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MCG – SCG Walk, Day 14

Yackandandah – Tangambalanga

Michael and I got ready, had breakfast and headed to the Yackandandah town centre. After the experience the previous day leaving Beechworth, where the navigator sent us 180 degrees in the opposite direction to the way we were supposed to go, we didn’t want to fully trust the Google maps. As they say, once bitten twice shy. This was just 6:00 AM, when there was no one around the town centre. We found a young man delivering bread and other bakery products. He pointed us in the right direction, and we started the day’s walk to Tangambalanga.

After 10 Kms or so, instead of following the C533 hwy, we took a right hand turn and started following this quiet road that was supposed to be shorter than the hwy. Around 5 Kms before Tangambalanga, this road merges into the C533 hwy. Before the final assault to reach Tangam, as the town is commonly known in the local area, a car stopped opposite to where I was walking. The woman towing a trailer behind a four-wheel drive asked me if I needed help to go somewhere or if my car was broken down? I said, neither I wanted to get a ride nor my car had broken down. I told her the reason behind my walk and pointed out to the van following me. Because I was all sweaty, she asked me if I wanted to have a shower because she and her husband lived just 100 meters from where she had stopped to talk to me. I said, no, I wouldn’t have a shower until I complete my day’s walk. Then Jacqui asked, where we planned to camp that night and offered their place if we wanted to. We took some photos with her and the banners on the van and thanked for her generosity and continued to walk to Tangambalanga.

Michael was going home that night and Rahul was going to take over the driving role for the next few days. The change of guard was to take place in Shepparton, about two and half hours drive from Tangam. I would be starting my walk the next day from Tangam. If we stayed the night at the Shepparton Gurudwara, it would be great to catch up with Bhai Makhan Singh ji. However, two and half hours drive before the walk the next morning would be highly taxing. After thinking about the situation, I rang Jacqui and asked her if she could do the laundry for us if I left the clothes on our way to Shepparton and we would definitely return from Shepparton to stay that night at their place. Jacqui was very happy and agreed to take care of the washing. After reaching Tangambalanga, we drove back to Jacqui’s and dropped off two bags of clothes to wash and continued to drive to Shepparton.

We arrived at my friend’s place in Shepparton where we had left Michael’s car a week earlier, Michael started switching his belongings from the van to his Volvo. Rahul was supposed to meet us at the Gurudwara. Michael hadn’t finished loading all his stuff when Rahul’s car pulls up right behind the van and that surprised all of us because Rahul did not have the address where Michael’s car had been parked. I was sure that I had not shared the address with Rahul. So, how did Rahul, his wife Monica and daughter Laxmi find this place? Rahul had punched in the correct Gurudwara address into the navigator. However, instead of following directions of google maps, Rahul accidently took a wrong turn and was following a slowly driven car. He was getting frustrated because there was no room to overtake, when Monica spotted our van with the banners etc. It basically meant that they took a wrong turn but arrived at the right place. Nothing happens without a reason!

After spending a full week with me, Michael also made an online donation to the McGrath Foundation. Hats off to Michael for his unwavering support for the walk. Thank you so much Michael for taking care of me like no one else could. Michael, you are amazing, Thank you!

Rahul’s family in their car and Rahul and I in the van drove to Gurudwara, were blessed to meet with Bhai Makhan Singh ji and had a cup of tea. We told Bhai ji that we won’t be staying over but would have to return to Tangam otherwise it would be difficult for me to complete the day’s walk next morning. After taking leave, we drove over two hours to Jacqui’s place where we met her husband Mark, his friend Scott and Tanya Scott’s wife. We had a beautiful evening discussing domestic and international issues with Mark and Scott. They were very keen to talk about the walk. After delicious dinner, we had the dessert and a cuppa. We thanked them for their generous hospitality, doing the laundry and the loaf of bread that Jacqui had specially baked for us. It was a great evening indeed. Thank you so much Jacqui and Mark, Scott and Tanya, a big thank you!

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