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CASTLEMAINE-LAKE RATZCASTLE (#430 CAMPS 7)

April 10, 2013

Sunday 7.4.13 we did a steam train ride from Muckleford to Castlemaine then back to Maldon then back to Muckleford. This train is run by the “Train buffs” who are volunteers. We boarded at 11am, greeted by a friendly Waiter.

over .

This car/train follows the train on every trip in case of fire.
The inside of these old trains are outfitted in beautiful timber with wonderful old photos around the walls.

This is the carriage with the Ladies sleeping bunks.

This

Date scones for afternoon tea.

There were cheese platters included on the cost of our tickets which were $30 each, as well as drinks which could be purchased.
Fold down hand basin in the lounge car.

It was very evident that this part of the country needs rain – the countryside is very dry.

The tiny town of Maldon has some very old buildings with very elaborate wrought Iron lace trims on home & commercial buildings.

Caught him checking out the chocolate shop, but they were not locally made chocolates so did not buy any.

There are remains of old Gold mines and chimneys.

Checking out the times for the bus back to the train- we walked as it was only about 15 minutes.
When we got back to our caravans the men collected the pots from the farmer’s small water hole. Had a feed of yabbies marinated in cream & garlic for dinner this evening- Yum! Bruce had given Lesley a lesson on cleaning them before cooking- she was also bitten on finger.

Erich pulling pots for his first time.

A few other photos over the past week.

Poor old man!

On our daily walk around the properties.

Once again the blind leading the blind- attempting to put together a new “Choofer”

Portable solar panels working.

Boys having fun changing a tyre!

Have a read & check out the amounts of the fines. Ten pound down to two pound.

Sunset one afternoon, just before a storm which did not eventuate- just teased the farmers.

Sunrise the next morning- very foggy as well.

Two of us cooking scones in our BabyQs for the first time- both were yummy.

Camp fires every night, with many using the fire for camp oven cooking- various smells drifting through the night air.

Another sunrise.

These are the Lemonade, cream & flour scones.

Four of us said our goodbyes on Monday the 8th April to head west to our next gathering at Auburn in SA. We kept to secondary roads & through many sheep, cattle & grain properties- they have not had any significant rain since last August & things are very brown. The cattle must be being fed as they are in top condition- the ones we saw. Hard to see the sheep as driving by because they are brown- the same colour as the ground they are “grazing “. Saw one very long line of sheep- probably eating grain which had been spread for them.

Not a great photo as did not have time to get camera to correct setting as we were driving past.

This photo indicates how dry the land is- farmer working grain property.

This Memorial is situated on the banks of a river in Horsham.

This is looking towards our van at Lake Ratzcastle.

Monday & Tuesday nights we spent beside a Lake Ratzcastle- water only very shallow, full of water birds as well. Asked locals in Goroke where the name came from but no-one seemed to know except for the fact that probably because of so many German families over the years.

One lonely kangaroo having his evening drink.

This is what we woke up to the past 2 mornings- complete quiet apart from the early morning birds.

Sunset.

Early morning fog just lifting over Da.

Another sunset.

We left this setting & drove about 10 klms into Goroke & decided that one of the mobiles needed to be charged. As soon as we pulled up in this little town we could smell burning as well as seeing smoke coming from the back wheel of the van. Grabbed the extinguisher from the van but there were no flames visible so took the wheel off, with difficulty as everything was just too hot to touch. Thank goodness for Satellite phone because this tiny town did not have Telstra signals for our mobiles. Finally got the service person from RACV to come from Horsham within 50 mins. He replaced the inner bearing- which we had as a spare- but now we have to go to a Brake & Clutch as had to disconnect the electric brake to that wheel on the van.

We thought that we were ready to move on but no, flat battery but do not know why! Out comes instruction book, jumper leads & the “blind leading the blind” again. Soon started the Cruiser from the Patrol & we were off for Parilla- or stop for this evening. All in all an eventful day. Off to Auburn to-morrow. This is a place so small that if you blinked you would miss it but we are are a rest area where there is a hot shower in the amenity block. Apparently very popular with the Truckies.
More next week. Hope you enjoy our travels because we certainly are having fun with friends.

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