and plenty of rocks and sea grass reefs full of blue ringed octopus.

The bike ride from Sorento to Rosebud and then on to Frankston along the coast was quite an education... So much beach, so many people, bars, restaurants, sailing clubs... One thing that really caught my attention was the dominant Anglo culture along the coast and the obvious presence of wealthy pseudo upper class snobs. It was so weird, like a culture that just doesn't exist in Darwin.... or at least not so visibly.


This is a part of Australian culture which existed when I was a kid in the 80s and has somehow managed to thrive along the sheltered coast of the Mornington Peninsular.
I've spent my life getting worked up about the state of the world and here are these people living in some kind of luxurious middle class bubble of leisure. oblivious to the suffering in the world! I could feel it all around me! It was freaking weird and completely unfamiliar territory. I found it kind of exciting! After all I'd spent most of my youth drinking to excess to block out the ugliness of the world, yet here are these people blissfully quarantined from giving a shit about anything other than what bottle of white to have with their crumbed prawns...Welcome to the Insular Peninsular!


I hadn't had any experience of this culture, growing up but I did have exposure to 80s Aussie pop music and identified with a lot of it but there were some songs which I never truly understood until I ventured along this road. For some reason my head was full of Australian Crawl! I hadn't listened to them or even thought of their music for years but as I rolled between parked BMWs and Mercedes on the Nepean Highway it was their songs that materialized subliminally to knock out their rhythm through the salt air and sand roadside  verge. I felt it vibrating up through my handlebars and sensed it deeply all the way from the sparkling glare of Sorento's shallow waters to the downhill stretch at the Mt Martha bluff! A few lines from 'Indisposed' left their mark on every turn of my peddles, 'Oh no not you again'... Now I'm getting a feeling for just who those "Two young lovers living down the coast..." are. What coast? This one!
I felt this incredible urge to sing out loud 'Hoochie Gucci Feorucci Mama'! But realized as familiar as their songs are to me, I have no idea  what most of the lyrics are! So I googled and discovered that they're a bit cleverer than I'd originally thought! The tunes sound a bit up beat but the lyrics are far more cynical than I'd given them credit for, some are actually quite brilliant in my opinion. As I read the lyrics I realize it's not just James Reyne's singing that makes the songs illegible, it's equally a combination of unusual words, words that don't actually exist and the odd way they've arranged the words with the music. Some songs are arranged quite awkwardly almost to deliberately hide their criticism in plain view. Weird but makes a good sound.

Now here I am listening to Australian Crawl from a completely new perspective! I had no idea where they actually started out but the music fit! As I read about the band online I discoved that they originated from where else but the Mornington Peninsular! Their music expresses the character of the place so well! 



As I watched a few youtube videos I realized that James Reyne didn't sing all the songs. This 'other guy' was singing one of my favorite songs, the glint in his eye caught my attention, it was something bigger than a performance. He had a great voice and his manner on film lead me to wonder if he may have written many of their songs. There was something about him. Then I discovered (Please excuse my ignorance) Guy McDonough. I looked him up and was horrified to learn that he'd died back in 1984. He was only 28!  

The article below gives a very good review of the band, how they formed and a critique of their very special style and gift for bringing down the 'materialist culture' that birthed them.
"The idle rich are subjected to vicious broadsides and deft ripostes are flung at the decadent, wealthy snobs." https://rockportraits.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/australian-crawl/
Now I'm back in Darwin, where the flow is very different. Something in me wants to get back there to that white middle class ghetto of spoiled privilege and willful ignorance... For a moment I almost believed that world actually existed.

In their own words from the song White Limbo:
 
"...Babylon is broken
Alice cried the dream has died
There is no wonderland."
 



Or maybe it's all really still just like this but there's no longer room in Australian Pop music to take the piss!

Thanks Australian Crawl for the very accurate roadmap to a soulless existence in the Land Down Under. Far cleverer than I'd ever realized!

Monday, April 03, 2017

Pretty things

I've been taking my camera along on my daily  commute to work.
For some people the daily commute equates to nothing more than precious minutes, sometimes hours lost from their free time before and after work. NOT Me Though!



My trips to and from work each day have become quite precious to me. Between family and work commitments I rarely get any dedicated free time to just wander about in nature, but who says traveling to work has to be a bore?

