Sunday, January 09, 2011

Just another Sunday, but on a Public Holiday Monday

I may have liked to do it on the second last day of my ever so busy couple of weeks off work, but R was not feeling well, possibly due to over consumptions of Nobby's Nuts on the previous day. I had no ill effects and continued to consume Nobby's Nuts until the packet was empty. I only eat natural salts and never add salt to food, but I very much like salty nuts. Sadly nuts are not as salty as they used to be, but Nobby's Nuts are reasonably salty. A gay neighbour who lives in the ionospheric area of the highrise spluttered when I entered the lift and I apologised for being caught with a mouth full of nuts. Some folk are so easily amused.

Oh dear, I am off track before I have even started. In my new street directory I was looking at the suburb of Tullamarine. You wonder why? So do I. However I noticed a green bit on the far northern side of the airport. 'Lookout' grabbed my attention. 'Homestead ruins' grabbed my attention. 'Existing homestead' grabbed my attention. 'Aboriginal cemetery with permission only', grabbed my attention. 'Mickleham Road' grabbed my attention. That is where the tabloid named 'Mum in the boot' murder case happened.

R had recovered from his overindulgence in nuts by the last day of my time off, so we headed off on the mega pay road towards Tullumarine. Oh look, I said to R, that sign is confusing as it looks like that is the exit you need to take to go on the Tullamarine Freeway. Oh look, I said to myself, this is the exit I need to take to get on the Tullamarine Freeway, as I swung the car left. No motorists were injured or inconvenienced during this manoeuvre.

Exit, Mickelham Road. Petrol stations, fast food, a large truck behind me. I pulled over, not for petrol or fast food, but just get rid of the large truck.

I had printed into my brain a mental map of what I had seen of the area. What a shame I did not print out a map. With more arse than class, I found a road in towards where we wanted to go. Gate, as I knew. We walked a track. We were verboten to go off track to the left as that was the Aboriginal Cemetery. To our right was a fenced area, a native animal protection area. As I informed R about the native animal area to our right, I looked left to the cemetery and saw a mob of kangaroos, eastern greys. I walked towards the fence to get a bit closer for a photo and R warned me, don't get too close, they might attack you. Let me tell you, if a kangaroo attacks you, you will be on the losing end. It has happened, but it is very rare that they attack. Mostly they remain alert to humans, but in a disinterested manner.

We climbed a steep hill in the open bush and passed a couple of buildings. It was weird, because instead of hearing the sounds of the forest, all we could hear were the planes taking off or landing at the airport. We even saw them from a distance.

Not too far away we could see the Melbourne Airport Radar Tower at the top of Gellibrand Hill, but no indication of a lookout. The lookout may well have been somewhere nearby but we couldn't find it. Bad signposting Parks Victoria. It was getting warm and we had walked enough.

I knew it might have been a bit difficult and I had a back up plan of driving directly to Woodlands homestead. We walked back along a slightly different route, along the the wild life enclosure fence. We saw no other wildlife. Kangaroos are good breeders in good times. There were twice as many in the cemetery as when we arrived. Fast workers.

Do you know what Jumping Jacks are? They are ants, larger than our common imported ants and they bite, nastily. There are one hundred and twenty one gazillion jumping jack ants in this park. I earned bad karma by stepping on some. It was unavoidable.

Back at the car, we drove along a gravel road and spoiled R's nice clean car. We turned onto what I now know is Somerton Road and saw a sign to Woodlands Homestead and turned off. There were tracks here to get to Woodlands, but we wanted a road. The area seemed to mostly a rendezvous place for men who had kiddie seats mounted on their back seats. Silly me, it took R to point out the bleeding obvious. Don't worry wives, it is just a passing phase. Don't ask, don't tell.

Map R? Yes he said. Right, now we know where we need to go. Left into Oaklands Road and there will be a driveway to the homestead. The rest another day.

You can just see a plane at the airport in the distance.

Eastern grey kangaroos blend into the dry Victorian forest very well. There were twice this number lazing about when we returned from our walk.


  1. Mickleham Rd would have to be one of the ugliest stretches on our patch.

    OTOH Woodlands Homestead is lovely - I maybe prejudiced as it is part of Living Legends where our horse mad g'daughter had her (I think) 4th or 5th birthday party.

  2. It took me a while to spot those roos. The most camouflaged animals we get round here are sheep...and they're obvious from about four miles away. Unless, of course, I just haven't spotted the others.

  3. I give the big male kangaroo a wide berth when I see him - he doesn't even budge if he sees me outside just sits and props as if daring me - the others just hop away...I think I have those same ants here - they run in a jerky sort of way and have a really nasty bite

  4. Jumping Jacks reside on sandy tracks we tend to bushwalk in Dunolly.
    Or they ambush us.
    I don't think I've seen you use the word 'gazillion' before, Andrew! :)
    Must drag the feral kidlet out there, very slack of me.

  5. I've only seen kangaroos attack for food ie you've got some, but you're not giving it to them!!

    The jury's out as to whether your description of the places visited makes them more or less appealing!!

  6. OTOH, emus will attack just because they're ornery buggers.

  7. I really didn't take much notice of the road LS. It appeared to be 'functional'. Woodlands and gee gees coming up soon.

    Brian, we saw lots of gravity defying sheep on hills when we drove along the M6.

    An old man 'roo MC. I think jumping jacks are pretty widespread.

    Jayne, is gazillion your word? I know you use it but I didn't realise you invented. Macquarie dictionary take note.

    Red, there was one case here where a jogger was attacked and he didn't have food, but yes, the other cases I know of were about food.

    I am a bit wary of emus LS. Do they really attack?

  8. Andrew,

    Them gravity defying sheep were probably clouds.

  9. I've been to the top of that hill.
    Before you get to the radar, you have to go through a gate, find the gate and go through it and follow that track past the radar. There's no lookout really, just a clearing and luckily some large rocks to stand on. There may be a trig point as well, I can't recall.

    From memory my mate and I didn't follow the path. Can't recall why, we just followed the fencline up the hill until we came to that gate and from there followed the track to the top. The kangaroos were giving us the evil eye as well.

  10. Thanks Ben. I saw the gate, but we were ****ed by then and it was pretty warm.