Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mildura, and surrounds.

We farewelled beautiful Adelaide and buckled the seatbelts up once again.

Banrock Station wines, one of my 'old' favourite moscato wines.  I say old simply because since being on our trip, well I have sampled some of the most beautiful Aussie owned moscatos and now have some new flavours to tingle the tastebuds.  These include Grant Burge Wines,  and Trentham Estate Wines.
Banrock Station is lovely, majority American owned.  Big on local wetlands conservation, which I like very much, and the grapes are Aussie, and Aussies work here.  So a little Banrock now and then is nice.

The road before us.

The land we pass.

We arrive in Mildura, and meet Gayle and Angie, who checked us in.
The moment I walked in the door I could smell Indian, a beautiful, mouthwatering butter chicken dish.  I mention the delish smell to Gayle, she tells me she has boiled over their dinner.  The moment I met Gayle, I felt like hugging her, I felt like I wanted to stay in that office and just talk.  Angie come in recommending a site for us, and I learnt they are hubbie and wife.  We had a chat about where to eat.  They told us of a few places to get a good meal from, one of them was Curry and Tandoor, which was absolutely delish.  Angie directed hubbie into our site.  I asked Gayle if we could have 2 nights with the possibility of a third, and she said we could.  

I am in love with Mildura, at first I thought it was Gayle and Angie, they were part of it, we were then to discover that everyone we met here were the same.  I love how people are so proud of where they live, I love how they love to share the stories of their lives, the stories of their town.  

I am not going to share the small story I know of these two amazing people, it isn't mine to share, what I will share is that I feel very blessed to have met them both, and look forward to keeping in touch with them.

We ended up staying a total of four nights here, I did not want to leave.
 Here is some of the love.

Cloud watching. . . .

wow, this was fun.  
The boys are getting quite a collection of gems, stones and other treasures from the ground.  There were so many that I had never heard the names of before, and Woodsie told us it's because the real name does not sell.  How ridiculous is that!!  I know!!  How commercial and boring!!  

We just did not want to leave here.

Another park, so many parks.

This park was awesome, access for wheelchairs - oh I have some little friends at home that would just love this park.  Yay to Mildura Council!

A paddleboat experience.  Thanks Lance for taking us out on the 
Murray.  Lance was another of those wonderful people that we met in Mildura.

Can you see the muddy line up the tree trunks?  This is the flood line from 3 months ago.

Joyce with her little Minnie man, enjoying the bliss of the Murray.
Because we are travelling 'out of season', we are getting to be tourists minus the crowds.  We are getting more one on one with the people that work and live in these places, we are getting rather spoilt, having this all to ourselves.

The Rothbury, going home.
Thank you Lance and Rebecca for a wonderful experience.

A visit to the Mildura Brewery Pub to sample their very own beers and relax back.  This is where I learnt from another friendly local who served us, that the fellow who owns this, first worked at the Grand Hotel next door as a busboy (dishcleaner), ended up buying the place.  At the time the current brewery was the Astor theatre.  You can still see the artdeco on the walls.  I did take photos, however they are too dark.

Yup, that's Joyce.
That's Joyce on roller skates.
Not a great photo, but make the most of it because about half an hour later Joyce ends up meeting the floor.  At first I was fine, got up and kept skating, then my left hand (I am a leftie) began to hurt, and then it hurt some more. . . . I bunged it.  Ended up at Mildura hospital the next afternoon for x-rays, just to be sure.  It's not broken, but the dr said there could be a fracture, which he could not see from the swelling still there.  He wrapped it up and said, no lifting, no carrying, no stress on the hand for 3 weeks.  I have to keep bandage on strapped tight.  sssshhhhhhhhhh, don't tell him we are travelling in a caravan.  oops!

oh and he also told me, no more rollerskating for a while!  

Thank you to the awesome staff at Mildura Base Hospital.  Mildura is blessed to have you.

