|The Great Barrier Reef from the air|
After giving away all our extra bits that we bought for the van, toaster, gas cooker, carving knife, cheese grater, caffetiere, wine glasses and all our left over food (including custard!) to the people in the caravan next door to us, we delivered the van back to Travellers Autobarn, still with the carpet that Paul had fitted and the extra internal lights we fitted. Not sure they were particularly impressed, but we felt we’d taken the van back in a better condition than we’d received it!
The internal flight from Cairns to Melbourne was a little longer than we thought, 3.5 hours, covering over 3000km, but it had the advantage of giving us a birds eye view of the Great Barrier Reef, spread beneath us in the clear blue ocean under a clear blue sky, which was quite amazing. From a temperature of mid to high twenties we went into mid single figures with a fairly cool stiff breeze and the bustle of Melbourne, got collected by an
|The Whitsunday Islands|
|Hiring the snow chains|
As well as a house in Tasmania he lives in an old church that has been expertly converted into four houses that are each huge, absolutely amazing in design and with every ‘mod-con’ you could want. He showed us to our bedroom with en-suite which has original exposed beams, a stained glass window and a balcony looking down over the large kitchen with its island units in the centre. What a change from our little van, we felt like we had just entered the Ritz!
After a short walk into town for a meal in one of the many local restaurants, we were relatively early to bed to be up very early
|Simon and Jackie on the slopes|
|A brief lunch stop - 10 minutes max!|
The weather was perfect, clear blue skies, there had been a fresh dump of snow in the week which meant that 20 of the 22 lifts were open and the crowds weren’t too bad either, meaning very few queue’s at the lifts. In short, perfect! Mount Buller is a relatively small resort, ideal for a day or possibly a weekend, with mainly easier runs and only a few harder blacks and little off-piste, but for our time there, coupled with Simon acting as our guide to all the best runs, we couldn’t have had it better.
It did, however, feel slightly disconcerting having been transported from the tropical north with its rainforests, coral reefs, hot sun and
|Eucalyptus trees in snow, that doesn't seem normal!|
|Jackie on a mogul black run|
Our evening was nothing much, Simon had quickly showered and gone out to meet some of his friends in town (well, he’s young enough to have the energy to do that), we got a Pizza and some beers and came back to Simon’s to watch a film on his massive TV, during which I fell asleep. We gave up at 11:00pm and went to bed, Simon still out.
I’m typing this on Sunday morning sitting in bed still recovering, maybe its time to get up and see what the day brings…