Today, we made our way to Jindabyne in the Snowy Mountains. We left Albury late in the morning and ambled through Bandiana and Bonegilla to Tallangatta. The Hume Dam, which we circumnavigated for many kilometres is very full (as we knew from my Army reunion last August when we were told that the they were releasing water to make way for the overflow from the Dartmouth Dam, upstream).
We arrived on the town of Corryong at around 1pm, just as the shops were closing, although the bakery was still open. We had a coffee and bought some sandwiches to eat for lunch along the way. From there, we travelled across the Murray River to Khancoban, where we picked up a transit pass to travel through the Snowy MountaIns National Park, and then along the steep and windy Alpine Way towards Thredbo. We didn’t know it the, but it turned out that our trip took a lot longer than the 2-hour pass allowed.
We stopped for lunch at Scammels Lookout where we could see across to the southern face of the Kosciusko Range. I could see many of the peaks over which I have previously walked and felt a little saddened that with my back injury and slightly disabled right leg, I may not get to travel that way ever again.
We continued along to Geehi Flats where I have camped on a number of occasions and spent some time looking at the Geehi River and the old Geehi Hut that was built from rounded rocks from the river in the 1950’s. During the time that the Snowy Mountains Scheme was under construction this area was a hive of activity, complete with its own landing strip. The old runway is now fading away over time and is barely distinguishable. The flat area of the airstrip is now a grassy patch inhabited by dozens of kangaroos.
A little further down the road, we reached the old, but still functioning, grazing station of Tom Groggin. This is located on the upper reaches of the Murray River and is probably the closest place to the source of the Murray that you can reach by conventional car. This is real ‘Man from Snowy River Country’. From there, we began a long, winding, and steep ascent to Dead Horse Gap, apparently named after the struggle that horses had in pulling the old mail coach up the steep hills.
As we want to pull away from a quick stop here, we noticed an unusual sound that told us that we had a flat tyre. As I looked at the flat tyre, and the others on the car, it was clear that they they were quite worn – to the extent that they probably made the car unroadworthy. How Europcar would have rented us a car in this condition is beyond me. Nevertheless , the spare was OK so I set to changing it – something I haven’t had to do for many years. We were lucky that even though there was nowhere to pull off the narrow road, not one car passed us in either direction during that time that it took to change the wheel over. I hope we don’t have any more problems as we continue to Canberra over the next day or so.
We stopped in Thredbo village to check the tyre pressure but the young Asian lady operating the only service station must have just come off the boat and didn’t have enough English to understand that I wanted to use the air hose to check the tyre pressures. Eventually we were able to check all the tyre pressures when we reached Jindabyne, where we are staying over for the night.
Apart from our flat tyre, we had another enjoyable day seeing some countryside that we haven’t visited for quite a while. I am even a little sunburnt from being outdoors.