We are staying at the Van Park beside the Hume Weir about 10 km from town. The internet isn’t great, down by the water, around a corner looking out over the dam. Few other people here. This is one of those caravan parks that is being consumed by huts, eating up caravan spots and taking good locations. Building work in full swing. If not careful it will become a little gulag by the dam. For a hut they get three times what a caravan spot is and I suppose this is the attraction for the operator. Annoys the grey nomads though! The dam spill way is spectacular at the moment, oddles of water being let go.
Have had a day wandering around Albury town, looked into the Botanical Gardens, plenty of autumn colours. Some hundred year old plus trees in the park, an enormous Kauri bears down on the grass. Later we head down to the river for lunch, as I recall it the ‘Top Deck’ cafe. we decided to try some Murray Crayfish croquets, quite nice but the flavour seemed to get lost in the accompanying sauce. One of Allthego’s bug bears; water food (fish, crabs etc) is best just grilled or pan fried with a little salt and lemon juice. Avoid fancy coatings and sauces. Having said that fish in a beer batter is not bad, with some chips of course, and by the sea. Forget about vinegar though.
We have also set out along the other side of the river back towards Corryong, along the Murray Valley Hwy to Tallangatta, a new town that grew up in the 1950s when ‘Old’ Tallangatta was moved to higher ground to accomodate the expansion of the Hume Weir. Further on we reached Koetong a stop along an old rail line from Albury. There are still a number of remnants of the line, which is now a rail trail, along the way. Allthego wandered down the trail for a short distance to catch an early 1900s trestle bridge across a gully two stories high. Steam trains used to ply this route and in the 1950s it was used to transport materials for the Snowy Scheme into the highlands.
Whilst in Tallangatta we paused for a short break and managed to find a custard tart. this was an interesting specimen because it appeared to have been cooked differently to the ones we have had to date. The egg custard appears to have been put into an uncooked casing and then all baked at once! Result, soggy pastry! Allthego and Homealone think the pastry has to be cooked first and then the cusrtard added, to keep it all nice and crunchy. A short distance from the Hume Weir we had found another bakery, next door to a Woolies, its custrad tart was unimpressssive, lacked flavour, although a reasonable yellow eggy colour. We are no closer to the great custard tart! But they are starting to look the same. Why no variety? Why not some stewed apple under the custard?
We head back to the Dam via ‘Old ‘ Tallangatta, a narrow winding road with a lengthy gravel stretch, but through green farmland and great views of the lake.
Albury is a large town and it is hard to get a grip on it in a couple of days, perhaps loosing touristy flavour to the urban sprawl and business life. We leave for Howlong a little further west and a diversion to Brockelsby, about 20 km north. This is where in the early 1950s Homealone’s father was posted as a minister at the local Presbyterian Church. Homealone, unlike an elder sister never lived here, but visited from time to time. Much seemed to have changed, Homealone can’t place terribly much about the small town. However, we did manage to track down the old church hall, which apparantly was used as the church after the old church was burnt down some years earlier.
The old church hall now seems to be a transport depot for a local resident who filled us in on this detail. He bought the hall six years ago. He did think that the house next door was the old manse, perhaps where the family lived back in the early 50s? Maybe some of my readers can add to this tale by way of comment. We couldn’t find the old garage business owned by the family friends of that time.
So it was back on the road to Rutherglen.