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Day 7 - To Mooroopna (Shepparton)

There was no shower facility at the Railway Hotel Murchison, so we got ready, had a few discussions over a quick cuppa in the van and started the day's walk at the level crossing where we left off the previous day. Today was going to be longest walk so far since we the start of this challenge outside the MCG. As soon as I got going, JIt my friend driving the van, called out and told me that things had fallen down, and by the sound of it, somethings were broken. So we stopped by the roadside near the crossing hardly 50 meters from the Railway Hotel.


The roads are usually higher in the middle and sloped down towards the sides. When we started, the van was slightly tilted to the left. The dry food containers and glass jars with nuts began sliding in the overhead cupboards putting pressure on the tilt-doors. The doors themselves were pretty heavy because the chipboard material used to produce them. All these factors placed enormous pressure on the hinges and the cable tie to snap and the door came off. Consequently, everything slid across and fell down. There was dry food everywhere, on the floor, on the couch, behind the front seat and on the foot step. The glass jars were broken and created a lot of mess. We salvaged what we could without compromising on the health and safety. We had to rearrange everything. We placed most items on my bed at the back-end of the van, cleaned up the mess and set forth with our day.


The Railway Hotel as well as the railway station is Murchison East where we stayed the night. This morning we started the walk towards Murchison town and to get there, we had to cross the Goulburn River that had inflicted a lot of damage to the area during recent flooding. The bridge on the river was fairly narrow and the traffic builds up very quickly on both sides of the bridge. The Hand-signalman-cum-traffic controller at each end of the bridge communicates with the other side and signals the drivers to slow down or stop. It was very impressive to see that when I approached the bridge with the intention to walk across the bridge, both Hand-Signalmen stopped the traffic completely until I had reached the other side and was absolutely clear of the bridge. In many countries, simple gestures and courtesies like these would be unthinkable.


In Murchison, we thought of having a coffee or breakfast at the local bakery, but it was not yet open. So we kept going towards Tatura. Later we took a right turn towards Mooroopna, our destination for the day. Yeah, it was going to be a long day today. We had to walk 34 Kms to reach our intended destination. The weather was walk-friendly with a maximum temperature of 22. However, in the afternoon rain was also forecast. The grass on both sides of the Toolamba road had grown to two meters. The grass was not just scary visually but was also causing high levels of polen and hayfever.


At the first break, I contact the Gurudwara Shepparton and spoke with Bhai Makhan Singh. I told him that we were planning to walk to Mooroopna and then drive to the Gurudwara. He said, no problem at all, the Gurudwara is open until 9:00 PM. During the second break, I contacted the same landline number again and requested a mobile with what'sapp number so that I could send some information about the fundraising walk. So that they would know what this walk is all about before we got to the gurudwara. I sent them a few files about the walk.


A snake had been waiting on the road to greet us and to welcome us to Toolamba. However, during the long boring wait, it must have fallen asleep, so the poor thing got run over by a car or truck (see photo). Apart from some interesting letter boxes at some farms, there is nothing else before arriving at Mooroopna.


After reaching Mooroopna Post Office, we called it a day. I jumped in the van and we drove to Shepparton. On arrival at the gurudwara, we were welcomed. We went upstairs to have darshan and pay our respect to Shri Guru Granth Sahib ji. Then we came back down stairs and we had some tea with pakoras and laddoos. We also managed to have a shower and requested if we could use their laundry. We had a great night at this holy place, really felt the positive vibes because of commitment and dedication of the Granthis (Priests) and the devotees visiting the Gurudwara. Thank you so much to all involved in making us feel welcome and making our stay so comfortable. Thank you.


A small blister appeared on my big toe. So I asked the granthi's help with the first aid. A friend back in Melbourne had warned me that a few blisters are likely to appear during the intense walk. But nothing to worry about. All under control! Thanks to cooperation and help from my friend Jit, nothing was a problm. Having Jit was a big blessing for me. A trustworthy pilot and a long time friend who I could have a discussion. But all good things come to an end. I cannot thank enough my friend for spending the entire week with me, taking care of me, driving me and putting up with me. Thanks very much Dr Sahib as I call him. This morning, there will be a change of guard. My Friend Jit is returning back to Melbourne. Michael will take over as the pilot for the next seven days. As we say in India Jo Hari Ichha.








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