18/10/21 - 22/10/21
After crossing back into our home state (COVID country) we were driving through parts of the Mildura lockdown. We headed south at Walpeup and checked out Lake Walpeup, not a lot of water around the current lake is a large dam. Only one extremely messy campsite was there, we pulled in for lunch and the loud doff doff music started, obviously they didn't want any neighbors, we had lunch and moved on, as this region was still part of the lockdown.
Onto Patchewollock and we checked out the local silo art, which we had previously seen. This one was painted in 2016 by Fintan Magee and his subject is a local, Nick 'Noodle' Hulland who exemplified the no-nonsense, hardworking spirit of the region.
Our destination for the several days was at Hopetoun, were we camped on the edge of Lake Lascelles. Here we had a bit of rain, wind and sunshine, but we still got out for a few walks around the lake and into town. The water in Lake Lascalles is crystal clear and it comes from the Grampians Wimmera Mallee Pipeline which insures the reliability of water into the lake.
Heading south from Hopetoun then to Beulah we then headed east driving through broad-acres of cereal farming onto Birchip. Wheat, barley, canola, lentil and other grains and legumes are now the backbone of the local economy; approximately half of Victoria's grain is produced within 100km of Birchip. As one of the earliest settled areas of the Mallee, Birchup has also laid claim to the "Home of the Mallee Bull. Legend has it that "Big Red" would put fear into the hearts of the natives and early settlers with its roaring and rampaging, to fight claim as chief of the herd, could be heard for miles around. So hence, the Mallee Bull Statue was instated in the main street of Birchip in 1991.
Again driving south through Donald, we stopped the night at Browns Lake, near Cope Cope. Browns Lake is, was a duck hunting lake, when we arrived it was a grassy barren open area, the amenities had half the roof ripped off and were not functioning, but we had the entire area to ourselves.
We continued driving south through St Arnaud, Avoca and onto Beaufort. Just after leaving Avoca, we hit a mass of bugs, all at the same time, we thought is was a swarm of bees, as the windscreen was covered, we decided not to put the wipers on, as it would have smeared all over the glass. On arriving at Beaufort and inspecting the mess, it was quite sticky, so our first job before a walk around town was to wash down the entire front of DABUS.
We found Beaufort to be a very quaint, tidy town. Heading towards Queenscliff the following day, the navigator, didn't quite have his bearings, so a few tiny diversions were made, but we saw some stunning countyside.
On arrival to Queenscliff, we walked along the pier and saw the first sight of home, we took in wonderful sight of 'The Heads' and Port Phillip Bay. Here we stood and reflected on our six month trip, it has been another fantastic journey, seeing and exploring old and new places, meeting up with old and new friends and the joys of travelling and being on the road.
But reality hit pretty hard when we went to book into the Queenscliff Brewhouse for dinner, as identification was required to prove we weren't from Metro Melbourne. So we walked in to the Brewhouse and questioned them on this policy as we had been travelling, they were ok with that and we were able to book a table for dinner.
We stealth camped the night at the local boat ramp, which was all fine until 4 am when the boaties arrived and started launching their boats. One was woken up at 5.30 from her beauty sleep and was told we were on the move, just 100metres, so we were out of the boaties way. Off early, as were had booked the 8am car ferry across to Sorrento and home.
Home Sweet Home - it is wonderful to be back home, but we are only here for a short time, as we will still be travelling to catch up with family and friends. But it is here that we will finish our travel blog. We hope you have enjoyed the journey with us.
Our stat's during this journey are:
Time away: 26 weeks/6months
Distance Travelled: 13,042 km
Fuel Cost: $2930.62
Litres of Diesel: 1971.1 lts
Average l/100km 15.58
Wine casts: A couple
Bottles of Red: A few
Boxes of Pepsi: A few more
Rum & Bourbon: Still had two bottles left after 6 months……..
Water: Ample to stay hydrated and healthy
Weight Gained or Lost: Lets not go there!!!!!!!!
Till next time.......Stay Safe, wherever you may be.