Archive for April, 2015

April 7, 2015

150406 Wharparilla Flora Reserve-Campaspe River

Finally relented and had a cooked breakfast. It was very good. Kissed Peter goodbye and went off to find the Wharparilla Flora Reserve. What a wild goose chase that was. Along warren Rd from the Port and then onto the Murray Hwy. No bike lane or track. The reserve was a dustbowl.

Along Wharparilla Rd was an eyeopener. Many very expensive houses along there. I had to dodge a sprinkler to get through a dead end to continue. Took a track at Burnanga Bend Murray River Parkland that led to the Murray River and realised I was across the river to Michelle’s place near Rich River Golf Club! Too bad there are no bridges handy. Having no idea where I was I backtracked back to Warren Rd and then did a ride along the Campaspe River to Ogilvie Ave. I criss-crossed up suburban streets on the opposite side and then back into the Port on Pakenham St.

Locked up my bike at the Steampacket Inn and wandered into the Echuca Museum, which is in the old police station building. It is quite extensive but not very inspiring. The only thing that took my interest was a case of type for printing.

Met Michelle for lunch at the Echuca Hotel. It has been completely done up since we were there for Pat’s run. Killed a couple of hours chatting then I picked up my bike and got the train to Melbourne at 4.08pm. Wasn’t busy from Echuca but at Bendigo it was standing room only. My bike got boxed in and I went all the way to Southern Cross. Couldn’t have got out at Footscray. Just made a Werribee train so didn’t have to wait.

April 5, 2015

5 Apr 2015 Echuca’s Easter Sunday Cruise & Fireworks Display

Lunch was at a milk bar in town. Salad sandwich and coffee. Came back to the Inn to organise my photos and relax a little before Echuca’s Easter Sunday Cruise & Fireworks Display. Took some great photos of the corellas swooping around gumtrees outside the lounge room of the inn. Went out into the Port to see what was happening around 5.30pm. The place was jumping with people. There was a Koori market and people were queuing to get into the Discovery Centre for the Easter display.

We’ve never been into the Port properly so I bought tickets and had a look around. It is quite large inside with plenty of room for people to watch the display. Peter joined me in time for the fireworks and we got a prime spot in an elevated area. The paddle steamers glided past with flares blazing then the fireworks started with the full moon shining brightly in the background.

After the excitement we had dinner at Antonio’s. The place was packed and we waited a long time for dinner – prawn and chorizo risotto for Peter and stuffed chicken breast for me. Mine was worth the wait. Not sure about Peter’s.

April 5, 2015

150405 Banyule Park State Forest

Daylight saving finishing today gave us an extra hour to go for a walk before breakfast. Straight across the road and down to the Aquatic Reserve near the Information Centre is very picturesque, especially in the morning.

Breakfast room was full but we still had fruit, cereal and yoghurt with Peter getting a cooked breakfast of eggs, bacon and tomato. I went off to the Moama Market, which has grown quite a lot since we were last here. Stalls as far as the eye could see.

Tried my luck in the Banyule Park State Forest again. It is a fairly rough track and not suitable for a bike all the way. It weaves its way loosely along the edge of the Murray River on the Echuca side with a few small side trails. It would be easy to get lost but there’s always the river to get your bearings by. You could keep winding your way around but I followed the drain from the west side to Pakenham St and back into the town centre.

April 4, 2015

4 Apr 2015 Echuca to 5 Mile Reserve and BMX Complex

Lots more people in to breakfast today. After breakfast I took a ride to check out HobbySew near the train station. Plenty of patchwork fabrics and a classroom!

Rode over the bridge to Moama and down Perricoota Rd to the 5 Mile Reserve and BMX Complex. It is not far past Michelle’s place. The bike path jumps from side to side of the road, which is a bit annoying but I made it there okay.

Went past the cemetery, football ground, St Anne’s Perricoota Winery on the Backroads Trail. Nicholas Vineyards had a nice stone wall out the front.

The reserve looks quite new and has tiered seating for viewing the Southern 80 Ski Race, which is on in February, and a massive boat ramp. There are also mountain bike trails at varying levels.

Back into Echuca for lunch with Peter at Office 3564, the former post office. Had a short visit with Tim and Sharon to see their new car and caravan then off for a massage at the Murray College of Health Education in Anstruther St. Peter said his was ‘not bad’, which is high praise. Mine as pretty good too.

Back to the Inn for a short rest before dinner at the Curry Club in High St with Tim and Sharon. Food was good. Rogan josh, beef with spinach, fish tikka were some of the choices. We sat and chatted for a while about the goings on of the family – always plenty to talk about.

April 4, 2015

3 Apr 2015 Echuca to Victoria Park Reserve

Breakfast at Steampacket Inn. Not many people in this morning. Place was a bit dead last night.

Onto my planned bike ride along Murray Esplanade to the paddle steamers, past plenty of galahs, cormorants and corellas, canoe hire, jet skis, speed boats, a fisherman at Morrisons Winery sign to a gravel road. It was a great ride beside the Murray and then Campaspe Rivers through Victoria Park Reserve. Past Echuca Football Club (Victoria Park Oval). On to a fountain, statue and the James Mackintosh Red Gum Trophy from September 1854 at the corner of Crofton and Dickson Streets.
(http://monumentaustralia.org.au/themes/technology/industry/display/31172-red-gum-memorial-archway)
Crofton St leads into Watson St that turns into Murray Esplanade and back to the start.

Then I tried riding around the Banyule Park State Forest on the opposite side of the Moama bridge but the track was a bit rough. Found the Information Centre and got some maps. The duck pond behind it is very pretty. The birds making all the noise are corellas, not cockies. They are white but have pink around their eyes.

Had lunch with Peter at the American Hotel, which seems to be very popular. Took our time looking at the newspapers and brochures from the Information Centre. Drove out to Morrisons Winery but it was closed. On to Michelle’s place across the road from Rich River Golf Club. Her house is massive. We had tea and chatted for a while. She had a couple staying with them and they came back from cruising around Echuca. Talked so much she invited us to stay for dinner as well. It was a fun night.

April 2, 2015

150402 Melbourne to Echuca

Had a relaxing day after doing my workout at the gym this morning. Lunch at the ‘Pint of Milk’ after Peter left for Echuca by car.
Said goodbye to Craig who is off to Boogie for Easter. Loaded my panniere onto my bike and rode to Newport station.

So glad I caught the train to Echuca from Southern Cross station. Got a seat no problem and found a space for the bike nearby. By Footscray the train was getting packed and some people didn’t have seats! It took 3 1/2 hours but I was happy to veg out and read for most of the way.

Peter met me at Echuca station then I rode to the Steampacket Inn where we’re staying for the long weekend. It is a cute little place on the end of The Port. If you blink you’d miss it. Great spot, close to everything. I had a look around at dusk. The cockies were going ballistic trying to find a perch for the night. They looked spectacular swooping around the Murray River in waves of white. Quite a sight. Not sure the pictures I took do it justice.

Off to the Star Hotel for dinner. Spag and meatballs for Peter. Chicken penne for me. Just hit the spot.