This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

2016 Travels March 20

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A nice, calm, uneventful pack up and departure. I like those kind…

Refuelled Bus in Yarram. $1.089cpl. We had injected some funds into this small country town, one way and the other.

I realized, while John was filling the tank, that the day was a lot hotter than I’d thought it would be, and did a quick change into shorts – thanking whoever it was who’d had the Bus windows heavily tinted.

The country between Yarram and Sale was just varied enough to be interesting.

Near Sale

As we drove into Sale, saw there was a big market happening.

I suddenly realized that I did not actually know the name of the caravan park that we’d booked into, as M had made this booking. I thought it was on the highway on the west side of town, near a creek. The first park we came to seemed to fit, but the name did not ring any bells. John pulled into the entrance and went in and asked the lady on reception if there was a booking for us? No. Then, as we could not back the rig, the lady very nicely raised the boom gate so we could drive in, around and out again.

While this was going on, I urgently texted M to ask where the hell we were supposed to be going? Though they had left Yarram at a similar time to us, they had detoured to a couple of side spots, like Woodside, on the way. Then, before I got a reply, it occurred to me that both bookings might be in her name, so we stopped outside the park and John went back in. Yes, this time, from the very patient lady.

Reply from M – she couldn’t remember the name and had no paperwork with her. I replied with our outcome. Really well organized, weren’t we? Just a little hassle from travelling with others…

Our en-suite site at the Sale Motor Village cost $40 a night. Again, it was drive-through. A big site, with a slab, Very good. Bathroom was clean, glass enclosed shower, some bench space – and very efficient heating. I liked that, at night, the interior light was on a sensor that came on as soon as the door was opened. The park was fairly large, with some permanent residents. It appeared quite full, at first glance, but we eventually realized that some of the vans muct belong to people who work away – maybe on the rigs in Bass Strait?

The park was on a loop of Flooding Creek and had a very large grassy area at one end that was unpowered camping – and also a good place to walk dog.

The others arrived and were happy with their cabin. And happy that we’d done the somewhat embarrassing work of asking if we belonged.

As soon as set up was done, we went to the markets. As it was almost midday, most stalls were packing up, but I bought some vegetables. A leather goods stall was a bit slower finishing up than the others and I spied the type of moccasin slipper that is hard to get at home, plus a pair of proper moccasins, so bought both of those. John bought a belt – to be permanently kept in Bus – another item he always forgets to bring.

John spied a smallgoods seller and bought some salami type sausage and some smaller “beer” snack sausages. Very smelly smallgoods. He’d been told by the vendor not to keep them in the fridge so they smelled out one of the Bus cupboards for the rest of the trip. M also bought some items at the same stall. Not my scene… Later, John was commenting about “local smallgoods” and how good it was to buy local. I pointed out that the label said made in Adelaide.

After a quick lunch at camp, we all drove out to the historic Swing Bridge, a few kms out of town, where the Latrobe and Thompson Rivers join. This has been restored and is opened at 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

The Swing Bridge

The little old original wooden Lakes boat, the Rubeena, now electric powered, does cruises on the river and had one that arrived at the Swing Bridge in time for the opening, so we were able to watch that puttering along the river. It had a full complement of passengers too.

A different sort of cruise

The Swing Bridge dates from the 1880’s and the era of coastal and Lakes shipping, when goods were brought through the Gippsland Lakes system and up river, to near Sale. Once a road was made from Sale to Longford, a bridge over the river was needed. About this time, too, the Sale Canal was dug to make a waterway that went the couple of kms from the river to the centre of Sale.

The highway now uses a newer bridge, so the Swing Bridge is for walkers only. There is a walking/cycling trail that comes from Sale out along the river and through the wetlands, to the bridge. Found myself hoping I was fitter next time we come here – it looked an appealing walk.

The Swing Bridge is really unusual, in that it swivels open on a turntable that is offset somewhat to one side of centre, in the river. So, when it is open, there is this long span, sitting parallel to the bank.

Swing Bridge moved to allow navigation on the river

When built, it was manually operated, but now is motorized. The two men who came to do the opening – very casually and without any commentary whatsoever – set up a portable generator that did the work. It was a rather slow process, but interesting.

Swing Bridge swinging to open the river

In old days, a red lamp warned that the bridge was open. You wouldn’t want to be colour blind.

The Swing Bridge swung…

The bridge is National Trust classified and is the oldest surviving swing bridge in Australia.

Once the handful of people who had watched the opening had dispersed, we let Couey off the lead for a ball chase on the grass beside the river. At one stage, she appeared to turn towards the river – and four voices all screamed out “NO”, really loudly. It worked.

Storm light

Then the day was mostly gone. Had happy hour at Bus and then retired to our respective abodes.

Our dinner was zucchini frittata that I’d bought, frozen, from home, and reheated in the electric frypan. An easy meal.

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