This winter as the Jabbal family kitted up with gloves and beanies to head to the mountains the idea was to ‘go gentle’ both on our budget and self.
We knew from our previous snow trips that the serenity of the snow provokes responses in us that reach right back to childhood.
There’s something about the great white expanse of snow that makes us let go of our grown up persona and engage in activities that trigger the inner kid in us.
So snow chains, toboggans, skis, et al we took off to one of Melbourne’s natural playgrounds for some *R & R.
With over 35 hectares of downhill terrain, its gentle slopes surrounded by snow gums and proximity to Melbourne, Mount Baw Baw seemed to be the perfect choice for us.
The drive up to the alpine terrain was scenic, short and sans traffic and I could feel the cogs of stress wheels slowing down already.
A beefy snowman manned the entrance to our cute and cosy Woolybutt cabin that easily managed to accommodate our not so light baggage.
Note to myself: leave the 3 pairs of different coloured boots, 4 sets of thermals and 2 designer jackets at home next time. No one cares once you have the practical, if not trendy, snow gear on that can be easily hired at the resort.
Food first is our family motto; so next stop was a nearby eatery where the food was average not the prices. The main restaurant in the village was closed that Friday night so choice was rather limited.
Undaunted, the boys enthusiastically chalked the activities for next day while I counted with relish the hours I could stay tucked in my cosy bed with no agenda. Just watching the snow blanketed surrounds from my bedroom window provided the desired therapy.
The majestic terrain engulfed in fluffy piles of powdery snow was incredible no matter which angle you looked at it. With photo opportunities galore hubby went trigger-happy whilst capturing the 360-degree panoramic views.
The popular winter destination saw many people flock in, a surprisingly substantial number of them from the subcontinent. There was first-timer Thomas Nair from Kerala with his extended family, regular skier Sid Singh from Punjab and Pushpa Trikala from Mumbai with her visiting parents, among many.
All around us were colourful images of the upcoming Mt Baw Baw Bollywood weekend (25-26 August). This popular annual event celebrates the vibrant Indian community in Australia. Indian cuisine and Indian themed cultural performances will be on offer throughout the weekend.
With plenty of on-site facilities and activities the day went quickly. Between learning to keep the knees together with beginner ski lessons to cruising down the slopes like a pro the taste of freedom on the vertical slopes was alike. It kept both the adrenalin junkies and leisure lovers in our family happy.
Another exciting activity was the howling husky’s sled dog tours. An experienced musher and a group of strong huskies took us on an incredible ride around the trail to explore the alpine wilderness first hand.
The highlight for us was meeting resident dingoes Rowdy and Warragul the latest addition to the Mt. Baw Baw family. We got to cuddle the rare 100% Alpine dingo Warragul as we heard more about their species. The newly constructed Dingo Research Centre also housed the critically endangered Baw Baw frog.
As we warily shook hands with the ginger furred Rowdy we found out that he has his own Facebook page. As the Mountain’s environmental ambassadors the two furry friends will soon be available to meet with prior appointment.
The romance and the enchantment of the snow continued as a hopeful young man proposed to his girlfriend in front of all those walking past. The heart shaped petals on the stark snow, tiny teddy bears and red roses melted more than his future wife’s heart as people applauded and captured the event in their cameras and memories.
It’s with that landscape of memories we reluctantly returned back to the grind, refreshed, rejuvenated from our short sojourn in the snows. The child in us, however, stayed back in Baw Baw.
*(Rest and recreation)