Saturday, 14 April 2007


We had planned to train it to Melbourne so up early and walked (much to Kev’s disgust) up to the train station. A friendly local helped us scrounge enough change for the train tickets which could only be purchased via a machine. The conductor helped us on board with our tickets then we settled in for the 15 minute ride to Frankston where we changed trains. The first train was a diesel loco then we moved onto the electric rail to Flinders Street Station a trip which took 1 hour. The graffiti on the walls was great to see as well as the ever changing styles of buildings.

The day was overcast but Melbourne was bustling with people and tourists everywhere. We enjoyed a coffee and snack at the rail whilst K & S fed the sparrows and pigeons.

A quick check at the Tourist Centre found ourselves on a tram up Elizabeth Street to the Victoria Markets. A bustling crowded fascinating array of clothes, food and gift items was met with delight by myself and Sarah however Kev found it boring and tiring – all that walking. We had a few items each we wanted to buy however came away with nothing due to time constraints.

Back through the food area we bought large slices of pizza for lunch YUM for the small sum of $7.50 (why is fast food so cheap?) and sat on the sidewalk watching the passing parade of human beings. It started to rain – of course, so back on a tram for the traditional walk over the Yarra River bridge. A loop walk through South Bank shops and bars back over the Yarra to the train station.

Another long train ride back to Frankston where we chose to catch a bus instead of train. Well after another half hour like the outback milk run we rushed to the Warehouse Antique Shed for a quick browse. Well you can’t quickly browse through hundreds of square metres of antiques covering everything from clothes to furniture but I restrained myself and we walked on home to Peter and Irenes.

They had arranged for us to visit their friends Jim and Jenny Wickham. Peter collected us and drove us up there then returned once again to work. Jim and Jenny have Qtr horses and allowed Sarah to ride Lenny an 11yo chestnut gelding that they had bred themselves. She enjoyed herself greatly even getting a flying change or two. Lenny had been taught to lay down but decided tonight wasn’t the night for it so Jim spent frustrating time trying to complete the exercise to Jim’s satisfaction – not Lenny’s. Jenny brought in who was unrideable due to an injury but he excelled in his demonstration of lying down on command. Their 20 year old horse was lame due to losing a shoe but he still worked beautifully for Jim.

After being shown all their parrot aviaries and nearly stepping on baby quail Jim found a baby that was near to death. He blew on it for a while, brought it inside and placed it on a heat pad in a container overnight.

After such a mucked up afternoon it was revealed that the Bernardis and Attwaters were joining us for dinner. Jenny went on to produce a lovely meal of steak and fish with salad followed by fresh fruit salad – lovely raspberries!

We had a great evening with Jim and Sarah alternately playing the baby grand piano and much wine and fun was had by all.

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Stinson Reliant SR8C VH-UXL

Stinson Reliant SR8C VH-UXL
over Perth city (Photo: Greg Hill)

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Flying farming couple who live on 135 acres. Kev is obsessed by aeroplanes. Vicki is devoted to horses and White Swiss Shepherds.