It was time to ‘get-a-way’ again. The past three weekends’ fixtures had kept us at home and we were ready to get out in the motor home again. It was also the first trip since changing our number plates back to GR8L1F, which we had on our previous ‘Free Time’ Paradise Motor Home – feels much better to drive too!
I had found a CMCA Members Stop Over Point at Erica about 2 hours drive away in the direction of Walhalla and after calling the owner, we decided to try it out. The owner, Sue, is also a motor home owner and was to return from a 2 month trip to Tasmania on the Saturday afternoon. Her daughter met us at the door and told us where we could park, but the site was on too much of an angle for our automatic levelling system to return us to a level position. So we went down the road a little and ‘camped’ there. In little country towns, there are very few people that would complain about having a self-contained motor home in the main street parked opposite the local ‘watering hole’.
The morning dawned with brilliant sunshine and the promise of clear blue skies. After breakfast, a healthy CHIP breakfast (Complete Health Improvement Programme), we wandered around the town past an acorn tree, the seed of which came from a tree at Buckingham Palace, and on to a walking track. This took us past paddocks of grazing cattle and into some great territory for a 4WD enthusiast; I imagined us in one as we hiked up steep inclines to view the surrounding landscape.
Sue had mentioned that Walhalla was not too far from Erica and that there was a free camp there that many who stayed with her, travelled to. So our journey took us into, what was, a very rich gold rush town of yesterday. Up towards the end of the road was the free camp, and we were fortunate to be able to park on a level site for the night. The weather forecast for that night and the Sunday wasn’t too encouraging, with even snow to fall on Mt Baw Baw not far away. It was a good idea to see as much of the town as possible before the weather did an ‘about face’ from the beautiful sunshine.
The track around the cliff face commenced just behind where we were parked. Steep but worth the effort, we climbed to the track. About half-way along, there is a tunnel entrance to the maze of other underground avenues gold prospectors used in the days when gold was rushed for. Further around, we took the steep descent into the village and walked to the railway station. The train leaves for its journey to Thomson 3 times a day on weekends, but we decided that the $20 per person return ride was not on our desire for moment. After our CHIP lunch of fruit and nuts, we wandered through the restored gold miners town. At one point, we could hear a bag piper, but could not see anyone. Eventually we could see him standing out on the edge of the cliff face where we had walked. His walk up to his ‘stage’ would have been followed by a long break before blowing into a bag for half an hour. If he had a buskers tin, he would have made a killing.
On up to the motor home, we passed the shops of old and some quaint restored houses of years gone by. Leaves were changing colour making a brilliant pictures to be captured. After an early dinner and the sun had set, the lightening started emblazoning the sky and thunder claps sounded like trains were ramming the motor home. Rain fell for the next 12 hours or so and we were bound to the confines of our comfortable motor home. Eventually, the rain stopped mid morning on Sunday and we were able to clear the water from the top of the slide out before pushing a button to bring it in and we were off to finer weather.
The drive out towards Moe is picturesque and colourful during the autumn months. The road is windy and undulating for the first part towards Erica. Moe was a lunch stop before the busy drive back to home.