Bikes and the High Country Rail Trail

 

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Images of the construction of Dry Forest Creek Bridge

The reconstruction of the trestle bridges continues with our volunteers . It is amazing  seeing these beautiful wooden trestle bridges coming back to life. The really high ones are being bypassed. The original structures will be preserved so they continue to grace our trail. They are just too expensive to restore to a point of being able to be used but will still be there to look at.

Over the last month the Bed and Breakfast has had quite a number of push bike riders stay. Road bikes, hybrids, mountain bikes and even one built for two. Some have wanted to be dropped at Shelley riding the trail where it was relatively easy going downhill with a mix of on road and trail, the very adventurous, riding mountain bikes negotiating the tricky not yet opened bits, having to get over shut gates, wade though creeks and share the track with horses and cattle – all great fun. Our trail is becoming increasing popular which is a real bonus for Tallangatta bringing much needed tourist dollars to our town. Increasingly we are getting groups after a shared 3 day experience using Tallangatta as a base – travelling to Wodonga and then Shelley.

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Sunrise on the bed of Lake Hume just down from boat ramp  30/3/2016

Rail Trail Upgrade

Riding from Wodonga to Tallangatta just got more comfortable with a major upgrade to the High Country Rail Trail up to Huon Reserve,  effectively removing the very rough sections of this part of the trail.

A perfect bike ride hugging Lake Hume with three reserves with toilets and BBQs , over the Sandy Creek bridge on to Tallangatta for a lunch break and a rest under the beautiful ‘triangles’ trees, have a swim in Lake Hume then if still feeling fit you can continue on to Old Tallangatta, finish the day with a relaxing night at the Bed and Breakfast, Hotels, Motel or Caravan Park before your return trip next day.

I have had many guests that have either travelled by train or left their car in Wodonga and ridden out to Tallangatta

Wodonga to Old Tallangatta and as the bridges are restored on to Shelley- what a spectacular bike ride that will be when finished

Check out the photos of the current  bridge restoration at the High Country Rail Trail Facebook Page

Birds and windows

We had the Noisy Friar bird invasion and now it is the time of the parrots – King Parrots, Eastern Rosella and others – a much quieter bird but still very talkative. I just love them for their colour and friendliness and they figure on my tea cosies often.- mudgymade@wordpress.com  They are so brazen landing on the terrace rail to have a drink and shower in the fountain. The red gums are budding up ready for their later flowering period so I expect there is lots to eat.  

They do create a very large problem for me as they are continually flying into my large windows with various results – some just don’t get up again – some seem to have no ill effects at all – some shake their heads, sit calmly for a moment or two and then fly away – one yesterday managed to get onto a branch in the redgum and just sat there for hours occasionally rocking but mostly just stunned, motionless. It was not on the ground in the morning so I assume it lived to fly again.

I have tried closing the curtains, not washing the windows, leaving the screen doors ajar, and now hanging paper spirals inside that rotate. I would say at least four hits happen every day but often even more… brings to mind the film thriller ‘The Birds’ So any suggestions on how to stop them?

On the Bed and Breakfast front I have met some really lovely and interesting people using my accommodation and I am getting great feedback.  Here are some comments – “Tallangatta Treasure”, “great alternative to a motel”,  “perfect”, “magic view”, “what a great place to live”. 

We are very spoilt in Tallangatta with the hills around us, Lake Hume (when it has water), the bird life when the water recedes and the peace of not having hundreds of tourist just a nice manageable amount of visitors. I was in Beechworth last weekend and it was so crowded, waiting lines for food, impossible to get a park in the main street. The tourist dollar is golden but there is a price to pay for it.

Date to remember: 16th May ‘High Tea’ on the High Country Rail Trail  as part of the Harvest Festival, more details to come.

