We have been home for almost two weeks and I can’t believe how hard it has been to find time to post a final blog. We are back to doing all the things (mostly enjoyable) that didn’t concern us when we were meandering around with a caravan, and life is suddenly very busy.
We loved Clare and had an excellent Cup Day lunch at Skillogalee Winery with friends who drove up from Adelaide for the day. Exploring Clare is like slipping into a Hans Heysen painting. The area abounds in the magnificent river red gums which he loved to paint. There is a sense of solidity and stillness around these trees which I love. We visited a number of wineries, including Jim Barry and Kilikanoon, (and possibly bought some wine!) and we also took a picnic lunch to the grounds of Martindale Hall, near the tiny, historic town of Mintaro, and, afterwards, toured the house. Martindale Hall served as ‘Mrs Appleyard’s College for Young Ladies’ in ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ and a number of scenes in the film were shot there. We even saw the bedroom and dressing table where Miranda sat, staring into the mirror and brushing her hair. The Georgian mansion is magnificent and is currently the subject of considerable controversy because it appears that the state govt. is going to cease allowing public access and possibly put it up for private sale. It has been operating as a guest house and function venue and is open for self-guided tours. There are some very inviting walking tracks around Clare so we hope to return some time soon with more time to explore.
From Clare we drove to Kingston on the Murray and stayed in a delightful little caravan park close to the river. We were very close to Banrock Station so we were obliged to go there for lunch and we possibly bought some more wine! It was a very hot day so we didn’t walk down to the wetland which has been developed as part of the winery. The swimming pool beckoned.
Our final night on the road was in Mildura where we had a lovely home-cooked meal with friends. Mildura to Melbourne we did in one day, stopping in Maryborough for more lovely food with friends and a pub meal with my sister and her partner. We drove into Lindy Court at 10.30pm, very tired, but thrilled to be home and back in our own comfy bed. Bliss!!
it was a wonderful trip. The weather was great, we visited wonderful places, met great people and travelled 15,521 kms without a single serious mishap – not even a flat tyre. But – there is no place like home ….. It is so good to be with our lovely family and friends again.