25 Feb 2021
Feeling simultaneously sad and excited, it’s time to move on. We’ve loved every minute of the Snowy Mountains wilderness, full of adventure and possibility. Of course we fantasise about buying a place by Thredbo River and never leaving but for now, the adventure continues.
We followed Alpine Way west through Kosciusko National Park, winding down through sub-alpine forest, some parts badly effected by the bushfires.
“It’s devastating and strangely beautiful” I said absentmindedly, staring out of the window as the car cruised one bend after the next.
“I wonder if it’s actually good for the dead trees” said Dave “give the forest a chance to start over…”
Further into the mountains the valley closed in and the windows filled with a dense forest of white trees with dark green foliage. An almost regulate pattern looking a little like wallpaper. Eventually the valley opened out into golden pastures dotted with cows and horses and followed a creek.
After an hour of so on the narrow winding road, we were in the mood for a coffee break and so pulled into the tiny town of Kanchoban.
“Careful of the bee” Dave was standing at the front of the car waiting for me to finish faffing around in the front seat. I finally climbed out of the car and joined him on the footpath and looked at the nose of our car. A bee seemed really interested in the grill.
The busy café was big and had an industrial chic vibe going on. We stepped inside for a delicious egg and lettuce sandwich and surprisingly good coffee. When we came back to the car there were lots of bees buzzing around the bonnet. They seemed interested in the bug bits collecting on the bumper. But we also noticed that they were crawling inside the engine too.
“Is that your car?” A wiry old guy wearing a faded baseball cap asked me.
“Yes” I nodded
“Look at the bees. You better check under the hood, there might be a hive” he said as he walked past.
“We’ve got bees in the bonnet?” I looked at Dave who shook his head.
“I filled up the water this morning when I washed it- there were no bees then.”
The state boarder crossing was only a few minutes further up the road, we had our permits at the ready but there was no one there. Just a regular crossing, like the good old days.
We enjoyed the rolling hills and changing wether on the drive through the Murry Valley.
Bright is just that- a bright little village full of energy and activity. There are very early signs of autumn in the air as leaves are starting to yellow.
We picked up the keys from the realestate agent’s Dropbox and stopped into Woolworths to pick up a few supplies. With the bikes strapped to the back of the car, I stayed while Dave popped into the supermarket.
I jumped out to stretch my legs, wandered aimlessly around the car checking the bikes and then… wait a minute! More bees!? I crouched down at the bonnet and watched as a couple of bees buzzed around the bumper and grill. We were parked nose to some bushes.
They can’t be the same bees can they? I wondered. Were they hunkered down in the grill while we drove, and now they’re displaced from their buddies? Poor bees.
“We must have hit a queen bee” suggested Dave when I pointed them out.
We’re staying on a farm in Germantown, six minutes further into the mountains from Bright.
“Well this is nice!” I said as we crunched along the dirt road leading up to an old corrugated iron and brick farm cottage.
“Let’s check for bees first” Said Dave pulling into the shed.
“No way!” Sure enough a bee stumbled out from behind a block just below the grill. He looked a little disorientated but managed to crawl out and continue with the busy work of buzzing the bumper. I left Dave to inspect the engine while I started to unpack the car, excited to see inside our little cottage – home for a week.
“There’s no more bees”, announced Dave walking into the kitchen with the esky “that was the last one.”