A couple weeks ago I happened to see that a cafe in Mentone (where we’re living) was hiring for a chef’s assistant, and to call for more details. I figured why not and gave them a call, and wound up with a trial shift. It was really stressful, but it was exciting the way one of the guys in the kitchen kept calling me Chef (even if it was just because he forgot my name). One of the job requirements was knowing how to poach eggs, so I bought a dozen eggs the night before and practiced on all of them. We had plenty of protein that night!
Besides that day of interesting work experience, we also went for a ride on Puffing Billy!
Puffing Billy is a mostly volunteer run steam train that runs in the Dandenong Ranges between Belgrave and Gembrook. It runs through some very scenic rainforests and farm areas, and it’s a really fun ride!
The employees all wear period clothing and the steam train itself is fun to see. I guess it shouldn’t be so surprising, but it makes so much steam! The best part of the ride was when the train went over the trestle bridge!
The train was historically used to bring people from remote areas in to go to the market. It doesn’t go that fast, and people frequently race the train on foot.
We took the train to Lakeside station and had a really nice little picnic and a walk all the way to the next station and back. After an afternoon by the lake we rode the train back to Belgrave.
I figured it would be a nice day out with friends and a cool experience, but I didn’t expect just how fun it would be to ride Puffing Billy. I can’t explain it, but something about riding a steam train is weirdly enthralling. We want to go back too, because they host special theme nights, and we want to try out the 20’s themed murder mystery train ride (not at all because of my love of Miss Fisher and the fact that she solved a murder mystery on a train *cough cough*).
I would recommend having a ride on Puffing Billy if you’re in the area, it’s worth the price of the ticket.