Tuesday, 12 April 2011

April 11 Monday. Tyabb to Mount Beauty

Up early we had to drive to Frankston again to purchase a new battery for the Stinson.  We also had to deviate to Moorabbin fuel suppliers to retrieve Kevin’s credit card which he had inadvertently left behind (again!).  Within their office we sighted two photographs of the Stinson taken in the 30’s showing a group of Vacuum Company employees next to the aircraft and their vehicle.  We had never seen this shot before so photographed it for our historical record.

  The other photo was of her flying over Melbourne city – a copy of which we already have. The weather forecast had been for deteriorating conditions later in the day although the morning was beautiful, sunny with clear skies.

Leaving Bernardi s at Tyabb

Back to Tyabb by 11.30 – the skies began to cloud over.  By the time we had packed our gear, filled her with fuel at the Peninsular Aero Club and said our goodbyes to Peter, Irene, Tibby & Mia, we lifted off at 1.42pm.  

Clouds getting ominous
More showers ahead
Tracking for Lillydale we climbed to 4,000 ft to cross the mountains into the Eildon valley.  Spectacular scenery all around us, we headed for Mansfield, a beautiful little town surrounded by farmland before tracking north for Benalla.  Forced to descend under deteriorating conditions we were confronted with low scud and minimal horizon still 20 miles south of Benalla.  However after an orbit or 2, we crept in over the Benalla airfield in misty drizzle and scud to head north along the highway to Wangarratta.  Overflying the strip, to the east we could see improving conditions so we tracked towards a mountain 4,000 ft high passing the little town of Myrtleford before breaking out into the beautiful Mount Beauty valley.

Valley opening out before us

GPS whilst flying down the valley

The flight up the valley with towering mountains both sides was spectacular.  Mt Beauty lay before us at the end of the valley, the strip being positioned such that a take off to the south could not be achieved due to mountainous terrain.
Mt Beauty  one-way airstrip

Alan Pay was there to meet us as Peter B had phoned ahead to advise him of our impending arrival.  Tucking the Stinson into his cavernous hangar, we were whisked away in his landcruiser to their beautiful home 18 kms down the valley.

There followed an amazing evening with Alan and Cooney preparing a delicious Chilli Prawn and pasta dish with red wine topped off with coffee.  Their architecturally designed home is tucked on the side of the valley tastefully decorated with a fully self contained guest suite within. Our room looked onto an internal courtyard garden, through the house over the decking to the views beyond.   How spoilt are we?  None of this we expected. We had planned to camp but with the forecast night temperature of 6 degrees and more rain to come, Alan thankfully saved us!

1 comment:

Son John n Lizzy said...

Hi to the adventurers... Wow, so much packed in. Am following with great interest and just a tinge of jealousy, especially when you were in Apollo Bay.. Luuuuuv the blog. You are so detailed and interesting. Is the pic of the Stinson actually your Stinson? Love to you both Sonia

Stinson Reliant SR8C VH-UXL

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

About Us

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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.