*A post! For Fiesta Friday no less! brought to you by a messenger mangosteen, and that awesome breakfast paratha, freshly made, fluffy, wonderously layered, drizzled with condensed milk AND sugar…*
Here’s Part 3 of the Wanderlust series.
I’m taking you away from steamy hot Yangon, back to late autumn/early winter in the Snowy Mountains, Australia. The Snowy probably evokes all kinds of folklore-ish associations for Australian school kids, from that Banjo Patterson poem about the man from Snowy River, the history of the Aboriginal people, and later, gold mining in Kiandra and the Snowy Hydro scheme. A place of legend and history and old fashioned pioneering.
We drove from Albury, through the Upper Murray Valley, and into the mountains for a couple of days. Part of the Valley is a floodplain, punctuated by the occasional abandoned town and many skeletal trees.
After the floodplains, the mountains became closer and closer. They became a backdrop to fertile farms and really neat, pretty localities. Sometimes, it’s just the general store, pub and the petrol station. Occasionally, it was just the pub (at least the priorities are right, right??). Once, there was even a hipster cafe that would cut a dash in Sydney.
But the main event was always the mountains themselves. Especially the climb to the top of Mount Kosciuszko, the highest peak.
The climb was made, really, embarrassingly easy by the ski chairlift (as this is part of the ski field in winter). Only a 13km return journey, all of it on a steel mesh/rocky gravel boardwalk – I think they also serve to protect the environment from the flocks of tourists. This short walk was full of “oh look over there” views of the surrounding mountain ranges, as there are no trees at that altitude and we had an uninterrupted view around us.
In particular, the mountains faded in colour as they were further away, creating a gorgeous, hyper coloured layers of blue. Blue that matched the sky. I wanted to stay there until sundown…
Then, there’s the rest.
A peacock in the Wagga Wagga zoo, with a soft, plaintive cry that made it seem even more delicate.
And snowy hydro scheme townships, their residents are still people who work for the hydro scheme. And the mornings were crisp, in the way that only mountain air in winter could be. These places really were as peaceful as they look.
One last look at the snowy scheme, and we were back to the coast.
In the small village of Tathra, the weather was warm, mellow, almost summer-like. The evening hours on its historic wharf were some of the prettiest hours during our trip.
And that’s it for the wanderlust travel backlog, I think! Next up will be something food related again, if I find an internet connection around Mandalay. (Yes, of Kipling’s Road to Mandalay fame, though I think he was talking about the river??)