Monday, May 30, 2011

Berri, Barmera and Kingston on the Murray

Armed with the usual brochures from the info Bureau
As Renmark is in the Riverland area of South Australia and Berri is situated nearby  we made a day excursion to Berri, Monash, Barmera and Kingston on the Murray.  On the way we called into the Almondco factory outlet in Renmark where purchases of different types of almonds and almond products can be made.  We managed to walk out with some almond meal, white choc coated almonds, nougat, a trail mix and some hot and spicy almonds.  
Berri Estates Cellar Sales
Our first port of call in Berri was to visit the Berri Estate Cellar Door and Winery which is situated along the Old Sturt Highway between Berri and Barmera.  A 75 year old lemon scented gum tree towers over the cellar as a sentinel welcoming.    While Bill had the usual tasting I also discovered a wine I rather liked, it was from Bannock Station Winery a light fruity wine called Moscata which can be purchased in white or pink.  I might even be converted...well maybe...we’ll see...
Kingston on Murray Bridge
We tried to find the Bannock Station Winery which was near the Kingston Bridge over the Murray but apparently we didn’t drive far enough so it will be on the itinerary for another day. 
View from the bridge over to the cliffs
We lunched in Barmera and admired the view over Bonney Lake and wandered around the Pioneer Wall of Fame. 
Lake Bonney, Barmera SA
This was a tribute to Rocky Page who has a history in the Country and Western music and also on radio and the rodeo circuits.   We stopped at Berri direct on the way home and their produce was an mixed array of dried fruits & nuts, jams such as Quandong (This is a Australian native tree with a fruit berry) and Cumquat, biscuits, brandied fruit, canned fruit plus giftware and jewellery. 
My Pumpkin Pie
 Today I’ve prepared a yabby mornay for everyone and made a “Gramma” pie for dessert.  Gramma is a pumpkin for those who don’t know it is shaped like a big trombone.  Is this font large enough for you Beth? 
Talk again soon

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cooking up a storm

Murray River
Another enjoyable weekend has passed in the Riverland area of South Australia in the lovely township of Renmark.  Renmark is in the heart of winegrowing country, and it is also well known for the growing of fruit and nuts mainly almonds. 
We have been feasting on yabbies and are forever looking for new ways to dish them up so far we all have had chowder, in wine sauce, tempura battered, fritters and also as is . 
Cooking the yabbies
Tomorrow I may try a Mornay for everyone as my Yabby chowder was a big hit last night and I might add a pumpkin pie for dessert.  Pumpkins are also grown here in abundance.
A group of us have been going out and catching yabbies and we caught our fair share in a couple of days.  What you see in this picture is a lot of yabbies but we have returned equally as much back into the river.

It is still rather cold but not as cold as it has been.  Happy Birthday Bill!!!I hope you had a great birthday.
Talk again soon

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Yamba SA

We spent a few days going around Mildura, visiting both the weekend markets and we drove over to Gol Gol and Merbein.  The Saturday Farmers Market was very interesting it was held at the ornamental Lakes and as it was tourism week in Mildura a few Houseboats were open for viewing. We refrained from buying some of the delicious looking fruit and vegetables luckily because they would have confiscated them when we reached the border.  We did buy some dried fruit at the Angus Park shop. mainly dried apricots and chocolate covered rum and raisins.  Beautiful, they were so plump and moist, Yummy. The weather changed dramatically in the last few days we were there from lovely balmy days to windy, rainy and extremely cold atmosphere. 
Our camping spot
We spent Monday night parked on an old weighbridge just before the quarantine inspection point just over the South Australian border. 
Just pulling into the Inspection Point
Yes finally we have left Victoria and we are now only about 2600klms from home. lol   So we are looking forward to lots of new adventures in another state.  We drove 14klms this morning to Renmark and we are enjoying the hospitality of John and Pat on their property just outside Renmark.  They have a vineyard that supplies grapes for the production of wine in Berri.  We polished off a great number of yabbies for lunch harvested from the nearby Murray River.  It seems to be a lovely quiet spot and we look forward to spending a few days in the region.