Here are some Beauty things:
Pools... Rapid Creek Marrara

Vigna Vexilata

Photos I've taken over the past couple of weeks on my way to work. Just to remind myself how truly blessed I am.

Riparian recruitment



Red Backed Wren (Blurry)



coastal sculpture, rocks and flowers




Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Slime in the stream

It's not rocket science,
We have a creek close to Darwin which has a catchment of a fairly limited and measurable size. The majority of the creek catchment is contained within land under the management of the Darwin Airport.

Dragonfly larvae are dependent on a healthy aquatic environment
The origin of inputs to the system can be easily tracked to fairly specific locations and water quality tests can tell us at each point in the creek certain contaminants exist or at which point they are likely to have been introduced into the system... I don't possess the water quality testing equipment necessary to identify exactly what the composition of contaminants might be, however logic tells me that a creek which flows through predominantly undisturbed land should have quite clean water...

This morning I went for a ride down to the rock pool at the weir to get some film of the native fish swimming in the creek. There is nothing unusual about rainbow fish in Darwin Creeks today, but given the disgraceful mismanagement of our waterways it's only a matter of time before this habitat is completely ruined.


Rapid Creek appears to be quite clean until it reaches the site of the Mecure Darwin Airport Resort! Then you see something slightly different!



Drain from Mecure flowing into the clear water of Rapid Creek

Filth meets pure

Sludge flowing through nicely formed drain

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Word of the day

Today is Harmony Day...

I'd like to use this day to take a brief look at a very special word in the English Language which has drifted out of use in some quarters but is a much used and loved word here in the NT, in fact it is so commonly used here that some people believe it originated from an Aboriginal Language. This is not true but I am sure Aboriginal people have had enough experience dealing with Colonial bureaucratic BS to know that this word fits the Status Quo perfectly!

That word is Gammon.

I believe the meaning of the word hovers around the concept of something being essentially, False. It may have originally had a fairly narrow range of interpretation, but here in Australia, this land of utterly reprehensible political deceit, shonky traders, thieving speculators and generally disrespectful charlatans I'd say those who have taken to using the term over the past 100 years or so, have a far greater appreciation of the the breadth, depth and range with which this word can be applied.

Here's the Macquarie Dictionary definition of the word as it is currently used.

GAMMON

noun 1. deceitful nonsense. --
verb 2. to pretend; jokingly lie; to kid. --
adjective 3. false; fake; pretend: Gammon plants made of plastic. 
4. lame: What a gammon idea! --interjection 
5. an exclamation of disbelief, equivalent to "As if!". --phrase 
6. gammon around, to fool around. Also, gamin, gammin. 

So as our Government, proceeds with the dismantling of our racial discrimination act by repealing Section 18C on this day Tuesday 21st March (International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination). I would like to make use of my word of the day.

"This Shit is Gammon!"

Yes a most appropriate word which can be applied not only to this and multiple other matters of Public policy and legislation which are currently under attack from the Australian Government but can also be used to describe the nature of the mechanisms of Law and Government they have corrupted and most importantly the actual nature of the people involved. It's all simply "Gammon".

Happy Harmony Day.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Fairwell to a neighborhood bike shop

I learned to ride a two wheeler quite late, actually my first bike was just a little smaller than a full size man’s bicycle. I might have been about 8 or 9 I suppose. 


My first bike
Me on that old bike, with my sister and neighbor kid, I have no idea where they found training wheels to fit. (circa 1977)

The bike was handed down to me from my cousin in South Australia. Back in the 70s new bike were still fairly expensive, at the time I got my first bike it was a reasonable proposition to restore an old bike, including re-painting rather than to buy a new one. That's how I got my first bike, a hand-me-down farm bike with great big skinny wheels and a leather saddle when a lot of my mates were riding brand new dragsters with high handle bars, fat tires and a sissy bar on the back! 

There were no department store specials back then. Unbeknownst to me, my cousin's ancient but trusty old farm bike with the leather saddle which proved to be a literal pain in the arse (and embarrassment) to me at the time, was taken down to the bike shop in the back of the Kingswood station-wagon and checked in for a full overhaul. 
The 'bike shop' was Watsonia Cycles in Greensborough road, Watsonia. This was a real workshop where 'wheelmen', (serious cyclists) and hardcore bicycle mechanics (cross between a fitter and a blacksmith) tooled around with greasy bearings and hand made frames all day. This is the place where my first bike was re-born. Watsonia Cycles the place where bicycle guru's (who I believe even back then were slightly arrogant experts in their field) lovingly restored a seriously rusted clunky old piece of farm machinery (possibly belonging to the dawn of the safety bicycle) into a slick and gleaming piece of slightly dated, daggy, too big for a kid to learn on, bike! 

