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Part One

A Day in Snow Haven

Saleque Sufi |
Update: 2014-08-11 08:34:00
A Day in Snow Haven

When you reach the peak of a snow covered mountain top you feel closer to the creator. Your feelings get calmer about the greatness of God.  You get to know how smaller the mankind is compared to greatness of God. A day in the snow covered Mount Buller on 07 August 2014 spent as a sweet dream. We had a real feeling on top of the world in the Alpine Mountain Range of Victoria. We did skiing, we had chair lift ride to the peak, and we had delicious lunch on the hill top restaurant and took lot of photographs. We will share our exciting experience in a series of write ups with the valued readers of banglanews24.

From my childhood I have a fascination for Mother Nature. Hills, ocean, forest always allure me and make me think more and more about creator and his creation. I am blessed and fortunate in travelling across the globe. My profession has facilitated me visiting many beautiful places of the world in Asia, Europe, North and South America, Africa and Australia. The places I liked most are snow covered mountains, green forests and blue lakes and oceans. Here in this write up I am going to write about our unforgettable family trip to Australian magical winter escape Mount Buller.

We are Bangladeshi Australian .My family -[ wife Sharifa and two sons Shahriar and Shafayet] is residing in Melbourne Victoria since August 2006 . For work commitment we can only have free time together in end December and early January every year when we usually go to other Australian states for holidaying. We have already spent dream days in Tasmania, South Australia, Australian Capital Territory and NSW. We have also visited many places of tourist attraction in Victoria. If opportunity permits we present our experience to valued readers of banglanews24.

There is a saying that people always fail to look around and look closer. Mount Buller is only 2 hours’ drive from the place we live in Melbourne. This is the only place which witness snow in winter. My wife and eldest son have never seen snow.

My wife is in post open heart surgery rehabilitation. Hence we were not very sure whether or not to take the adventure. But as usual my wife’s strong mental toughness had the final say. We made a two day plan for Mount Buller and Mansfield region visit. On the reconnaissance we selected Mansfield resort at our station for the visit. It is high season and all places on mountain and off mountain were booked on the weekends. We had no option but to choose week days. We opted for two nights stay –Wednesday and Thursday at Mansfield resort.

I had plenty of winter clothing for snow. But I had to get these for my son and wife from Melbourne. For Rozy still recovering from open heart surgery it was a huge challenge. But knowing her for 33 years I was confident about her mental toughness. She prepared bhuna Keechuri, Beef and Chicken curry and egg korma and also prepared sweet dishes on the night of Tuesday. We were fasting – the Shawal month fast.

Journey from Melbourne:
We started from our Ringwood house at around  2 : 30 PM with a target for reaching Mansfield resort by the Iftar time of 5 :30 PM though a comfortable drive through the hilly terrain after Lillydayle could take a little over 2 hours. The picturesque views of the Victorian country side were really enchanting. There were many rainforests and lakes on the way. In the summer and spring these places turn into ideal touring destinations. Anglers fancy fishing in lakes, walkers enjoy walking along the trails and enjoy boat rides. Plenty of fruits grow in the fruit orchards. We saw many cattle farms –sheeps, cows and goats, few flower gardens and many orchards. We were listening to wonderful collection of songs of Rozy all along the trip. Had to control my son from over speeding as he fancy driving adventurously. The weather was getting cooler we were approaching the mountains.

Stay at Mansfield Resort:
We were given a three bed – one queen bed and two single beds at the resort. The room had excellent heating arrangement, electric blankets, excellent internet facilities, cable TV.  We had delicious iftar courtesy lovely food prepared by Rozy. The surrounding views of the resort were breathtaking with Golden wattle in full bloom. We made a quick survey of the Mansfield town after Iftar and evening prayer. It is a small Township with very friendly local community. They presented their local culture through community programs. But it was cold and chilly. Snow forecast from mid night drove us home .Moreover, the plan for getting up early for an hour’s drive to Mount Buller made us return to resort early. We enjoyed the Sri Lanka Pakistan test match day one on TV while Rozy kept on listening to her music. Moring of Thursday was really cold with temperature hardly above 0 degree Celsius.

We visited the Mansfield Skiing shop to rent ski attires, B- tag for snow ride and chain for the car and started the adventurous drive along the snowy path from Mansfield to Mount Buller base station. First 30 Km were relatively comfortable slopes but the last 12 km was real tricky. We could park at the first stoppage and take a free shuttle bus. But we preferred taking up the challenge of driving while snowing. Shuvro and her mother were very excited with the first view of snow. The drive along zigzag road all the way was an exciting experience for Shuvro and he appeared to enjoy it as his was the leading car followed by a trail of 100 cars behind. Only our car was not a four wheel drive. We reached Mount Buller base camp car park at around 10AM. It was minus four and snowflakes kept on the head. We were lucky to have adequately protected with snow dresses all over. Rozy and Shuvro spent some time in adjusting the lenses of their cameras.

Ride to the Top of the Mount Buller:
I have no words to appropriately pen picture the Chair Lift Ride to the top of Mount Buller in all snowy environment. It is to be seen to believe. We were in one chair and hence could not take photographs of us on the chair. I had earlier experience of cable car riding of Mount Titlis in Delmont, Switzerland and Cataract George , Tasmania . But this was very special. We reached the top, had primary skiing lessons but did actually skii considering that it may prove fatal for my wife Rozy who was under post-surgery rehab. Had to restrain her with great efforts.

To be Continued .

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