Monday, December 29, 2014

A visit to the Bellarine Pt 2

Sunday morning at Sister's on the Bellarine after cereal and toast saw us off to pick fruit at a blueberry farm. The berries had matured a little early and the farm does not normally open until the new year. Collectively we picked about 3/4 of a kilo, and so cheap at $15 a kilo.


Other fruits were being grown, but we were only allowed to pick the blueberries.


Only pick the dark ones, we were told, not the pale ones or the red ones. Do not eat any picked blueberries. Of course we did sample some. The immature berry is quite pretty.


It was hot and a refreshing drink was need at the blueberry farm cafe.


Trees need to grow a bit, but quite a nice setting.



We drove from the farm to Portarlington in Bone Doctor's monster and then along the coast back to Queenscliff but stopped at winery first.


It was a gorgeous place. Wineries where you buy directly from the grower/wine maker often serve food too, as does Kiltynane Winery. My cunning plan is to go back with R one day, drink lots of wine and eat lovely food and then call Sister or Bone Doctor to come and pick us up.



Swan Bay with Queenscliff in the background.


Little Jo was a bit bored with our wine tasting, so she and R can be seen behind the trees in the children's sand pit.


Sister once found a table tennis table left out for road side collection. It served them well for many years but did eventually collapse. They bought a new table and R and myself assisted Bone Doctor with the assembly. I expect you can guess whose footprints they are.
 

Where Sister lives is quite an expensive place to buy or to rent. There are not too many houses that still have traditional grass driveway strip. I love them. Maybe they are only found in Australia. This is a typical rural beach side house, for permanent living. We were walking down to the beach. R and myself only paddled. R had left his contacts in and I hate cold water, but Sister, BD and Little Jo had great fun in the water.


Sister and Bone Doctor had this outdoor shower installed and placed some paving with the help of a friend. Bone Doctor built the timber platform. It is private enough to shower naked as long as no one pops their head over the fence. I used it to wash the sand off Little Jo's surfing board.


Sister cooked us a lovely meal, local mussels in a nice sauce and Bone Doctor barbequed some lamb, accompanied by a salad. While R and myself arose about the same time Sunday morning, Sister and Bone Doctor were already out walking and cycling respectively. Sister her taken her dog on the walk but the dog went into the water and had wet feet, so banned from coming inside, She plaintively looked inside through the kitchen window. Yes, that is my notebook out on the table.


So it is now Monday morning and Bone Doctor had gone to work. Sister asked if we would like to walk to the local village for coffee. It is quite a walk, about 2 km. Fortunately she drove us to the beach and the walk was a bit shorter. Little Jo wasn't keen on breakfast before we left. Sister told her in no uncertain terms that there would not be breakfast in a cafe. We ordered our coffee and Little Jo wanted food. Sister relented (even she gets conned by Little Jo) and ordered a bacon sandwich. It arrived at the table and there was enough bacon etc for the four of us. We had sipped our coffee in the cafe to the left. Where Sister lives is a place for holiday makers, many of whom own houses there they use for holidays. There is little that can be bought for less than $500,000, so some quite rich people are visiting the town. The cafe we were in was mostly Malvern types. The one next door, as Bone Doctor later pointed out, was more Ivanhoe. The town is certainly a place to observe the inequality of Australian society in general. People who can live and holiday here are very fortunate members of society.


What a hoot. A lad had draped himeself in seaweed as we walked back to the car. He looked like Cousin Itt. They were having great fun. Btw, I noted Pugsley recently died.


On the horizon we noticed a big non cargo boat about to exit the rip of Port Phillip Bay. I knew, and to my surprise R also knew, there were no cruise ships in port. What could it be? Mid morning, it was quite discombobulating to see it was the Spirit of Tasmania. We then recalled there is a twice daily service during the summer period and the sailing times are different. On the far side of the ferry is Point Nepean. Once back at Sister's we packed up the car and were home by early afternoon.

24 comments:

  1. It sounds like a truly wonderful trip. Interesting to learn that Little Jo hones her conning skills at home.
    Blueberries at $15 a kilo? Bliss.

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    1. EC, oh yes, skills principally honed on Bone Doctor who gives up for the sake of peace. I priced blueberries in the supermarket and $15 is very cheap.

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  2. Andrew you had a fantastic day at your sister's . It is a nice place where she lives. For me a person from different conmtinenyt landsape is amazing similar is at Spain but yours is a paradise. I am jealouus of your fresh fruits. Is it expensive or cheap &15 per kilo. The outdoor is a graet invention in your climate.