I'm not sure how long I owned that bike, or how long it took me to learn to ride it, but I do know that as soon as I could get rid of it and onto my brand new Malvern Star Dragstar with the extended frame I bloody well ditched that old bone rattler!

Watsonia Cycles (Later called Super Cycles) must have existed in the same place for more than 40 years. On a recent trip to Melbourne I discovered that the shop had closed.

In the 1980s Watsonia cycles played a pretty big part in encouraging the new era of BMX. I recall the time they set up a small circuit on the vacant land across the road which has since become the railway car park. They organized a demonstration day and kids came from all over Watsonia, Greensborough and Macleod to see the best of the best in exciting world of elite sports, Bicycle Moto Cross, do their thing! I have no idea who the guys were but their bike skills were mesmerizing and ensured that every kid in the neighborhood would be nagging their parents for the latest chromolly framed, plastic wheeled, knobby tyre'd over priced dragster usurping machine by, if not before Christmas! (Of course that was the year I finally got my dragster!)



Watsonia Cycles special
Virtually exact replica of my very first bike, on display

In the early days of my cycling life I have to admit I was only an occasional customer at Watsonia Cycles, I rarely had money to spend on bicycle repairs, the stripped threads on my axle nuts and bodgy attempts at puncture repair will attest to that! Actually as time went on nothing much changed, even when I wasn't broke I avoided parting with my hard won cash! However I did spend some money in the shop from time to time and I am very happy to say that I was expertly set up with the Shogun Katana I bought there nearly 30 years ago and still love to ride today. 

Super Cycle Bicycle store (Watsonia, Vic)
Super Cycles, used to be called Watsonia Cycles. Shopfront 365 Greensborough Rd.

A lot of stuff used to revolve around that old bike shop, but I haven't been able to find any references online. It's likely once they re-paint it, the shop will pass out of memory. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Starting from this

Starting point for my writing 'my' history of a small section of the Plenty River begins with this...

Exploring the hand cut gold mine on steep cliff edge of Plenty River bank (circa late 1980s)

A few odd photos from times spent on the river bank and exploring an old mine on the hillside of the plenty river...


woodsman
The author with the dogs Tessa and Ben at camp A (circa 1987)

pinging tin
Renegade delinquents honing their skills (circa 1987)

Good ol boys
The Outlaw retreat - Camp A

Holding my old Bowie knife and dusting off a moldy pair of boots.

Not much of a starting point but a bunch of fading memories could polish up ok with a few visual prompts and the help of my new State Library of Victoria Library Card.

Some say the river was lost after they built the Yan Yean reservoir... Gold was a passing fad... But there is treasure beyond gold in the past and I pray the future of the Plenty River Valley.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Flowing dilutant

Here in Darwin we endured the first tropical cyclone for the season. This meme has been doing the rounds, it pretty much sums up the level of threat we faced.
 
(republished without permission... sorry dude, how the hell am I supposed to find the source of a meme?!)

Wind speeds got up to about 75kmh... there was a bit of extra rain but we're resilient up here and people seemed to take the hardship in their stride. A couple of trees and shrubs lost weaker limbs... pretty much what you'd expect with the termite problem up here.

With a bit of extra rain around I thought I'd check out upstream Rapid creek (Gurambai)on my way to work this morning. I just wanted to see some fresh water in the creek for a change.

Upper pool

Flood mitigation weir


I entered the reserve from the path behind the dodgy detention camp / workers quarters on the airport side of the creek. There were quite a few fallen branches and trees but the track reasonably clear of debris from flooding. Clear water was flowing over the causeway from the Marrarra wetlands and I could see easily to the bottom at the top pool. Small fish were enjoying the increased flow and for a moment I imagined the place to be a pristine paradise. 
(Sorry, Never miss an opportunity to include a photo of the bike)

Feeling inspired by a couple of really great blogs from writers in Victoria which I’ve been following I thought I’d have a go at writing a page or maybe a series of posts on the Rapid Creek (Gurambai). Water Is Life Yeh? So what better to write about than the role of this particular creek? 

