Thanks to Sandy and Merv for putting us up for a few days in the country. Great house, great food and great hospitality. One of the best hotels we have stayed in so far!! (-:
Their house is on the outside of Shepparton which is in northern Victoria, not far from the New South Wales border. To get here, we travelled through some real Aussie country. Lots of gum trees, billabongs, 'flaming galahs' flying overhead, and of course wineries. Stopped off at a couple to get some wine for the week ahead. Mitchelton and Tahbilk. Both near Nagambie where we also stopped for lunch by the lake. Tahbilk was a really cool place. It is a really old looking vinyard and has kept its old buildings from when it started up, and a lot of old stableyards, old barrels, and old machinery are still intact. Our final stop on the way to Shepparton, was to stop off at a very small town called Tatura where we saw my sister's next house. They have got a great section there on 1.5 acres which they will move into once they sell there current house. It is a lovely place with plenty of wide open spaces around it. This is where they are currently spending most of their weekends working on the garden.
As you may expect, the countryside for our journey north, was looking a bit dry, but we were told that it is now worse than usual as the winter rains failed to materialise. It could be that a lot of farmers go under during the heat of the coming summer. Even when we were there, the temperatures soared to 31 degrees one day! Pretty damn hot for this time of year and a good 5 or 6 degrees more than Melbourne.
We mostly spent our day time at the house relaxing with Sandy and getting to know young Marc. He is over on holiday from Tassie where his Dad lives. Marc came with Nancy and I on a longish walk through the bush near the house. A real good Aussie bush walk. Stick in hand in case of snakes, and lots to see. The bush was filled with gum trees plus lots of the typical Aussie birdlife around the river that runs through it. Cockatoos sqwarking in the trees, very rowdy kookaburras laughing at us, brightly coloured rosellas and parakeets, and storks and cormorants around the billabongs.