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carmel’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 25 Oct 2005

Location: Ballarat, Australia

Map23/10/05 (Sunday) Still in Hay

As I’ve already mentioned, the people here are extremely friendly, but one week is a long time to stay in such a small place. We had seen all there was to see over the first couple of days, apart from the weir and the Sandy Point. The roads were too wet to get there till today, but now we've seen 'the lot'. The weir was nothing to write home about, but Sandy Point was really nice. It would be a fantastic spot in the summer.

I went to Mass this morning then to the newsagency and a woman at Church was also there. She waited for me to come out of the shop, just to have a chat. I couldn't get over how many children were at Mass - until the end, then Father went around with a basket of Chubby Chux (or whatever they are called) and gave each child one. Is that regarded as bribery???

Not only are the people in Hay very friendly, but it is the same here in the caravan park. Barrie is having the time of his life with all of his new best friends, swapping e-mail addresses etc. I wonder how many we will really keep in touch with! However, talk about a small world. Barrie met a man from Western Australia who had a farm not too far from his cousin’s. Unfortunately, Jim Gleeson now lives in Perth, but Murray is going to try to find his address for us.

So tomorrow we head off to Echuca and then down to Melbourne.

24/10/05 (Monday)

We arrived in Echuca about midday today, and had a good look around the town. They had had an awful lot of rain over the last 5 days so we decided we probably wouldn’t hang around as it was too wet to set the camper up properly. However we had a good look around the port area, then did some shopping – not the pleasant experience it’s been to date. The people here are really quite unpleasant, both the drivers and the customers at Safeway. Maybe Hay spoiled us.

I let an old woman go before me at Safeway because she only had 2 items in her hand, and then she called over her husband with a trolley load – and there was no way she was going to let me (with my few groceries) in before her. As you can imagine, Barrie called her for everything – not that it did any good. And, to make matters worse, we got home to a thunderstorm – and we hadn’t unpacked the camper. I sat in the car, but poor Barrie was almost drowned.

If the weather improves, we intend packing up really early tomorrow then go and check out the heritage walk and whatever else there is to offer. This would be a very interesting town – if only it would stop raining. We were here 30 years ago and it was raining then. I wonder if it has stopped in between. Needless to say, there were a couple of wineries on our tour, so Barrie checked them out. He also bought a 4 litre port barrel to store Muscat or whatever in.
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