WEDNESDAY 13 NOVEMBER COROWA
I woke up to rain, but it cleared through the morning.
I did the usual morning routine with Couey – walk then breakfast, followed by my breakfast. John had a sleep in.
I’d suggested staying in Corowa because it is a well known bowls destination, but John said he really wasn’t interested in trying out the local bowls scene. Surprising…
Mid-morning, we set out to do some exploring and wine tasting. Drove through the Corowa town centre, to get an idea of the layout and shops, then across the Murray on a different bridge from the one we came in on, near the caravan park.
First stop was at Chambers Rosewood winery. This establishment had been an old favourite of mine for something like forty years, though it was a very long time since I’d been here and a degree of modernization was evident. Now, there was a formal tasting and wine sales area, replacing what had previously been a fairly casual experience in a corner of a shed. Unfortunately, gone also was the Old Rum Port that Bill Chambers would produce from under the counter, if asked by those in the know. This port, aged in casks that had held rum, was a delightful drop.
They had quite a range of white, red, and the fortified wines that the Rutherglen area is famed for. We tasted some and ordered a dozen bottles of white wine – six each of two different varieties. They would be delivered after we were home again. We took away with us a bottle each of port and muscat. These styles of fortified wines are the true strength of this vineyard – and also this wine region as a whole.
In Rutherglen went to the Visitor Information Centre, which also doubled as a sales outlet for local produce. I bought a sage and macadamia pesto, a raspberry balsamic, and a bottle of chilli mustard. it was hard to limit purchases to just those items!
There were a couple of local produce outlets that looked to be interesting to visit. The man at the information desk told me, however, that Gooramadda Olives would be open, but the Pickled Sisters would not be open until tomorrow.
Back in the main street, John bought a pastie and a pie from Pipers Bakery. I bought a vegie foccaccia from a different bakery. John thought his goodies were only average, but I liked mine.
The Rutherglen Caravan park and adjacent Lake King were only a block from the town centre. We parked and walked around the lake. It was only about a km. Was a pretty walk. Couey had a little spell of free ranging – John’s idea – and an illicit splosh in the lake – her idea.
The walking path went through the caravan park. This looked alright, but more crowded than where we currently were.
Drove out to the north east, along Gooramadda Road, seeking the olive place of the same name. When we got there, found it only opens at weekends, despite what we’d been told.
Took the unusually named Up River Road, as the Information Centre man had suggested, and back to the caravan park.
The rest of the afternoon was lazy: occasional ball throws for dog. Attempted another walk to the river, but the memory of that dragonfly was obviously still too strong.
Got talking with people camped in the same area of the park, also with a dog. They had, from the state of their camp, been here for a while. Found they had been travelling around Australia for nine months, but had fallen in love with Corowa when they came through here, and so just bought a house. Now, they were camped up waiting to move in. They said the park was absolutely full over the recent Melbourne Cup weekend – with the public holiday for the horse race on the Tuesday, many Melburnians have for years taken an unofficial holiday on the Monday to create a four-day weekend.
Tea was lamb and rosemary sausages, mash and broad beans.