Page 141: Shepparton then back to Porepunkah
     
  The german war cemetery at tatura.  
 

It seems that the remains of German-born people have been retrieved from burial places all over Australia and brought to a unique little cemetery in a little town called Tatura which is close to Shepparton. They all died while interned as a security measure during the two world wars. Of the two hundred and fifty people buried in this cemetery, all but eleven were civilian detainees. The remainder were prisoners of war, ten from the German Army and one from the Merchant Navy.

 
     
   
  The beautifully maintained German War Cemetery at Tatura.  
     
 

As always happens in cemeteries, there were some sad stories. We found a grave belonging to a baby that died aged one day. He was buried with his sister who died aged ten weeks. From the dates of their deaths they must have been twins. Double heartbreak.

 
     
   
  The memorial of Obergefreiter T. Tschurtschenthaler who died on 21st September 1942 aged 29. My good friend, Bernie,
tells me that a 'gefreiter' is a lance corporal so presumably this soldier was a corporal or equivalent.
 
     
  On a more light-hearted note . . .  
     
   
  Thank you, local council. Without these signs we'd never have grasped it for ourselves.  
     
 

On Easter Sunday I was sitting outside the caravan soaking up the sun and waiting for happy hour when a little girl came over and gave me a twisted paper containing five small Easter eggs. Her dad was waiting for her with a bag of the little packages and they were walking around the park giving total strangers like me a little gift. Nice, hey?

 
     
  ANZAC Day (Easter Monday this year)  
 

Each ANZAC Day Pam kicks my arse along to the ANZAC parade and service. This year was no exception.

ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, for any who don't know.

"Look at the lifestyle we have", she told me. "Is it too much to give up one morning to remember those who gave their lives to make it possible?" She doesn't wrap it up, old Pam. And she's right, of course. As always.

 
     
   
 

Pride of place at the head of the parade went to the RSL's oldest member riding in an old Jeep.
I don't know his name but he is 100 years of age. There followed a convoy of veteran cars with
the old diggers riding along as passengers, some looking serious, others having a good time.

 
     
   
  Behind the motorcade came the band . . .  
     
   
  . . . and finally the old diggers, weighed down by all their medals.  
     
 

The remembrance service was quite moving. I was surprised that the British Union Jack took precedence over the Australian and New Zealand national flags. Not only that, but God Save The Queen was sung before Advance Australia Fair.

We walked home to our caravan in time to raise our Aussie flag from half mast to full mast at midday as protocol demands.

 
     
  Back to 'Punkah  
 

Our journey from Shepparton to Porepunkah was largely uneventful in spite of, rather than because of, our GPS, Alice. I wouldn't like to be without her but her dementia seems to be deteriorating. When we arrived in Benalla she repeatedly tried to turn us around and go back. In the end we turned her off and followed the Wodonga signs as far as Wangaratta. Then I turned her on again and she was quite repentant.

We received our usual warm welcome at the Porepunkah Pines Caravan Park and were given a beautiful position down by the river.

 
     
   
  The view from the caravan in the late afternoon. The structure on the right is a small suspension bridge over the river. Pam loves the way it rocks and swings when we cross it. Not. The path on the far side meanders through some old Chinese gold diggings.  
     
 

As on our previous Easter visit, the Geelong Gliding Club was operating from the Porepunkah Air Strip so there was plenty of nostalgia for me. Light aircraft and ultralights also fly out of the 'Punkah strip and paragliders and hang-gliders operate from nearby Mystic Mountain and sometimes Mount Buffalo so there is quite a lot of light aviation around here.

 
     
  Alpine Park River Side Cottages  
 

We are back in 'Punkah for the Autumn Festival though we're rather late to see the best arboreal colour show as the trees are well into their change from green to brown through many shades of red, yellow and gold. However, there is much to do and see during the Festival. 'Open Gardens' is one of the attractions and we chose to visit River Side Cottages first. We were greeted by Sharyn who explained that the cottages provide self contained accommodation on several acres of beautiful open garden consisting of lawn and magnificent trees sloping right down to the water's edge.

 
     
   
  One view of the River Side Garden. The Ovens River is just visible on the right.  
     
 

There is a small lake, a stream, a waterwheel from days gone by and benches where visitors can sit in the shade and enjoy the peace and the birdsong, all set against the backdrop of the mighty Mount Buffalo.

 
     
  The view from the cottages looks down to the Ovens River and beyond towards Mount Buffalo.  
     
   
  Another view of the garden and river.  
     
  We didn't see the inside of the cottages but if the "No Vacancies" sign on the road is any indication, they'll be very nice. In case anyone would care to enquire further about Alpine Park River Side Cottages, the web site is www.alpineparkcottages.com.au and Sharyn can be contacted at sharyn@alpineparkcottages.com.au or on (03) 5756 2334, mobile 0447 440 840.  
     
  The wandiligong Nut Festival  
     
   
     
 

For the benefit of anybody not familiar with PINK and BLUE days on this crazy web site, a pink day is when we visit chocolate factories or woollen mills or a doll exhibition - really boring stuff. A blue day is when we do important stuff like go to an airshow or ride on a steam train or anything that's oily and noisy. The Wandiligong Nut Festival was firmly in the pink category.

Pam modelled her Mad Woman Hat, totally oblivious of the startled glances of onlookers. Thank the Lord there were no horses there to frighten!

On Page 142 she reclaims a blue day credit within forty eight hours. Click below to go to the:-