Up until Saturday – I had never gone away on a ‘girls’ weekend’. Just the mere term conjures up an image of pillow-fights, sophisticated G&Ts, giggling, champagne, chocolate and I don’t know….. ‘girl’ stuff.
I think my two mates and I didn’t read the memo.
Our weekend consisted of boobs, (sore) bums, bubbles (soda water) and bikes. It was actually pretty much perfect.
Meri, Fran and I first met in our youth. We were all attending university at RMIT in Melbourne. Fran was the PR chick. Meri – the engineer. Kylie – the scientist. We bonded via the RMIT Softball Club (of which I was the founding member!). We gathered a team and went away for an eye-opening week to the Brisbane University Games. Pretty much a week that consisted of beer, fun and a little bit of softball thrown in. I had a ball. I made some very dear friends and Meri, Fran and I consequently spent a summer camping together in Sorrento, and pretty much just enjoyed Uni life together! We went our separate ways, but still kept in contact. Enter last weekend when Fran and her family were staying near us over the festive season. We caught up and had a few laughs, and off home she went. A couple of days later – I received a text asking if I wanted to get away fro the weekend. I took little convincing!
Somehow we mangled together the idea of staying in Warburton for Saturday night, and cycling part of the Warburton Rail Trail. I am not sure that 40km of cycling was on any of our agendas, but 40km we did on Saturday. We then backed it up with another 23km along the Warburton Aqueduct on Sunday. Am expecting much bum pain tomorrow. (haven’t ridden a bike in 22-odd years – nothing like jumping right in!).
There was much laughter, and just general mate-ship-ness. It’s lovely being with a couple of girls where you don’t need to turn on your filter. Just blurt out anything – and it was met with laughter, agreement or whatever was needed. We had a quick whinge about our husbands in the first ten minutes, then made the promise not to mention them again. Perfect.
So – Warburton.
I haven’t been there often. My mother went through alcohol-rehab there, and also lived in the township for a brief time. I can’t say I had fabulous memories.
I was certainly open to squashing those, and creating new ones!
Warburton is a beautiful town in the Yarra Valley, on the Warburton Highway. Not too far out from Melbourne (a leisurely 72km east), past Lilydale, and on the road to Mount Donna Buang, adjacent to the Yarra River. The township is filled with quaint shops, cafes and parkland. Many of the buildings date back to the early 1900s, and are wonderful to saunter past on the way to breakfast at Little Joe (the nut granola is spectacular!).
The Warburton rail trail runs from Warburton to Lilydale (40km). We opted to NOT cycle 80km! As it was, 40km was probably 10km too far – but apparently I insisted on ‘rounding-up’! The trail is fairly flat, with a few undulating hills thrown in, just to keep us on our toes. It was rather overcast on Saturday, and slightly muggy. Excellent riding conditions. We stopped a few times along the way for Garmin checks (my GPS wasn’t tracking very well, and according to it, I had only travelled half the distance!), and emergency chocolate. You will not the bleak looking weather. Our enthusiasm was not dampened in the least!
The stags were happy for us to stare at them!
This particular bridge certainly let me know where the jiggly parts were on my body!
Once we arrived back at our Lodge (the Warburton Lodge – simple accommodation, but cheap and friendly!), we showered and avoided sitting down – not only because it hurt, but we were afraid that we may never get up again!
We walked to Wild Thyme for dinner. They had a reggae band playing – FATS WAH WAH. Every time I said the name – I dissolved into giggles! The food wasn’t too bad, if you like your entree served during your main, your spicy cajun salad to be more lettuce than ‘salad’, or your lamb rack to be served instead as a lamb WRAP! It was food. We were happy.
We moseyed back to our ‘home’ for the night past an interesting place – I have since found out its a temple of sorts – Boinga Bob’s place.There’s a Facebook page dedicated to saving it.
My bed greeted my like a soft cloud, and I slept, dreaming of bikes and reggae!
Sunday morning was glorious, and after zero deliberation, we decided to give the Warburton Aqueduct a try after breakfast. Unfortunately, we were blissfully unaware of the uphill climb that awaited us (240m elevation!). Another beautiful trail, through lush green forest. I must admit I wasn’t looking around too much, I was more concerned with staying ON my bike (the downhill parts scared me somewhat – I did hop off and walk the steep parts!)
The start of the Aqueduct, after the 240m climb to get there!
Such a beautiful valley…
Ummm – apparently this was partly my fault. I stopped. Meri didn’t get her feet uncleared in time, and came to her own timely, yet graceful, halt. Then we had some ‘issues’ when mounting her bike atop her car!
A late lunch was needed, and we stopped in at Three Sugars Cafe. Oh my. The grilled lamb salad was perfect. The Belgian chocolate mousse cake wasn’t too bad either!
Thanks for having us Warburton – we will definitely be back soon. The trails are both excellent for bushwalking with small children……….
Here’s to sporty girls weekends! My new favourite thing to do!
What’s your favourite girls weekend activity?!