Friday 21 September 2018

Four Days in The Mornington Peninsula

The weekend before I started work, I went away to the Mornington Peninsula for three nights, with four other girls from the UK. Three of the girls are nurses, and we had met via Facebook groups we had all used before coming over to Australia. I can't stand Facebook at the best of times, but it has been the absolute best way for me to meet people over here, especially those with similar interests, like nursing. It was great to get a last little trip in before starting work, and a great distraction from the Sunday night feeling of work dread!


We didn't leave St Kilda until Thursday evening, as one of the girls is a supply teacher and therefore couldn't leave until after school. The drive took around two and a half hours thanks to the traffic, but it was a straight-forward drive with some beautiful views. I understand now why people say that Melbourne has 'four seasons in one day', as we started the day off with glorious sunshine, drove through torrential rain, and later experienced thunder and lightning. It makes it difficult to know exactly how to dress!

We stayed in the most beautiful Air BnB, but the owner insisted on waiting behind to meet us, as she'd seen that we were a group of five girls going away for a birthday weekend, and was concerned that we would be having a party. We assured here that we were two hours from home and therefore wouldn't even have anyone to invite for a party, and were just there for a relaxed weekend! She seemed suitably appeased and left us to it. We had a nice chilled evening with a home-cooked Mexican feast for dinner and a few bottles of wine, and just chilled ready for a fun-packed Friday.


Friday was Amy's birthday, so we had a lazy morning and a cooked breakfast before heading out to spend the day at the Peninsula Hot Springs. We arrived at around 10:30 and managed to while away the time until 16:30, chatting away and relaxing in the countless different baths. Each of the baths was around 40°, and actually at times was even too hot to be comfortable! We were very pleased we'd gone in Winter (despite people saying that it would be too cold to enjoy), as had we gone in Summer it would almost certainly have been unbearable. It was a gloriously sunny day and the views were beautiful.

On Friday evening we went to a Thai restaurant for dinner to celebrate Amy's birthday, and as is quite common here in Australia, the restaurant was a 'BYO alcohol'. We took a few bottles of fizz and had a nice long dinner. The restaurant was in Rye (interestingly there is also an Eastbourne, Seaford, and Peacehaven), where there isn't a great deal to do in the evenings, but we managed to find a pub a short walk down the road where they had some live music, as well as a beer garden which had been hired out for a girl's 18th birthday. It was hired until 10pm so by the time we got there we had a few drinks in the garden, but it was slightly horrifying for me to realise that 12 years have passed since I was 18! After having eaten so much food at dinner, we didn't stay out for too long and got a taxi back to the Air BnB.


We woke up Saturday morning to the sun shining brightly, and decided to sit out on the deck and have pancakes for breakfast. We were lulled into a false sense of security by the morning sun and dressed ready for Summer, only to remember later on in the day that Melbourne can have 'four seasons in one day' and it later got pretty chilly!

We hadn't planned much for Saturday other than to visit a winery, so we had a look on the ol' Google to find local things to do, and found that Arthurs Seat, the highest point of the Mornington Peninsula, was about a 20-minute drive away, and on such a clear day we thought it would be great to check out the view. It was definitely the right day for it, and we also paid to get the gondola to the bottom and back up again.

After we'd finished at Arthurs Seat, we went to The Cups Estate Winery at Fingal for a wine tasting session, and afterwards sat out on a picnic blanket in front of the stunning views with a glass of wine. As Grace was driving we only stopped for one glass, as before long we had to head back to the house to get ready to go out for dinner that evening.

Fairly limited for choice for dinner, we went back to Rye and went to a little independent Italian restaurant, which was absolutely delicious, and stopped for gelato afterwards. Despite a pretty slow-paced weekend, we still found ourselves quite tired, and after dinner went back to the house to watch a film and laze around. All in all a lovely relaxed day, and just what I needed.


Sunday morning was an even more lazy morning, as everyone was making the most of the opportunity to have a lie-in. I woke up with the Sunday morning dread, knowing that I was starting work the next day, so was glad to be heading back. We left the house around 11am and stopped at the beach for a quick wander, although the weather had turned a bit and the wind picked up, so we didn't stick around for lunch. We had a walk through the main drag of the high street to find somewhere to eat for lunch, and decided on a tapas restaurant. Afterwards we took the drive back to St Kilda, and thankfully it only took around an hour and a half on the way back.

All in all we had a gorgeous weekend, and I was so glad of the break before starting work.


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