FRIDAY 29 JULY HAMILTON
First thing in the morning, I went to the park office and booked a second night. There was some sort of rather weird discount system applicable, because I paid only $30.60 for this night, after a $7.40 discount.
Chatted for a while with the park owner. He told me about a new caravan park chain that was about to start up – a really dog-friendly one. That sounded both interesting and overdue. It annoyed me no end, that the other major park chain to which we once belonged, and used a lot, had a no dog policy. The reality was that there were increasing numbers of travellers with dogs and, to me, it made sound business sense to recognize this and cater for it.
He also mentioned that the Halls Gap to Dunkeld road had been closed for much of this year, due to landslips, and this had impacted badly on tourism to Hamilton, it being a convenient stop between Halls Gap and the coast.
Couey had a morning walk along the creek trail.
After John got going, we walked to the Woolworths complex. When I first moved to Hamilton, the commercial focus was in Gray Street, a block to the north, where the two old department stores and what passed for supermarket, were almost opposite each other. Then Coles set up not far from them. The Woolworths development happened after I left, but clearly, the main street was no longer central to commerce in the town.
John found a games shop there, too, so I waited with dog while he browsed in there.
After lunch back at the van, we went walking along the creek track, but the other way this time, under the highway overpass and towards Lake Hamilton.
From the creek path, I could just see the spires of St Mary’s Catholic Church up on its hill, and a glimpse of the top of the towered house that had been my home for a while.
I realized that, in a few months, it will be thirty years since I left Hamilton, after living there for thirteen years. No wonder the town had seemed altered!
More dog ball games on the grass near the park, then back to the van for the rest of the day.
Sausages and vegies and eggs for tea.