Talk again soon

Friday, May 20, 2011

Still on the Road

I must confess that one of the problems I seem to have with blogging is that sometimes I am too busy enjoying myself to actually update regularly. Lol.  So you will have to forgive me. Tuesday we took Jimny out for a spin and drove over to Lake Boga.
Lake Boga
Lake Boga is 15klms South of Swan Hill and was named in 1836 by explorer Major Thomas Mitchell after the Bogan Aboriginal Clan.  Boga’s history consists of the establishment of a Catalina repair and training depot for the RAAF from 1942 until 1947 during World War II.  Six acres of the lake foreshore was requisitioned and extensive buildings and hangars were built to cater for 1500 servicemen and women.  West of the township the barracks covered an area of 50 acres whilst east of Lake Boga a semi underground transmitting station and towers were constructed.
Museum entrance in old bunker
Today a museum is housed in the original communications centre with a collection of memorabilia and a theatrette showing authentic footage. 
Inside Museum
Also we viewed a Catalina Flying Boat which has been rebuilt by the local Lion’s Club.
Catalina Flying Plane
Very interesting viewing I must admit.  Tuesday night we were joined for the night by Linda and Bob from the Bushwhackers, who are also fellow Motorhomer’s and HF Radio Enthusiasts.  Later that evening we were joined by “Elvis” aka Merv and Rhonda from Sydney, who managed to spend two nights with us.  Now I have to advise you that the Swan Hill Shire Council doesn’t allow camping in their Showgrounds.  Wednesday we were confronted by two officials from the local Law who said that we had to pack up and leave.  There are 3 Caravan Parks in Swan Hill and one is Shire owned so they don’t condone camping in their showgrounds.  We explained and showed them the publication with the entry advising us of camping facilities at the Show Ground.  They profusely apologised and after taking notes of this entry allowed us to stay another night.  As we were intending to leave then anyway it didn’t concern us too much.  Our generator was fixed on the Wednesday, so Thursday morning we headed off towards Mildura. 
Parked at Hattah South Rest Area
We camped last night at a roadside stop 404 in the Camps 6 book namely Hattah South Rest Area, 12Klms South of Hattah and 22klms North of Ouyen (which is supposed to be famous for its vanilla slices-we called in for lunch but didn’t taste test them).  We spend a very pleasant evening (or drunken evening as Bill partook rather a few too many red wines) around our little camp bushfire. 
Around the campFire
We were joined by Peter “The Health Coach” who also comes from WA, but we had no other visitors to disturb the lovely peaceful surroundings.  Today we drove to Mildura after taking a slight detour to view another stop near Nangiloc, after meandering through lush green wine country we decided to move a little closer to town.
We have parked on a vacant block in Irymple, which is 5klms outside of Mildura, so plan to explore the area in the next few days.  I am very pleasantly surprised with the weather, which seems to be getting warmer as we get closer to the South Australian border.   The Autumn foliage is absolutely breathtaking at the moment also with the leaves ranging in colour from deep maroon to the palest yellow, a lovely time to be travelling in this area. 
Talk again soon

Monday, May 16, 2011

Swan Hill

We decided to go direct to Swan Hill because Kerang looked as though they were still pretty wet from the recent floods.  We arrived at the showgrounds early afternoon and the mechanics were able to come out promptly to service our generator.  The starter motor seems to be the problem so they have taken it away and will return it again on Monday.  Pretty good service I thought. Monday morning they told us that they had sourced a starter motor in Adelaide and will be here about Wednesday.  Let’s hope this is not another de ja vue and we have the difficulties we had with the phone.  Positive thinking!!!
Swan Hill is 336klms North West from Melbourne.Swan Hill is a city in the north west of Victoria, Australia. It is located on the Murray Valley Highway, on the south bank of the Murray River, downstream from the junction of the Loddon River. Swan Hill is located on the Murray River, between Robinvale and Kerang.In the early 1850s, a wharf on the Murray River was built and Swan Hill became one of the region's major inland river trading ports. The river trade declined with the expansion of railways; however agriculture spearheaded the town's prosperity with the clearing of surrounding land and the use of the river for irrigation. Vast citrus farms and vineyards surround Swan Hill and extend many kilometres to the north-west.

In front of the Swan Hill railway station is an 11 metre long giant replica of a Murray Cod - a former movie prop which highlights the popularity of fishing in the river. The Burke & Wills Tree, located in Curlewis Street, is a Moreton Bay fig tree planted in 1860 to commemorate the expedition of those famous explorers across Australia as they passed through Swan Hill. It is believed to be the largest tree of its kind in Australia.

