I’ve been seeing photos of artwork on wheat silos for ages and decided it was time I saw the real thing, and so I headed for Benalla in Victoria’s north-east, and to the three little towns of Goorambat, Devenish and St. James.
I had decided that after my week in Cornwall I would head back to London via Canterbury. Penzance to Canterbury by train is a seven hour trip so I wanted to break it up somewhere along the way. I chose Chichester, mainly because of its famous theatre.
It was my fault, even after all the trains and buses I’d used in the last fortnight, that I still thought I would get on a train at Penzance and get off, relaxed and rested, at Chichester. Actually it took over six hours and three different trains.
I had discovered while researching my trip to the UK that just 14 miles out of Cambridge was Ely, famous for its cathedral, and where Oliver Cromwell lived for ten years of his life.
The bus took an hour and a quarter to get there, the consequence of stopping at every local bus stop along the way but I had a good look at the suburbs of Cambridge and the surrounding countryside, and watched the locals coming and going, noticing the change in their accents the further away from Cambridge we got.
On my second day in Oxford, I was wandering alongside the old city wall when I came upon a set of heavy wooden doors, a smaller door cut out and open, the same as mine at Balliol College. It seemed an odd place for them, surrounded by nothing but high stone walls, and I had to investigate where they could lead. Peering through, I saw a pointed arch, framing an emerald green lawn, turretted buildings rising behind. A sign said Welcome to New College.
While preparing for my upcoming trip to England, my mind wandered back to my first trip in 2011.
I’d always wanted to slip, ‘when I was at Oxford’, into the conversation, and so I booked myself into Balliol College, the oldest university in the city.
On my way to a matinee at the Melbourne Theatre Company, I hopped a tram up St. Kilda Road to the Shrine of Remembrance, to try out my new camera. The Shrine sits on a hill in the Royal Botanic Gardens.
After my serious dose of nature in Sherbrooke Forest, and my communing with my first-ever lyre bird, I headed up the Tourist Road to Mt. Dandenong and the William Ricketts Sanctuary.
The morning after my visit to Skipton, I was having breakfast at Rosebud Cottage, my B&B in Haworth, when my host asked, ‘Have you heard of Wycoller Beck?’ I hadn’t. ‘Wycoller is the village and Beck is the river that runs through it. It’s a beautiful spot and has a Bronte connection, if you’re still looking for those.’ I was. ‘Turn right out of the driveway, then, and just follow the road. You can’t take your car into the village, though. You have to park and walk down the hill.’
One of the places on my Tassie bucket list was the Styx Valley, near the entrance to the Southwest National Park. The car rattled along the last of the gravel road into the car park of the Styx Valley Reserve. I parked beside an archway created by giant ferns, seducing me to peek through.