Believe it or not, stuff actually did happen in between. The job's great so far - mainly because I haven't had a permanent post in a public bar, so I've had enough to learn to keep me keen. The staff are great, although everyone complains about how much of a hole Bright and The Alpine are. It's been pretty busy, but nothing I'm not used to. I've even had a few days off. It's amazing how much time you seem to have when being 'on holiday' means no real todo list, and living seven metres from work means a zero minute commute; a 55 hour week last week didn't seem like much trouble at all.
I have to apologise now for having bugger all photos of the lovely town of Bright. I don't really take the camera out when I'm popping out for the milk. But I will address the shortage, I promise!
It seems everyone here (except of course the locals) rides a treadly, so my 50-50 decision to bring mine has paid dividends. Once settled in I headed out of-a-morning to nearby Wandiligong, famous as a historical gold-digging site, and now for Australia's largest hedge maze. Not that I care. But it was a good treadle up the hill, and I have to prove that I went a photo of a historic Chinese bridge, and a shot down the valley towards Bright.
(03: Oriental Bridge: I am only assuming it's original, but the snapshots of a burgeoning Australian trait - racism - written about on its touristy walls were fairly interesting. I can only assume that this stream was once more significant than it is... at present it would be easier to just walk through it than to build something elaborate like this bridge.)
(06: From Wandiligong down the valley towards Bright: notice evidence of what I consider to be the area's primary blight: extensive pine plantations. Nothing is less environmentally or aesthetically interesting than planted pine.)
New Years Day - the only public holiday, unfortunately - I had a day off, which I spent thriftily on an alpine loop that has convinced me this is motorcycling heaven. You can read [all about it] [on my motorcycling blog]. (If you're keen on the photos the moto-blog is the one you probably want to keep your eye on.)
I had another day off yesterday, once again spent on the road - and yes, it was as hot in this area as it was everywhere else in Eastern Australia. The scenery was no less fantastic than on my first day's riding, so you should check out [my motoblog post on that] too.
Somewhere along the way (in between Mitta-Mitta and Dartmouth) I realised I'm living a dream. I realised just how lucky I am being able to do what I am doing: to ride when I want, work when I want, relax (mainly in between those first two occupations, not so much during), still earn well enough, and learn along the way as well. I never want to ever hear from anyone that they have wasted a summer and are poorer for it. Get out of town: there are towns like Bright all over the map with welcoming locals, a pub in dire need of staff, and a whole new world to encounter. I have spent four years wasting free holiday time, rest assured that it has been done enough already that you don't need to do so as well.
Well, I can tell you about my plans.
Before I leave Bright, I have a must-do-todo list of two:
1: Climb Mt Bogong (Victoria's Highest Peak) and/or Mt Feathertop (Victoria's Second Highest Peak);
2: Become aquainted with the local brewery.
So far all my days off have moto-rides planned for them, but there will be more of those in future (and I can of course just stay in town long enough to do what I need to), so you will hear all about these exploits.
I'm also planning a Far-South-Coast + Snowy Mountains + Canberra trip for this weekend.
I expect to be in town until not long after the Australia day weekend, and head into Melbourne after that until I need to be back in Sydney mid-March.
And more photos!
Yes, I have shitloads more photos, mainly from my days out on the motorbike; check out [my Picasa gallery].
(Links and formatting to come.)
jsbaxter.com.au (coming soon!)