238. Sunday 12th February 2012. Culcairn & Henty NSW then we visit Victoria and meet up with Ned Kelly near the Alps…

Lots of photos this week.

Monday 6th February

The CO-PILOT slept in again this morning. Those night shifts disorientated her somewhat. Today & tomorrow are afternoon shifts followed by two morning shifts. Then three days off. Hmmm! Perhaps we should start planning a weekend away.

Starting in the morning I boiled up a ham bone in preparation for making a wonderful Pea and Ham soup. Apart from that I did the usual things around camp. Top up fresh water tank, empty toilet cassette, hang out laundry, bring it in, fold and put away. Prepare meals.

I did spend an hour on the phone with Computer DenCity to solve a few issues as mentioned in the last post.

To his credit he solved the Activation issue and the microphone issue but did not solve the cursor jumping around when typing nor the loss of address book or lost Firefox bookmarks.

The techy promised to call back later in the morning to solve those for me.

Tuesday 7th February

The techy never called back yesterday.

I solved the issue of the cursor jumping around. The touchpad settings were set to allow both mouse and touchpad to operate at the same time. I turned that option OFF. Problem solved.

The CO-PILOT had another evening shift so I dined on leftover Pea n Ham soup, alone.

Wednesday 8th February

The weather has been a bit strange. Last week the temps ranged from 35 to 41 during the day with humidity around the same. At night we need the AC on or at the very least a fan. The mornings turned cool and stays cool until early afternoon when the temp climbs to 30. At night we have needed two blankets and are talking about bringing out the doona.

The CO-PILOT left for work at 6.30 am and it was a round of washing, cleaning spider-webs, running WWWGO for 5 minutes, vacuuming and generally being houseproud.

Errol called mid-afternoon to advise he will be flying into Wagga Wagga this evening and if we could drive up we could have dinner together. On the drive to WW we stopped at a level crossing to allow a goods train to pass through. Once back on the highway we were keeping up with the train. The road to WW is mostly straight and follows the train line (hmmm or does the train line follow the road?).  That was in interesting 40 or so klms.

Errol was late arriving but we went to the Thirsty Crow Brewery   (http://www.thirstycrow.com.au/ ) a boutique brewery located in WW. Errol is a regular visitor to the town as he is a Qantas Link pilot. He has wanted to dine at the brewery since it opened in 2011. The interesting thing about the brewery and bar is the brewery part is open to view from the bar/dining area. I said to the man serving us “It must be a tough day working in the brewery all day then having to serve at the bar at night? He reply was, “it is tougher than you think, I have to do taste testing as well”!

We had pizza. Not ordinary pizza. No. Quirky pizza which goes well with several of their beers including the Murder Pils  (Malts: Pilsener, CaraPils Hops: Crap load of Saaz! Yeast: Bohemian & Urquell Our first Lager and we didn’t hold back – 6.4% and a huge burst of hops were added to give this beer a massive spicy & floral flavour. The Murder Pils will soon become year round and it will be toned down next time around (we just felt like doing a heavy duty version of it first time!). By the way regarding the name; we’re not psychotic – Murder is what a flock of Crows are called and Pils is short for Pilsner) which Errol and I tried. The CO-PILOT  tried the White Rabbit Dark Ale (, ABV: 4.9% Raisin like ester characters derived through their open fermentation bind a balancing act of flavour with a malt bill that rewards the parched palette with a rich, dark colour without losing any sessionabilty qualities. Passed through a hop back generously laden with whole hop flowers and then dry hoped in the open fermenters, at 4.9% abv this is a dark ale with plenty of reassuring bitterness.)

The first pizza we tried was the Thai Chicken – Coconut Chicken, Shallots, Cashews, Green Curry Paste, Mozzarella, Lime and Coriander. Phew great pizza but fiery hot and a good thing we had the beer to cool off. Next pizza was the Steak Sanga – Seasoned Rump, Onion Jam, Bacon, Tomato, Beetroot, Mozzarella and Barbeque Sauce. That one was delightful and I could have eaten it all by myself.

We left WW just before 10pm and once again on a straight stretch of road we found ourselves travelling in synch with a goods train as it ghosted along in the moonlight. The only lights were in the lead engine. We enjoyed our evening away and recommend if you are ever in WW to drop into the Thirsty Crow Brewery.

Thursday 9th February

Slept all night but woke with a headache. I am sure it was something I drank last night. The heavy duty Murder Pils with a 6.4% alcohol rating and the double extra hops is probably what did it.

Just after I hung out the washing I thought I could hear thunder in the distance. By 9am I could see black clouds approaching from the west. By 10 I was scrambling to get the washing off the line as the wind had picked up, thumb sized raindrops were falling as were the tree leaves and thunder crashing all around. Inside WWWGO it was as dark as night.

The power went out and the temperature dropped.
When the power came back, so did the sunlight and the washing dried.

