Travelling Australia
Wayne & Pam BENTLEY

Friday10th November 2006 to Sunday 12th November 2006

Friday 10th November 2006

The Paddle Steamer EmmyLou
The Paddle Steamer Emmy Lou

We woke this morning to a very clear blue sky and a warm sun, with the prospect of a day of twenty nine degrees. Once we were organised the washing machines were heard calling so whilst 'One of Us' had a shower, the 'Other One' took the washing to the laundry and joined the ladies in a meaningful chat over the machines like all us domestic people do.....

By the time the machines had completed their task, well maybe finished the cycle is more like it because in around fifteen minutes for a wash it is pretty doubtful they wash really clean, Pammy decided it was her turn to visit the the laundry, maybe that had something to do with the fact she saw a young fellow over there who was being very friendly with the ladies.... She does deny that of course!!!

The Paddle Steamer Pevensey
The Paddle Steamer Pevensey

With the washing completed and on the line, we walked out of the caravan park at about 10:15a.m. and made our way up to the Port area in Echuca, taking the odd photograph or two of the river boat paddle steamers as they plied their way up and down the river.

Once in the Port area we called in to a booking office to see what paddle boats we might be able to catch a ride on and then decided to take the Emmy Lou lunch trip that departed the port at 11:15a.m.

Tickets for this 90 minute journey cost $22.50 each, however that did not include the lunch (naturally) which could be purchased on board.

Lunch on the Passle Steamer EmmyLou
Lunch on the Paddle Steamer Emmy Lou

Having the tickets in hand, 'One of Us' sat in the shade of a river gum tree near the river whilst the 'Other One' high tailed it back to the caravan to pick up the video camera and some spare batteries for the digital camera.

At 11:15a.m. we boarded the Emmy Lou just before she cast off her lines and headed up river. Along the way the skipper gave a running commentary on the other paddle boats as we passed them and on the area in general.

This ride took us through the Port of Echuca itself and then under the road bridge we had crossed over with the caravan the day before, then on up the river for the next 45 minutes.

The Paddle Steamer Canberra
The Paddle Steamer Canberra

Along the way we settled back at a table on the outside decking and not only enjoyed the passing view, the soup of the day was great, Pammy's veal was superb (so she said... no taste samples were offered) and the Spaghetti with yabbies was something very special as well. This was all assisted down with a couple of glasses of very fruity riesling (from the Clare Valley) for Pammy and two very pleasant glasses of local shiraz for the 'Other One'.

After around forty five minutes the Emmy Lou turned around and started the journey back to the port. Along the way we enjoyed the last of the main meal and then rounded it off with a Lemon tart with cream and a cup of tea each... Pammy was in heaven... She was in Echuca, on a paddle steamer with all this great food and a good glass of wine, what more could she want... other than another glass of wine please!

And so far we haven't mentioned the mighty Murray River, maybe not so mighty as far as water quantity at this time due to the droughts, however it is still a very impressive sight with the huge River Gums and other majestic trees lining either side of the river.

The Port of Echuca
The Port of Echuca

We arrived back at the port of Echuca and had tied up to the landing by 12:45p.m. and after paying for our meal and drinks $91.00 (cheap at twice the price) we disembarked the Emmy Lou and strolled back along the river to the caravan park where the air conditioner was turned on and Pammy had a little rest on the bed for some time... Nothing to do with the wine at all she says.

One thing we forgot to include in yesterdays journal entry was the fact that when we were driving out of the park,we saw a vehicle in the caravan park with the number plate CA.212, which is a Western Australian registration for our original home town of Carnamah, so we drove around to the front of the caravan that it was parked at and discovered it was David Hienrich and his wife Joan. David and Joan used to own a farm next door to my brother Rex, not far from Carnamah so we stopped and had a chat for a short time before continuing on our way to do some shopping in Echuca. They have been traveling with friends and are due back in Western Australia in about eleven days.

The rest of the afternoon was treated as a rest period and tomorrow we intend to walk through the Port precinct where Pammy is bound to find even more souvenirs to add to the huge number already stashed all around the caravan. There have been hints made by 'One of Us' to the effect that the hotel in the port area does serve great lunches as well, but the 'Other One has bad tinitus and is quite hard of hearing... Not sure he can get away with that excuse for long though... she can shout pretty loud when she wants to!

Saturday 11th November 2006

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month "WE SHALL REMEMBER THEM" with one minutes silence

They gave their lives to ensure our freedom of speech and choice, surely that is not too much to ask in remembrance of those who sacrificed all they had for this country

Horse and Carraige - In keeping with the paddle steamer
Transport in keeping with the paddle steamer

Another day, another bright blue sky and warm sun whilst the river boats play their way up and down the lazy river.... Life gets tedious don't it.... Well for some it might, but not us!

We didn't have any major activities planned for today so our start wasn't rushed (again!) with the clock telling us it was 10:a.m. before we drove out of the caravan park and headed off to find a Woolworths (Safeway in Victoria) store in town.

"We really don't want much" was the catch cry as we were walking into the store, "Just need a packet of biscuits" she said... (Yeah... heard that before!) So twenty minutes later he was staggering under the weight of the basket the we 'didn't need' as we mortgaged everything to get out of the store. Nothing new, he should be getting used to this one by now!

The direction from here was down to the shopping area in the Port Precinct where we found a parking bay in the main street and started a stroll around the shops "Just to do a little window shopping". (He was hoping windows were not too expensive.)

Lolly shops in Echuca Port Precinct
Lolly shops in Echuca Port Precinct

We hadn't walked too far when there was a loud cry emitted from Pammy and when the 'Other One' raced up to see how badly she had been hurt, she informed him her heart was breaking as she had seen Jensen Bear sitting so forlorn in a shop waiting to be adopted to new parents.

