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Natimuk to Bendigo

Days 22, 23, 24, and 25

sunny 25 °C

Day 22
Tuesday April 4
Last night it was Bobs turn to cook dinner so he made a smoked salmon and pasta dish which turned out quite nice.
Just on dusk we noticed some great reflections on the water just in front of our caravan door.
After a much warmer night that the previous 2, we departed the rest area just 7 km west of Natimuk and drove through town. We noticed an unusual sculpture in town so stopped for a photo.
We continued on to Horsham where only a brief stop was made.

We drove on to Murtoa where we had morning tea and saw a panel showing the Stick Shed. We decided we would visit it but unfortunately access was denied. I have down loaded some info:-

Colloquially known as the Stick Shed, the Marmalake Grain Store Wheat Storage Shed is the largest building in Murtoa, out on the Wimmera plains between Horsham and St Arnaud.

The Stick Shed is a type of grain storage facility built in Victoria during the early 1940s. The Marmalake / Murtoa Grain Store No.1 was built in 1941-42 during a wheat glut, to store wheat that could not be exported during World War II. It is the earliest & last remaining example of this particular grand Australian rural vernacular tradition.
The Murtoa Stick Shed spans the length of five Olympic swimming pools. With its vast, gabled interior and long rows of poles the interior space has been likened to the nave of a cathedral.

On again to St. Arnaud where we all refuelled and had an hour to walk around town and have lunch.
There is a statue of Marshal St. Arnaud
It is named after French marshal Jacques Leroy de Saint Arnaud, commander-in-chief of the army of the East who joined with the British and Turkish to fight the Russians during the Crimean War. He contacted a cold/flu on the way back to France and died 3 days later.
Also in the town is a statue of William John Wills who surveyed the town and later joined the in-fated expedition with Burke.
After a late lunch we continued on to somewhere about Marong on the Wimmera Highway where we have pulled off the road into a good patch of ground for the night. We arrived here following what must be the most bumpy road in Australia at about 2.00pm and Olwyn wanted to know if it was "Happy Hour" yet?

Day 23
Wednesday April 5
Departed last nights stop rather late as we can't get into our caravan park for tonight until 10.00 am
The road into Bendigo didn't improve - it was still exceedingly bumpy.
The sites in the van park were not very good but we can't complain.
After setting up Hiroe and I went to have a look at The Great Stupa which will be the largest built in the western world when finished. We looked at it 3 years ago and not too much seems to have changed. They are hoping it will be finished in 7 years time. Work was being carried out inside while we were there.
We drove into the City of Bendigo and did a bit of food shopping before returning to the van for Happy Hour.
We have all decided that we will stay an extra night here so Saturday will be our departure day.

Day 24
Thursday April 6
We all went to the Bendigo talking tram stop and purchased tickets for the hop on hop off trip. First stop was at the Joss House which we didn't get off the tram to look at. On into the City where we alighted at Charing Cross stop and went for a walk looking for a coffee shop. After about 30 minutes we found one open and were told to sit and someone would come and take our orders. Well - we could have walked back to the vans by the time "someone" came and then it took for ever for the coffees to appear. Hiroe complained that it didn't even taste like coffee. We wont be coming back here again.
Took a stroll along the street and came upon the statue of the man who started the bath house in Bendigo (I forget his name).
Over the road to look at the Alexandra Fountain where everyone was wondering what type of fish might be in here, so took a photo of the fisher folk.
Wendy is still looking for THINGS to fill the caravan so she visited an Aussie Disposals shop to look at some camping gear. (any camping gear will do).
We walked up the main street as far as the gardens near the Visitor centre then back to the tram stop where we boarded again to go to the end of the line at the Central Deborah Gold Mine stop. We stayed on the tram for the return journey to the Depot as Ron was starving and it was already after 1.00 pm.
After lunch we went to the Bendigo Botanic Gardens for a look around. Apart from the entry it wasn't too impressive.
Did a little shopping then back to the vans for Happy Hour.

Day 25
Friday April 7
Rod & Dot John & Wendy together with Peter & Olwyn went to have a look at the Great Stupa this morning.
This is an artists impression of what it will eventually look like.
Bob & Hiroe went into the City to purchase some shoes for Bob then a hair cut for Hiroe a visit to the Bendigo Pottery and some more food shopping before returning to the van for a late (2.00pm) lunch.
And that's about it for the day.

Posted by Bobnhiroe 22:02 Archived in Australia

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