After a night with little sleep filled with apprehension and excitement it was time to start the adventure.
It was a perfect travelling day, not too hot and not a cloud in the sky. It was time to say goodbye, a few tears were shed by Karen’s Mum.
We set off from Phillip Island, with a rough plan of heading towards Corryong in the High Country. Karen has spent nearly 20 years researching her family history, and wanted to see where some of her ancestors had toiled in the gold era.
As it was the first day back at work for many people after the festive season, we wanted to avoid travelling through Melbourne in peak hour, so we set a course to travel on the roads less travelled. The course that we chose would take us through Koo Wee Rup and the Yarra Valley. We made our first stop at Yea for morning tea.
Having driven a 1km down the road from Yea, I looked in the mirror and there was a pile of leaves following us. A quick investigation found that we had snagged some fishing line from someone in Yea. After spending five minutes untangling it from the axle and the wheels, we were on our way again. Travelling through Seymour, we then turned on to Hume Freeway heading north. The Hume is not an exciting road to travel, but it is critical to Australia’s Road Transport and is to cover a lot of distance in short time frame.
So we chose to leave the Hume and head into Wangaratta, to purchase supplies to fill our empty stomachs and the emptier fuel tank. A short stop at a park, where we made lunch and a quick drive through town, left us with a feeling that we will back to explore the area. During lunch the conversation turned to where shall we stop tonight? Karen went into her bag of tricks, namely the Ipad and started to pick a few towns that we could visit. During the randomness of searching, she came across a town called Yakandandah. There had been a meet a couple of months ago with a MySwag group, and they had recommended the caravan park. As we left Wangaratta, we set a bee line for the Great Alpine Way and up into the high country. We took the road to Myrtleford as Karen was navigating and decided that the route.
As we travelled through Myrtleford, we spotted a brown sign for a historic Kiln. Karen loves the brown signs and what they may lead too, this means most of the time we will be following the brown signs. It will be a constant in our lap around Australia.
This is a photo of the historic tobacco Kiln that has been lovingly restored with an interesting information board on the Tobacco crop industry in Australia, which is grown in the area. It was surprising to learn that the area grows 4 million kilo’s of Tobacco, in the high country and that the harvesters were transported by train into the area. There was a number of Kilns in the high country for the tobacco drying but this has now been reduced to a small number of large plants.
Back on the road again with no more stops until we reach Historic Yakandandah. A quick drive through the little towns’ main street, and what was like we had travelled 500km’s and gone back 100 years. So we went to the Caravan Park to meet our hosts Shirley and Trevor. We were greeted by Shirley who was very warm and friendly, as she explained what was around in the local area to see and do. It was now time to set up Matilda for the first night on our Adventure; we picked a site in the corner of the caravan park right on the banks to the Yakandandah Creek. Once Matilda had been setup, it was time to open the bubbles and toast to our friends and families that have been so supportive in helping reach our dream to travel around Oz.