MONDAY APRIL 18 POREPUNKAH
Last night, after we had relaxed and absorbed some of the atmosphere here, John said he wouldn’t mind extending our stay here longer, maybe even for all of our available time. Seems the idea of packing up and moving further on had lost its appeal. I wasn’t upset by this – I like it here, too, and could always file away the Corryong area for another time.
So after the usual morning dog walk – along the riverside path towards Porepunkah village – I checked with the office. Found we could extend on our current site until Thursday, but on Friday would have to move sites. Even then, could only stay until Sunday morning. Fair enough and actually a bit of a surprise. We hadn’t realized it until our arrival, but the annual Autumn Festival, in nearby Bright, begins on Friday. So accommodation in these parts would be at a real premium. Our site fees would be higher for Friday and Saturday, jumping to $58.50 a night after discount. Still, we counted ourselves lucky to manage a week here.
The day was another beautiful, sunny, warm one.
We drove into Bright. Went to the Information Centre. There, of course, John enquired about bowls and was told of a couple of occasions when he could play, during our planned time here. I, of course, collected some sightseeing information. I bought a jar of local crab apple jelly, to give to our flat tenant for keeping an eye on our place.
John was attracted to a chocolate making establishment in old of the old buildings in the river side precinct and went to investigate. He was hoping there might be a tour and demonstration, but not today. He managed to leave the place without buying any of their product – well done, him.
Bright Chocolate Factory
We parked the Terios down by the Ovens River, in central Bright.
Ovens River in Bright
Couey was soooo anxious to investigate the water, so we let her off the lead at the river’s edge – and she was in. She splashed and cavorted and chased sticks and generally had a great time.
Dog in there
Then we walked around some of the shopping centre, drying out dog, looking in windows, checking out what was there. The area was quite busy.
Everywhere we looked, there were trees in glorious autumn colours – and plenty of fallen leaves about too.
We were standing outside a bakery, trying to work out where to walk next, when a lady asked if this was the only bakery in town? We must have looked like locals – maybe it was the wet dog with us? She said that she and her husband had been recommended to go to the bakery on the edge of town, but they weren’t sure if this was it. She then went on to explain that they were rather wary about where they obtained food here. They had been up to Mt Hotham for a drive and had seen a man lying underneath his caravan, there. He was really ill from food poisoning. Told her he was in the region for a wedding and had eaten at an hotel in Bright. He was too ill to continue driving, and his wife did not drive the rig, so they were rather stranded. Our lady’s husband had offered to drive their rig down the mountain, because she could drive their car. But the sick man and wife dithered around and couldn’t make up their minds what to do, so the people we were talking to had left them to it. When you hear about something like that, it does make you think twice about where you eat.
I took a photo of a sign under a big pine tree: “Beware of large falling cones”. Couey has a passion for finding pine cones and carrying them as we walk, but the area under the tree was without any booty for her.
Stand under at own risk
John was in a mood to explore, so we drove out the Alpine Road, towards Harrietville.
Went into a salmon and trout farm that we came upon, where one can catch their own trout, as well as buy the products. There was a family there, of Middle Eastern appearance, trying their luck in one of the ponds and seeming rather frustrated by the process. John was not inclined to try the fishing. I do not eat trout, anyway – to me it is akin to eating river mud with lots of added bones. Cannot see the appeal. With our recent conversation outside the bakery in mind, I was not tempted into buying any of the salmon pate, or other offerings, so we left again. The shop and office had been unattended anyway.
On the way back to Bright, detoured to have a quick look at the caravan park at Freeburgh. Friend M usually stays there, with friends, for two or three weeks, every summer, and loves the place. We decided that it looked quite pleasant, and it was dog friendly too. Would tuck that one away in the future reference mental file, although I don’t think we could do much better than where we are.
I did a quick trip into a supermarket for some olive oil and a jar of sweet and sour sauce.
Had a late lunch back at Bus, then we took dog for a walk along the riverbank track, towards Porepunkah village. Managed to keep her from trying to clamber down the steep banks to the water, though she clearly wanted to go exploring same. Told her she’d had her water “fix” this morning.
Tea was a chicken sweet and sour stir fry, and rice.
John tried to phone a friend from home, who was holidaying in Bright, with a mind to playing bowls together. But there was not answer.
The nights here were chilly, but Bus was cosy enough, without needing the heater.