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    1. Gosia, I think our climate is similar to parts of Spain. I think I saw blueberries for about $38 a kilo in the shop.

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  3. Love picking blueberries (one of the reasons why I enjoy going to Finland in the Summer)!!

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    1. That paints such a picturesque scene, Ad Rad.

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  4. What a beautiful spot. And those blueberries look delicious.
    Those grass strip driveways look very nice when well maintained like that one. Not so nice when they sprout those god-awful big flat prickly weeds and the grass gets a bit long and brown. We have one ourselves in fact, though at some stage in the house's renovations (before us) the grass was pulled up and replaced with white pebbles. We still get the ugly weeds.

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    1. Jackie, the driveway strip is not so good when cars leak oil either. I am not so keen on the white pebbles, but they are practical.

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  5. The Rip never fails to impress. Known worldwide for it's tricky channel and how badly does Melbourne Tourism want to blast the bjesus out of it to let in those monster cruise ships.
    I hope that seaweed boy's family got snaps of him for the embarrassment fun at his 21st.
    Thanks for the blueberry flowers image I have eaten millions and never thought of that. Years ago I read that they are good for brain power and anti-alzheimers so I have been quaffing them ever since. Now I discover that the research proves they make a THREE year difference. wha? so I am only 3 years ahead of how stupid I would be if I hadn't spent a fortune eating blueberries daily? damn.
    Thank you again for sharing your wonderful social life dear A.

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    1. Ann, the Spirit is the only ship allowed in and out without a pilot. I wonder if the Portsea beach has stabilised yet after the last blasting. Couldn't have affected a better beach. I fear you started eating blueberries three years too late.

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  6. The wineries down on the Bellarine Peninsula are very cool. I went to a wedding there, the marquee being set up in the vineyards and the wine it was aflowing!

    Have you been on the Spirit of Tasmania? Sorry... I forget stuff, these days :(

    We went to Devonport last January and I ran around the ship for the entire trip, doing stuff - meals, wine, concerts, cinema, watching the coastline etc. A fantastic day! My beloved lay in his cabin, suffered sea sickness the entire way, and pretended he was dead.

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    1. No, I have not travelled on the Spirit but R has been on three different version of the ferry over the years.

      You did not dance attendance on your dying husband? Well, what could you do anyway.

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  7. Blueberries? Meh.
    But down at sister's place so close to the beach! Oh joy. I don't think I'd be in the water this time of year though, not even paddling.
    The area surrounding the winery looks nice, most wineries are in pretty areas. And when the wineries are done up nice for cellar sales and then food too, they're quite picturesque. picture postcard stuff.

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    1. River, I don't mind blueberries but I would not bother buying them normally. Yes, picturesque is important for a winery and many of them make a big effort.

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  8. Sounds like you all had a super time living it up. If it is the Mornington Peninsula area it is very pretty.

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    1. Diane, it was a nice time. It is on the other side of Port Phillip Bay, Mornington one side, Bellarine the other. I know Mornington P much better from childhood holidays.

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  9. I've discovered picking blueberries at a local farm in recent years and I'm hooked. We get no admonishments from the staff except to have fun. Last summer, Ken and I picked about 7 kilos. The price is €3.50/kilo which works out to a little over $5 AUS/kilo. Those berries you picked seem wildly expensive!

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    1. Walt, I am not surprised at the price difference. Although much cheaper than retail, I thought they were quite expensive when you had to pick them yourself. Yes, it is just meanness to say no eating of the berries. Blueberry growing here is a bit of a niche thing and the land there would be expensive. I am about to text my sister how much they are in France. Thanks.

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  10. The scenery down there is lovely.
    I saw the Spirit coming in the other day and wondered why it was so late/early. Now I know why.

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    1. Yep Fen. Does in the mind.

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  11. I had a chuckle about you saying 2kms was a bit far to walk - that's what I walk to get to work everyday when there's no snow!

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    1. Wombat, it is about mental preparation. 2km each way is 4km and through the streets we know so well is boring. I reckon we walked 3km there and back. I don't mind if there are 'photo stops', but the very fit Sister sets a cracking pace and Little Jo was on her scooter. Never mind how old I am, what about R? But he was fine with the walk.

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  12. I don't think I've EVER been in a car that big!!!! LOVE fresh blueberries, but our one & only attempt to grow them was a disaster in our hot, dry garden. I hope 2015 brings more of the good stuff to you :D

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    1. Thanks Red. I too tried a blueberry bush once, and it failed.

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