Possibly nothing will appear here for some time, I'm considering actually researching this one, whether or not that happens remains to be seen.

Just a beautiful tree, poor quality image but I like it

If you'd like a good read and are interested in rivers, history or connection to place you may like to visit: 

Created by The Yallambie Guy (anon)

Created by Jo M from Geelong.

Oceans a plenty

This morning I purchased two tins of sandwich tuna.....



I felt kinda bad about it.


As I was ruling pencil lines on the pages of accounts yet to be paid, between the last grey line and the first figure marked in Red I thought to myself:




I am the owner of two tins containing the remains of a Pelagic fish of the deep, a fish from the ocean, a mighty powerful swimmer, muscular and fast, streamline and smooth. Chopped up and steamed and shoved into a tin and sold at half price, only a dollar per can, each with one chili.

A fraction of one hour's pay, delicious to eat, impossible to free.
Do I need it? 

How many tuna remain?

I wish they'd have left that fish in the sea!

Latest report says there are millions of fish turning up dead. The cause...? Radiation poisoning! Fukashima Fallout Fish.
Thought comes to mind of a decadent restaurant at the end of the universe where for the price of an ordinary life you can enjoy the exotic culinary delights of a world gone to hell!

"Fukashima Tuna Sushi, come eat the last fish in the sea."


Will I die from radiation sickness before I eat the last fish? 

The question has to be asked, do we love creation enough to leave some fish in the sea? Or would it be kinder to kill and eat them all?

(Apologies for the self indulgent rant... Disclaimer: 'I'm not on drugs')

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Around D town

Got back from Melbourne last week.
Just trying to fit back into the Darwin scene... Work/family/etc...

Have seen a heap of unusual wildlife lately.

Frilled Lizard in the yard,



Green frogs in my bike




 Jabiru at the School






Red-backed Wrens on the way to work
dead pythons on the road

Fischer's Love Bird in the park 



Big Grouper (Cod? Flowery Cod?) in the sea


Managed to get some photos, not all.

Have a nice week.




Friday, February 10, 2017

Half Moon Bay

Back when I was a kid in Primary school I attended an excursion to the old mansion at Rippon Lea Estate where we got to wander the halls and explore the gardens created by a 19th century merchant quasi aristocrat.

Anyhoo on that typically overcast Melbourne day we also had a scheduled stop at a local beach...  The mysteriously named Half Moon Bay, Black Rock which suited my sense of adventure far more than looking at some crusty old building full of fancy people's stuff! It was a cold and blustery day as I recall, there was a bitter wind blowing from the South West white caps were smashing against the small promontory which sheltered the tiny bay, barely. 

Off shore something protruded roughly from the water, the sea crashing against it's side leaving still water in it's wake... It was a rusty old ship. As an eleven year old (I figure that's how old I was at the time) I became instantly intrigued. 

"What's that?" Several of us called out to the nearest teacher in the kind of disorganized frantic unison you'd expect from a gang prepared to commit an act of piracy and take the vessel by force if we must! 
The teacher had no idea really... "An old boat she said" kind of interested herself. I don't think there were any plaques visible at the time... I'm sure some existed back then but it was the 70s and defacing signs was like a national pastime. Thankfully the bus driver had taken many a school group to this spot and filled us in with the information we were after. 
"That." He said. "That is a 'breakwater.'" and then he proceeded to explain how a breakwater protects the beach from rough weather. Interesting but not exactly what we wanted to know.
"Yeh" someone said "But WHAT IS IT?"
The driver laughed and said "It's a ship!" Then proceeded to give us the history of the HMVS Cerberus, which I promptly forgot the finer details except the fact that it was a naval ship and it had had guns on it. 

We stopped there in the wind looking at the boat and exploring the reef to the left of the jetty for about 20 minutes after eating our sandwiches... (mine were soggy tuna fish and beetroot sandwiches again... The gladwrap held them together long enough for the contents to stew together into a soggy mess when it came time to eat!) As we left I looked back at the Cerberus and like General MacArthur swore that 'I will return!'.

Years went by and constrained from my natural urge to wander, both by the law and societal expectations of Parental Supervision, I was unable to return to Half Moon Bay, but it remained fixed in my memory. 

