Albury

Wednesday 8th, (Albury).

I am quite surprised that it has been so long since I have added something to the Memoirs, I must prompt myself to sit myself in front of the PC almost every night because I have a tendency to forget some of the fine details of what we have done.

We are now at Albury and have been here since yesterday. We had an experience with a caravan park on arrival at Albury that has prompted me to not only not recommend this particular park but also deter people from staying there. We had decided to stay at a park near Lake Hume because we have to meet Narrelle and Matt near there on Saturday, so to make sure I rang up this park on Wednesday to confirm that they would have space for 6 days and the answer was “yes, plenty of room, just front up and pick your spot and we will take it from there”. Upon arrival we were directed to a section within the park to pick a spot only to find that all spots were on slopes and, or there was a lack of room for me to manoeuvre the caravan into them. There were two spots that we would have been happy with so we returned to the office to book in. “How many days are we looking at?” was the question, “six nights” was the answer. “I’m sorry those two spots are booked from Friday so you will have to pick another”, “I don’t want any other spot”, “well you will have to go elsewhere”, so we did. We ended up at a Big 4 park that we would have normally picked anyway.

Before we left Yarra we did go to Corowa to check out the market. Expecting some thing like the Evandale market at home, which is quite large held on several acres, we were quite surprised to find that this market was no bigger than the average garage sale I have seen back home, but all was not wasted, we had a look around and on the way home we stumbled on the Bundy Cutter Championship. This was a contest of racing ride on lawn mowers held in the back yard of the pub at Bundalong. This turned out to be a very entertaining few hours with the comical aspect of how some people had modified their machines. One of the rules was that at some stage the machines had to be capable of mowing grass, this looked a mere impossibility for some of those Cutters.

We had a ride on a ferry around the lake, which was relaxing, they provided a bar-b-cue lunch, which was very nice, and the whole 1 ½ hour trip plus meal was only $15.00 per head.

Thursday 9th November, 16 more sleeps, (Albury).

Brakes have been fixed and I am happy now that they are working almost as they should, a couple of days when they bed in should tell. I will feel a little more relaxed towing the caravan from now on.

We had a trip around Lake Hume today and around the area that Matts parents live, which will give me an idea where we will be going on Saturday. The dam across the river, which forms the lake, is rather impressive.

WE visited the Ettamogah Pub today and were disappointed in the appearance of the building. I visited the pub a couple of years ago and can’t remember having this feeling then. It has the appearance of a brand new building in the shape that everybody expects. Although it resembled what I saw before it just looked too new.

Having the brakes on the car looked at tomorrow at a Ford dealer just up the road, because I really have not been happy with them ever since I had new discs and pads fitted last year. The ABS doesn’t seem to work properly, I’m not making excuses for running into that car before we left the state but it certainly could have had something to do with it. The mechanic who looked at it agreed that I should replace the pads with genuine replacements because he has experienced the same problems before, but the discs, which I would be quite happy for them to replace as well if it would fix the problem, he said would be ok after they are machined. So I will take it in tomorrow and we will see what happens.

I will certainly feel a lot happier towing the caravan if I can improve the brakes to what they were before, even though they do work sufficiently now.

A catastrophe the other day when it appears that I have lost all my photos for the time period from Geelong and arriving at Cobram. I hate to admit it but everything I had saved, photos that is, on the CD disappeared into software heaven and I haven’t been able to access them since. I have kept the disc on the hope that someone some day might find a way to access them. In the meantime I decided to read the instructions to operate the CD writer and have decided that I was using it incorrectly. This is unfortunately a fault of mine, when it fails read the instructions.

Yarrawonga-Mulwala

Friday 3rd, (Yarrawonga-Mulwala).

We have moved on to Yarrawonga-Mulwala (Yarra-Mul from now on) and if places improve every time to the extent they have so far then we are going to end up in Eden. This looks like a very nice place to be and I am sure we are going to enjoy our stay here. We are thinking of going on a luncheon boat ride tomorrow on one of either cruise boats called M. V. Paradise Queen, or Lady Murray as it looks rather inviting.

We rang up the other day to book into this caravan park and were told to just arrive and don’t bother booking, and today found out why, the park is humongous and has heaps of park spaces. This place would be very busy if ever all the spaces were full.

Linda had a big win today, she finally convinced me that she should buy me a pair of shorts, and believe me with the temperature as it is today I have no problems wearing them at all.

Saturday 4th, (Yarrawonga-Mulwala).

A small tour today reiterated my feelings for Yarra, It is a place I wouldn’t mind settling down in, but we can’t have ideas like this so early in our travels cause who knows what we will see next. We must come back here though and stay for a while longer.

