Oceania Travel

The quest

4 November 2012

This past weekend was spent indulging in a cosy cottage on the Mornington Peninsula, about two hours south of Melbourne. The occasion was our two-year anniversary, so we treated ourselves to some pampering at the nearby hot springs and were spoiled at a B&B run by a lovely couple. Luckily for me I had a 5-day weekend, thanks to the lovely Islamic holidays my workplace observes. Unluckily for Alex he had a 2-day weekend, although he managed to make it a 3-day one so we could leave on Friday morning.

Our first stop was the strawberry farm. Of course, strawberry picking season starts on November 1st. It was October 26th. Nevertheless, we enjoyed a breakfast of strawberry wine samples. This was a good start to our trip.

That night, we went to the hot springs in the early evening. Alex was spoiled with a massage (a present long overdue) whilst I bathed alone in the 40°C pool. Alex finally joined me and we explored the area, testing the waters, so to speak. The night grew cooler, our towel wetter, and nothing cured our chill more than the quick jog to the next pool. The pool at the top of the mountain was in very high demand (probably something to do with the amazing view) but we were okay with the second highest pool. We also spent some time in the Turkish steam baths (Alex enjoyed, I did not) and the sauna (as before). One of my favourite parts was the reflexology pool – a shallow pool lined with stones of different shapes, sizes and sharpness, which was rather like an obstacle course for my tootsies. I also enjoyed being silly with my Lex.

The time was 9pm, and we were starving. Dried and dressed, we drove to a nearby beach town, in search of a pub recommended on a review website. It turned out the kitchen was closed, and also it was a gambling venue which is not really our cup of tea. So we drove around some more, noticing most restaurants were closed already. We finally found a pizza place which was open late, and we devoured our vegetarian pizza rather rapidly. My new obsession is olives, so this pizza pleased me immensely. (I ate my first olive some months ago at a friend’s wine night. At first they were too salty for my tastes, but slowly I’m beginning to crave them – especially in Alex’s feta salad. I am yet to try a Greek salad though, which is rather peculiar, me being Greek and all. But yes, sidetracked once again.)

Back to the hotel we went. My mind went blank and soon it was Saturday. Those hot springs really tired me out. Poor me.

Saturday was our adventure day. We went for a wander to the nearby lighthouse, and spotted a huge echidna on our path. Very exciting. (I’m always disappointed if during a trip I see no wildlife, so already this trip was a success.) The lighthouse was rather pretty, sitting on top of a dramatic cliff. The walk accompanying it was also rather lovely, with magnificent views all around.

Our next trip was to the very edge of the Mornington Peninsula – Point Nepean. We parked our car about 6km from the point to start our hike.

We passed a very old cemetery, a beautiful secluded beach, some dry Australian forest, until we eventually arrived at an old army base. From this base we could spy the end point in the nearby distance. Something of interest – unexploded bombs are still spread around this area. Safe.

The view towards the point was spectacular. In fact, we had no idea how close Point Nepean is to Point Lonsdale – a town across the bay which houses another lighthouse that we visited a few months ago. We could see it quite clearly. The sun began to shine (it had been cloudy and windy all day) and then it was time to leave. Returned to B&B for relaxing time. Vegemite sandwiches for dinner.

During our time at the B&B, we were spoiled so, as I mentioned earlier. We had a Nespresso machine in our room and now I want the same $500 machine but Alex says no. Our host’s cooking was incredible. Strawberry preserves, freshly squeezed orange juice, blueberry buttermilk pancakes, pumpkin scones… but the most amazing this we tried, were our host’s oat biscuits. They were so chewy and delectable, and they were just sitting there, in her cookie jar, ready for the taking. My new quest is to find the recipe for these cookies. I know they had oats. I know they had butter. I know they had honey or maple syrup. Perhaps they were an Anzac biscuit spin-off, but I can’t be too sure as I don’t recall coconut. I must find the recipe for these cookies. I will keep searching and baking, and once I find those cookies I will post the recipe so everyone may enjoy the wonderment of the best oat cookies in the world.

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  • Reply ddunnjr 4 November 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Amazing shots. The image of the lighthouse is breathtaking.

    • Reply Nicole 4 November 2012 at 5:41 pm

      All the landscape photography on my blog is taken by my husband – you can view some more of his photos here: http://aviel08.deviantart.com/

      I will let him know. Thanks for your comment!

  • Reply vianney 7 November 2012 at 3:26 pm

    wonderful shots~~ and so glad you have found the yumminess of olives,love them

    • Reply Nicole 7 November 2012 at 6:38 pm

      I am yet to try anything other than a kalamata but I have many years of olive tasting ahead of me.

  • Reply Paz 11 November 2012 at 7:30 am

    Lovely and picturesque. Peaceful — well, except for the photo of the Bomb warning. Yikes! 🙂

    • Reply Nicole 11 November 2012 at 10:25 am

      Yes – we were very surprised to see this sign!

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