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MCG – SCG Walk, Day 12

Updated: Nov 29, 2022

(Wangaratta - Tarrawingee - Beechworth)

We were fortunate that we got up early and already had a shower before the council workers came around and closed the toilets and the showers for public use. “Out of Service” signs were placed on the doors. The council workers told us that the facilities were being closed because of the rising water level in the river, which made it impossible to flush the toilets.

After we had breakfast, we drove towards Tarrawingee to the point on the Great Alpine Rd, (B500) where I had walked up to the previous day. I got off the van and resumed my walk from that point towards Beechworth. While I had already walked around 8-10 Kms the previous evening, I knew that it was going to be a long and challenging day. It was not going to be a flat walk, but I would have to climb several hills before reaching our destination for the day.

Many towns in New South Wales and Victoria were inundated after the recent heavy rains, Beechworth faced no such issues, because it is located at a height of 560 meters above sea level. Beechworth is known for its beauty and its gold rush history dates back to 1850s. Consequently, the town is very popular with tourists and many wealthy Australians have their principal residence or their holiday home in Beechworth.

After a few breaks, we finally walked into Beechworth town centre around 2:00/2:30PM. I was absolutely exhausted and hungry. So, Michael and I went straight to a cafeteria/restaurant that was still open. Many of them had already closed after lunch. Everything tastes yummy when you are as hungry as I was, but this food was really well-cooked and tasty. We had parked the van in the town centre so that people could see the banners and the online link as well as the QR Code while we walked around the town centre. We went to the Goldfields Greengrocer to get some fresh vegies, fruit and bread. I told the lady what why we were in Beechworth and showed her the video of Channel 7. She called over the young shop owner and asked me to show again the video. They were in disbelief. We filled our basket with the items that we needed and brought it to the check-out counter. I pulled out my credit card and was ready to pay but Michael, my friend wouldn’t let me do it because he wanted to pay for everything. The shop owner smiled when he saw Michael and I both trying to pay. The young owner said, “Neither of you would need to pay, because I am not going to take any money from you when you are doing such a commendable work for the community.” We tried to convince him that it would be appropriate to perhaps give us a discount, but not taking any money at all would not be the right thing to do. He remained firm in his resolve and refused to take money from us. Instead, he said that he and his shop were honoured by our presence. The shop was full of customers. They were all happy and stunned at this generous and contributory gesture by the young shop owner. Thank you so much for your incredible support. On this 1,000 Km journey, meeting people like you makes it all worthwhile. Thank you Goldfields Greengrocer!

The roundabout in the middle of Beechworth is the town centre and it is surrounded by magnificent buildings from the goldrush era of the 1850s and 1860s. The main attraction are the old Post Office, the erstwhile Bank of Victoria and the Gold Museum. Michael and I walked up and down the town centre and talked to people to raise awareness about the breast cancer and the help provided by the McGrath Foundation. We also went to see the former Bank of Victoria which is now home to the Gold Museum. When the staff found out about the fundraising walk to support the McGrath Foundation, they honoured us with a bookmark, a beautiful cap, and a precious stone for me to keep in the pocket for strength and energy and to protect me during the long walk. I was so humbled by the honour bestowed upon me by the museum staff. Thanks very much to the whole team at the Gold Museum in Beechworth. A big Thank you for your support for this worthy cause.

Primarily, there are two caravan parks in Beechworth, namely; Holiday Park, and Lake Sambell Caravan Park. We drove around to find a place in the park near the water. Lake Sambell is one of the busiest and largest caravan parks around. The toilets and showers were pretty clean, but I am not so sure if these facilities would be sufficient for a fully occupied caravan park. At the moment, it was alright because of the low tourist season. After good, hot shower, I had a good sleep throughout the night.

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