Yarra-Mul is situated around Lake Mulwala created by a weir Built across the river in 1939. The lake is an ideal area for boating except for the eastern end which still has all the trees standing, even though dead, obviously from when they dammed the river. Cruise boats travel the lake several times a day and it is our intention to take a cruise on Monday either lunchtime or tea time and enjoy a meal on board.

The river below the weir is still high with the floodwaters and looks like an ideal fishing spot. Fishing in the river in this area, from the weir down to Cobram, is banned for three months at this time of year because of spawning season and is not permitted until the end of November. This is a pity because this has been the first time on our travels that I have been tempted to get the rod out of the car. We are parked right on the bank of the river and there is an ideal spot to throw in a line just behind the caravan.

The shopping centre in the town is quite large and with all shops open today we spent some more time walking and checking out the wares, even bought some more shorts.

We are going on a trip to Corowa tomorrow, as there is a market on that Linda wants to go to, but for now we might just check out a 3km walk along the river edge.

 

Barooga

Thursday 2nd November, (Barooga).

As Narrelle would say: – only 23 more sleeps (until the wedding).

We have had a couple of restful days because it has rained again. Linda has written in a postcard to the church at home that it is not our fault that it is flooded over here because it started before we arrived. This is because some members of her church are sure that every time we hook up the caravan it rains.

We are at this moment mostly packed and ready for a move tomorrow to Yarrawonga, our stay at Barooga was very interesting but the flood limited sightseeing. We must endeavour to return here one day when everything is back to normal.

We visited Shepparton on Tuesday because Linda wanted to visit the SPC factory, Campbell’s soup and others that are in the area. This is one area we must visit, maybe on our return to Melbourne from Albury-Wodonga. The SPC factory have a sales direct to the public store which is as cheap as. We could have bought heaps of foodstuff we will need, but unfortunately our limitation on space to store all that we considered buying prevented us from doing so.

I sincerely hope that the next place that we stay at has reasonable TV reception as up until now the reception in the Murray area has not been worth mentioning, I am wondering though whether or not it might have something to do with the fact that we have been staying on the NSW side of the river and the trees surrounding the river may limit signal reception.

Barooga

Monday 30th October, (Barooga).

Linda had her chance to go to the local show and even though it was small, about what one would expect for the area, it was enjoyable. One thing that struck me that I hadn’t seen at any other show was an elderly gent demonstrating, with exactness, how things were done in many years gone by, such as lighting fires with a flint and iron and such things.

We went to one of the local strawberry farms and had an enjoyable meal last evening with the pickings. We also had a look around the river and how it is flooded at the moment. The local highlight for tourists in this area is the beaches available for recreation but they are all under water by about 20 feet at the moment so there is not much to see. I took some pics of the high water with the hope that in a couple of days I can return to the same spot when the water has receded and get some comparison shots. I was originally surprised to see the water up so high here and not at Echuca before we left, but a local tells me that the water can take up to 5 to 7 days to reach Echuca from Cobram.

A bit of a drive around the area today was the order of call to just have a look. We found a caravan park out in the middle of nowhere at Morgans river. It being close to the Murray would make it an ideal spot to go and do a bit of fishing, as was obvious from the cleaning set-ups at some caravan sites. We also came across a cacti farm and stopped and had a look and I never thought there were so many cacti in existence.

An observation today recalled my seeing a similarly shaped tower in most towns in the area. They are cylindrical in shape, about 100 to 150 feet tall, looked like sandstone brick construction and the top half is about 50% greater in diameter than the bottom half. One of these days I will find out what they were used for and wether they still are. They actually look as if they may be some type of water tower, but we will find out.

Echuca / Moama

Friday 27th,( Echuca / Moama).

After walking around and having a good look about Echuca it is not hard to see that one could occupy oneself very easily visiting all the exhibitions on display. This town with all its beauty and things to do, all said and done is really a tourist centre and all are taking advantage of it. One could spend a small fortune as a tourist.

We have had a good time and seen quite a lot of the area and have had inklings that this could even be an area that we could settle down, but then how often, in how many places are we going to have these feelings.

We are wondering at home how many people think that we are actually tied up in the weather problems in the area. Some places are affected by flooding after all the rain we have had and some caravan parks are actually evacuating vans, but we personally have not been adversely affected.

After enjoying our week in Echuca/Moama today was time to move on. We are now camped at Barooga, about 100k east of Echuca and just over the border in NSW across from Cobram.

Linda will finally get her chance to go to a show, as our travels have caused us to miss all shows that have been or were going to be held in the area that we stayed. This weekend is the weekend for the Cobram show and she is very determined to attend, which could be interesting as this show should be about the same size as the Longford show that we used to sometimes go to at home.

Ronald & Linda Tew, All over the countryside