Monday, July 19, 2010

Bendigo - the Journey

When discussing the possibility of travelling to Bendigo to the Wool and Sheep Show with my mother the topic of driving down came up.

When my mother first moved to Sydney she would throw four children under ten in the car (a rather unreliable white Torana) and drive us all to her mother's place in Ballarat for the weekend. This was way before the road was any good. I have memories of breakdowns along the Hume Highway and driving from Tarcutta to Gundagai with a smashed windscreen freezing in the back seat. Most of the memories are good.

As our lives in Sydney settled we still made 3 or 4 trips a year to Ballarat, Geelong, Melbourne and surrounds to visit family from both sides each year. During this time I saw much of the NSW and Victorian countryside. I learned to appreciate many things such as old buildings and despise others such as cemeteries.

Last thursday we set out bright and early (around 5:15 am to drive from South-Western Sydney to Bendigo). On our journey we made a few stops.

Gundagai - and revisited the Dog on the Tuckerbox (a childhood favourite).

My mother showed me the Australian Truck Drivers memorial at Tarcutta where many friends and colleagues of my uncle are remembered (my uncle introduced my mother). The memorial is incredibly moving naming the drivers and passengers who lost their lives in accidents on our highways. Fresh flowers were abundant.

As we headed out of Tarcutta we were astonished to notice the water level in the creek as we crossed the bridge heading out of town. So astonished we stopped to capture some pictures.

From Tarcutta we headed south again stopping at the Holbrook bakery (a family favourite) that appears to have changed hands and the vanilla slice was not what we remembered. Holbrook is famous for its bakery and the H.M.A.S Otway (a submarine in the park along the highway.

Again, we headed south this time stopping at Albury to check out a few shops whilst we took a break. I may have purchased these shoes at Rivers (yes 2 pairs) which I adore.

From Albury we headed to Wangaratta to check out the Woollen Mills (I have yet to photograph the bounty). Lots of Pure Wool 4 ply in Grey, Aqua and a deeper Blue-Green. I may have also picked up some Patonyle 4 ply in Red (6x50g balls) and 3 100g balls in Grey, Beige and Navy. Ridiculous amounts of wool for a humble price.

From Wangarrata we headed to Banalla then across to Shepparton and onto Ballarat.
My mother recalled a trip to Elmore from her youth (50 years ago) which we laughed about.
We got a lot of talking time (Which we don't do normally)

We arrived in Bendigo just before 5pm in time to head off and meet drk, bells, randomknits and knitabulous for drinks, some chat and eventually dinner before crashing in a heap and requiring sleep. We left them heading off down a Bendigo Laneway in search of coffee and dessert (Honestly, that is the story they told us)

More of my travels to Bendigo shortly.


Rose Red said...

ROAD TRIP!! Thanks for sharing your adventures - I didn't know about the memorial at Tarcutta, that's really interesting, and quite moving (my brother is a truck driver).

After your adventures at the Mill, I'm kind of surprised there is any room in the car for more purchases at Bendi!!

Bells said...

it's a great drive down to that part of the country isnt it? I've already talked Sean into going to Bendigo another time with me - not the show, just a trip.

I love a cemetery, especially those old country ones.

DrK said...

hmmm yes im with RR - interesting that we didnt see this haul before you went to the show! and to BWM. i love road trips, so much more fun when you enjor the process as much as the goal.