Friday, August 21, 2009


Last weekend (9-10th August) Karen and I travelled to the Yarra Ranges region to deliver 110 blankets as well as knitted toys, scarves and childrens clothing. We left on Sunday morning and, using Karen's GPS (hereon known as Betty) we found our way without incident to Healesville (although yesterday I received a speeding fine for doing 76km in a 60 zone along the way). We had lunch in Healesville and headed straight to Marysville.

What a delight the town is. It was buzzing with tourists and the townfolk were all very friendly. We had a good buy up in the Lolly Shop, currently situated in a shipping container, and visited Bruno's sculpture garden that he has just reopened. It was sad to see the damage the fire has done to the sculptures but also heartening to hear that he intends to rebuild it all.

Unfortunately the relief centre was closed but we were lucky to find a Lions lady in the food tent who gratefully accepted one huge bag of blankets as well as some of the other items.

We returned to Healesville and stayed at the Sanctuary Resort, a lovely quiet little motel who even gave us a discount when they learnt the reason for our trip. That evening we joined Lucy and Meaghan, both fellow Ravelers, at Meaghans house for dinner - pizza, pasta, dip with corn chips and yummy cake. Not at all healthy but very tasty. Meaghan and Lucy were great and we all got on like a house on fire.

The next morning Karen and I made our way to Yarra Glen where we met with the local MP, Christine Fyffe, who has been very helpful in organising for us to be able to drop the blankets off at the relief centre, despite the fact it is closed on Mondays. She also arranged for a couple of the local papers to be there to give the project a bit of publicity. We spent an hour at the centre and were lucky enough to meet a couple of the blanket recipients, including Ron Andrews a delightful man who lost everything in the fires and was then roped into the photos for the press. He took it all in good fun though and it was lovely to see a few of the blankets find a new home while we were there. Another Raveler, Lorraine, also joined us from Riddells Creek and it was nice to meet her again, we first met at the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show.

From there we drove to Kinglake but Betty took us along the windy road through the hills (and EVERYONE knows how I am terrified of heights) instead of along the better roads. Poor Lorraine was at Kinglake waiting for us and wondering where we'd gotten to. We met a lovely nun at the relief centre who accepted our last two bags of blankets - all up about 110 blankets went to the region as well as the added extras.

It was a great trip and Karen and I had a ball. We didn't know each other very well before the trip but now we are very firm friends.

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