I think the next time I visited was in my teens, I had filled some kind of bottle with sweet sherry and port from my parents supply and absconded from school. Caught the train out to Sandringham and trekked the two and a half km to the beach I'd been longing to visit for so long. It was an electrifying sensation to travel so outside the school boundary. I was on a completely different train line... Passing through suburbs which looked so foreign and wealthy. I'd come from bogan heartland of Watsonia and here I was wandering the streets of Brighton and Sandringham... Tennis courts, private schools, red brick mansions and fancy cars like I'd never seen before. It was a mystifying two and a half km walk from Sandringham station to Half Moon bay, every step a defiance of the drudgery of school, schoolyard bullies, rules,  cops, idiots and the grey walls which always seemed to be closing in on me. 

The drink had been drunk, my imagination was firing, I was half cut on a sunny day, free from responsibilities. I was at the 'Away from it all' place I'd heard people talk about when they needed a holiday. I was there! Arrived... Free! 

On that occasion I just wandered the bluff, walked out on the pier, waded in the water with my shoes in my hands and my long pants rolled up to my knees. I couldn't stay long, the travel time was longer than I'd realized and I had to make sure I was on the right train to arrive back home in time for no one to notice I'd gone AWOL.


I soon found out that Black Rock is a renowned nudist beach! Oh Wow! That sure added to the mystique and my desire to be there. Walking the secluded beach around the bluff I would occasionally see people lying naked in the sun. Often they were bronzed older men wearing sandals (True! I saw them wearing their sandals!) Couples and yes sometimes the elusive hot looking young women in their 20s who were looking for that allover tan. 


After that initial liberating experience, Black Rock, Half Moon Bay was one of my key places of refuge and quiet rebellion. When I left school at the age of 16 and started working, before I had my license, I would catch the train out there from time to time on my own. Being there took me far away from my own natural habitat. I dreamed that one day I would break free from my mundane life and start a life of my own based on the freedom I felt on this beach. 

I didn't actually swim out to the Cerberus until I was a bit older, maybe seventeen when I eventually invited some work friends to join me there. By then my alcohol consumption had increased considerably. I'd been drinking heavily from the time I'd left school and I maintained a strong commitment to doing pretty much everything in a state of blissful and mindless intoxication. My philosophy was sound! Without alcohol I was an ineffectual talentless missfit, with it I was a mystic poet worrier and master of my own destiny... (I later discovered I was just a drunk). So with half a dozen cans of Dutch courage sloshing around in my guts I finally decided it was time to show off to my friends (including a particular girl I wanted to like me) that it was nothing for me to swim out to that old wreck we could see on the distant horizon... 

The first time I swam out to the Cerberus I nearly choked on my vomit! It's not that far out but I've never been a very strong swimmer and the exertion and increased load on my lungs really stirred up the beer in my guts... However on that day, I actually did it! I made it and was standing on the boat which had tempted me and taunted my timidity for so long. I had mastered this place! It was now mine. 

After conquering the challenge actually reaching the boat I visited there when I could during the summer months over the next four years. I joined the thrill seekers who would jump through a hole in the deck and swim in the lower decks beneath the water level a few times but life got busy with work and other priorities, Melbourne tends to have a shortage of good swimming days and once I got my license I found other places further afield to visit. 

Since moving to Darwin 20 years ago I've only managed to visit the Half Moon bay about three times, this week being one of them.

On Wednesday afternoon this week I jumped on a train, switched lines at Flinders Street and stepped off at Sandringham Station. It was 5 pm on a 35 degree day. The sky was deep blue, the sea was sparkling. I walked along the coast track to a beach access just before the bluff, stopped at a picnic table overlooking the Black Rock Yacht Club and found a bag of poetry chained to the table. I had arrived! I made my way down through the scrub and sand and waded my way around the rocks which still provide secluded sanctuary to naked sun bathers. The water was clear.


I found a reasonably secure place to leave my bag among a pile of gear belonging to a group of junior lifesavers who were practicing under the supervision of parents and devoted sea sprite instructors. Then I set out across the shallow sandbar to once again swim the gap between paddlers and the mildly choppy sea. It's not such a hard swim to the Cerberus but I'm not very fit so I broke the journey up with a bit of backstroke and dawdled along with a weak breaststroke. Soon I was standing on the slippery wooden deck of that old iron hull. There were teenagers goofing around on the 'out of bounds' half sunken vessel just as they have always done. Just like I had done. I was surprised to see so many girls though. Where were they when I was young? Fearless golden bodies taking foolish risks. 







