Thursday, November 4, 2010


I started this post so long ago, I had forgotten I even started it.

Weeks back, Shannon and I took an overnight trip up to Beechworth just to get out of town. We had no real agenda, but needed a change of scenery. We booked one night at a cottage just outside of town.

Before checking in, we made a stop at the Bridge Road Brewery in Beechworth, a spot we had been before, about 10 months prior. Our second trip was actually much better, and we found a number of beers that we enjoyed. Our first trip may have been marred by our mindset.

The cabin turned out to be a lovely place, and came with a field of sheep, a Shetland, and this guy, who was clearly accustomed to being fed by guests.

Unfortunately, it was magpie mating/swooping season, so it also came with this guy.

Now, obviously, this is not something that can be controlled. Magpies are wild, and pack animals, so rather defensive. But frankly, this guy was obnoxious. The tree in the photo is about 200 meters from the cabin. Any time you stepped out onto the covered porch, he took a dive at you. He never came under the cover, but the owner said he had before. It sort of wrecked being outside during the daytime. I'd still recommend the place, as this is a seasonal problem, but we headed back out, and went down the road to Woolshed Falls.

In retrospect, this is a fairly disappointing picture. It was a pretty cool set of falls, and we hung out there for a while before having a look from the top of Mt Pilot, also just up the road. From there, more unremarkable pictures were taken, but it was a pretty cool panorama from the top.

We had a pretty interesting experience while trying to get dinner. We drove back into Beechworth and walked into a Chinese restaurant. You know the kind. Paper table cloths, take away, nothing exciting. It looked busy, but we saw a few tables. When we indicated that we didn't have a booking, we were turned away, as they were booked out for the night. Who the hell books a table at a place that does take out? It remains a running joke, but after our substandard Tassie Chinese experience, maybe it's just as well.

Enter Sunday.

The weather took a definite turn for the sunnier, and it was a great day to roll down the windows and take the long way home.

We wondered up to the NSW border, where we crossed the Murray River and after doubling back into Victoria, hit a park along the water, Grantham's Bend State Forest. There were many sheep. None of them wanted anything to do with me.

The bird life in the park was probably the real highlight. There were a ton of cockatoos, some of them even having midair fights with smaller birds, which was pretty wild to see. Raw nature.

Further down the road we ran across a sign for the Buffalo Brewery, which we never heard of. Naturally, we altered course, and had a rather lovely dark ale at what turns out to be the oldest brewery in Victoria. It was a quick stop though, as it was something like 11 AM (which is 5 o'clock somewhere).

Back towards Wangaratta, we went to Salisbury Falls, where in addition to water tucked back in a lush little valley, we ran into this little echidna, who was pretty shy once he realized we were about.

The falls were at the end of this street. Great street, or the greatest street?

After that, it was pretty much a beeline home down the freeway. Something about it being late, and work the next day and the like. Nice little weekend away though.

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