Monday, 11 January 2016

Map of Tassie Tour - Day 4 - Jugiong to Majors Creek (Vic)

Very much a day of driving, as were traversed the Riverina and arrived in Victoria.

The day was off to a slightly shaky start. The much anticipated local wine disputed with my food intolerances and I was the innocent bystander. Upset stomach through the night and runny nose and congestion. It's what some call a food hangover. Strickly speaking, it was a drink hangover but not from over indulgence: a case of little joy and all responsibility. In truth, this is not the first time "local" wines have let loose the dogs of war. It's a development which bodes badly for our destination, which prides itself on boutique wines, beers, cider. cheese and chocolate ... most of which I can't have!

We stopped just down the highway at the Dog on the Tuckerbox. I have told the mongrel's story before so I won't regale you with the details. A new Oliver's now sits beside the traditional little shop where once a greasy hamburger and salty chips could be purchased along with your DotT tea towel and snow dome or the imitation boomerang from a sweat shop in Malaya. The canine himself appears shrunken by comparison to the newer developments; and Sheehan Drive, which once proudly remembered the name of a legendary local politician, exists almost in signage only.

We snapped a selfie and moved on.

It would prove to be a warm day, reaching 40C at times during the afternoon but we are spoiled by modern cars and air conditioning.

We stopped for morning tea at one of the many well maintained road side rest stops which are placed along the Hume Highway and named after Australian VC winners. The stop featured a phone call from Sam and updates about our grandson - weight, latest smiles, which clothes no longer fit - as well as computer advice for my fallen comrade. Until I find power, it may have to sit quietly ailing behind the driver's seat.

Our second stop was for lunch at another road side rest area after Wodonga. It was hot and unpleasant.

We are camped tonight beside Majors Creek. It's a tributary of the Goulburn River, located not far below the Reservoir which bears the larger river's name. It was a twenty km detour to get here but a free camp beside a waterway is always a good idea ... note to self, almost always. The spot is renowned as one of the many places Major Thomas Mitchell set up camp during his exploration of Victoria. If you have ever been to Europe, you'll know that most places you go, Earnest Hemmingway once slept there. Mitchell has much the same reputation in bush Victoria.

He sure left the place in a mess. We managed a nice spot away from the generators and five-eyed bogans. A previous guest has generously shared their thorough knowledge of sailor's exclamations by spray painting them on the larger trees. When they left school, their Year Three teacher must have been distraught that even after four years with them, they still couldn't spell even the basest words with any degree of accuracy. The information board has holes punched through the bit that remains which hasn't enjoyed an extensive attack of arson. Much over-used, especially in late December and early January, there are deep wheel ruts and the top soil wanders about aimlessly in any breeze. The creek is lifeless and infested with algae. Apart from that, it's a delight.

A slow day tomorrow and then we board the Spirit of Tasmania late in the afternoon.

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