Summer in the Dandenong Ranges is beautiful. Everywhere I saw splashes of bright blue hydrangea and agapanthus contrasting to the brilliant coral orange of the wild tritonia in flower and the green of the tree ferns at the base of mountain ash, just beautiful. I thoroughly enjoy the route I always choose to drive back to Northern Victoria from the south east suburbs.
I never drive back via the city - not while a country scenic route is there for me to take.
A tree fern gully in the Dandenongs is a wonderful cool place to spend a hot summer day.
I adore the variety of garden nursery displays in the Dandenongs. We often get out of the car and walk around. Most allow us to enter with our dog Indigo either on her lead or in our arms, we always ask first before just assuming she can enter.
You can still see evidence of the last severe bush fires as you drive from the Dandenong Ranges towards the Goulburn Valley but nature is regenerating and the new growth on the burnt tree trunks is beautiful
We stopped to admire the Sylvan dam. And drove past the Sherbrook Art Society where I was once a member and guest speaker and held a featured artist exhibition way back when my children were younger than my own grandchildren are today.
Today as I drove though the winding hills I had a truck driver tail-gate me. I stuck right on the speed limit and refused to be forced faster than the legal speed. It is ridiculous to speed on winding mountain roads. It struck me how narrow based this truck was and how tall. It was whizzing around corners once I have moved over at the first available spot to allow him to pass. I thought he was an accident looking for a place to happen. I wondered what drugs he must have been on. He was a certainty to roll over taking the bends at speed. I was pleased that I never allowed him to rattle me nor have him spoil my enjoyment of a beautiful drive.
When the road straightened out to a long flat stretch I could see a large grouping of stationary cars ahead and flashing lights. I slowed right down and approached - sure enough, it was a truck rollover on a perfect stretch of highway. Nothing other than speeding to blame. I am glad I was well back behind him when he went over.
I do find the drive home tiring towards the end of it and I have those coffee lollies and bottle water to refresh me as I drive and get out and walk several times to break the trip. This is the only time I have coffee lollies, they do help keep me alert, I don't have many and I think staying wide awake on a three and a half hour drive is more important than worrying about nutritional value.
The scene below is the view of over the suburbs of Melbourne as you descend toward Fern Tree Gully from the ranges.
I will never tire off driving through the Dandenongs even if the traffic these days is nothing like the traffic free country drives I remember from childhood.
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