Bendigo -> Mallee -> Wimmera -> South Coast
Late last year I was awarded a grant (The Neilma Sidney Travel Fund) to do a few trips around Victoria and visit various areas to inform my next book, so we headed up to Heathcote to walk the O’Keefe trail to Bendigo, or at least a large stretch of that 50km walk, with the intention to go on to Sea Lake and Ouyen after.
The RV (a Sprinter van with a Jayco Optimum on top) handled well. We’d left the bikes and bike trailer behind, so it was nice to be a short rig of only 8m. Getting out of Melbourne without using toll roads (same fare as trucks!) meant it took even longer than it usually does, which was a pain, but once we were on the road, it handled smoothly.
We started the O’Keefe trail early and that was lucky because it hit 40C at around 1pm and so we doubled back to the historic Axedale pub for a cold beer and a bit of shade.
Later driving through Axedale a car beeped us over and pointed out our TV aerial which was still up and barely missing trees and power lines. We so need a checklist before we take off.
We went from there into Bendigo, then up to Sea Lake and Ouyen and the wonderful landscapes of the Mallee (complete with a mini-sandstorm at the edge of Lake Tyrell – Yay! – which currently consists almost entirely of salt – so cool – but not cooling), then we drove down to the Wimmera visiting a farm at Branxholme, and home along the coast.
Stopping overnights at lake campgrounds and seaside campgrounds to enjoy cooler evening breezes off the water was a good move in that weather.