Baranduda and Swan Hill

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July 2nd 2012
Published: July 2nd 2012
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When we were still at Perthville just outside of Bathurst Dave hauled a bottle of port out of the wine cupboard which had use rolling with laughter. It was a 1983 bottle of ”Kalgoorlie Gold Nugget Vintage Port. The description on the back of the bottle follows.

“The grapes of this wine were grown on the south west side of the Fimiston slime dumps where the mercury and lead in the soil allow for a full body flavour. The grapes were then crushed at the Oryoa plant and pressed at the Kalgoorlie Dry Cleaner. The must was settled in tailings dams then fortified in cyanide drums.

This wine has a crisp tang of sulphur dioxide and should be drunk as soon as possible. Should you wish to decant this wine the sediment can be used for gold panning. Paul Murray has described this port as unique and providing an unforgettable experience. It won first prize at the gold mining industries metallurgical trials in 1980.”

We headed off from Perthville on Tuesday as expected and straight to Baranduda. We went across country to get to the main highway and we now know that SA roads are excellent. Once on the Hume highway we had an easy run. We went into one of the many truck stops to get fuel and sailed past the “Dog on the tucker box”. There places are amazing. They have the cafe and generally at least two fast food outlets as well. Macca’s seem to be the dominant outlet, closely followed by KFC.

The scenery was stunning as usual lots of woodland and rolling country.

Of course our GPS as usual told us all sorts of lies, the most interesting of was that Ford Court was in an “inaccessible area”. In the end we rang Holly Jean who told us to put Yackandandah into the GPs instead! It worked. Alias was on nights so was asleep when we arrived and once awake only had a couple of hours before he headed off again. We spent a lovely evening catching up with HJ. Next morning Alias got home and headed to bed and we went off to Beechworth. Very interesting place, but we need to go back and spend some time. It is where Ned Kelly was/is buried and was in prison. The prison is not closed and this town has a very good tourism industry based on their history.

Here I finally managed to locate a vegetable steamer for the caravan which provides enough room for the amount of vegetables we like to eat. It has been worked since being purchased. Back at the property Graham and Alias explored the upgrades done to his Nissan Navara namely having a performance chip added and the exhaust upgraded. We now know that the motor in this Brutus is conducive to these changes. Once more Alias headed off to work but before going made plans to take Graham into Albury the next morning to talk to the person who installed his chip etc.

Next day we headed into Albury where Graham came away clutching a quote to get the work done and we may return to have it done if we can’t find a reasonable operator close to home.

Since Queensland we have been checking out Auto Barns to but a 12 volt KCI easy wrench. Had to be this specific one because this is what Robert has and it exactly fits our wheel nuts. I have seen more Auto Barns in the past week than I care to. Well we found one. Even the assistance didn’t know they had them. When we got to the cash register Alias asked for a better price and got it $10 off. We would just have accepted the price! Being cheeky works.

On the way back to the house we went to the Hume Dam. It is 98% full at the present time and the talk is that some will have to be let go because more rains are expected. Whether the water gets to SA is another thing because it will probably be held back at Mildura. The area around the dam if beautiful wonderful lawns and gardens set up for picnics and games. Apparently it is a great place to come in summer for water and other sports.

Once back at Baranduda I toured the gardens, fed the wild parrots and Graham and Alias headed off to experience the effect of the magic chip in the Navara. Graham was truly impressed. We packed up and got on the road.

HJ who was the cat princess is now a dog person and has Clancy a Maltese Shitsu I think. He runs the house. Even Alias says good bye to hime before going to work. I forgot to take a photo!

We headed straight to Rutherglen for lunch and went to our favourite winery Warrabilla where we stocked up on cleanskin red and their magic Durif. We overnighted in a regional park just outside Cobram. Somewhere along the way we managed to bottom out and damage the only vulnerable bit of the caravan, the steps. After several hits with the mallet they work again even if a little crooked. We are thinking of removing them and using portable steps instead.

Next day we came here to Swan Hill checked out the croquet club and headed out to the park we had booked. It is on Pental Island on a working farm and is very nice.

It was amazing how the vista changed from the fabulous rolling, wooded landscape to flat farmland quite a contrast.

We reported as requested for the tournament at 7:30am and played three games in freezing weather and a couple of showers. Wonderful lunch of soup and meat and salad and ended the afternoon with a lovely afternoon tea. Next morning Graham had a bye for the first game, but I had to play, so off we go again. I had my big long winter coat because of the cold but found that it impeded by backswing so I would put it around my shoulders between shots. Then it started to rain, you know that persistent rain which has set in for the day, the sort the farmers like. When I would take my coat off to play not matter where you placed it the inside got wet. There was no shelter at all courtside. By the end of the game I was wet through to the skin, my coat was drenched and when you bent your head water ran off your hat. It was horrible. I went inside (having lost) and was actually shaking with cold and my hands were blue, but I wouldn’t forfeit. They then had a discussion and cancelled the rest of the play. As the next game was my bye I voted that they play on. No-one else seemed to see the funny side of this.

I came third in the competition and Graham second, so it wasn’t a waste of time. I have said I will come back again, but I expect a cast iron guarantee that there will be no rain.

We lingered an extra day in Swan Hill and today will head off to Loxton to see Hedley and Lynley and head home tomorrow.

We haven’t achieved the shakedown part of the trip, ie getting things in the van where we want them, but we have a fair idea of what works and what doesn’t, so can attempt that at home.

We have seen lots of places we have to revisit when it is warmer and drier, so into the future we expect to be back.

Cheers and signing off for this trip

Chris and Graham

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3rd July 2012

Play in the Rain
At least the Bowlers stop play when it rains. Congrats on end results for Tournament anyway. Playing in the rain sounds woeful. Will miss the blog reports & photos. Perhaps one more with the re-uniting of Ratty & Frey & the Brinkworth homefront on your return. Thanks again for your gift to me - double dose of anti biotics & Phergen (cant spell it) from the Dr today to rid myself of it. Who is going to bqck the Van into the Garage ??? Perhaps Rudi can come up with a solution to your steps before you abandon them altogether. Thanks again for Blogs...
3rd July 2012

See you soon -
- looking forward to that
14th May 2013

cor it could be good stuff that port - aged
Hi Chris and Graham, I still have a bottle of the centenary port and that is 10 years younger. Cheers Teresa

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