Blog 240 Puffing Billy Jan 2013

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Current News.

We have just returned from a couple of weeks away in Victoria where we tested everything out including me, all of which will be blogged in due course but our holiday was good fun and I coped very well.

We now have a very busy couple weeks ahead of us as we plan our onward shipment to Canada at the beginning of April 2013 but I will endeavour to try to keep plugging away at the blogs. We are currently still at the beginning of the year.


Blog 240 Puffing Billy Jan 2013

Boxing day saw us out on the bike for a ride near Belgrave to the Monbulk Creek trestle bridge which we passed on a previous ride. This is reported to be 300 feet or 15 spans long and over 42 feet high. See if you can spot me by the trestle leg in the photo. Our luck was in we had only 10mins to wait before the regular steam train Puffing Billy went over.

Can you see me yet.

Can you see me yet.

Trespassers Prosecuted


Puffing Billy is quite well known in these parts and many flock to take a ride, it is the only steam train we know that allows you hang various body parts out of the windows! 

Puffing BillyIMG_003

It is a heritage narrow gauge railway initially opened in 1900 to serve the farming and timber community from the end of the Melbourne broad gauge line at Upper Ferntree Gully. A landslide in 1953 which blocked the line saw its demise and it officially closed in 1954. It is now open thanks mainly to the efforts of volunteers of the Puffing Billy Preservation Society who formed in 1955 when Victorian Railways still owned the line. The society have restored many engines to full working order and the line now runs every day except Christmas day as a very popular tourist train.

Crossing sign Puffing Billy Puffing Billy Monbulk Trestle bridge

It’s route takes it through the station Lakeside at Emerald Lake park where it takes on water, it’s also where we rode to meet it again.

Lakesdie Staton

Now where did I put my lunch..

Now where did I put my lunch..

Puffing Billy Puffing Billy

We took a wander around the park afterwards which was very relaxing and saw its amphitheatres and lakes

Amphitheatre IMG_0602 IMG_0597 IMG_0619 Emerald Lake Park Emerald Lake Park

The strange looking object Kev is photoing is a tree fern stump, here is also one in its full glory.

IMG_017 IMG_015 Tree fren IMG_0791

We had to laugh when we saw the ducks only swimming in the shady side of the lakes, so it’s not just us that feels the heat…..


Stick to the shade guys some joker left the hot tap on.


In our ever changing circumstances we moved to Craig and Paula’s to see the new year in, you may remember Kev first stayed there when I was in Epworth rehab. Craig and Paula had taken off on the bike for a week or so and we were dog sitting their two Airdales Molly and the three legged Teddy. They had said to invite a few friends over to celebrate, so it made a change to entertain Rob and Pam and some others. Here is our New Year photos.

New Years Day

Please don't let the candle burn me, Please don't let the candle burn me..... What do you mean it's fake!

Please don’t let the candle burn me, Please don’t let the candle burn me…..
What do you mean it’s fake!

Craig had a couple of scooters as he was intending to run a small business “Scoot Around Town” hiring out the scooters to get around the city. Scooters are the way to go in a big city light, nimble and in Victoria it is legal to park for free on the pavements with motorcycles. What a great idea, it needs to catch on in the rest of world. Now I was fit enough to ride again we took a scoot each into the city a couple of times to do the tourist thing.

IMG_0463 Scoots in the City (Melbourne)

We had bought ourselves new protective jackets as a Christmas present and because mine was munted (destroyed). Australia does a mesh airflow jacket designed for excessive heats a it was a pleasure to ride in them.

Karen on Scoot

On this occasion we went to Docklands and as luck would have it so did the local AC Cobra club, here are some of the beautiful cars on display.

AC Cobras IMG_1385 IMG_1369 IMG_0483

One was an original Carroll Shelby a very rare beast.

Carroll Shelby cobra IMG_1358

They were so polished I could get a reflection on the rear fender. Most had their bonnets up so we could gawp at the motors as well and one had a cobra gear shift.

Cobra reflection IMG_1370 IMG_0479 IMG_0498 IMG_1361

We also wandered along the quayside to view the artwork and boats.

IMG_1390 IMG_0523 IMG_0526 IMG_0529 IMG_0530 IMG_1407

We even got to meet Dame Edna and friends.

Dame Edna

Hello possums.

Hello possums.

IMG_0465 IMG_0469 IMG_1387

In the heart of the city was a camera museum housed inside the current Michael’s camera shop. We headed there on our return. Michael’s has had five generations of the same family run the shop from the corner of Elizabeth street and Lonsdale street since 1916.

IMG_0536 IMG_0538 IMG_0548 IMG_0547 IMG_0549

It had just about every make and model there ranging from ones we recognised using in our youth to the rarest of the rare. Ones that went to the moon and some that were gold plated. Kev even spotted his first real camera bought when he was 13, second hand from a camera shop in East street in his home town.

IMG_0545 IMG_0540 IMG_1410 IMG_1409 IMG_1414 IMG_0551

By now I was really flagging, it was the first time I had done any real walking for a length of time and I needed a coffee and a sit down. Michael’s staff recommended a local coffee house down the back streets. It was a fabulous place full of character although it didn’t look much from the street, we had bagels and we even got a face in the coffees.

IMG_1427 IMG_1426 IMG_1421 IMG_1419 Coffee face

Melbourne has a great mix of old and new rubbing side by side, here is some more architecture.

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Next up – More from the city.


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