Day 22 Friday 13/3/20 Colac Colac, mid 20’s then rain
We take a leisurely drive up to Khancoban and along the way see a herd of cattle being driven along the roadsides.
Khancoban township was built for the construction of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electricity Scheme* and today there is little to be seen but we do have a chat with a lady who is manning a ‘Driver Reviver’ post, providing coffee to weary drivers. She tells us of being evacuated to the army camp at Wodonga during the fires. At her direction we visit the spillway where water having been used in the generation of power finally flows into the Swampy Plains River.
Continuing on up the Alpine Way, we visit the Murray One Power Station. It is here that you can feel something of the size of this scheme. Enormous pipes carry water down the mountainsides to the power station whereas in other parts the action is way below ground.
In the afternoon we return to Cudgewa. We buy melons, pumpkins and eggs from a roadside stall and have a beer on the front lawn of the Cudgewa Pub. It is a warm afternoon, a few locals are having a beer and a couple of dogs mooch about looking for a pat. We book a table for lunch tomorrow as we have something very special to celebrate.
Talk of coronavirus is getting serious, the Prado’s son is self-isolating after fears of possible contact. Once more, happy hour becomes a circuitous discussion of whether we’re better to stay on the road or at home. Just as we give up on trying to solve the world’s problems and turn in for the night a little light rain falls.
*For those unfamiliar with the Snowy Scheme it was commenced in 1949 and wasn’t completed until 1974. It is recognized as one of the seven wonders of civil engineering in the modern world. It was a post war project to both develop Australia and provide work for refugees of war-torn Europe. It more than succeeded on both fronts. Quoting from the information available to us: Today the scheme has 16 major dams, 7 power stations two of which are underground, 1 pumping station, 145kms of interconnected tunnels and 80kms of aqueducts. It provides power to 5 major cities. And it displaces 4.5 million tonnes of greenhouses gases from the atmosphere each year.
Accom $28.50 (stay 4 pay 3 deal)
Utilities: power, water, showers, toilets
Towing Kms: 0kms