The weather had also improved with barely a cloud in the sky and an average of 22 degrees. Much better than the last few days. Today’s excursion was to cover quite a few hundred kilometres with little chance to get out and stretch our legs, but some amazing scenery.
First stop was the Kallista picnic ground that we’d visited on my first evening here. There were more birds around this time (and people) and I managed to get the most beautiful parrot perched on my arm eating seed from my hand.
We then drove down the South Gippsland highway to Yarragon, a small town with some nice shops. We had lunch in a lovely little cafe then walked round a sweetshop where, believe it or not, I managed not to buy anything. I heartily recommend visiting confectionary establishments ona full stomach if you value the contents of your wallet.
From now until returning home, we had no stops except for red lights and small people demanding toilet breaks. We covered some huge amount of kays! Korrumbara to Wonthaggi and then on to Phillip Island. This is where the most famous “penguin parade” in Australia takes place at dusk, so sadly we were a few hours too early. There is also a grand prix track and Lyn informed me that you can arrange to be whizzed round this with a professional driver (or even have a go yourself). I might well look into this! One of my possible plans coming up is to hire or buy a car, in which case I’ll be back down here sometime anyway.
The drive home had only one stop for a potty break (and to glimpse the largest earthworm in Victoria… a concrete structure at another wildlife park) before we got in just in time to go right back out to dinner. The Luxford’s had very kindly arranged a table at Zagame’s bistro in the town centre. The six of us invaded said hostelry slightly later than planned and ate far too much. Then had dessert. The kids played in the entertainment room thingy between courses and miraculously never returned coated in vomit. I know when I was their age (or at least Jessica’s) that if I had a full meal then went running around, I’d not be digesting the food for long.
Jason showed a talent for getting Skittles out of a vending machine for nothing. Impressive and also annoying as I put 20c into the same machine and got exactly five of the little chewy sweets out. Jason had about 100 which had literally just dropped into his sweaty little palms. Thankfully, he shared them before I started crying too loudly.
And then back home for my last night on the Luxford’s comfy leather sofa – at least for this visit. I have directions to Mari and Jesse’s place in central Melbourne for tomorrow morning so will be saying my goodbyes to some wonderful hosts then. You never know, though – I may take them up on their invitation and head back sometime. They’ll regret their hospitality, I assure you!
So to the Luxfords – an enormous “thank you” for inviting a pretty-much complete stranger into your home and making him feel like part of the family. When I eventually settle down again (wherever it may be) you’re all welcome to come visit any time. It would be my pleasure to return the favour, the welcome and the effort you have put in to making my few days here so enjoyable.