Historic ‘Everything’ in Victoria

Day 3

For some unknown reason the heater which wasn’t working when I arrived late last night, decided to kick in at about 5am and warm the room up around 6am.  Bit late after I spent most the night wearing all my moto gear in bed!  Was not a happy chappie.

Went downstairs looking for that elusive continental breakfast which was advertised to me when I booked, only to find a juice popper, a small milk and a mini box of cereal on the kitchen counter.  There was also a loaf of bread (that looked to be about a week old) and a crusty looking opened butter and jam jar on the counter.  This looked like they had both been merrifully cross contaminated with each other but also full of crumbs and bits of insect.  Yum.   Bleghh…  With such an appetising offer of food, I decided to skip it, and just as I was walking out the kitchen a sleepy looking guy turned up.

We worked out that we were probably the only guests in the hotel/pub last night, and as we were talking a cleaner also walked in..  He was surprised to find us there and after more talking we also worked out that this cleaner had turned the piped heating off as they didn’t know people were staying here overnight.  Apparently they only got a text this morning at 4am telling them to come in to put the breakfast out and then clean the rooms!   They explained to save on electricity and other things, they would turn things like the heating off if they didn’t have anyone staying – obviously 2 people overnight wasn’t considered worth it.

My pub accomdation

This is precisely why I always bring some food and plenty of snacks with me, as you never know quite what you’ll get or find.  I need to be fuelling up every few hours with a little something or I am very prone to get han-gry.  And that’s not pretty.  So armed with my stash of snacks, I rugged up and took a walk about the still-in-bed town that claims is steeped in history.

Glenrowan was still in bed

They weren’t wrong.  It seemed like everywhere I walked, there was some information sign, placard, statue, memorabilia, etc  Even in people’s front yards!  the pubs, the gardens, the lolly shop, the mechanic’s garage, the accom and I bet you even the wooden post an old dog was lifting its leg on to pee!  This town was very proud of the Bushranger days and in particular the role that Ned Kelly, the Bushranger played in the early to mid 1800’s.

Shopfronts decked out in old style wares
Ned Kelly, everything!

Feeling a bit stiff and not feeling limber enough to take on tight twisties first up, I made a dash up to Albury to see another of the BIG items on my bucket list – The World’s biggest rolling pin!!

World’s biggest working rolling pin! 😀

After a nice hour ride to limber and warm up from excited star jumps at seeing the rolling pin, I took on the short and curlies (good road surface, but no shoulders and v narrow lane width with rock walls) of the Chiltern-Wodonga road before turning off to the Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park.  Arrived at the Woolshed Falls, but no gold was found unfortunately.  It was false advertising as the history summary on the park’s sign stated!

Says there’s gold here

No gold but still a nice waterfall and nice park. 🙂  I also wanted to go walking in search of the Yeddonba Aboriginal Heritage site, but I didn’t have enough time up my sleeve unfortunately.

No gold but waterfalls, yes!

Next was visiting the historically famous BIG Ned Kelly at Glenrowan (Ned Kelly’s last stand location).  It didn’t disappoint.  Each shop within the town seemed to be competing to see who could cram in the most Ned Kelly’s everything, because everywhere you looked they were there!  Shopfronts, street corners, signage, main street etc.

From there I wasn’t all that fond of simply following the highway heading back towards Melbourne, so I looked on Google maps and saw that just behind Glenrowan there were some winery region with some interesting looking lakes.  That was better than the highway so off I went.

Ned Kelly’s last stance

Pretty little hills, sidestepping the highway, but unlike Mt Buffalo / Bright, this are hadn’t received any of the hard rains a while back.  What was shown on Google maps as large and impressive looking lakes, were nothing more than wet patches on the ground.  A former ring of sedges that grew where the lakes would have been.

Winton Wetlands and winery region

Another clue as to riding adjacent to marked lakes was a lucky shelled fellow, that wasn’t too impressed with my riding past.  He wasn’t having none of it, and certainly wasn’t all that happy about being moved off the warm asphalt and into the grassy drain on the side of the road – away from squishing dangers!  How ungrateful. 😉

No zebra crossing here!

Next stop was Benalla – yet another pretty little town announcing its importance and ties to the bushranger.  I suppose in the mid 1800’s, people didn’t used to travel too far from where they grew up in (mostly) and so everywhere you went here, had ties to it or a story to tell.

Not a happy chappy being taken away from sun basking on the road

What I did like about this little stop, is that near the information centre, there is a gorgeous park adjacent to the river that was surprisingly quiet.  I think due the lack of sleep the night before, and the fact that the sun was fully out (rare occurrence), I felt a little weary, so I parked the Lawnmower on the grass and I lay next to him for a bit of a kip.

Benalla’s Dali style of park

My view wasn’t too shabby as I looked up to the sky to see the contrasting colours.  After about 30-40 mins and more recharged, I got up to look for a loo and then head back home to Melbs.

Afternoon nap

I rode out of Bellana, wishing that I had ridden a little more yesterday to have stayed in this town for the night instead of Glenrowan.  This place seemed to have much nicer feel to it.

The ride from Bellana was pretty uneventful as there were not real twisty roads, however I was enjoying the slight warmth in the full sun.  I loved the feel on my skin through the helmet visor and reminded me of home.  The next stop for a looksy was a prominent mountain range – The Cathedral Range State Park.

Benalla murals

The jutting summit looked pretty impressive from afar, same as the closer you got riding to it.  Due to the time constraints I also didn’t have time to do any of the bushwalks here, but mentally I have put this place away in my mind to do so.  I bet the lookouts would be knockouts.

Mt Samaria State Park bumpy bits
Cathedral Range State Park

From there I took Maroonda Highway back, riding past the Black Spur for some afternoon delight twisting through the tall eucalyptus tree forest.  So many glorious twists to arrive at Healesville Jeez that road truly is afternoon delight 😉

Found a sunny, quiet spot in a park with amenities to have a spot of arvo tea and take stock of this last mini adventure. How many sights, how many corners, how many places to make you say ‘wow’? How many experiences, or a string of little occurrences that build up your journey?  What will those bits be that make you remember the trip long into the forward years?

Sad that this latest escapade was so soon over, but glad to be back to my home base in Melbourne, to plan for the next escape!

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