Day 9 Friday 24/12/21 Chiltern, low 30’s
An early morning walk around town is rewarding as businesses are coming to life for the day. It’s nice to get a quick glimpse of the street devoid of cars as it once was. Somewhere, someone is selling coffee and tradies are popping out of laneways with coffee in hand.
Woody on the other hand is cooking breakfast outside. He turns on the park tap and the head of the tap takes flight. I return to find a bunch of blokes searching for the stop valve and a brand-new fountain beside our van. Thank heavens it isn’t going in our windows.
Excitement over, we take a drive around the back streets to find the churches that G has been talking about. The Mick’s have quite a spread and a school, high on the hill but the Anglican one (always further down the hill) takes the prize for charm. A lovely brick building with a fine metal spire.
Our new neighbours do little but stare gormlessly at the television. I wonder if we look the same when we’re reading? Probably. As I sit sketching Lake View House P wanders over and asks if he can have the finished sketch. What a lovely compliment. We get chatting and it turns out that he, a retired banana grower, is a friend of MV’s banana growing brother who lives up in the Tweed Valley. There’s that small world thing again.
Being Xmas eve, the park managers Esther and Ty put on happy hour at the camp kitchen and we each toss in $5 for pizza. Most of the park turn out for a bit of a chinwag except our new neighbours… who watch TV. The pizzas from Wodonga are nothing short of delicious but we show some restraint as we have planned a little Xmas eve dinner. Ty proudly tells us that the new fire pit area was built by the folks who were stranded here during the first Covid lockdown. They’ve done a tremendous job.
Dinner under the awning is a local smoked trout and Peking duck. The Peking duck is perfect for the caravan as it comes in a box from Luv a Duck (that’s caravanning for you, life in a box). Back to the recipe: 3 minutes in the microwave heats the duck legs and another minute in the micro heats the wrappers. Add spring onions and cucumbers, open the sachet of hoisin sauce and it’s done. Our neighbours are watching Carols by Candlelight on their outside TV as we knock off a bottle of the red bubbles we bought from Campbell’s in Rutherglen. In fact, the evening is so pleasant that we forget to lock the car and turn out the Xmas lights.