Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Holiday Day 1 Bendigo Day 1

Now where is Sister living? I had forgotten the Bendigo address and needed to look Google maps. I had a mental picture of the map and I found where she is living. So we set off in R's motor on some big wide roads. Can't go too far without a caffeine hit though.

Pulled off the freeway at Malmesbury. One end of the historic town had a window display with two statues of guys embracing, the other end had statues of two girls embracing. Gayville big time. It looked to be a nice town, although bathed in grey cloud and cold air. It has the biggest gutters I have ever seen, including large bridges to cross said gutters.

A decent sized shack in Malmesbury.

A trough for watering your horse. None were evident in the vicinity.
Sister, the Bone Doctor and Little Jo were travelling too, from Geelong. While we were in Malmesbury having coffee, they were doing the same in Castlemaine.

The Bone Doctor and Little Jo were home by the time we arrived. Sister had gone out to buy stuffs for lunch. She had taken the Bone Doctor's bush basher 4wd machine and arrived soon after we arrived.

After lunch the Bone Doctor had some things to do, so R and Little Jo and myself headed off with Sister to Central Deborah Gold Mine and hopped on a tram. Ok, this is an historic tram. Bendigo used to have a proper tram system but the State Electricity Commission who owned it, closed it down. Fortunately some peoples thought that some of it was worth preserving and so Bendigo has a decent tourist tram line.

I am very interested in old trams but not in the way of an enthusiast. I like their place in history and the role they played. I am not interested their bogies, bearings or colours, although I do have a little knowledge.

I heard that we were on a Birney Car? Don't know. Maybe American. Lots of them made. I would have preferred to be on a Melbourne tram. This Birney Car rocked and rolled big time. Little Jo loved the movement. The bit I do know was that at times it was being driven full speed and it was terribly slow.

After a turn into the tram depot for a quick look around we went on to Lake Weeroona and then returned back to the old mine.

I understand these Bendigo trams and motor cars often came into conflict. I wondered why this was more likely than elsewhere? Well, the track is mostly single track with little sidings for trams to pass each other. This becomes very interesting when the tram is at a set of traffic lights and on the other side of the intersection is a car right turn lane, facing the tram. Not only did this seem odd, if not a recipe for entanglement, generally there seemed a lack of awareness of trams by motorists and really, the separation between the two very different vehicles could be much improved.

All aboard, destination Lake Weeroona.

Sister took us on from the gold mine terminus to see the Botanic Gardens. They are a good bit out of town and she told us they had been neglected but now were undergoing renovations. We saw some nice flower beds dug and planted. The Gardens also have a small native animal collection, mostly swamp wallabies. They looked cold and bored and did not have a lot of space and I think it is an inappropriate way to keep animals.

The entrance to the Botanic Gardens. Can you say Arch of Triumph without it sounding odd?

We went on then to look at some of the bush fire damage that occurred on Black Saturday. I had no idea how widespread the fire was in Bendigo. I was shocked and while it wasn't exactly the centre of town, it was quite a built up area. Some areas of quite open land had burnt bushes in the centre, falling embers no doubt.

I think these burnt trees will reshoot come Spring.

We called in to a football match briefly as the Bone Doctor was now umpiring. We watched her for five minutes but then light rain started, so back to the house.

Sister cooked us a fine roast meal and I curled up to sleep with my own doona in the protective castle. I slept well. Is it a seventies thing where you slept under a pyramid so that energy waves hit you correctly? I heard Little Jo get up in the night and crawl into bed with Sister and the Bone Doctor. She did not notice me in the tent.

My sleeping quarters.


  1. that is a very amusing pic, thanks:)

  2. I like the castle tent. Was it comfortable?

    We encountered some animals-kept-in-inappropriate-ways here in New Jersey. It's really sad.

  3. I love me some Bendigo. Did you get a photo of the old Myer's window from back in the days before it lost the S? Oh, and there is a massive pub there somewhere which serves the best wagu ever... is it the shamrock hotel? I think so. The queen has been there once, and so has this queen, did you complete the holy trinity?

  4. OOOhweeee! A CUBBY house.
    way to go.
    Those horse water troughs are all over the place and were installed by animal lovers George & Annis Bills.
    I wonder if your Malmsbury coffee was in that nice bakery with the side garden - our January FrockBlogxcursion stopped there.
    Did you notice on the drive there that the speed limit was all over the damn place - 60 -70-80-60-90-70-80 - I watched the mail for the fine after our trip.

    I will complain immediately to
    City Of Bendigohoho about those poor wallabies.
    My ancestor built a brick house in 1857 at Kangaroo Flat. he was a Stock & Station Agent.
    Next time, try to see Fortuna House built by Lansell - really opulent apparently.

  5. Those trams are a law unto themselves when it comes to motor vehicles crossing their precious paths lol.

  6. Anonymous5:32 pm

    I know that house in Malmsbury! I've been eyeing it off for years. If I ever get enough money...Was the cafe you went to on the highway? I think I've been there. They used to have really good pies. Vik.

  7. My comment got swallowed up I think!
    My cousin/aunts live 10mins from there..Malmsbury that is. We will be going through there on Friday for the exchange of kids with the couz..and to go on our trip up past Dimboola.
    Little Jo is growing...she is gorgeous!
    I am so pleased you enjoyed your time away...sleeping in a castle, you are one lucky Uncle :)

  8. Which pic was amusing Poet?

    It was very comfortable Dina. I was on a kind of small inflatable mattress.

    Yep Mutant, Shamrock. Beautiful building but never been inside for wagu or any other reason, so holy trinity not completed.....yet.

    I saw the place you mention Ann, but we went to another place, also a bakery. I am pretty good with speed limits. I barely talk when I drive as I concentrate very hard. That you ancestor live at the now not so salubrious Kangaroo Flat is forgivable.

    Buggery things they are Jayne. Even though they are on tracks, who knows when they will pull out right in front of you.

    Your Japanese pension won't buy the house Vik. Highway? Well, maybe an old one. How did you know we had pies? It was such a dreary day. Wish we had seen Malmesbury in a better light.

    Cazzie, I had no idea children grew so quickly. What happened to the baby? I will enjoy reading about Dimboola when you return. I know little about it.

  9. I love Bendigo, have family connections there on both sides.

    I was up that way on the Queens Birthday Long weekend, I've been meaning to blog it. We had some jam doughnuts by lake Weeroona, and got lost in the back blocks of White Hills.

    Oh wow the botanic gardens. I remember going there when I was a kid. Back then instead of rock wallabies, they had a cage full of monkeys. I think you could also drive in through the arch and park inside somewhere.

  10. Ben, no idea you had connections there. Things must have improved if we have gone from monkeys to wallabies. The arch is certainly big enough to drive through.