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4 November 2009 - Marriage Lines 
                              (Mount Beauty to Canberra


G'day. We left Mount Beauty by a dirt track, heading west through alpine forest to the little rural hamlet of Mitta Mitta, so named by the local Aboriginal people - Mitta Mitta meaning "thunder" a reference to the local river at full tilt. We had coffee in the General Store/Cafe/Newsagent/Post Office and eavesdropped on the unique sing-song conversation between the storekeeper and customers - pure Aussie. She obviously had a sense of humour as there were posters on the wall, one of which read "Tips to look after your wife" then underneath "There's only one: Do as you're told!"

This sense of humour was also obvious in the next couple of towns in which we stopped. In the little town of Corryong a shop displayed a poster proclaiming:"Special Offer -  Free ride in a Police car if you steal from this shop." And another "If you intend stealing from this shop, please smile for the camera." Corryong makes great play on the fact that Jack Riley, the hero of 'Banjo' Paterson's famous poem 'The Man from Snowy River', is buried here. The next town, Adaminaby, had even more funnies: "Mothers of teenagers know why animals eat their young." and "Teenagers - Tired of being harrassed by your stupid parents? Act now! Move out. Get a job. Pay your own bills. Do it now while you still know everything." or "I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other." and my favourite, "In Memorium: With all the sadness and trauma going on in the world at the moment, it's worth reflecting on the death of a very important person which almost went unnoticed last week. Larry Laprise, the man who wrote 'The Hokey Kokey' died peaceably aged 93. The most traumatic part for his family was placing him in the coffin. They put his left-leg in - and that's when the trouble started . . ."

The countryside was green with the recent rain but Adrian had one final rough road up his sleeve. "What other capital has dirt roads to take you in?" he remarked as we headed across the Namadgi National Park and saw the signpost for Canberra.

This was the end of the exploration part of this trip. I reckoned we'd slept in 22 different beds in 32 days. Time for a holiday . . .

Phil the Pom


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