VRT – Beechworth

Hanging around Beechworth: Let’s have a look at this historic town

Monday April 3, 2017, 26 km (16 miles) – Total so far: 446 km (277 miles)

Up early ‘cos a couple of very strident voiced walkers strode passed the tent well before sunup. I went to the laundry, put the phone on charge and washed the cycling gear.

A comment on the washing. The “Good Riddance” anti mossies stuff is getting around a bit on just about everything I wear! A rather pungent odour, it must add to my own smell after a day in the saddle. I am getting to like it – weird. The thing is, it doesn’t seem to wash out real well.

Anyway, today will be an exploring Beechworth day. There must be more to this town than the famous Bakery. It turns out there are some very nice streets here. Lots of European trees lining them and the houses a mix of signs of richness in the past together with modest cottages. When looked at closely most cottages are no longer modest with large additions at the rear. Spacious gardens filled with mature plants make the houses nestle down into their environment.

There is a heritage area where a group of sandstone buildings have been protected. They looked fine in the morning sunlight.

The sandstone buildings included in the above slideshow are a group of original buildings, each had it’s purpose in the late 1800s gold mining era. Re the sign – that’s a lot of gold per trip – 14,000 ozs. No wonder the bush rangers like the Ned Kelly gang worked this area

What I was unable to find was any sort of supermarket. It would seem the deal is you come to visit us and you eat breakfast, lunch and tea in our cafes! That would be why there are so many of them. (NB: after I originally blogged this I received an outraged comment telling me exactly where the supermarket was!).

In a previous stay we found a small but well provisioned shop about two blocks from the lakeside caravan park. This is now a plumbing supplies place with toilet suites in the window.

This is a stamper battery. Used to smash up the ore body to release the gold hidden inside. When I spotted this late in the day I did find an IGA supermarket – finally. It was hidden and only signed if you turned off the road heading towards a Bowls Club. A hidden secret.

Something I haven’t mentioned as yet is the widespread wasp problem. They are everywhere and have been around the whole trip. When a car that has done some distance pulls in, the wasps are immediately all over the front – no doubt gorging on the insects smashed onto the front. In the main they can be ignored as they don’t seem interested in humans.

The Ned Kelly connection is rife. This microbrewery is a good example. I hope the kinsfolk of Ned can get some royalities!

Last of the day I followed a trail out into the gold panning area. There are signs everywhere of the work the miners of old did. Including, as you walk away from Silver Creek, a lot of holes in the ground which are actually old mine shafts. Watch where you walk.

Don’t step off the path! I wonder just how much gold is still down there. The lady in the Eldorado pub told me of people coming in with small phials filled with gold flakes. She also said plenty of gemstones were found in the area. Sapphires. Rubies. She wasn’t sure about Emeralds!

So, I am ready for tomorrow’s ride down to Everton and on to Myrtleford. I am hoping that the downhill from here gives me a chance of a speed record!

Author: antc1946

Born in 1946 I learnt to cycle about 10 years later. On a bike with rods connecting brake levers to the brakes - anyone remember those? I emigrated to Australia (from the UK) in 1974 and moved to Tasmania in 1984. Bicycles were in my life for most of that time although sometimes they were replaced by motorised two wheels for a bit more excitement. On reaching 70 I decided to stick to pedal power but in 2019 an electric recumbent made an appearance. It is good!

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