Talk again soon

Thursday, May 12, 2011

On the Road Again

The Water Fountain in Bendigo
We’re on the road again...well tomorrow we will be.  I rang Bendigo today to see if our phone had returned from being repaired and miraculously it had just arrived this morning.  Funny that!! They also said they would ring me as soon as it arrived back in store...Funny that!!!No phone call...But some good news...the handset had been replaced as it was faulty, I could have told them three and a half weeks ago.  Next problem...and there is a next problem...My memory card wasn’t in my new phone in fact no memory card at all...Well we will ring the repair centre and if they can’t find it we will post you a new memory card.   I will ring right now and I will phone you today to let you know if it has been found or if we are going to send me a new one, I promise.. Its 4.30 in the afternoon and still no phone call....Still waiting!!!!!
Bendigo is steeped in Historical Old Buildings here are some just off Mitchell St
Well enough whinging....I did manage to visit Spotlight while I was in Bendigo and purchased some more wool for another project I have in mind.Yesterday we drove over to Kyabram for a bit of a drive.  It seems a thriving town with a well equipped shopping precinct. 
The Main Street of Kyabram, Vic
Enjoyed a bowl of Pea and Ham soup for lunch to try and warm us up.  Did I also tell you that it was -2 degrees yesterday and it was the coldest Melbourne day for some time?  Cold Brrr it was absolutely freezing.  I invested in a woollen pair of gloves and beanie at the cheap shop as a last resort to keep me warm, the wind was bitter blowing up the main street.
A statue in Tongala
We drove over to Tongala, which is embedded deep into dairy country and popped into the Golden Cow to try out there so called famous milk shakes.  They were quite delicious and I was impressed they actually served a half serve, which did me quite fine.  I am still rather biased because I think our famous Fonty Farm Milkshakes in Margaret River WA take some beating.  Tongala is the home of Nestle and a huge factory is operating just outside the main street. 
The Nestle Factory in Tongala
I vaguely remember years ago Tongala condensed milk.  Anyway the factory still looks like it is operation and keeping some employment in town.  Tomorrow we will head off to Kerang about 150kms west of here and we will stay the night.  Saturday we will arrive in Swan Hill and probably get a service on our generator as it doesn’t seem to like the cold weather.  (A bit like  Hopefully we will have a powered site and will be able to keep warm for a couple of days.

Talk again soon

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mothers Day

Happy Mother’s Day everyone!!!!
 A very special wish for a wonderful Mothers Day to my Daughter In Law’s, the mothers of my beautiful grandchildren and also to Jess a Very Happy First Mothers Day, who is the mother of our newest, precious great grandson.  May you all be spoilt and loved today and always? Also a very Happy Mothers Day to all the other Mums out there,  It is on days like today that I remember my own dear mother...Everyday I miss her more and more...I wish you were here Mum...I miss our talks.......Thank You sons for the lovely phone calls today...I miss you all heaps too...
Campaspe River at Ayson's Reserve
Nothing much happened over the weekend, Julie and Peter and Anna and Geoff left us on Saturday to carry on their separate trips into the wild blue yonder.  I meandered around the local antique and collectables stores in Elmore, yesterday and today we revisited Echuca for lunch and to buy a gas heater.  It is really cold here at the moment about 3 degrees some mornings, so a heater is needed especially now when we are not plugged into power.  I also indulged in some small purchases of my very favourite M and M’s, namely peanut butter M and M’s and some delicious white chocolate from the Echuca Chocolate Company.  Bill had a taste of their white chocolate port, he said it wasn’t a bad tipple, it even smelled nice to me.  We are still awaiting the return of my phone so we are not sure how long we will remain here, but plan to do a few short trips to fill in time.  We have actually moved, but only to the other side of the road nearer to the shed, more sun coverage.
In Loving Memory
1916 - 2005
Talk again soon

Thursday, May 5, 2011

One Horse Power

We are still here at Ayson's Reserve and still waiting for our phone to come back.  I rang them today and they haven't even looked at it yet...two and a half weeks later....Don't you just love them....It won't be back until the end of next week if we are feeling much for them saying it would only take a week to two weeks.  Our fellow campers are leaving on Saturday so we may have to find some new companions.  We have been sitting around the fire every evening and enjoying our food cooked either in the camp oven or on a grill over the fire.  We were joined this week by a rather unusual motor home.

  See the photos, the chap built it all himself, and it has all that he requires to be comfortable.

  He has to walk up the hills with the horse and rides downhill so it is pretty slow going but he is not in any hurry.

  It is what you would call a one horsepower vehicle. He does love his animals and they seem very happy to travel together.   He did have two horses but unfortunately the other became ill. Talk again soon