June 08 2020. Monday
So this Trippt is one I'd usually avoid. My parents have been going to this lake since 1958. They have a boat there. My father had the first Mercury outboard engine imported into Australia. I was very fortunate to have been able to hang out there every summer in the 70s and early 80s but I have only been a couple of times in the past 30 years. I was an excellent water skier back in the day, though I used to have a phobia that the dam wall would collapse and the entire family and the Eildon township would go with it. I kind of loved it when it was nice weather but always felt the place was miserable and creepy at all other times.
It's a massive man made fresh water lake with little buoyancy and you can easily sink to the bottom if you cannot swim. The water visibility is about a meter at best and there are slimy dead tree tops touching your feet when you least expect it. It's also full of yabbies, trout, redfin, and mud that is pure orange sludge. It's not the Mediterranean, but plenty of people swear it's the best place on earth, so don't let me put you off.
The last time I went there was 3 years ago in July. After that I recall telling certain friends I would never go again. In mid-winter it can sometimes feel like a cross between The Shining, Cape Fear and Deliverance. Anyway, it was my parents wedding anniversary the day before and so I thought why not?... I've survived 2 months of isolation intact so I can probably survive 1 night on a boat with my parents.
I drove. It's not that they cannot drive, but I want to live to at least finish this new project. My 85 year old father is always in a hurry and said he had discovered a quick new shortcut so we did a mystery detour via the outer suburb of Warrandyte. Of course there was roadworks so the shortcut ended up taking us an extra 30 minutes. The upside was that we drove through some really nice valleys. We ended up somewhere near Coldstream. The parents wanted to have lunch at a fancy winery, but due to Covid restrictions we were turned away at the driveway.
Drove on to the Healesville Hotel for takeaway. Queued up with the Covid crazed crowds and sat socially distanced in the beer garden along with Cockatoos and Bin Chickens hacking away at customers leftovers.
Took a few pics of precision social distanced locals and the very grand Healesville Grand Hotel and then drove up through the 15 km winding hills of the Black Spur. Stopped at the Thornton butcher and deli for some steak, not forgetting the Thornton bottle shop.
Got to the boat moorings and was shuttled over to the boat via a dinky barge thang. Things never seem to work on boats - especially after lockdowns, and on cue the electrical generator started spewing black diesel smoke and the gas wouldn't connect to the stove or the space heater. At this point the temperature was about 5C and diving. Still my parents are troupers and swear it's the best place ever.
The temperature dipped to 1C and we finally got the gas connected. All good though I slept atrociously. The following morning I managed to get a few choice pics of some ducks and the fog lifting however by then it was unfortunately time to pack up and go. I know. Strange.
Drove back through thick fog in Thornton on the extremely picturesque Eildon back road. Stopped again at Healesville. Endless roadworks and tons of traffic on freeways back into Melbourne.
Well that was fun. Different.
03 Melbourne to Daylesford day trippt