It was later in the day when I left Sale and I was pretty tempted to just cross the road and go to the Showgrounds, but there’s no adventure in that so out came my Camps book and I headed off to Marlay Point. The wind was blowing a gale but I was camped right on the foreshore of Lake Wellington and I loved being near the water.
An early start the next day gave me plenty of time to have a look at Hollands Landing which is also a camping spot.
I’ll have to paint those clouds one day!
I arrived in Bairnsdale, did some shopping and headed off towards Omeo and beyond to spend a few days with my old school friend Russell.
When Russell left school he joined the army and attended Officer Cadet School at Portsea and I was honoured to be his partner at his graduation in 1965. We had lost contact for many years and when our old school had a reunion a few years ago we made contact again and have kept in touch ever since. I’m so lucky to have such long-term friends in my life.
On the way I had another overnighter at Swifts Creek, a pretty little camping ground with power, lovely hot shower and clean facilities. To stay there you had to pay $14 at the General Store in town. I’m really getting sick of the drizzly rain that always seems to come down as I am preparing for dinner and should have done what my neighbour, Chook, did and go to the pub for tea. Chook comes from Morwell and also travels alone with her 2 little dogs. She was interesting, although brief company.
Swift’s Creek camping ground
I headed off up the mountain early the next day going through Omeo then turning off at Angler’s Rest towards Russell’s home at the foot of the Bogong High Plains. There is 10kms of corrugated dirt road to Russell’s place and poor old Brutus showed his displeasure by throwing open my cupboards and tossing stuff around on the floor! Russell’s property is surrounded on 3 sides by National Park and is an idyllic location. I spent hours trying to identify the birds that cheekily landed on us as we sat on the veranda ‘chewing the fat’. The cheekiest of all were the grey fantails, but there were also crimson rosellas, blue wrens, kookaburras and a little bird I couldn’t identify that had the sweetest song. I’d stalk it around the garden trying to catch a glimpse of it but it was too elusive for me!
I took this next photo the day we went collecting wood to stockpile for next winter. I reckon it looks like a Frederick McCubbin painting!
Wednesday was an amazing day! Russell has a plane, a Cessna 172, and we went over to his hangar at Benambra and he took me for a flight over the coastline around 90 mile beach and Lakes Entrance before heading back over the mountains to home. On the way to Russell’s plane we stopped at McMillan Lookout which he likes to do to get a ‘visual’ of the local weather conditions.
And then the time had arrived to prepare the plane and take to the skies!
Coming in to Bairnsdale
The Silt Jetty
The Mitchell River Silt Jetties are the second largest in the world, after those at the mouth of the Mississippi River as it enters the Gulf of Mexico, and have been nominated as a site of international significance. The Silt Jetties extend out from the western shore of Lake King about 6 km north-east of Paynesville.
From Eagle Point Bluff the Silt Jetties become a series of long, narrow, winding silt jetties which extend eastwards out into the lake for 8 km. There is a part bitumen/part gravel road all the way to the end, with many favourite fishing spots along the way. The silt was deposited over millions of years when the Mitchell River slowed as it entered Lake King. The jetties are also home to a large range of native animals and birds.
Flying home we were heading back into the mountains. Russell calls this Tiger Country – no where to land!
That night we went to The Blue Duck, the pub at Anglers Rest. As it is trout season there were trout fisherman all dressed up in their gear hoping to catch the BIG one. Russell told me a funny story about the publican who had been feeding up a brown trout for a few weeks waiting for the season to start so he could throw in his line and catch it. Meanwhile his daughter swung from the rope in the tree into the river, belly flopped and landed on the fat trout, stunning it. So she lifted it out of the water and took it to her dad asking what she should do with it. Dad was mortified – all that time he’d been cultivating that trout to catch it himself and his daughter catches it with a belly flop!
Here’s another ‘before’ and ‘after’ photo, the first taken at Russell’s graduation in 1965 and the second, obviously, a lot more recently at the Blue Duck.
I left this peaceful haven the next day and headed to Sale to see my Aunty again and then make my way back to Melbourne. That night I stayed at a second cousin, David’s, place in Sale. I’m not sure if I’ve met David before or not. If I have it was a long time ago so it was wonderful of him to welcome me into his beautiful home, where I met two of his sons, Toby and Henry, and also his housekeeper, Bev.
On the way back into Melbourne I caught up with Laurance, a fellow Solo and he worked his magic on Brutus and adjusted the timing for me so once again he’s running like a dream.
My next adventure takes me to Tasmania where I will spend Christmas with my sister Marion and hopefully see as much of the countryside as I can while I am there. I leave on December 4th and plan to stay for at least a couple of months. I’m looking forward to sharing my Tassie experiences with you…