SATURDAY APRIL 23 POREPUNKAH
Until today, all our riverside walks with dog have been westwards, along a track on the bank, towards Porepunkah. This morning, I went the other way. It was not so obvious, from the park, that there was a track in that direction. Dog and I found it was a nicer walk than the one we had been doing. It followed a line of bushland, between the river and the back fences of the houses that front the main road. Those houses have a great location, with back access to the river. Some of them would appear to have water rights from the Ovens too – I saw a couple of places where pumps had been set up.
Because all the smells were novel, and because there were several places where she could look yearningly at the river, dog went further than was usual on these morning walks, so it was a good long one. But eventually, thoughts of breakfast intruded and she refused to go any further- as was the norm.
I thought about driving into Bright to buy the Saturday papers, then thought of the crowds that would be there, and decided to go without. Last time we’d been here, we’d gone to the markets at Wandiligong. I wasn’t keen on going this time, knowing that we’d have to park a long way from the action and then carry any purchases the long way back.
So, it was another lazy day round camp.
The colours of autumn
With hindsight, it might have been better to have left yesterday morning, before the hordes descended on the place – and before the nightly rate went up!
I sat out in the sun, read, and worked on the blanket. Occasionally, I had to glare and growl at little brats who came running through the site, taking a short cut back to their cabin. At that stage, Couey was inside Bus with John. I didn’t want to have her tethered outside, as just her size and blackness would have scared said brats. I was very tempted, but didn’t want anyone complaining that dog had frightened them – just by being. Or coming off their speeding bikes in fright – though, again, the thought was tempting.
A new set of occupants set up on the vacant site on our awning side. An offroad camper trailer. Family, with two young children, and grandparents in a caravan on a more distant site. The camper trailer took them ages to set up – far longer than a caravan would have. Very fiddly. The children were much better behaved and supervised than those of the trail biking/camp kitchen drinking variety.
In less crowded times
In the afternoon, took Couey for a walk in the new direction. I wanted to show John this more enjoyable track. It also had the benefit that all the camp brats seemed to go the other, more obvious way along the river.
We found a place where Couey could have some stick fetching fun in the river for a while. Then kept going. Unfortunately, around a bend there was a man standing knee deep in the middle of the river, fly fishing. Dog was instantly into the stream, to join in this great new game with the big stick! The fisherman was not impressed – he did not share Couey’s view that he was her new best friend. Probably neither did any trout that may have been in the vicinity. We managed to call her back to us and found a new place, further upstream, where she could play.
Back at camp, the several sets of parents of the bratty little kids had re-occupied the camp kitchen and were having a drinking session. The kids got more tired and more noisy – and my temper got shorter. By great contrast, the various offspring of our Indian neighbours were so well behaved and civilized.
We had steaks with peppercorn sauce for tea.
TV football again in the evening. Our neighbours had their gathering around their fire brazier. It was a really cold night.