Our neighbourhood is scheduled for lock down once again. The current outbreak of the virus in our area has increased by double digits every day for nearly two weeks. For us, this means we will return to our original lockdown rules of staying home unless we need to shop for food, see a doctor or to exercise.
During the current winter school holiday we had planned many little day trips to discover more of Victoria which we’ve now had to cancel. I get it and I certainly don’t want to expose any of us to the illness. I am very grateful we are all healthy and together which is my only priority. Funny how perspective has changed in such a short time.
Work had encouraged all employees to visit a bushfire affected area this year by offering to pay for an extra holiday day. One of our planned outings would be to one of these towns that we had yet to pick. We hoped to head to Alpine National Park to play in the snow and revel in a proper cold temperature. Alas, we had one day left before the new suburb lockdown went into force and the drive to the mountains was a good 4+ hours so we bailed and chose a closer destination.
After a little bushfire affected post code mapping, I found a town nearer to home to make one last little day trip. We drove 70km to Kyneton, about one hour northwest of Melbourne, in the Macedon Ranges. A super cute little town, close but rural, and a bit of a foodie paradise. They had a thriving little downtown area with highly rated restaurants and coffee houses. It reminded me of the Hamptons and Eastern Long Island minus the beaches.
We didn’t want to interact with anyone, doing our part to social distance. Instead we opted for a 5km walk with the dog along the Campaspe River. Platypus supposedly inhabit the river but we had no sightings, of course. I think they are more introverted than I am. The river pathway is paved with an optional dirt path closer to the water. Victoria feels more English countryside than NSW with green rolling hills and an abundance of cows and sheep. This walk emphasised that environment with the lack of gumtrees that make up most of the Australian landscape.
There was an amazing playground within Kyneton Community Park that looked newish and designed to blend in well with the natural surrounds. The kids played for maybe 10 minutes but it was enough to satisfy and so nice to see them outside being children. It felt like a very normal 10 minutes and quite a novelty right now.
We stopped at Monsieur Pierre’s take away window for a flat white and some pastries before heading back home. A fabulous find of a high end import food store and deli. We also made sure to bring home a wedge of comte and an artisan butter from Tassie. With receipt in hand, declaring time spent supporting one of this fire affected towns, we returned home with plenty of time before the lockdown started at midnight.