Monday, June 13, 2011

Mt Beauty

We woke up nice and early to head towards Mount Beauty. Everyone fell asleep while I drove 2 hours further out. It was pretty chilly and I soon understood why it was the snow area.
I drove down Alpine road, and the view was beautiful. Apart from the frost on my windows and morning fog causing skewed visions, it added to the pretty view. I had to drive carefully and look at the car space in front of me to predict where the road was going as the fog was thick.

This area was beautiful, I was a little mesmerised at the tall trees silhouetting against the white fog. I felt like I was in another country. It still wasn't winter enough for the lower grounds to be kissed by snow, but the land was covered in frost. I saw that the mountains had snow caps. I drove through quiet towns and then up a windy road on a mountain. I stopped near the top at the look out and woke everyone up. The view was encapsulating!
Aw the sun ruined my snow cap photo hahahaha

This looks staged.. BUT IT WASN'T!!

Then I got back into the car and drove down the mountain, its funny how they haven't figured out a way to pass the mountain without having to go up then down to get to the other side. I guess it's like a little gate/obstacle into the next quiet town.

We then got to the unsurfaced roads and finally made it to the farm at about 9:30am. I opened my driver's door to see that a dog was welcoming me. I learned that his name was Salty, he is the sweetest, gentlest dog. Their place was amazing, apparently they built their house from scratch and it was beautiful inside! They had a veggie garden, 110 acres and 56 horses.

The boys were saddling up the horses, so we just checked the place out. After that long drive, I had to pee so I went into this little potty in the veggie patch hahaha. We were then all lined up and were demonstrated natural horsemanship. We were designated horses - Kevin with Basalt (the biggest boy for the biggest horse with a huge Persian butt), AJ with Lankey (the fiesty one that bit everyone's horses), Chris with Eddie (who they couldn't find for 20 minutes as he cheekily ran away) and I was with Scout (the smallest horse ever, especially for a male).

We trail rode for about 4 hours, it was meant to be a mere 3 but we struck trouble with Kevin's horse up in the high country. Kevin's horse was going berserk and uncontrollable and was smashing himself against trees and bushes. Basalt was shooting off the trail just to itch his butt on the trees, but taking Kevin with him. At one point all we saw was this tall tree going TIMBERRR and I'm not kidding. We couldn't stop laughing because Basalt ripped out a tree with Kevin on his back, just because he was frustratingly itchy.

My horse just loves CANTERING down hill, which freaked a novice like me out! I remember we were going down muddy mountain terrain and he just starts cantering, or if theres a log across the pathway he'll jump! I was scared shitless, excuse the French. But we all got to experience the pain of trotting and exhilaration of cantering on straight plains. I eventually got the trotting rhythm and it became fun to me.

My horse from rider's point of view because that's the only way I could take photos hahahahaha

Kevin's horse was so cheeky, when we ran through mud and rivers, he would clumsily splash his feet, so my jeans and shoes were covered in mud. AJ's horse wouldn't stop biting Scout in the butt so Scout would constantly freeze on the spot and that would startle me.
Scout started looking at me like why are you taking photos!

I had a lot of fun and experienced a lot of pain too. Afterwards, the family who owns the farm invited us to lunch - and we had fresh, homemade minestrone soup and scones (with jam and cream!). They had this awesome rosemary bread that I wanted more of! Then we all sat by the settling sun with a cuppa tea in our hands. The weather was so beautiful and warm, I hadn't seen sun like that for a while.

We said bye to the alpine territory and rushed our way to Milawa, an area of gourmet food farms. We missed the cheese tasting by a few minutes and we were bummed! Apparently this is gourmet cheese at its best, selling for $52 a kg - I would hope so! We didn't make their trading hours though so we just drove through Olive farms, my favourite Brown Brothers' winery, cheese, chestnuts, walnuts etc. I'll definitely come back to feed myself with free tastings!

We drove through Glenrowan quickly where historical Australian figure, Ned Kelly had his last stand. I swear they built this town just for him. You wouldn't even call it a town, its the size of your local milk bar with a massive, tacky Ned Kelly statue. I was fascinated with Ned Kelly when I was in primary school so I was still really happy to have been there.

I'll do a quick run down, Ned Kelly was considered to either be a hero or a cold-blooded killer. Born to an Irish convict father, the juvenile bushranger and his mates were cast as outlaws after he murdered 3 policemen. He was captured wearing the iconic home-made metal plate armour and helmet and was hung at the Old Melbourne Gaol in 1880. LOL, apparently they were the ones that influenced armour for military use!

Hmm.. How do I explain it - they were seen as murderers for taking life and seen as heroes for not falling inferior to the then government's abuse of power, this led to the support for the gang and evasion of their capture for so long. From what I know, they were pushed to rebellion as authorities never gave them chances and let bull crap stories with no evidence put them into prison. Wow, I suck at story telling but I always found his story interesting.

Caught you!

He did however, write a letter that listed the various incidents that lead to him becoming an outlaw - such as the unfair treatment of Irish Catholics by police and English, Irish protestant squatters. He's sometimes compared to Robin Hood so you can understand how its hard for me to say whether he is good or bad.

Eww, I just read that after his execution - police used his head as paperweight for some time. EWWW!

Afterwards, we headed home and ate dinner at KFC. I had fun, it was a great road trip to see another side of Australia.