The Mighty Murray River!

The Mighty Murray River!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Bendigo to Laanecoorie to Bealiba Reservoir


Bendigo to Laanecoorie = 50km
Cummulative total = 50km
Morning temperature = 10 degrees, todays high is 21 degrees (feels like 15!)


Laanecoorie to Bealiba Reservoir = 43km
Cummulative total = 93km
Morning temperature = 9 degrees, Day high temperature is 24 degrees (feels like 15 again due to the wind)
 
Well we are back on the road again and this time leaving from Bendigo.  We drove up on a very wet and windy Thursday but by Friday morning it had all subsided to be a chilly day.
Left at around 8am and joined the bike path from Epsom to the City to the lotus leaf ...
from there we joined the road and headed out to Kangaroo flat and turned onto the road that takes you to Maryborough.  This road is okay and last time we came in this way it was a hot day and the road was very busy with traffic coming from Maryborough to Bendigo.  But today we were going the opposite way and the trafftic both ways was minimal!
You have a short climb from Aldi of around 2.5km and then it is down and along.  No real shoulder to speak off but enough room for you to duck in when a car overtakes you.
Once at Lockwood you cross over the highway and it is flat with a little up and down.  Our coffee break was at Shelbourne east ...
 this was at the 27km mark and Neil and I both felt okay but poor kouta ... he was knackered already!
from here it is a little bit down but you still have to pedal, very little wind and if anything it is coming from the west so a slight headwind.  At albout Shelbourne the road becomes straighter and flatter and Laanecoorie is only another 11km away.
Kouta was over the moon for us to arrive at the free campsite alongside the Loddon River and by the time we got there around 1pm there were plenty of vans already there.  So we chose our spot on the grass ...
 a lovely spot too with a view of the river and enough room for a van to fit but only if they go length ways ... but off course within 1 hour someone has arrived and parks across and unbeknownst to them blocks the road for the boat traffic to get to where they launch (he found this out a few ours later once he set up and a scout group comes and informs him his van is across the road for them to get their kayaks down to launch!) so he comes over to us to see if we are leaving tomorrow and we are so he will move his van then ... I think he did think about asking us to move the tent and then he can move his van a bit ... neil would have said to move his van on the other side of us!
Anyway we had a lovely spot and the scout group turned up after 6pm so there is at least 50 people here!  The usual crowd of dominating caravans that use and dominate the one and only tap (we find one up by the tennis courts that has better and clearer water!) and unfortunately there are only 2 womens toilets of which there is no toilet paper and the cheek of it all the council would like a donation - not fresh water and no toilet paper = no donation!!!  as you can see from the photo below it is quite crowded ...
 generally where there is a free public camping area there are always some rowdy people and this place was no exception ... and I know as you read this you ALL groan and think on no what has Janet done this time ... well NOTHING!
Expecting some noise and music until late I bit my tongue and fell asleep at 8pm only to be woken up by 2 lots of music at around 10pm so I lay away from 10pm until around 1am and during that time I had Bon Jovi in my right ear and some dance music in my left ear.  Thinking out of all the people here surely someone will say something .... still the music and it is loud and then a very feral male voice starts singing the Bon Jovi songs ... crikey I have to say something ... so I listen for voices and I hear voices and I don't like the sound of the feral male (his voice is very much like Jimmy Barnes but more feral due to alcohol and smoking) it is very drunk and agressive ... I decide to not say anything but then again someone did say something because the camp goes quiet and he is on this feral aggressive rampage about being homeless etc (even though he has a nice car and caravan) and his wife is drunk and just as feral but definitely not as aggressive ... so this ranting and raving on about his pitiful like goes for about 1 hour and his Bon Jovi music has ceased but the dance music from the other group is still going loud by they eventually turn off and go to bed ... but the feral is still going on and everyone can hear.   He finally stops at around 1.30am and I fall asleep with one ear perked up waiting for him to restart.
We get up a 7am just as it starts to get light and the poor scout group also rise and go for a walk and as we pack up the feral bastard comes up to us and acts like nothing happens and poor Neil is trying to not encourage him, meanwhile I have bit my tongue right off and trying hard not to put my fist in his mouth! I do succeed and carry on about my business.  meanwhile the nuff nuff neighbour of ours who parks his van across the road to the boat launching has packed up his van and is waiting for us to finish packing.  He and his wife are trying very hard not to tell us to hurry up! (off course I am sure Neil is packing slower) meanwhile yet another load of kayaks have turned up and are waiting to go down to launch their kayaks ... we are loving this, the nuff nuff and his wife are standing waiting and watching us ... finally we leave :)
LOL it was cool morning of around 9 degrees and about 10 degrees when we set off at 9am.
A nice road to Tarnagalla ... although Saturday traffic is horrendous ...
 as you can see it was peak hour for us.  You have a very slight gradual climb up to Tarnagalla, the road is quiet and the only traffic came from the 40 odd Kangaroos that bounded across the road in front of us - that kept Kouta entertained for around 1km ... he loved it watching them alongside the fields and then up and over the fences, across the road and then up and over more fences.
At Tarnagalla we joined the Wimmera highway to Moliagul.  From Tarnagalla you climb a little more and then what looked like a nice down hill turned into a bad one - you have to stop at the bottom to cross a railroad crossing! 
By now the wind has picked up and is a strong westerly and since we are going west it is a headwind.  The road to Moliagul is a gradual climb and has fields either side so the wind dropped us down to a slow pace.  No shoulder on this road but today there was very little traffic.
We stopped for a coffee at Moliagul.  It is a small rest area and has 3 vans there (all gold prospectors) one is there and chats to us. 
We leave Moliagul and rejoin the Wimmera highway for about 1km and then turn left onto the Bealiba road which climbs a little more and then down basically (a nice down hill too!)  It is about 11km to Bealiba where we pick up water and continue south to Bealiba Reservoir.  It is 3km further and of that 3km about 2.5km is unsealed, a little rough in places.  Relieved to get here and are rewarded with a lovely spot and no one around except for a walking group on the opposite side of the dam who eventually move on, then a few locals come for a fish and just when we think at 4pm that we have this place to ourselves and no feral Jimmy Barnes sounding nuff nuffs ... a damn huge mobile home turns up not far from us (I am cursing now) but lucky for us they decide to move to the other side of the damn opposite us!  So I am happy now ... we will get some sleep ... here is our pristine spot ...
 and neil enjoying the serenity ...
This place has no drinking water and only a pit toilet but it is a very quiet spot and not sure if many people come here.
Tomorrow we make for St Arnaud.

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