FRIDAY APRIL 22 POREPUNKAH
Cooler today, but the rain had gone.
The first part of the morning was lazy. After my breakfast and coffee, sitting outside, I read for a while. John had a long sleep in. Dog elected to join him in Bus – after I’d done her morning walk, of course.
Then, it was moving day for us. Carried our gear over to the site diagonally behind, then put in the awning and moved Bus around there. I confined Couey – and her loud complaining that we might be going somewhere without her – to the Terios. Nicely muffled.
The new site was better than the one we’d been on, in terms of size. We were now no longer on a corner, with vehicles and vans coming too close to the front corner of Bus. There was more room for the car, and the dog.
The down side was that we were right under some lovely big trees, busily dropping autumn leaves in great volume.
After setting up again, just lazed around for much of the day. John spent time on his laptop. I did some crochet. Not long before we came away, I received a parcel of wool from Bendigo. The crochet patchwork blanket that I’d made, a while ago, for the younger grandson, had been so well received that I had been asked to make a similar one for the family to gift to an expectant friend. We’d agreed they would buy the wool and I’d do the work. I was happy to have the project.
New site before we moved – and before the holiday influx
Around lunch time, new occupants arrived for the site we’d vacated. It appeared they were rather novice campers, as they fuffled around putting up a brand new tent, trying to work around the cement slab. John took pity on the man who was trying to hammer in tent pegs with a small rock, and took across our block hammer for him to use. It was appreciated.
They turned out to be the advance guard of a group of families – all sub-continental – who arrived, one lot at a time, through till about 9pm. With one exception, they proceede3d to put up tents, occupying seven sites on three sides of us. Almost surrounded! One family occupied a cabin opposite, the man making comments to the others to the effect that camping was not for him – somewhat less politely than this, though. The group set up a gazebo, and a fire brazier – the latter on the site next to us. They were all very nice people but – as one of them said to us, later – “Indians are noisy people.”
The en-suite site next to us was empty overnight.
Mid-afternoon, John felt like a drive, so we set off up the Buckland Valley. More superb autumn tree displays. Apple orchards too, extending towards the flank of Mt Buffalo, in the distance.
Buckland Valley road
We eventually drove out of the farmed parts of the valley and into native forest. Crossed a bridge over the little Buckland River, but did not go much beyond that, after the road turned unsealed. Eventually, this track beside the Buckland River heads up into the Barry Range and onto the High Plains, but this was not an occasion for adventurous rough driving. We backtracked.
Mt Buffalo from Buckland Valley
At Porepunkah, took the Back Germantown Road, that follows the northern side of the Ovens River to beyond Bright. Turned right by Bright and crossed the Ovens River bridge to the main part of town.
Ovens Valley farmland
Located the pizza shop that would provide tonight’s tea. Its menu was amongst the material I’d previously collected at the Visitor Centre. It looked nicely extensive.
The town was really busy, already.
I did a quick pick up of a couple of items at the supermarket, then we went back to camp, in time for Couey’s afternoon walk and play in the river.
Between Bright and the caravan park, the traffic coming towards us and Bright was a line worthy of peak hour in Melbourne!
The Autumn Festival events began tonight. It was also the start of the long weekend.
New arrivals in the park included some campers who had brought in quad bike type machines on the backs of utes and on trailers. There was a group with lots of trail bikes between them, too. Clearly, the forest trails and fire access tracks in the surrounding mountains were in for a massive assault over the coming days.
By late afternoon, the noise levels in the hitherto peaceful park had risen greatly. And we remembered why we liked to avoid popular places at holiday times! The motorized monstrosities seemingly had to all be turned on to see if they had somehow stopped working since leaving home. Actually, it seemed more like a “mine is louder than yours” competition.
On top of these, and these chatter of the Indians, there were several families with numbers of young children – too many of whom were tearing around the places on bikes. Unfortunately, not all of the kids had been educated in camp ground manners, about things like running through any site they felt like.
The group of trail bike riders had laid claim to the camp kitchen, congregating there to sit round drinking and talking – not cooking – in such a way to make it impossible for others to use it for doing a BBQ or other cooking. Yes – holidays bring forth the worst sort of fellow campers.
John tried to phone our order through to the pizza place, but the phone stayed busy. In the end, he decided to just go and get our meal, and put up with a wait. I wanted a puttanesca pizza and John a hot and spicy one. He had to wait in the very busy shop for nearly half an hour, before collecting them. It cost $43 for the two – of a size I would call medium. They were rather too thinly topped for my liking, especially given the price. The base sauce appeared to just be tomato paste, smeared on – there was lots of it visible between the meagre bits of topping – and only a very light scattering of cheese on my pizza. I think making our own pizzas at home has rather spoiled us for the commercial product.
John phoned a friend from teacher college days, who lives near Bendigo, to see if we could go visit him and park at his place on Sunday. Disappointingly, he wouldn’t be home. So we decided to just make our way home again on Sunday.
John watched football on TV, after dinner. I went to bed early, and read for a while. The background noise of the TV did not keep me awake for long. All this fresh mountain air tires me out!
We both had indigestion through the night.
April 19, 2023 at 11:13 pm
Ha, it’s so easy to forget about holidays. We were going to zip away this weekend to do a shakedown of a few new things. Thankfully we realised that it’s a pseudo long weekend.
April 20, 2023 at 3:00 am
Also still school holidays…
April 20, 2023 at 11:07 pm
Oh yes, whoops.