Today Troy and I took a drive down to Jindabyne to visit the father of my best friend from high school and for me to show Troy around the farm. From year 9 onwards I spent most of my school holidays down there with Kate and I have a million fantastic memories so I was really looking forward to going back and being able to show my sweetheart around.
We headed off a bit before 11, taking some bread rolls with us and timing it to be in Jindy for lunch. It was a pleasantly short drive through some gorgeous country before we got to my favourite part - coming around the bend in the road and seeing the lake spread out below. VERY pretty. We drove down and I attempted to park down near the lake. Attempt being the operative word. Unfortunately I underestimated the depth of a rut in the dirt and managed to get the car somewhat..ah.. stuck. Oops. The front wheels were so low that I couldn't even get the jack under to lift the car and stuff sticks or something underneath the tyre. Thankfully with Troy driving and me pushing from the back we managed to get the front wheels up out of the ditch.
THEN we had lunch. We had to shelter behind a row of bushes to escape the wind which was whipping across the lake. The entire surface was covered in white foam from the chop. I see what Mr BVVF said about the 'September Winds'. After lunch we spent a few minutes collecting sticks and small branches and managed to fill in the rut enough to get the car back over it, then off we headed out to the farm. Thankfully both the road and the driveway (all 3 km of it) were it pretty good nick and we got the car up to the house without incident...just a few bumps and jolts.
It was very strange being back out there, 10 years after I visited for the first time. I have so many memories, it's somewhat bittersweet to return and see how it is now. Kates parents have since split up and are both living in Sydney (as is she) with her dad only visiting the farm every few weeks or so, so all the animals are gone. The horses, the sheep, the chooks, the dogs... Only the cat and one goat are left. Rather sad when I remember how we used to be followed by a train of animals wherever we wandered and around our 'cubby' - now collapsed and covered in debris from the surrounding bush. The whole place has a rather sad, abandoned feel to it, not helped by the sound of the gusting wind and the way it played the metal pipes hanging in one of the trees like a far off flute. Sad, but beautiful.
The scenery is still just as gorgeous as ever although the trees across the valley are looking a bit more sparse after the '02 fires burnt through there. Troy got some photos looking out across the valley which I will post when I get them onto my computer.
We spent the rest of the afternoon there just enjoying the peace and quiet and walking around the property a bit, chatting to Kates dad. We headed off about 4 and once again enjoyed gorgeous views driving back in to town. The country is so overwhelmingly beautiful around here although it looked a little eerie as we hit Berridale - there was a very strange misty fog in the air which gave the landscape an interesting glow. It was so nice seeing the lights of Cooma as we got close to town - it already feels like home. Have I mentioned that I love this town? :)
So, back home with the heater on, us and the cats fed and a whole lot of memories revived. I am sure I will sleep and dream well tonight. And maybe shed a tear or two for good times past.