27 October 2009 - Marriage Lines
(Dimboola to Port Fairy)
G'day. Dimboola is a small town with a population less than 2,000 yet a reputation far greater than this would imply, largely due to to the book (and later film) 'Dimboola' by Jack Hibberd, and the landscapes by Sidney Nolan the noted Australian painter who was stationed nearby in WW2. Next month it celebrates its 150th anniversary. A sign outside the Post Office points 16586k to London.
However while we were there there was only one topic of conversation - the recent rain, the first for years had brought life to the area and the river was running once more. Indeed the front page of the 'Dimboola Banner' read:
"Wimmera River flows on and on - All roads led to Dimboola over the weekend when the news spread that the river was flowing and it was heading for Dimboola. The town was abuzz with excitement. People came in car loads from Dimboola and district, surrounding towns, including Horsham to see the river flowing, something that hasn't been seen for many dry years. This was one of the biggest events on the river since the townspeople crowded the dry river bed for a mass photo in 2007."
Over breakfast in the High Street we saw a crocodile of school children being led down to the river by their teacher. The river had not flowed through their town in their lifetime. We too had a good look at the river and it was indeed flowing with a couple of people canoeing - probably practicing for the now expected regatta. At the river we recorded the sounds of 'Pobblebonk' frogs named after their distinctive call.
The rest of the day was spent driving south through the mountains and valleys of the Grampians National Park, though we did not see them at their best in the overcast conditions, down to picturesque Port Fairy on Victoria's coast. Somehow I was disappointed that we'd left small-town outback Australia behind.
Phil the Pom