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MCG – SCG Walk - Day 9

(Cosgrove to Dookie to Devenish)

After getting the van decorated with the link and the QR Code to donate online, Paul and Maree walked with me to the junction where the Old Dookie Road merges into the New Dookie Road. It was a great honour for me to walk along side this incredible couple. Like all good things come to an end, at the junction, Paul and Maree wished us well and walked back to their property. We thanked them for everything they had done to support us.

Compared to the quiet Old Dookie Road, the New Dookie Road had much more traffic. Paul had been 5th generation farmer and knew the area pretty well. He had briefed us about the town of Dookie having just one shop cum post office cum coffee shop cum take away, all in one. We stopped at Dookie for a short break and had a coffee. In Dookie, there is a workshop that produces computer designed art based metal figures, shapes and forms. The workshop owner also has a rare 1947 Indian Motorcycle fully restored to its original glory. According to him, there are only six of them left in the entire world.

A couple of Kms before reaching Devenish, my brother Vinod and his wife Shashi arrived with supplies of cooked food etc. After having a cuppa, Vinod walked with me to Devenish. After taking photos of the Silo Art Paintings in Devenish, Shashi and Vinod left. Michael and I also captured the beauty of these magnificent looking Silos. There was a toilet 100 meters from the Silos and we decided to camp there as the only pub in Devenish was closed on Mondays. Paul had tried to call the pub owner and warned us about it.

Today, we had covered the longest distance so far (more than 47K steps). I was very tired and fell asleep around 5:30 PM. Around 7:00 PM, a woman knocked on the van door. She had seen the banners and wanted to make a donation. I gave her a receipt. Tracy Evans then asked us where we were going to camp that night. We said, right there where we were. She suggested that we move from the main road to a park that had access to locked toilets and she would be able to get the key to unlock them. I enquired about the possibility of a hot shower. She rang a few friends and then asked us to follow her car. We arrived at this couple’s house who had been waiting for us after being informed about our walk. June and Howard Middleton were so excited about our visit to their house that they wanted to take some photos as soon as we got there. Otherwise, the sun would set soon and the opportunity to take photos with the banners on the van would be lost.

It was unbelievable as we walked into their house, a vegetarian dinner was waiting for me and Michael. While we had dinner, June had already posted the photos on the Facebook as she managed the Devenish Community page on Facebook. Tracy also made a donation on behalf of her mother Diane. Devenish may be a small community but it has a big heart.

Two fresh towels and face-washers had been placed in the bathroom. I had a hot shower and thanked June and Howard for their incredible hospitality despite our visit to their home at very short notice. Also thanked Tracy for her persistence efforts to arrange for a hot shower for us. This journey so far has been full of so many surprises where we met so many wonderful people like Tracy Evans and June and Howard Middleton. Thank you so much for everything you have done to make our stay comfortable in a place with a population of just 103. A big thank you!

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