About 4pm the wind picked up, black clouds rolled in and the ominous roll of thunder heralded another round of a storm. This one was much bigger than in the morning. With the heavy rain came marble sized hail and the CO-PILOT arrived home as the hail began and had to sit in the car waiting out the storm.

By 7pm the sun was out and the sky was clear.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is more of the same.

Sigh!!!

Friday 10th February

After the CO-PILOT  had a long sleep in we lunched on the left over Pea n Ham Soup and drove to Albury.  Along the way a feature known as the Black Range resembles a dark high hill and the highway runs parallel with it for the full length. At the southern end is a feature called Table Top

Lower end of the Black Ranges and the bottom edge of a feature called Table Top. The town of Table Top is perhaps 15 klms away on flat plains. The feature once belonged to the property also called Table Top Station. The town and scholl house were original part of that property.

which cannot be seen coming from the north along both the Hume and Olympic Highways. On the return trip from Albury the end of the range at Table Top shows up as appearing like a huge quarry (which it isn’t) The afternoon setting sun shows the feature in the best light.

While in Albury we visited the museum and drove around a few streets enjoying the old houses most of which were in very good condition. I suppose the original Albury High School is one of the most impressive school buildings either of us has seen in a long time.                                  http://www.albury-h.schools.nsw.edu.au/home

Many buildings in Albury are heritage listed including the high school.

After leaving the museum we walked downtown for some window shopping and were impressed by the range of shops and their wares. By now the afternoon black clouds were rolling in accompanied by wind, thunder, lightning and rain. Culcairn received more than Albury but it was not long before the clouds rolled away and sunlight and warmth returned.

Saturday 11th February

What the!!! The CO-PILOT slept in until 11.15am. Why didn’t you wake me she called? I figured she must need her sleep.

After a very late breakfast we drove the 16 klms to Henty for the Annual Henty Agricultural Show.

People gathered under every bit of shade to watch the outdoor events.

(for our overseas readers, particularly those in the US of A and Canada, a Show is something like your County Fair) We have been to rural shows before, such as Proserpine and Finch Hatton, both in Queensland. This show was a pale comparison and only lasted until 4pm. From comments we heard, exhibition numbers and crowd numbers were down on previous years. Still we enjoyed walking around and looking at the exhibits of produce,

This bit of Produce Art won first prize.

poultry, sheep, dogs and cows. Cooking and crafts were also featured along with a show and shine and an old machinery section.

An old Chevrolet tray top pick-up. Forerunner to the ute perhaps?

Hmmm! This could be an early model, horse drawn motorhome?

When we arrived, the judges were feeling their way through the wool competition. The prized sheep had been shorn and the fleece boxed up and sent off to the show. We have no idea how the scoring system works but we soon noticed the different textures, lengths, colour, fine or coarse umm err grain of the wool.  The other noticeable thing about the wool was the amount of oil (lanolin)it contains. The soft sprongy feel and the neither hot nor cold feel of the fleece as your hands delve into the depths.  What a wonderful insulating material. That is why our WWWGO & TERIOS have genuine lambs-wool  seat covers. Even on the hottest day in full sunlight, those seat covers are situponable(my word…just made it up) not like say vinyl or plastic or leather. Even on those days when the steering wheel is too hot to touch, at least we can sit on our seat covers.

One of the junk food vending vans had this outdoor spray cooling device. Crowds flocked to his van for a cooling spray while waiting to be served.

The show jumping

The Show Jumping is always impressive. I have no idea of the rules but it is always good to watch.

was very well attended and I really enjoyed the photo competition. We also saw a whip cracking competition (where only one person brought a whip and everybody else borrowed it) and a sheaf throwing competition where bags of chaff were used instead of wheat sheafs. No wood-chopping, no ring events, no show bags and no madding crowds.

This girl put on a hula hoop display. She finally had 20 hoops gyrating around her body. It was hot work especially outside in the sunlight.

There was only a couple of junk food outlets including a permanent structure which sold chips, sausage, steak or rissole sangers (sandwich to our overseas readers).

The CWA (Country Womens Association) provided a 2 course lunch for $12 OR Devonshire Tea for $5.50. For $5.50 you had a choice of several cakes or a small plate of sandwich quarters plus a couple of sweet slices. The bonus with CWA was they also provided tables and chairs in the cool of the agricultural building. The tables all had posies of fresh flowers. Easier than standing around trying to juggle a sanger, chips and drink.

The original Henty Central Hotel now a Bed & Breakfast.

Stables attached to the original Hednty Central Hotel. The stables are beginning to fall down.

Sunday 12th February

Today was a long day of driving, exploring and walking.

First we drove through Albury and over the Murray River to Victoria and on to Wodonga. The Mighty Murray is not so wide at this point but is very deep with a swift current.

From there we drove to Yackandandah

The tree lined main street of Yackandandah.

