We arrived at Mt Field by mid morning, resisting the urge for another coffee stop, we marched straight past the enticing cafe and led the boys up to our first stop, Russell Falls. Led the boys? Ok, we didn't lead them anywhere, the older two were galloping ahead with giddy anticipation while we tried to reign them back a little. Oshawott and Pichu were taking a more leisurely approach to the hike.
He had a habit of doubling back to run back to Mummy, increasing his walking distance quite considerably.
We had not even made it half way (of a 10 minute walk) when the first toilet emergency arrived. Even though they had all just been to the toilet at the visitors centre! Luckily the boys are experts at ducking off into the undergrowth to find the magic urinal that is in every forest.
So the 10 minute walk, as stated on the sign, became a 20 minute walk. And only that quick because Coder carried Pichu most of the way. I had the job of encouraging a reluctant grumpy hiker to keep going (yes, it had been all of 5 minutes!). Granted, he has just been unwell and is still getting over that.
Are we there yet?
At the Falls, some of the boys enjoyed their sandwiches. The rest of us went without because the other food bag was hanging up safely at home on the coat rack so the dog wouldn't get into it the night before. Luckily it was the 3 youngest that had food. The oldest is a very picky eater anyway so he didn't care. We had water at least!
Nom nom!We resisted the urge to turn back and retreat to the comfort of the coffee shop and pushed on to the top of the waterfall. Yes, the top! Another toilet stop, a little rest, an argument over a stick, having to carry 4 and 2 year olds, about a hundred stairs and we were there. Easy.
I think they are natural posers, I didn't have to say a word to them about their body positioning.
From here we decided to continue the pain... I mean, education and exercise, and take the tall trees walk. By this stage the boys were starting to not care so much about their surroundings and more about trying to make Mummy and Daddy regret taking the tall trees walk. Legoman was sulking because of the previous stick incident, Oshawott point blank refused to walk anymore, Pichu was wanting to get up and down every other minute, and Voltorb was sick of being photographed so was either silly or refused to join in any more group shots.
Really really tall tree. 79 metres tall to be exact. Quite a challenge to photograph.
Even through all the grizzly we managed to do the walk and take heaps of photos. We took a shortcut back to the visitors centre by way of the rear road that goes up to the lake. Another toilet stop.. more whinging about above mentioned stick, much more carrying of now a sleepy Pichu and stubborn Oshawott.
Coder kept them going, telling them it was just around the next bend, until several bends later Legoman became disillusioned and started a mutiny. This was quickly nipped in the butt and the walking continued without further incident, but much sooking.
We stopped at the visitors centre for some food, caffeine and a much needed rest. The boys had some ice creams and lunch (yes in that order, but let's not forget they had just walked a marathon), then chose a toy from the gift store which was conveniently located within the same room as the cafe. We hoped Pichu would nap in the pram, of course, he didn't. So off to have the promised play in the playground. There was a couple of things that kept them going on the walk, ice cream and the playground.
After a play we drove up to Lake Dobson, which was 16 kms further along the dirt track we had just made our way down on. The road was a little bit muddy to say the least, I was worried we would get bogged and did not hold back letting my fears known to Coder, which he ignored! (well, you did!)
As if it wasn't enough that we had just ignored the sign that suggested not going up to the lake past 3pm (it was 2.50), we must remember we drive a 4 cylinder Tarago with tyres that needed replacing.
After several gut wrenching moments, where I had to curl my toes and pull contorted facial expressions just to get us through, I successfully put doubt into Coder's mind (mission accomplished), but we kept going mainly due to the fact there was just no where to turn around. Pichu had thankfully stopped screaming after the fist 5 harrowing minutes on the road and given in to sleep.
I am glad we threw caution to the wind, the Lake was amazing, there was not a person in sight (just a couple of cars) and the boys got to play in the snow!
Come back next time for the next installment of photos. Featuring the amazing snowball kick that splattered snow all over Legoman and an incredibly cute picture of Oshawott.
You can see them here.