Australia is a big country and while I've been to a few of the usual tourist destinations there is still so much I haven't seen. I don't know if this happens to anyone else, but do you ever feel like tourists sometimes end up seeing more of where you live than you do? It's almost as if I feel like Australia will always be there to explore, so I may as well leave it and travel somewhere else?
In an effort to see more of my own country I've been taking a few little trips here and there. Most recently I set my sights on Echuca; a Victorian town that's situated by the banks of the Murray River (Australia's longest river, for you non Aussies).
The drive to Echuca was really pleasant, we passed lots of country towns and some amazing yellow fields. I don't know if they were canola crops, flowers or weeds- but they were beautiful!
By the time we arrived all the shops were starting to close up, so we walked for a few hours around the town as the sun was setting. It was really lovely exploring Echuca at dusk, usually by that time at home I'm already makeup free, in pyjamas and not going anywhere without some serious groaning.
Naturally while exploring I made mental notes of any food places that looked good for either dinner that night or breakfast the next morning. Priorities.
The next day we decided a walk along the Murray River was in order. The Murray is filled with house boats and old fashioned paddle steamers which were a real treat to see, it's not every day I see a working paddle steamer. While walking we came across this strange tree and I knew I had to take a photo immediately...
Turns out the tree started when a local man nailed a lost thong (flip flop) to the tree hoping the owner would come back and claim it. The owner didn't collect the thong and from then on, people have just kept adding!
After walking down a back road we stumbled across a street that was like a blast from the past. Dirt roads, horse drawn carriages, a homemade fudge shop, blacksmith, wood-maker and a cottage that sold tea and biscuits? Yes please. For my Australian readers out there, this 'old town' part of Echuca was basically like being at Sovereign Hill, except free of charge.
We all know it wouldn't be one of my travel diaries without some delicious food included. Before making the drive home we stopped by a cafe called Johnny and Lyle where I had the porridge of all porridges; creamy oats with cinnamon stewed apples and a walnut crumble. Yum.
While I was only in Echuca for a short while, I know I'll be back (anyone else always read that in the Terminator's voice?). Next time around there are steam boat rides, nature walks and a ghost tour that I definitely want to do. Until next time, Echuca!