A Travellerspoint blog

Day 31 – Victor Harbor & Strathalbyn

Wednesday 2 November 2011


View 2011 South Australia Reunion on greynomadm's travel map.

Relaxed start to the day, said goodbye to three coupled who headed off. Cooked a damper for morning tea using Bill's “Bush Spices” instead of my normal mixed herbs. Went down a treat and there wasn't a lot left for Aussie the dog.

About lunch time we set off in the general direction taken by the Mystery Bus Tour last Monday. We stopped for some pastries at the Milang Bakery. On to Strathalbyn where we spent time in both quilting fabric shops.

We also visited the most crowded, ramshackle collection of second-hand goods we've ever seen. The place was an absolute mess and certainly constituted a health hazard. Aisles were blocked and almost all were too narrow to pass through without snagging the items on display. Add to all this the fact that most items were ridiculously over-priced and it was no wonder that nothing was being sold.

From Strathalbyn we drove to Mount Compass, a quaint stop on the main road from Victor Harbor to Adelaide. The local butcher displayed an impressive range of meat products. These included many that had be marinated and offered in attractive packages and at reasonable prices. The absolute bargain were 10 chicken and vegetable patties for $1.50. They are not huge but they will provide a substantial meal.

We stopped off at the RSL to retrieve the Unit Banner and once again thanking the president for his enthusiastic support for our reunion. Back to the van and a light dinner.

The wind appears to have dropped off and it would be a nice change if we had a night without the noise of the awning flapping.

Stay well and travel safely.

Cheers … Tony
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Milang Bakery
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Quilting Fabrics
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The Junk Shop
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Sample Butcher's Price List

Posted by greynomadm 02:04 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 30 – Victor Harbor - Down Time

Tuesday 1 November 2011


View 2011 South Australia Reunion on greynomadm's travel map.

Up early this morning and walked out to and around Granite Island. Happened to see off some of the attendees and sat around while Jenny did the laundry. Bill, in the caravan next door, cooked pancakes at 1000 and we sat around for the next two hours.

Went into town to replenish our provisions before returning for lunch. After lunch cooked a damper and shared it around. Started reading a hard-copy book and generally did very little. Watched the running of the Melbourne Cup but didn't even bother to enter a sweep-stake.

No plans for this evening so we'll call it a day.

Stay well and travel safely.

Cheers … Tony

Posted by greynomadm 00:55 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Day 29 – Victor Harbor Reunion Mystery Bus Tour

Monday 31 October 2011


View 2011 South Australia Reunion on greynomadm's travel map.

Weather is overcast, the wind is blowing and it is quite chilly when we gathered at the RSL to be picked up for our Mystery Bus Tour at 0900. We are split between two buses and while they both travelled roughly in the same direction. To avoid congestion the groups stopped at different venues along the way. First stop a bleak headland overlooking Horseshoe Bay then through Goolwa onto Hindmarsh Island to see the “mouth of the Murray” then back to Goolwa for a visit to a winery cellar door. Next stop the bakery at Milang on Lake Alexandria followed by a visit to the horseradish farm for a talk, taste and buy. Then into Strathalbyn for lunch and a leisurely trip through some picturesque rural valleys to the Cheese Factory for a talk, taste and buy. The driver then added an alternate route back to the RSL where we disembarked just before 1700.

Most of us that are staying at the caravan park are gathering for a BBQ at the camp kitchen. At 1830 there were twelve of us there and in just over an hour there were 36 fewer sausages to worry about. It was too cold to linger so back to the vans, some even admitted to having their heaters on.

Today marks the end of the organised Reunion, there will be people leaving each day for the rest of the week. As far as I'm aware those who are effected by the QANTAS fiasco have managed to make alternative arrangements.

Stay well and travel safely.

Cheers … Tony
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Mouth of the Murray
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Horseradish in the raw
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Tasting the many concoctions
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Newman's Cellar Door

Posted by greynomadm 03:00 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Day 28 – Victor Harbor Reunion Goolwa Train & Cruise

Sunday 30 October 2011


View 2011 South Australia Reunion on greynomadm's travel map.

Slow start to the day as we board the Cockle Train to Goolwa at 1045. Arriving in Goolwa we boarded the PS Oscar “W” – a steam powered paddle ship which has been restored and is operated by a dedicated team of volunteers. She was originally employed towing barges of cargo, mainly wool, down the Murray to Goolwa, from where it was transported to Port Elliot for overseas shipment. We were out on the water for an hour and returned to the wharf for a BBQ. At 1445 we boarded the Cockle Train again to return to Victor Harbor.

The pace of activity is starting to take its toll, I fell asleep at the keyboard. I've also talked more in any one day than I normally do in a week. An early night is indicated as there's another full day tomorrow.

Stay well and travel safely.

Cheers … Tony
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Presentation of a Certificate of Appreciation to the Friends of the Oscar "W"
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Some kid is goint to be very lucky to receive this toy.
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They say "Real Men Wear Pink"

Posted by greynomadm 02:02 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Day 27 – Victor Harbor Reunion Service & Dinner

Saturday 29 October 2011


View 2011 South Australia Reunion on greynomadm's travel map.

Light showers were the order of the day but the clouds parted and the sun broke through in time for the Service at the replica Long Tan Cross on the foreshore. A dignified service presented by the local mayor and a local chaplain.

Jenny managed some excellent group shots and I'll have a good central spread for the next newsletter. There were small knots of guys posing for their partners to take pictures. A very classy location and sympathetic weather.

After lunch we returned to the RSL Hall for a meeting where the proposed hand-over of my responsibilities was presented and agreed. There were three locations proposed for the 2013 reunion, Echuca, Penrith and Newcastle. Each proposed venue will need to present their credentials and it will be the readership who will vote.

Back to the caravan to prepare for tonight's dinner.

Arrived at the Hotel Victor and we were directed to a elegantly presented dining room. There was a mixture of round and rectangular tables and apart from the 'Top' table seating was self selected. Most were occupied by groups who had served together with a few individual occupying the vacant seats.

Right on schedule, the waitresses took our orders with selections from two entrees, three mains and two deserts. They did a great job, given that individuals were still milling about taking photos and catching up. Peter Goers, a South Australia media personality, read the list of of our deceased members.

The meals were served in short order and were both generous and superbly cooked and presented, most ladies and even some of the men leaving some food on the plate. After the main course we were addressed by Peter Goers - his opening remarks quite serious and tapping into the feelings of the Veterans. He spoke of the disgraceful way we'd been treated on our return, by the government, the general population and most painfully by the RSL. He praised our capacity to forgive and the changes we had achieved in the way that Veterans generally and the new crop in particular were now more respected in the community.

On a lighter note the went on with a series of anecdotes that brought a smile to the faces of the most reserved and had some of us virtually rolling on the floor. This guy was GOOD. He picked his audience and had the repartee of stories to deliver non-stop entertainment for a good 15 minutes or more.

He was certainly a hard act to follow. I presented Certificates of Appreciation to him, the hotel and the organisers of the event. A certificate seems somewhat inadequate given the amount of effort that had gone into staging and arranging it all. Ray managed to pick out a lady who was celebrating her birthday and had us singing the song for her and others who were soon to celebrate theirs.

Totally unexpectedly, Jenny and I were summonsed up to the microphone and were presented with a silver platter engraved with words of appreciation. The standing ovation was somewhat embarrassing but sincerely appreciated.

By 2230, well past our bed-time, we left and made our way back to the van. Quite the best day at a reunion ever.

Stay well and travel safely.

Cheers … Tony

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Group photo at the Long Tan Cross
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Table set for the Dinner

Posted by greynomadm 13:43 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

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