Orangeworld.  Again we were given a private tour.  The boys then got to squeeze their own fresh juice along with Max, who is Mario's grandson.  So welcoming and we feasted on oranges and mandarines the whole tour.  Such sweetness in an imperial manderin plucked straight from the tree.  I am not sure my tastebuds will ever be the same again after such wonderful foods.  These farmers struggle here, each time we meet someone we hear of their neighbours who have just had to get up and walk away from their homes, vineyards, orchards, and lives.  It really is heartbreaking to hear, and I wonder what sort of future my children will have, the changes they will experience in their own lives, if this is to continue.  We need to support our farmers, we need to ensure our kids have such fresh, affordable, available Aussie grown produce for their children.
Thank you Mario and all our dedicated farmers.

This is lock 10, where the Darling River meets the Murray River.  You can see the Murray river as the water is 'cleaner' as it meets the Darling.

This is what the ground looks like, still recovering after the floods.

We left a little of our hearts in 
Mildura, and it seems Mildura did not want us to leave either.  We had heavy rain through the night and woke to gusty winds and storms.  We were thinking to stop over another night as the weather was set in all around us on the weather check and did not look pretty.  I am not a fan of being on the roads in dangerous weather out to Broken Hill.  Then the calm, the skies cleared and the wind dropped, the rain subsided.  We decided to get on our way.  I ended up giving Gayle that big hug after all and it felt just as good as I knew it would.  

As we headed out of town, hubbie was setting up our gps for Broken Hill and pulled into what he thought was a carpark. . . . . . hmmmm, it was a vacant house block.  With the heavy rain overnight and morning, this block of land was now a swamplike mush in which our frontwheel drive sedan and caravan become bogged, bigtime bogged type bogged.  We were stuck good!

I had my no good gummy hand, we tried and tried and could not get out.  Hubbie was covered in mud.  About 40 mins later, a guardian angel come in his 4wd to help us.  He dropped his daughter home from her swimming lesson and come back to tow first our car out, and then our caravan out of the mud.  I wish now I had thought to take photos, however, my hand was quite sore and we were rather drained.  There was lots of mud.  This absolute legend of a human being had me close to tears, we gave him our beer and a bottle of moscato, cause thank goodness his wife has good taste and she loves the stuff as much as I do.  

We were back on the road.

Bless you Mildura and bless those that live there.  

Thanks for stopping by my place tonight.

I hope you are well at your place.

Posted by Gypsy Gummy handed Joyce. x x 


Colette said...

I am so enjoying my little Aussie tour with you, it's fantastic. I should of course get a map out as I have no idea where all these places are!

Shame on me I haven't popped in for a while, it's been a little busy at our place lately - I see I have an award! Thank you so much, I will pass it on soon.

I hope your hand is feeling better soon and I shall look forward to the next installment of our/your trip!

Sarah - Red Gingham said...

Oh Joyce! As soon as I saw you on those skated I got nervous!! I broke my wrist on ice skates four years ago and it's was the worst thing out. Please be a good girl and rest it well.

You sure are stiring up travelling bugs in me. I so love to travel! I could easily pack up and go away tomorrow but sometimes we have to be sensible it seems. Keep having a great time and posting your wonderful photos. Love to you my dear friend xxx

Miss Prudence said...

Joyce get off those rollers skates! Didn't ever read what happened to Miss prudence and Mr G reliving our roller rink days??? LOL The less said my friend the less said, but Mr G had surgery LOL - I swear i was misguided by by my mind's eye so much that I could see myself speed skating backwards again, I HEAR the Sweet playing ballroom blitz, I could HEAR my kids going "oooh, aaaahhh"....NONE of that happened, i last one round and went to stop Martha falling and cracked my tail bone...Nope there ain't no Xanadu left in this ol girl! Hope you had fun!

TK said...

I love this journey you are doing with your family...this is the stuff your kids ARE going to remember when they are all grown up....TK xx

'Joyce' said...

Hullo to all, lol, oh it seems we all have rollerskating memories. lol. thank you for sharing yours with me. i dont feel quite so bad now. it is on the mend, but frustratingly slow.
Colette, re that map, dont worry, i will do one when we get home to show where we travelled. there was no plan at all other than how long we would be away and we decided on 6 weeks from work and school. then the next plan was to head south. as from there, it was all unknown and has been wonderful. I have been keeping notes on where we have been and travel distance, so will collate that all when we get home.
thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your lovely comments. x x