Then came the reverse psychology "No I don't really need him BUT I LOVE HIM!" and "You don't need to buy him for me" as she hugged him.

Possibly the final blow was that look that said - "If you take any notice of what I'm saying, you will regret it!"

Well, He is rather slow at picking things up and his hearing isn't too good, but his self preservation works ok so you get the picture... There is now ANOTHER addition to the family, this time it is Jensen and he is a 'Settler' boy bear.

As this adoption was being paid for, there were some more glances at some of the other adoptees but fortunately the paperwork was done in time for him to grapple with her and get her outside before she inflicted even greater injuries to his wallet. There will need to be a fair amount of recovery time and rehabilitation before the wallet can be taken on any further excursions in the near future.

We continued our stroll down the street and he soon found himself following her into some confectionary shops that had displays of huge ranges of sweets in every shape, form and taste, not that he tasted any.

Jensen Bentley - This family is grows fast
Jensen Bentley - This family is growing fast

During this time the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month rolled up, however there was no indication of it in the street and no one seemed to stop and consider it at all. I guess that is what the servicemen and women were fighting for, the freedom of choice. We believe that if most people were reminded of this at the designated time, they would acknowledge those who gave them this choice with that minutes silence and more importantly, thought about the reason they have the freedom they do in this country that has just been voted the third best country in the world to live in. Oops!, almost tripped when I was getting off my soap box, time to move on.

From here we wandered down to the Port area where he was rushed past the port barrels and wine tasting premises. He did get a 10 litre port barrel last year and he had his eye on a 500 litre barrel this time, but there were too many other souvenirs in the caravan to fit one that size in there so he just had to forego that purchase (nothing to do with the twenty dollars or more per litre of port I'm sure!).

Onward we went until we came to the ticket office where we had purchased our paddle steamer tickets and where Pammy had previously spied some souvenirs she 'needed' so in we went and after a short time, out we went, well all but a bit more of the wallet that is.

Next we wandered around past a local pub that looked like it would serve some very nice lunches, but with Jensen with us, we didn't think we could afford a meal for three.

Pammy leaving Jensens Adoption Centre
Pammy leaving Jensens Adoption Centre

We were then back onto the main street and passing many more windows with all sorts of goodies in them but he was able to keep Pammy in control until we reached the Patrol once more.

With Jensen Bear Bentley seated in the front seat of the patrol, Pammy decided we wouldn't be bad parents if we left him there and walked the short distance up to the Beachworth Bakery to buy some lunch. Notice.... there is food involved in this decision!

We intended to buy some lunch and take it with us, however the food was very tempting so we sat in the bakery and Pammy had a Chicken Avocado, Bacon, and mustard Foccaccia and he had a steak, bacon and egg pie (we won't mention the pastie he had after that though!) Then there was a cake or two taken back to the caravan to accompany a cup of tea.

Beachworth Bakery delivery van
Pammy and Beachworth Bakery's delivery van

We arrived back at the caravan at about 1:30pm and decided to call it a day, so Saturday it was and out came the writing paper and the computer for a while, after which the books came out and kept us occupied until happy hour.

With the sound of the paddle steamers on the Murray River and the warmth of the last couple of days soaking in, tomorrow we are leaving it all behind as we make our way a short distance (around 150 kilometres) further south to Daylesford where we will spend another two days (three nights) to explore the area. 'One of Us' insists we get underway at a reasonable time in the morning as there are some Sunday Markets in Daylesford she has been told.

Sunday 12th November 2006

Bendigo City
In Bendigo City
Dry countryside near Daylesford
Dry countryside near Daylesford
The Station Markets in Daylesford
The Station Markets in Daylesford

After a couple of really good days in Echuca, we woke to a wet morning as it had rained a little overnight, however it was time to move on, but as we were only going as far a Daylesford we took our time getting organised (once again) and didn't pull out of the caravan park until 9:05a.m. We drove through the Port of Echuca for the last time on this trip and headed out of town following the directions of Miss Bossy and the road signs toward Bendigo.

When we reached Rochester we turned south and drove through Elmore, Goornon, Huntly and Epsom before arriving in Bendigo which is quite a large city area and of course, the home of Bendigo Pottery and The Bendigo Bank. We were unable to stop on the way through Bendigo, however we did drive through the city centre where there are a number of older and historic buildings standing proudly in the streets.

Just out of Bendigo we passed through Kangaroo Flat then on through Ravenswood before arriving in Harcourt where we turned west and traveled through Castlemain, Campbells Creek and Guildford before arriving in Daylesford at about 11:30a.m. where Miss Bossy directed us through the town to the Daylesford Victoria Caravan Park.

After setting up the caravan for the next three nights and having a light lunch (think we should have had a lot more of them along the way!) we drove out to the Station Markets in Daylesford that are on one Sunday each month... and Pammy cracked the Sunday they were on. We strolled through the markets and saw everything from pigs ears to an ancient gramophone, from second hand shoes to old tilly lamps, Very second hand crockery to tools that have been well used over the past sixty years or more and everything in between. They were very interesting and a good number of the people there were also 'very interesting. When Pammy was buying two books from one of the stands, she was also given the life story of the stall holder, right from his three failed years at school to his brother who married into a 'rough' family and used the f*** word all the time... Not bad for a three minute transaction.

After browsing all the way around the markets we returned to the caravan for the rest of the afternoon and Pammy watched an afternoon movie on TV whilst the web site was completed by the 'Other One'.

Tomorrow, as long as the weather is fine, we shall have a better look around Daylesford which does look rather quaint and has some mineral springs and baths that may need checking out as well. Then we may explore further afield the following day if time is available.

More of the Station Markets
More of the Station Markets

The Railway Station at the markets
The Railway Station at the markets

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