Last night, under the cover of darkness, we arrived tired and weary in the town we intend to make our home.
Relief. Excitement. Exhaustion. Wonder. Overwhelmed. Fear.
So many emotions.
Leaving Adelaide we’ve been pretty keen to just get here. Everyone is getting a bit over it, people are itching to just settle for a bit. Stand still for a while. Take it slow. There are still so many things we wish to see and explore but we figure that since we’re planting roots on this side of the country perhaps we can back track and explore in a series of smaller trips over the years to come. There is quite a list forming of things we’d like to see and do.
Waking up in Handorf the children were greeted by their very first frost! It sure had been a freezing cold night. There was much excitement walking on the crunchy frozen grass and of course creating wonderful drawings on frosty glass windows.
Handorf is such a gorgeous township. I’d really like to spend some more time there… preferably without small children! Walking the main street there were so many intriguing shops, full to the brim of bits and pieces. I dared not enter with my mob.
At this time we’re better suited to wide open spaces… so off to Monarto zoo we travelled.
It was such a gorgeous sunny day. For me the best part about Monarto zoo wasn’t so much seeing the animals, it was walking the many bush tracks – inhaling all the gorgeous bush smells, listening to the sounds of the birds singing, and feeling the sun radiate. Catching the occasional glimpse of a rhino or giraffe was just an added bonus.
We crossed into Victoria at sunset. Stopping to pick up dinner in Ouyen at the Fairy Dell Cafe (awesomely friendly customer service) we drove onto Swan Hill. Geez Victorians love history. Perhaps on the Tasmanians challenge the Victorians for their celebration of historic places and life. How many historic villages does one state need?
Swan Hill’s Pioneer Settlement was the children’s first taste of a historic village. They loved it. M. is keen on horses, so meeting Harry (the horse) and being taken on a buggy ride was just the absolute best… made even better when he let rip a huge horsey fart and then stopped to do a poo too! The children just thought that was bloody brilliant! Talk about making memories.
There were so many exciting things to do and see at the village, and the staff were so kind and friendly. We also took a drive around town in an old car (I’m thinking it was 1920s? – I’m not very good at remembering car stuff) and honking the horn made us all giggle with delight. We explored the paddle steamer and climbed all over old fire engines, poked around in old houses, shops and schools. We just had lots of fun.
Then we headed off to Echuca for afternoon tea… and another historic precinct!
As a young person I just loved the mini-series All The Rivers Run, and exploring a second hand book store while the children played at a near by playground, I came upon the complete DVD. Score! It was a bit pricey – but hey what the heck.
As we drove through the country side M. had much fun making a tally of all the farm animals she saw. It was fun counting all the animals – and surprising how many goats we saw.
And now we are here. It is cold. It is rainy. It all seems a bit bleak actually. There was great excitement on arrival though as we were upgraded at the hotel we are staying in to a penthouse room. A two storey apartment with another spa bath! The kids are well keen on spas now.
This morning we ventured out to explore town in the miserable weather. Had breakfast at a local cafe. Oh my! How friendly are the people here? Counter-acts the bleak weather in the best way.
We’re off to splash around in the indoor pool now…
… and tomorrow it’s all about finding a place to live. We’ve a full day of checking out rental properties. The road trip has come to an end. Now it is time to find a home.