I stood for a moment on the deck, feeling a little out of place and old... but also there was a stirring. The exercise of the past two weeks I've spent exploring and cycling around my old stomping grounds has awoken a youthful spirit! I watched the kids playing around but knew my age made me conspicuous. I looked again out to sea and then patted the rusted iron wall of the decrepit ship before diving back into the water and making my way at a conservative pace back to shore. 

"I Will Return!" 
    

Thursday, February 09, 2017

A creek a day 10: Yarra River

Today I finally caught up with an old mate and we went for a ride along The Yarra River.

Yarra River - From the bridge @ Diamond Creek trail Lower Eltham Park
Having traveled back and forth across the city I'd caught glimpses of the river from the train but until now I haven't actually spent any time around the Yarra in the whole two weeks I've been here.

We commenced our ride at Lower Eltham Park from Homestead Road and followed the river past the Rosanna Golf Course then doubled back the way we came and headed east along the river and followed it through to Mullum Mullum creek until we reached the old Hill Climbing track in Templestow.
 
Never even heard of the Templestowe Hill Climb... apparently it was huge 'In the day'
After attempting the hill climb at first on our bikes and then struggling to even walk up it! I had my bike in low gear but couldn't get enough weight over the front wheel to stop the bike from flipping! (A Hill Climb is a motor sport race where people attempt to achieve the fastest time driving a car up an impossible grade/hill)


We headed back again toward Lower Eltham Park. About half way along the track we pulled into Petty's Orchard for a coffee... or two and a yarn. 

Swing Bridge - Ruffy Trail
View from Ruffy Trail bridge
 As we crossed the final foot bridge... it was a very High bridge, we came across a couple of young blokes who looked like they'd been swimming. 



A very High bridge... What the?!
  
My mate and I both looked down at the water, way, way down below us! We looked at the guys on the bridge, they seemed like they'd just had the thrill of their lives, we looked at each other.... "No Way!"

 Yep they'd jumped! And they did it again. They reckon it was a three to four second fall.

This ride was about 26km

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

A creek a day 9: Diamond Creek

Quick one...
Diamond Creek, at Wattle Glen.

Caught the train to Wattle Glen. Had a serious time constraint, I arrived at Wattle Glen at 10:00am, I wanted to visit my grandparents grave in Kangaroo Ground but had to be back in Watsonia by 11:30am for an important appointment. 



It was an uphill ride most of the way I had to climb 166 meters over 7km... I pumped it! The final few hundred meters was downhill... which of course became uphill on the way home.

Diamond creek @ Wattle Glen
Before cycling up the hill I quickly ducked down to the Wilson's Rd bridge, from which I snapped off this image... Is it out of focus? To bloomin bad! 

The sign above my rear wheel advises that poison is used to kill the rabits. (Not impressed!)


Remnant bracken undergrowth huddles unmolested around tomb stones

Kangaroo Ground cemetery is a very quiet and special place. A nice spot to sit and mull over the great questions of life and death while surrounded by the most beautiful views of the foothills surrounding the Yarra Valley. Unfortunately time didn't permit such luxuries on this occasion, but I did take a moment for a walk around before getting back on my bike.  

Gan Gang checking out a nesting site
Gang Gang coming to say hello
This ride came with a great reward! Gang Gangs! My favorite bird and a bird my grandmother had told me the most amazing story about. (no time here for the story) There were about half a dozen Gang Gang cockatoos searching nesting hollows in the large eucalypts near the cemetery. The best way I think I can describe these birds is Delightful! 

Wild forest folk sculpted in pine
So anyway... 'Whatever goes up, Must come down'. After a brief rest I needed to turn around climb the hill to Eltham War Memorial Park (and fire lookout tower) before taking the fast track back to Eltham proper. What a ride! I don't know how long it took me but I think the distance was nearly twice as far and I must have done it in half the time! I was flying! Cars couldn't pass me on the windy roads... not because I was in their way but because they had to brake for the bends! 

Got home easily by 11:00am! 

Thank you Very Much!