With another year drawing to a close, another road trip beckons. Lil Sis and I have not actually been on an extended trip together since May 2016 when we travelled around western Victoria to test out the brand-new Suzuki Grand Vitara. The Suzuki will be our ride for this trip too, though since that time I have racked up over 60,000 kilometres.
The destination is again Victoria, but this time we are travelling between friends in Wangaratta, Melbourne and Portland. It's a good way to catch up with people we don't often see, and to holiday on the cheap. And we will of course be squeezing in some wacky adventures along the way.
To begin our trip we hit the road at 8:00am, heading south. We stopped at Wagga for lunch, and also for our obligatory visit to the one and only guinea pig castle at the botanic gardens. This is an adorable attraction we always check in on when passing through NSW's largest inland city, and we were pleasantly surprised to find our little cavian friends still there and living like royalty.
Back on the road we stopped at Lockhart, where we wandered around the Sculpture Walk admiring all the corrugated iron artworks representing life in the bush. As we only had to reach Wangaratta today, we decided to take this lesser travelled route through the southern Riverina, which added about an hour to our trip, but took us to a few places we had never been before. (Important both for sticking pins in the huge map of Australia I have on the wall and for upping the tally in a friendly competition between members of our family in which we are all attempting to be the one to visit the most Australian towns.) In town we checked out the verandahs of the 'verandah town', where all the businesses in the main street have restored their historic verandahs making for a pretty picture.
Then it was south to Urana where we spotted the Big Spider, a scrap metal sculpture suspended on the side of a water tower on the outskirts of town.
A tense drive south to Corowa followed, with us making it to the petrol station with less than a litre of fuel left in the tank. After filling up, we headed east to Wangaratta, arriving at our destination around 5:00pm.
For dinner our Wangaratta friends took us to The Vines, an historic pub in North Wangaratta which was built in 1895.