Yackandandah has retained the granite guttering through its roadways. (Beechworth where we also visited has also retained the same type of gutters)

which is often called the gateway to the Victorian Alps. In fact several of the ski locations are accessed through Yac and the Alpine Way begins in this area. Although Yac is not officially in the mountains it is in the foothills and gets mighty cold and snows during the winter. Yac (I am using the abbreviated affectionate name for Yackandandah used by the locals…in fact the local paper is called Yackity Yac) is an old town and most of it is still old buildings

Original white granite (yes I know, it looks pink) buildings all throughout the business and wider community of Yackandandah.

The original owner of this building, had to multi task between funerals. Besides being an Undertaker he was also a Taxi service, agent for a Headstone Maker, deivered gas to homes and goodness knows what else.

with new businesses operating. We were very naughty and had pastries for morning tea and then grilled fish for lunch. (actually I had a local burger made with a home-made meat pattie).

We had our decadent chocolate eclairs and coffee in the Yacandandah Bandstand. Note all the timbers are dressed except for the cross bracing which is raw timber.

After wandering around Yac for a couple of hours all agog at all the old buildings

The original Yackandandah Library is now the Information Centre.

The original Service Station and Garage now houses and Arty things shop, a hand made rainforest timber furniture store and a handmade guitar and music shop.

we drove to Beechworth where the infamous bushranger, Ned Kelly was tried, found guilty and executed.

One of many, many artistic paintings, sculptures, old newspaper cuttings and various representations of Ned Kelly found around the town of Beechworth.

This town is higher up in the mountains than Yac.

Wow! Here is another heritage town with so many heritage buildings just oozing with history.

Old bank at intersection. Noted the bank, the roundabout, the kerb, guttering and pedestrian crosssings are all White Granite.

Some driveways were also White Granite. This one appeared old enough to be original.

First we went to Beechworth Prison and had just missed a tour and had a two hour wait for the next. http://www.beechworthonline.com.au/accom_result1/beechworth-gaol-unlocked/

Beechworth Prison. De-commissioned and vacated in 2004 it is now open for tours.

Main Beechworth Prison Courtyard.

One of 6 Beechworth Prison Guard Towers. Access to the tower was gained via an internal staircase with entrance outside the prison.

I still cannot get my head around the history of Ned Kelly. It seems he has become a heroic folk legend a sort of Robin Hood of Australia. The pro Ned Kelly people paint him as a poor misunderstood badly treated young man who had no other options in life. In reality he was a thug, a bully and a bad tempered alcohol fuelled criminal who knew what he was doing and took what he wanted with force and paid the ultimate price.

Artillery piece outside the RSL Club.

Another, later artillery piece outside the RSL Club.

From there we went down the street, visiting the original telegraph office and the courthouse

Ned Kelly was kept in a cell while being tried at the Beechworth Courthouse.

where Ned was tried. There is a row of historical buildings here and each has a mini museum.

A local horse drawn historical tour around Beechworth.

We walked up one side of the street and down the other,

Commercial Hotel Beechworth still doing a roaring trade.

visiting the Beechworth Honey Company and saw their live bee display.

Oh! We visited the famous Beechworth Bakery and were good girls n boys by looking and not buying anything. They had a Ned Kelly pie which I was almost salivating over but managed to drag myself away.

The historical Beechworth Cemetery dates back 150 years and has a huge Chinese section where over 2,000 Chinese are interred

The Chinese section of Beechworth Cemetry. Most graves were unmarked or contain multiple bodies.

and a pair of Burning Towers over 100 years old are erected.

Information re the Burning Towers and the Chinese Graves.

Chinese Burning Towers.

Although getting later in the afternoon we drove to Woolshed Falls

The angle of the photo does not really show the drop or the size of these falls. Whden we arrived there were a dozen or so people lounging around in the pools and slides above the main falls.

This boy and his companion hesitated and had several false starts before finally making this leap. Once on the other side he had no hesitation in jumping back again.

on the road to Chiltern. We were surprised at the height of the falls as well as the rock afrea. Driving there felt like we were on a flat plain with no drops sufficient for a waterfall.

We were not using the GPS at this stage we discovered there are few but confusing signs showing the way out of Chiltern (another old town locked in the past but we were running out of time to explore) We sort of got lost and crossing a railway crossing we noticed a couple of car loads of people at the crossing with their cameras and telephoto lenses. Hmmm! Perhaps there is a special train coming through which is worthy of a photo. So I joined in with my camera. Special Train! Naaah. Just a regular two engine diesel pulling a load of what appear to be fuel containers.

The trainspeeding through the crossing at Chiltern. The bow wave and noise were enough to make me move further away from the line.

We arrived home in time for dinner and a hot shower after a long day and over 240 klms of travel.

We are really enjoying looking around the towns and seeing the changes in country as the elevation  changes. That is our reason for our travels and the more we see the more there is to see.

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