WEDNESDAY APRIL 20 POREPUNKAH
It was another lovely day, with more sight seeing. There was some cloud build up through the day, though.
We set out to drive over the range via the Tawonga Gap, and make a circuit back to Porepunkah. This would take us from the Ovens Valley, over to the Kiewa River valley, and back.
Refuelled the Terios at Bright. No one can accuse these travellers of not spending money locally!
Spent some more at the Snow Farms roadside stall, located at the corner of the Alpine Road and the Tawonga Gap road. A very strategic position. John initially stopped because he wanted to buy some chestnuts. Seems it was chestnut season. These are a product I know little about, except that I tried one years ago and did not like it. He seemed confident that he knew how to prepare and eat them, though. We also bought a couple of half kilo bags of walnuts in the shell – good sized ones, some local Pink Lady and Jonathan apples, and a lot of local garlic. That is something I use a lot of, and much prefer to have the Australian grown product that has not been chemically treated. Overall, a good haul.
Onto the winding, steadily climbing Gap Road. The Terios really handled the hilly, winding roads well. Might be a little car, but it really punches above its weight in terms of versatility.
Tawonga Gap road
Came across a wallaby on the road that appeared as if it had just been hot by a vehicle. A couple of cars had just passed us, heading towards Bright. The poor thing was distressed and had a gaping wound under a front leg. When we slowed the car, it hopped off towards the scrub. There wasn’t anything we could do, except leave it in peace and hope it recovered. At least it was off the road. It put a dampener on our mood though.
Had a couple of stops at lookouts.
At Tawonga Gap
The first one gave detail of the building of the Tawonga Gap road – a slightly unusual history. In the late 1890’s, farmers around Tawonga, in the Kiewa valley, wanted a road built across the range so they could get their produce to the railway at Bright. A deal was done that saw the Bright Shire build the road, after a section of the Yackandandah Shire was separated off and given to Bright. The new road opened in 1896.
Plaque at lookout
There were great views over the Kiewa valley, with its string of little villages along the valley length.
The Kiewa River valley
A short distance further on, another lookout gave us views over Mt Beauty township towards Mt Bogong.
View across the valley towards Mt Bogong
It really is beautiful country, though winters can be so cold. Daughter worked a few snow seasons at Mt Beauty, over twenty years ago now. Her seasonal job in a ski hire shop dovetailed nicely with her equally seasonal job in an outdoor education camp facility, that closed down over winters.
Mt Beauty township
The trip down the range to the valley was much shorter than the trip up the western side had been.
Think we had a total lapse of focus when we reached the Kiewa Valley Highway. Intended to visit Tawonga South and Mt Beauty, and so should have turned right. But something distracted us and John went left. We were kilometres further on before it occurred to me. Too far to back track. Next time…
Down in the valley…
This morning, we’d discussed including Yackandandah on the round trip. But John thought we could tour that, and Beechworth, on another day. He wanted to head straight to Myrtleford – and a pasty lunch! He was also very keen to visit a machinery sales place he’d noticed there, to find out the price of a little machine that is a combined mower and baby front-end loader. A boy’s toy. He was justifying his interest by saying that it would move rocks for the rock walls he was contemplating rebuilding. News to me! So we took the Happy Valley road to Myrtleford. This was a much less hilly and winding road than the Tawonga Gap one.
On the Happy Valley road
At the Myrtleford Bakery – no pasties! So John bought a pepper pie. The shop sold focaccias filled to order, but just about all their filling containers were empty. It was only 1.15pm too. I got them to scrabble together a cheese, ham and pineapple focaccia from what was left in the containers. It was alright – just. John thinks I am too fussy about lunches. But pastry items play havoc with my gut, and I really dislike claggy white bread.
The machine John was coveting turned out to cost $21,000. He will not be getting one of those! The subject was promptly dropped – forever.
Back to Bus. A Couey walk and river games filled in what remained of the afternoon. At one point she got into a bit of a current in the river, and had to swim and battle a bit, but didn’t panic. She loved it all.
Tea was the same as last night. There was plenty of the bread loaf left, and it was only slightly stale.
I phoned a friend and former work colleague who now lives in Wodonga, and we arranged to meet in Beechworth tomorrow, at midday, for lunch.
On these cold nights, the Bus beds were really cosy and warm to sleep in, despite being a bit on the narrow side.
The area surrounding Porepunkah