Oh, Antonio!

A weekend in the country, what fun!

Ms Canada and I took a drive through Northern Victoria over the weekend. From Melbourne, up the Hume to Benalla, to Yarrawonga for lunch by the lake where we took a look at the weir (built in 1937-39). Then up the Murray Valley Highway to Cobram, to Koonoomoo, home of the “Big Strawberry”, Mywee, where I went to primary school, then by the house I grew up in. From there to Strathmerton, past the ancestral homestead, then on to Nathalia for a pub dinner and a motel. The next day, Echuca for brunch and thence via Rochester, Elmore, Heathcote and Lancefield back to home.

For details and pics, follow me below the fold.

Here’s Ms Canada by the side of Lake Mulwala, an artificial lake made by placing a weir across the Murray River in 1937. You can see the dead trees in the distance from when the area was flooded. (the lake’s not real deep!) I used to come to this very spot for picnics with the family as a child.Here’s the weir. In the foreground is a 9 MW hydro power station built in 1996.

Ms Canada is standing on the weir and we’re looking downstream. The Murray separates the states of Victoria and New South Wales.

On my old school bus route, we used to pass a closed-up one room school at Koonoomoo. Now, where the school used to stand is a giant tourist shop selling all things strawberry-flavoured with a “BIG STRAWBERRY” out front to get photographed by.

They’ve preserved the old school sign in the shop.

And here’s my old one-room school. It’s still standing, but hasn’t been a schoolhouse for 20 years.

3km away is the farm I was bought up on. We dropped in to say hi to the current owners. Ms Canada loved the new calves, but was dismayed that most of them would probably end up at the knackers very soon.

On the other side of Strathmerton is “Gunnerside”, the homestead built by my Great Grandfather when he and his brother selected land in the area in the 1880’s. It was inherited by my grandfather.

Definitely Needs Improvement!

In Echuca, we stopped in for brunch at “Antonio’s” restaurant, which seemed pretty upmarket. You will understand why I took this picture if I tell you that it took 10 minutes to get a coffee, an extra 35 minutes for the waitress to deliver the rest of our order. However, they got my part of the order completely wrong (gave my food to someone else!) and ended up taking both dishes back to the kitchen. They subsequently bought back Ms Canada’s portion 5 minutes later lukewarm – and said mine would be ready in a minute. Well, it took over 25 more minutes, by which time Ms Canada was adamant that they owed her a complimentary coffee at the very least (she wasn’t taking no for an answer!) And this was basically just bacon, eggs and mushrooms on toast.

No tip.


4 Responses to “Oh, Antonio!”

  1. 1 Doug August 14, 2007 at 2:57 am

    Thanks for the pix. It’s always nice to put pictures to the names 🙂

    And I love Australian place names.

  2. 2 microsoar August 14, 2007 at 8:55 am

    Here’s some more place names from that area for you to enjoy, Doug.

    Bearii, Wungnu, Boomanoomana, Naringalingalook (most folks just call it “Naring”), Yarroweyah, Tocumwal, Waia (pronounced Way-I), Numurkah, Tongala, Katunga.

  3. 3 Rachel November 10, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    Hi there!

    I’ve just stumbled across this – I went to Mywee P.S. as well and actually lived in Yarroweyah. I’ve never come across anyone else who went there. We actually buried a time capsule there in the early ’80’s. I wonder if anyone else remembers….


  4. 4 jude December 27, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Hello there, just reading your history and wondering if you are perhaps May’s son?

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