We are at Echuca, albeit down by the Goulburn River about 20 km out of town. The sun has come out a bit and we have decided to head off on a regional drive to take in some of the scenery away from the town. We seem to be between planting seasons, many of the paddocks are either fallow or have recently been ploughed, not sure what they grow around these parts. The irrigation ditches are full of water though and criss cross the countryside. Plenty of dairy cattle and some sheep are around. We stopped off in Tongala, a milk place, to check out the towns murals and street art. Murals are a thing here and they have an annual festival to promote the action. Despite being a small town they not running out of walls to adorn.
There is an interesting war memorial in the town that connects the WW1 campaigns of the Light Horse Brigade with the Vietnam campaign. Apparantly, the Light Horse brigade morphed over the years into one of the regiments that first set foot in Vietnem during that campaign. So Tongala has a memorial connecting the horseman of WW1 via a pathway to the Vietnam memorial. Quite involved but effective, as is their walk of honour of trees recently planted and plaques for 24 Vietnam veterans who didn’t return.
From Tongala we moved on to Rochester to see some some silo art, quite impressive work. Three silos have been painted up, the most recent with a platypus. It actually looks wet and its eyes stare out at you. A great attarction for the town.
Back in Echuca we have made it down to the historical wharf precinct to look around and join an afternoon cruise on the PS Alexander Arbuthnot up the Murray for about half an hour and then back to the wharf. Allthego took control of the wheel at one point but was not able to execute a turn despite his past experience on such a manoeuvre.
There are a few other restored paddle wheelers tied up at the wharf and it is an interesting spot to wander around soaking in a bit of history. One of the old boats used to tow three barges behind it loaded with timber from the red gum forests upstream destined for the timber mills in the town. Quite an impressive feat.
So, after a full day of wandering around Echuca and its surrounds we returned to Riverbend. Avoided that bridge ! We next head off for an eco cruise along a special section of the river, but more of that next time !