A Fishing Tale ………

This week  has been a tale of three Queensland groups. My first guests were an old uni mate and her husband. She sat down on my deck and made me the most exquisite basket from plants in my garden – wisteria, iris, ferns, gum nuts, kangaroo paws and others. Very hard to photograph.photo-3 photo-5

 

 

 

 

My second Qld guests (BnB) were a family with two young lads one a very keen fisherman – so out of the car  came our young fisherman and said ‘hello Beth’ – (won my heart immediately) and wanted to know what fish could be caught – I reeled of the possibilities and lastly mentioned the Murray Cod in the context of ‘if you are really lucky you might catch a Murray Cod and make the locals jealous’. That night no luck but undeterred our young fisherman was up a 7.30 am and down in the favourite fishing spot below the BnB and yes he caught a Murray Cod. His secret -a cloudy day, much enthusiasm and a spinner.

My last Queenslanders when booking said they wanted to use the barbecue and would bring extra for me. So I fired up the habashi, made the salads and we spent a lovely evening chatting and enjoying the water view.

The BnB is turning out to be a most enjoyable experience.

The Noisy Friar birds have moved on. Our local birds are no longer being   tormented and the the town has returned to its quiet and peaceful self.

Tallangatta Visitors

Last time I worked in the  hospitality industry was when I was 18 and I spent a large amount of time each day washing dishes at the Sorento pub for very little money, no tips but lots of fun at the end of the night with my fellow live-in student workers. That’s another job replaced by technology!

My latest hospitality venture has proved more successful than I imagined. I expected a couple of weekends a month to be booked. Weekdays never. I got it so wrong.

My guests have been from all states except for WA and NT so far.

They are:

Visiting elderly parents

Elderly parents celebrating 50+ years of marriage

Contract workers in Tallangatta for a job for 3 – 5 days

Tourists taking the scenic routes from Canberra, Gippsland, South Coast NSW and Sydney.

Bike riders on the HCRT desperate for a bed (I lent my RV as my room was booked, as was every other bed in town was, this has happened twice!)

Wedding guests and so on…..

The best part of this whole exercise has been meeting such lovely, friendly people, many of whom go out of their way to say thank you and goodbye This side of the experience I did not expect but am very grateful for.

Noisy Friar Birds, Bottlebrushes and Spring

You know spring is here when the bottle brushes are flowering and the Noisy Friar birds descend on the town. They never stop chattering to one another. As far as I can see one bottlebrush is exactly the same as the other so what is there to chatter about.

This is the most beautiful time in Tallangatta. There are people swimming and having  picnics, you can feel summer coming. The Lake is looking beautiful though not full and fishermen are out in boats as  well as fishing from the shore.

Our next big event is the fifty’s festival – 24th -26th October. Rock and Roll music, 50’s cars and the local shops dress up their windows with items from the era. I’m a product of the 60s and 70s long-hair, beads and Beatles, but my house was moved from Old Tallangatta  and rebuilt with bedrooms added in the fifties so it’s great to relive that period of  our towns history. In another part of Queen Elizabeth Drive, the other half of my house lives. It used to be a boarding house in the old town but got split into two houses in the move.

Follow the link below to find out about the weekend

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Tallangatta Tall Trestle Treadle

The annual Tallangatta Tall Trestle Treadle is on the 19th October. Registration at Tallangatta then bused to

  • Corryong- riding to Colac Colac (6km cruisy flat)
  • Shelley – riding to Koetong Pub (8km downhill)
  • Koetong Station to Darbyshire (8km slightly more adventurous of gentle downhill)
  • Old Tallangatta to Tallangatta (9km easy ride on sealed track)
  • Morning and afternoon tea plus Koetong pub lunch and bus transfers between each stage
  • For more information go the the HCRT web page  http://highcountryrailtrail.org.au

Tea towels and tee shirts to commemorate the restoration of these beautiful bridges will be for sale on the day

tea towel master print

So here is the story of the restoration – photos not in any order. Photos by Rosanne Trenchard

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