A Travellerspoint blog

Day 11 – Castlemaine to Ballarat via Clunes

Thursday 13 October 2011

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Another chilly morning and awoke much earlier than planned. Today's run is only a short one and we planned to leave after 0900, instead it was just after 0730.

We decided to 'detour' via Clunes, partly to get us to the West of Ballarat and partly to add some time to the trip. We pulled up in Clunes about 0830 and went for a walk through the town (or village) and found a delightful bakery. We'd only just finished breakfast but I had no trouble demolishing a meat pie while Jenny wrapped herself around a vegetable pasty.

Clunes must have been quite a place in it's heyday, the public buildings are impressive and substantial. The are at least three large stone churches still standing. Not sure if they are still in use.

Our GPS got us a little confused, at one point we were directed to turn into a bike path (it did have the title of something Lane!). Despite the roundabout route we were at the park reception before 1000 and despite being some three hours early (check-in is 1300) we were warmly greeted and shown to a lovely shaded site.

Set up and laundry done and a quick bite for lunch (small one, we'd had that stop in Clunes). We headed off to stock up with a few essentials. Each town has it's peculiarities and Ballarat is no exception. We could see the sign for Aldi and pulled in too quickly and found ourselves in a service station. Got out of there and missed the entrance to Aldi and wound up parked in front of a pub. We didn't need much so it wasn't to heavy to carry.

Back at the van and contacted my sister. She's delighted and insists that we come over for dinner. Relying on the GPS we found her place and had a long, long chat. She just loves to chat. Without even a pause for breath she concocted a most wonderful chicken casserole. It was well past our normal bed time when we left and headed back to our van.

More from Ballarat tomorrow.

Stay well and travel safely.

Cheers … Tony
Windmill Holiday Park Ballarat - Camp Kitchen
Clunes - Town Hall & Police Courts
Clunes - Catholic Church
Clunes - RSL Building

Posted by greynomadm 03:46 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Day 10 – Maldon & Harcourt

Wednesday 12 October 2011

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Another chilly morning but at least it isn't raining. Finally dragged Jenny out of bed at about 0800 and had breakfast before heading off to visit Harcourt and Maldon.

We must have blinked too long because we didn't get to see Harcourt, so I guess there wasn't a lot to see. We drove to Maldon and spent the morning wandering along the main street. The place certainly looks authentic. Unlike other historic towns, Maldon isn't tarted up like a young girl. She definitely shows her age and doesn't use a lot of make-up. I enjoyed it.

Back to the van for lunch after which I walked to the railway station. We've heard the trains that pass through but hadn't seen them. I waited for and took some pictures of the Melbourne to Bendigo passenger train. Quite a smart looking unit.

Back at the van we packed up in preparation for our departure. Tomorrow we're off to Ballarat. It should take about an hour and a half so we won't be in a rush.

The afternoon warmed up but we had a very cold morning and of course, once the sun started to set any warmth quickly disappeared. One blessing, it didn't rain at all today.

Stay well and travel safely.

Cheers … Tony

Posted by greynomadm 00:58 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Day 9 – In Castlemaine

Tuesday 11 October 2011

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Quite a heavy shower overnight and solid overcast this morning, Looks like we're in for showers and occasional sunshine.

After breakfast we drove into town and spent almost three hours wandering around the main shopping area. We found the Tourist Information Centre located in the restored Castlemaine Markets very nicely presented.

Jenny found the “Threadbear” - quilter's heaven. A most impressive range of fabrics at great prices and a number of exquisite quilts hanging on the walls. Jenny reckons this place rates amongst the very best we've seen either here or overseas.

We also visited “The Restorers Barn” a paradise of old wares, collectables and all those fittings, hinges and catches you could want. Many items are the genuine article and there is a vast array of reproductions to create “that look”. Great place to relive our youth.

On the way back to the caravan Park we checked out the source of a considerable amount of vehicle traffic on Walker St. There's a huge food processing plant under the GWF label, both Don's and KR Castlemaine brands are created here. From the look of the car park there must be close to 1000 employed there.

Cold temperature and occasional rain has kept us indoors for the remainder of the day. Will try to be more active tomorrow.

Stay well and travel safely.

Cheers … Tony

Posted by greynomadm 13:01 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 8 – Yarrawonga to Castlemaine

Monday 10 October 2011

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Awoke to a chilly morning and after a quick breakfast we hooked up and were on our way just after 0700. traffic was reasonably light and there were only a few occasions where we collected a lengthy string and pulled over to clear the tail. The rear-view camera is working well but the rising sun tends to create a strong flare on the monitor screen. The extension mirrors come into play and help show what's happening behind.

Through a number of localities and then around Shepparton and on to Bendigo. Managed to hit every red-light through Bendigo and Kangaroo Flat. Arrived in Castlemaine just after 1030. We were allocated a pleasant site backing onto the local Botanic Garden.

After setting up we drove into town for some essential supplies. A surprisingly large shopping precinct given the stated population of under 7,000. After lunch the weather threatened rain to go with the cold wind. Good to be inside and Yes!! the Kindle comes in very handy.

Picked up a REAL book in the park laundry, it will be a change from the electronic format.

Stay well and travel safely.

Cheers … Tony

Posted by greynomadm 12:46 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 7 – Last day in Yarrawonga

Sunday 9 October 2011

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Today dawned dull, grey and drizzly with a cold stiff breeze. Almost felt sorry for a family in a tent trying to pack up. Very hard to keep all the gear dry after they'd pulled down the tent.

Drove into town, Jenny attended Mass and I sat in the vehicle with the Kindle. I'd planned to stroll around the lake-front but couldn't see the point with the drizzle having turned to rain. Filled up the Patrol and headed back to the caravan park. Looks like the Bathurst race will be a good way to fill the day.

The afternoon has degenerated to intermittent rain squalls and occasional sun-bursts. Packed up the awning and outdoor furniture and spent the evening inside. All set for an early departure heading for Castlemaine tomorrow.

Stay well and travel safely.

Cheers … Tony

Posted by greynomadm 00:52 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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