Day 2, Friday 12/6/20 Benalla to Jugiong, clear .04 – 15 degrees
As usual El Prado and Woody are rushing about trying not to keep each other waiting.
We drive off forgetting to turn off the gas, change the fridge to car mode and turn off the 12 volt switch. As we leave Benalla the navigator takes off her glasses to update the diary, Woody takes the wrong turn and heads in the direction of Winton instead of the northbound freeway and Albury. Ah, welcome to life on the road.
The only acknowledgement that we’ve crossed into NSW is the loss of a bitumen road but it’s a pleasant cruise up the concrete highway and cursing it on the CB, Woody reminds us that he needs fuel and once more we start calculating the likelihood of running out. I’ll swear he only does this to keep us entertained on long drives. We pull into Gundagai’s Dog on the Tuckerbox and fuel up with diesel and a snack before continuing on to the hamlet of Jugiong.
It’s a gloriously sunny arvo, we camp beside the Murrumbidgee River and sit in the sun. But Woody can’t wait, he gallops across the park to The Long Track Pantry to grab a fruit loaf (the best ever) and comes back empty handed, they’ve sold out. You’ve gotta be quick or place a phone order.
Our neighbours are a farmer and a chef from Central Victoria who know the couple who bought our old pop top, small world. As the kids had left home they sold their farm to do a world trip. They got as far as Cambodia when Covid broke out. Not to be deterred they bought a Ford Transit, fitted it out and hit the road to do the Big Lap.
We wander across the reserve to the Sir George Hotel and sit in the sun, revelling in the joy of drinking beer off the tap and wine at a pub once more. The post Covid world seems so much brighter. Being the pub’s first night of resumed trading they are already booked out for dinner. Shucks it would have been good too, we dined here last September.
As the air chills we return to camp, the boys light a fire and we chat with the neighbours who had managed to secure a booking. We tuck into a Spaghetti bolognese and scrumptious cakes from the Long Track Pantry.
Accom: $5.00 (toilets, dump point)
Travelling Kms: 331Kms