Dorset Day-tripping – England UK

During our short stay in Somerset we have been fortunate enough to squeeze in a visit to one of our favourite places in county Dorset.

Weymouth is a place that holds many fond memories for myself and Mr Travel Bee. For many years, this was our weekend getaway and a place we shared time with both family and friends. Here, Nan and Grandad Travel Bee had a caravan (not like an Aussie caravan, this was a rather large static van) for the whole family to enjoy time by the seaside.

As if by some stroke of fate, the weather on the day we chose was glorious allowing us to enjoy it at its most picturesque. A stark contrast to the recent bleak days.

Weymouth Harbour

We joined friends and wandered along the harbour, watched the bridge open for yachts to pass through and enjoyed fish and chips (a must do in any proper English seaside town). For one of the first times on this trip, Master 15 was beaten by a large serving of cod and chips! It was in fact huge with three big pieces of fish.

Large cod and chips
Weymouth Harbour bridge

Once we reached the sea front, I had a little chuckle to myself as I realised there were more people on the beach on a cool but bright winters day, than there would be on a hot summers day in Busselton. But, in reality who could blame them, it was stunning and a lovely place for a hot chocolate! After all, it was a public holiday and one should always make the most of any sunshine in winter, England or Australia!

Weymouth beach front

I was particularly impressed with the lady (in her 60s) I saw march purposefully across the road in her robe, bathing cap (I mean the old style rubber cap with a raised flowery pattern) and googles. I watched fascinated as she made her way across the sand, stripped off her robe and headed into the water. No wetsuit just a triathlon style race suit. With some research I have discovered the sea temperature is around 10 degrees in Weymouth this week 🥶

She dived in the water and briskly set off. Well, Yallingup lagoon friend…….. I thought this lady had showed us up. I was thinking maybe we are just weak Aussie girls after all! Mind you, after around 10 strokes, she stood up splashed some water on her chest and she was done! At least we are stayers but good on her for getting wet I say!

Sandcastle of the Queen – Weymouth beach

Known for its sand sculptures, we admired the current installation of the late queen before heading back to Odcombe via another iconic Dorset landmark, the Cerne Abbas Giant. This 55m high chalk figure carved on a hillside, is widely thought of as a symbol of fertility. As you can imagine there are many and varied stories about his origin and his purpose. The only reaction we got from Miss 12 who refused to exit the car was ‘Oh’.

Cerne Abbas Giant – yes he has a giant erection

An interesting and different way to end a great day! The very best of Dorset (LOL).


Mt Buller – Day 4 and 5

The last two days of our skiing we were blessed with beautiful sunshine. We started day 4 by discovering a faster way onto the mountain, the Northside Express. This chairlift leaves from the carpark and bypasses the crowded shuttle into the village. The downside is……. on the north side of the mountain there is only one green/easy run and to get to the other side you either need to traverse cross country or hit a few more advanced runs and chairlifts.

I was feeling okay having coped with blue runs the day before so I decided we should go for it. First up we conquered the Burnt Hut Spur (beginners) that I had fallen on earlier in the week. That went well. Next we decided to head down Upper Boggy Creek Trail to get to Grimus chairlift and up to the summit. That was our mistake.

Little did I realise (I think the others knew) that this trail hit a black (advanced) run with moguls for the last 100m into the chairlift! I had managed the trail okay but when I hit the moguls I freaked out. In the end, after much deliberation and sweating, I took my skis off and skidded down the slide of the run half on my bum. I was so embarrassed. That was, until a poor woman came flying out of control over the moguls from the black run and lay facedown unmoving in the snow. At that point I ditched my skis and headed over to see if I could help. Turns out I couldn’t. Bambi on ice is pretty useless in an emergency other than to yell for help!

Fortunately she was okay and had just severely winded herself. As there were other more useful helpers on hand (those that could actually stand up in their skis) we headed up the chairlift to the summit. By now, I was absolutely petrified about how I was going to get down.

View from the summit

Being a beautiful sunny day, the view from the summit was stunning but I was still completely focussed on how I was going to get down. Miss 12 led the way and we gently zigzagged down the intermediate Summit run. I survived and to celebrate we hit my favourite family run and then into Koflers cafe for a hot chocolate.

Hot chocolate break

The stress of the morning and the previous three full days of skiing took its toll a short time later and we decided we would all head back to Mansfield for an afternoon off.

Day 5 we met up with our friends again and had a great day. I decided it was going to finish on a confident note and stayed on Burnt Hut Spur for the entire day. It was great to just relax well within my comfort zone and practice, practice, practice. Mr Travel Bee, feeling tired, stayed with me and our friends took the kids off on an adventure which included new runs, jumps, filming and lots of laughs.

Mr and Mrs snowman on Burnt Hut

Meanwhile, Mr travel Bee and I enjoyed a sneaky drink at Spurs cafe/bar while waiting for the adventurers to return.

A well earned beer. The baileys went straight in a hot chocolate! Yum.