SUNDAY 26 APRIL ECHUCA
The wet, cold and windy weather continued. I’d dug out my woolly socks and polar fleece jacket, and was mostly confined to the van. The country needed the rain, of course, and lots more of it. I just wished it didn’t have to fall on us.
I did manage a short walk along the river bank. The gum trees were very aromatic after the rain.
The paddle steamers were such an integral part of being here. They churned past. regularly, and we heard their high pitched, distinctive, whistles, a lot. There seemed to be three or four taking tourist trips, with a couple offering meals afloat, as well. Right now, they did not have all that much river to float on. Had to be bad for business, as well as making navigation trickier.
To enliven the otherwise dreary day, we drove to the Beechworth Bakery to get lunch. Despite the name, we did not have to go that far. This well known brand started, as the name suggested, in Beechworth, and gained a bit of a cult following, so had expanded to other places, like Echuca. I had the Beechworth Bakery Cookbook at home, and had made some of the recipes within, so really wanted to take this chance to sample their wares. We indulged in savoury pastry things – pie and pastie for John, spinach and fetta concoction for me, and shared a vanilla slice. The bottomless coffee was excellent. They were doing a really good trade, justified, because the food was really good.
Drove up past the Murray River Sawmill, previous source of red gum for John. We were pleased to see that it was still there and functioning although, being Sunday, was closed. This was probably fortunate, otherwise there could well have been another shipment of timber making its way to our place. I collect cookbooks, John collects timber – by the cubic metre.
Did a small shop at Safeway. John insisted we used the self-help checkout, which I was dubious about, having previously experienced hassles in these with the types of fresh produce I was buying. Some 30 minutes later, and after 5 calls on attendants for help, he finally got us clear with our purchases, and barely on speaking terms with each other. I had intended to use our $20 bowls prize voucher here, but decided things were already too complicated. We used it when Truck was fuelled up, instead.
I cooked meat patties for tea, using the electric frypan outside, under the awning roof. It was very cold out there, but at least I avoided condensing up the van interior.