Adelaide-2-Sydney travel blog













Wed. 22nd July 2009 Weather:-Overcast-Drizzle-Sunny/14-16 degrees

Adelaide SA to Echuca Vic 680k/8:46h

10:30am Leave Adelaide

Our journey today took us on a road less travelled. Normally when we drive to Sydney we take the road that takes us through the Hay flats as it is faster with a little less mileage but in an effort to get a little diversity we have decided to drive to Sydney via Echuca and return via Hay. Because we had a late start out of Adelaide (Judy had 3 hair sets to do) we will overnight in Echuca and on the way home we will stay the night in Hay. In the past we have always driven ‘like bats out of hell’ straight through--16½ hours with the only stops being for petrol (restrooms compulsory--if you need them or not) both Herman and I taking 2 hour shifts behind the wheel—sandwiches packed + coffee and lots of iced water. Herman’s contention this time was “we are getting older” hence the stop on the way home as well. Hum--I don’t think I am getting old--am I?

The day started off in Adelaide with an occasional bit of drizzle interspersed with sunshine but then as we passed through the Adelaide Hills we were met with the mist that likes to find a home there. The Adelaide hills are very picturesque and many people opt to go to live there but after a few years they tend to move back because of the frequent mist and having to drive through it to work in the mornings it becomes a bit of a deterrent. The country side was exceptionally green because of the much needed rain that we have had of late and for at least 550 kilometres on both sides of the road that we drove along today we saw the early stages of wheat, now only about 15cm high. Your heart goes out to the farmers with wishes of a good harvest—the weather being the way it is here everything depends on it for them. The only other crop that we saw as we drove through was potatoes, that is until we reached Swan Hill where we noticed a few vineyards.

The name Echuca is an aboriginal word meaning “Meeting of the Waters”. Echuca is situated close to the junction of the Goulburn, Campaspe and Murray Rivers. Echuca was founded by one of the most enterprising characters of the early colonial days, an ex-convict named Henry Hopwood. In 1850 he bought a small punt, which operated across the Murray near the Campaspe junction. Originally known as “Hopwood’s Ferry” it was changed to Echuca as the town grew. Because Echuca is close to Melbourne in the early days it became the largest inland port in Australia with riverboats plying their trade up and down the rivers but as the railways were extended and the roads improved the port and its trade declined.

We arrived at our hotel ‘Bridges on Meninya’ just before 6pm so the 680k was driven in seven and a half hours; we found that we could sit on just under 110k an hour for most of the way. 110k an hour is the speed limit on the country roads in South Australia and until recently 100k an hour was what we had to slow down to in Victoria and New South Wales but that must have changed in the last nine years since we have done a cross country drive on this side of the world. These days we take a lot of advantage of our cheap airfares (you have to keep your eyes peeled) to go interstate. The hotel owner here seems like a typical Australian country larrikin; very nice and friendly, asked us “what are your plans for tonight” gave us information on the town and suggested 2 pubs and a Chinese restaurant as a good pace for a meal. We were certainly impressed and on top of that he gave us a bottle of his “not very flash mate” white wine. It makes your heart soar to meet people like that. A quick trip to the pub, they were having their normal Wednesday ‘$10 snitzle night’ so that saw us sitting in front of two huge snitzels mine topped with seafood and Herman’s’ with ham cheese and tomato. A glass of wine a spa at the hotel and sleep followed quickly. A 3:30am awakening to edit some photos and write my journal was met by Herman with “are you getting obsessive-go back to sleep” “Oh life is good—I love it”

PS The drive today was not done in such a straight line as shown on our map--we drove through Ouyen and a few other small places but I would have to make separate entries for each town to show a curvier line

PSS will add some photos of Echuca tomorrow as it was dark when we got here. 6pm Adelaide time is 6:30pm around here

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