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MCG – SCG Yatra, Day 27

Berridale - Cooma West

After we got ready for another day’s walk, we drove to the Berridale Inn to thank the owners (Nikita Anderson and her brother Zen) for their goodwill gesture and support for our walk. They would open the café at 7:00 AM. We went there shortly after and met with Nikita to express our gratitude for facilitating us to have hot shower. Thank you so much Nikita and Zen. A big thank you! Some people might think what is the big deal about allowing someone to have a shower. Believe you me, it is a big deal when you have been walking in the middle of nowhere for 6-8 hours especially in the sun and you have been sweating like a pig, all you want to do is cool down and have a shower. We started today’s walk outside the Berridale Inn.

Our planned destination for the day was Colrington. The Snowy Mountain Hwy to Cooma was a busy road with a significant number of large multi-axle trucks and school buses. The school holiday season also increased the number of family cars heading from Sydney and Canberra to Thredbo and Jindabyne. With each additional vehicle coming on the road, the inherent risk for the walker increases. This risk was going to increase by the day as we headed into the Christmas break.

After a break and quick snooze, we continued to walk towards Cooma. When we approached Coolrington, we realised that it was not a town, but an airport used by passengers to save time when travelling to the Snowy Mountains. Qantas Link operates domestic flights from Sydney, Melbourne and other cities. Our walk continued past Coolrington until we reached the Shell service station located directly on the Snowy Mountain hwy in Cooma West. Shekhar and I had a coffee at the Shell servo and called it a day. We took a photo with Kamal Jit Kaur who served us at the service station.

We then drove to the Cooma Bowling Club and met with Alex, the bar manager who had invited us to the club. We were lucky that we got there before the patterns started arriving. Alex offered us two separate shower facilities and we made full use of this rare opportunity. Subsequently, we drove to the town centre. Before leaving the Bowling club, we promised to have dinner at the club when we returned. The town centre was quiet for a Friday evening. The town had an information centre, a number of café restaurants including the Cooma Indian restaurant, sports shops with a particular focus on skiing and other winter sports, and a Mall with Coles and other retailers with a Wall of Fame for Winter Sports. For a small town with 6,500 permanent population, it was interesting to note that Cooma had around ten petrol stations. We had a cup of tea at the Indian restaurant with the owner. Thanks very much for your support Varinder Ji.

We returned to the Bowling Club and joined everyone for their Friday meet that had raffle tickets on sale for packs of meat. I approached the lead guy who was making announcements on winning ticket numbers etc. and requested him to support our fundraising walk. He was kind enough to agree and he told everyone who we were and what we were doing in Cooma. He also requested the audience to come forward and donate to this worthy cause. A number of people came to see us and made a donation. Subsequently, we had this lavish dinner, thanks to the bar manager. Alex, thank you so much for supporting our walk. A big thank you!

As suggested by Alex, we shifted our van to the back of the bowling club and went to sleep.

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