So I may have gained a few kilos from overeating, but heading away for a long weekend to Jindivick with some friends was the best decision. Don’t get me wrong, I love Melbourne; the hustle of the city, the swarm of musicians to grace our dingy and grand venues, the access to arts, the beautiful mix of cultures, sports and mayhem, insane gastronomic cuisines, perfect coffees and enough bars and pubs that you will never visit them all. It’s no wonder Melbourne has been ranked the most livable city again this year. But there are also times when I need to escape from it too. Take your pick of amazing destinations –the beach, rainforests, wineries. I urge you to get in your car and just drive till you find somewhere that tickles your fancy.
It’s just that….the drive. Sometimes all you need is a big open road, a choice soundtrack, and some beautiful scenery to make you forget about that big urban sprawl filled with neurotic drivers and time frantic stress heads. Everyone can get a little crazy when there are deadlines to meet, people to see, things to do. It’s only when you start driving away and the chaos turns to nothing but landscape and farm animals, that you realize that you feel that much calmer. A long drive on your own can be like a fine wine, subtle at first, then it grabs hold of your senses and envelopes you with its boldness. So out I headed to Tonimbuk for a 2 hr trail ride before my weekend away of eating, drinking and vineyard visiting.
Now it had been at least 5 years since my last horse ride which was on the beach with Gunnamatta trail rides. I had considered myself an ok rider at that stage, but was paired with a horse that decided to be king of the studs. Anytime a horse came nearby, it would flip round and try and bite it, with yes, me on its back holding on for dear life. But ‘if at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again’ (thanks Aaliyah). So I headed out with my pals Johnny & Emma and decided to get back to nature. Though two words of advice, don’t a) decide to do a boot camp session the day before as getting on a horse will be the last thing your sore toosh wants to do and b) don’t go and get all your vaccines for your overseas trip the day before either, as your arms will feel like lead.
Aside from these two bad choices of mine, horse riding was yeehaw fantastic. What I liked about my group was it was filled with the young and old. One lady in her early 70s was ticking it off her bucket list; another young girl decided to overcome her fear of horses and embraced it. This is one way to connect from person to nature to animal in one shot. There are no Dances with Wolves horse riding scenes on this one though, just time to take in the green pastures. If your skill level can handle a light gallop and going up and down non threatening hills then this is the one for you. Now some people would not like the horse I got, but Toby and I had time to bond. Yes there were times when he did not want to move (twice I didn’t realize he was peeing and couldn’t work out why he wouldn’t budge), or when he just decided to walk on his own-but this was when I loved it the most as I was alone in the nature and didn’t have a thought in my mind. I felt safe on Toby.
So for this post, it’s really about disconnecting from work and city life and taking the time to appreciate our beautiful country surroundings. Go to a bnb, hire a holiday house, find a friend who has a shack somewhere and go on that drive till you find somewhere new. Enjoy the local produce, play a board game instead of watching TV or even go ride a horse. Either way just get back to nature and just be.