As I write this I’m now safely back home and have been in NSW (or ACT)for nearly a week. So the current lockdown in Victoria has not affected my trip at all. I’ve also not been near any exposure sites – being back in NSW when the community spread started.
I was initially very hesitant to include other states in this trip, but decided to risk a few days in Victoria. The plan was to always be close to the border so that I could easily get back to NSW if something like this happened.
I’m incredibly thankful that I was able to have some special times in Victoria and with some Victorian friends. But I know other people’s plans are now up in the air or cancelled, so I feel for you!
Back to my trip….
On Thursday morning I drove 2.5 hours east and Angela drove up from Melbourne to meet in Beechworth. It’s one of the few towns on this trip that I can remember a little from my visit there in 2007. But I know it a lot better now!
After visiting the Visitor Info Centre and getting a map plus lots of suggestions, we wandered up the street looking for a cafe with tables in the sun. It was a cool morning but perfectly still.
Note: The first coffee on the page was from a quick stop in Shepparton during my morning drive.
It was such a great spot that we stayed for lunch (soup) and we both were already struck by how many people stopped to talk to us about our sketching.
It was after 2pm and we wandered back down the street to the main corner, sat on a kerb (in the gutter) to sketch the Post Office. Note: As this is in Victoria it’s not a JimmyB (James Barnet) or Vernon as they were the Colonial Architects in NSW.
It was a great spot to sketch from (although the sun was bright!) and once again lots of people walking past said something to us.
After this sketch, we crossed the street and realised that the opposite corner had an even better view and in addition, there was a table and chairs which we could have sat on. The table and chairs were provided by the council and not associated with an eating establishment – how amazing was that!
That night we had an amazing dinner at the restaurant in the Empire Hotel. All the other patrons had seen us sitting on the gutter earlier so they were really interested in our work. We even met the chef and she signed my book.
It was a very fun evening!
I noticed someone getting a teacup when they ordered tea so I had to get an Earl Grey to finish off my breakfast.
Next we sketched the Telegraph Office but got distracted and didn’t go in or explore this historic precinct more. We had a few video calls – chatting with Sydney sketcher Rooi who was in Melbourne at the time and then Stephanie Bower in Seattle!
More chatting to locals and an old friend of Angela’s walked in.
Time was going so quickly and there was still much more to see. So we jumped in Angela’s car and went to the cemetery to check out the dramatic-looking Chinese Burning Towers. They turned out to be a lot smaller than we expected.
There was a lot of Chinese in the area during the Gold Rushes. These are their graves.
Very interesting juxtaposition of the saucer and the end building, hey?
Woolshed falls and Yackandandah
We then spent a few hours at Yackandandah (what a cool name, hey?)
I didn’t want my time with Angela to come to an end – we had so much fun together. (There was lots of laughing in my Instagram stories on these days if you have been watching them.)
Thanks Angela for a very special sketching adventure!