The 120 km drive from Bairnsdale to Omeo was beautiful. The road into the mountains started in Bruthen, 25 km from Bairnsdale. Just up the road from Bruthen we stopped to take a few pictures of a wild Emu, something I had never seen thus far in Australia. I was told that it isn’t uncommon to see them hop farm fences to roam the rural lands. I don’t suspect the cows have a choice to live with the indigenous species of Australia; it just comes with the job.
A few kilometers up the road we ran into a tree stand full of gum trees. Many of them had charred bark from ground level up to around 2 meters high. Other than the burn remains on the trees, there were no other remains of the 2009 fire that ravaged the area. The risk of fire today was low to moderate even though it was just over 30˚C. The Aborigines use fire as a part of their farming since many of their crops are only overturned when charred or burned. Many seeds here only germinate after being burned. Fire is common here.
As we ascended into the range, the Tambo River came into view on our right. Apparently there’s good trout fishing here, maybe another time. We passed through Swifts Creek, a two-horse town, known for its bakery’s meat pies. It was closed so we had to wait to have something to eat up the road.
We passed pasture after pasture until we arrived at our final destination, Omeo. Omeo, is historically a gold mining town; since the late 19th century, over 21,000 ounces of gold had been found here. The architecture made the old wealth evident.
We stopped at the bakery to have a quick snack. I decided on the steak, bacon and cheese pie. How could any of those ingredients go wrong? It was delicious. We got back into the car and headed back down the mountain.
For lunch, we stopped at a local olive orchard and press room, where landowners grow and pick olives to be pressed into olive oil. The view from the deck where we eat was breathtaking. We shared the platter which included a variety of local cheeses, as well as jam, pickled peppers, a salad, and of course olives. I still have yet to have a bad meal here. Everything is so fresh and delicious.
After lunch we made it back down the mountain passed a few gray nomads (old, retired people in caravans) and back home to Bairnsdale. It’s time to start some work and lesson planning for the week. It should be a great one. Hopefully, I will have Internet at the house this coming week so I can get back to writing and posting regularly.