We had actually camped right next to a school playing field, and
so the kids were setting up for an Aussie rules physical education
lesson just as we started packing up.
From Wagga, we crossed the border from New South Wales into Victoria
and drove to Echuca. I bought myself a blow up air mattress though
before we left Wagga. Either I'm getting too old, or the ground
is getting harder, but life is much too short to be sleeping on
4mm thin foam roll mats.
I saw lots of native Australian widelife today, including Kangaroos,
dingo, birds and a sheep. Unfortunately, all of the above were road
kill (dead, run over) - the sheep maybe
not, as it didn't even have a head! I did however skillfully manage
to avoid adding a rather impressive looking goanna
to the statistics by swerving around him.
There is some starkly stunning scenery on the drive through this
part of the country.
Deniliquin (Ute capital of Australia) - lunch stop off.
We stayed in Echuca
campground. The town's name means 'Meeting of the waters' and
is located at the meeting point of the Goulburn and Campasye riversas
they join to form the Murray. It is famous for its tourist friendly
port area and paddle
steamers. We however, after eating a rather nice rice and veggie
dish (cooked up by me), decided to check out the local pub (or hotel
as they also call them over here). I've mentioned beer in this diary
before a couple of times and also made reference to how confusing
it can be to try and order one in this country. Victoria is even
more confusing than the city of Sydney was. So confusing in fact
that I resorted to asking Greg, our friendly barman at the Bridge
Hotel to explain the whole confusing mess for me. So, here it is,
the definitive (so far) guide to how to order a beer in New South
Wales and Victoria - and what you'll end up drinking for your money...
||Size - metric (ml)
||Size - imperial (oz)
||Location - NSW, OZ
||Location - Vic., OZ
||Location - UK
||Price - Echuca (Aus $)
||Price - Sydney (Aus $)
||Price - Uk, South (GBP)
|Pot (OZ)/ Half Pint (UK) (middy?)
||1 - 1.50
||2.00 - 3.00
|* It is possible to get these measures in some pubs or hotels (most Irish pubs will serve Guinness in pints for you - although it's not very good over here).
The Australians in the hotel (Em, the barman, and bloke X) were
convinced that a pint was only a little over a schooner in size.
There was also a spirited discussion over how big a pot was - I
thought half a pint, the others, more. The argument got heated enough
for Greg to belt (run) over the road
to the local Irish pub, borrow a pint glass to prove out who was
right! I was right in the end!
The evening started to liven up when the local backpacker hostel's
turned up. After a few more pots (halves) of beer and a free cocktail
the conversation moved on to the important questions in life - such
as how you should dance in a nightclub. Various styles were suggested,
including the old favorite - big fish, little fish, cardboard box
in addition to a few local ideas. The aussie suggestions included
scooby doo (creep along slowly on tiptoe, before reering up in surprise
or terror), shopping trolley (walk along miming pushing a shopping
trolley), chainsaw (left hand in front of you, right hand alternates
from hip to to shoulder height at your side)and the famous sprinkler
(raise your hands above your head and pretend that you're a sprinkler
- all those evenings at method acting school will help here).
Another topic of conversation (and I use that term loosly) was
sizes of beer. This time, we were trying to work out the ideal size
of a beer glass.It was suggested that a 'schmiddy', or a 'pooner'
might be appropriate as a drink that's a little bit more than a
pot or a middy and yet less than a schooner (these aussies like
their beer cold)
Needless to say, I slept well, with a combination of my new air
mattress and alcohol soothing me to sleep.