Sunday, June 14, 2009

Echuca Trip Part 1

I went to Echuca during the long weekend last week with a total of 13 other friends. This is a documentary following the trip where 14 people learnt to eat, play and live with each others' faces.

The 14 of us gathered at (where else) our Marshall HQ by 4.30 a.m. complete with extra thick coats, three loaves of sandwiches, galores of sleeping bags and blankets and a heart of adventure - for we would be driving for the next 3 hours plus to this place stranger to all of us!

Echuca is an interesting place and is often referred to as Echuca-Moama. This is because, Echuca is the Victoria side of the Murray River while its twin town Moama is the New South Wale side of the Murray River.

Our first stop at Echuca was - - - - McDonalds! As everyone was groggy (just awoke from sleep), hungry (no breakfast or too early breakfast) and pumped (holidays!!). WenJi obviously was as excited as a hamster and Ray the driver popped outta the car for a cupcake.

There was a national crisis though - - - Daniel's car got lost . . . and found before they ended up all the way at Bendigo. Look at Daniel's traumatized face.
The first place we went to was the PaddleSteamer Cruise along Murray River. In true mafia style, the 14 of us walked into that little place.

The cruise itself was a slow stroll along the river where you get to see other paddlesteamers and more paddlesteamers along the river and also more paddlesteamers elsewhere. Very leisure, very stress-free, very erm, idle.

But everyone had a blast taking loads of pictures so be prepared to an excessive of cheesy grins! The very last picture shows the highlight of the cruise! The bridge connecting Echuca and Moama, or Victoria and New South Wales!

We then explored the small stretch of shops just next to the cruise place where some very unique and traditional stores were found - a blacksmith, a woodscraft shop, a wine store and a fudge place.

This picture above shows this cool wooden calender which can be used for a total of 40 years only. It is the most amazing and exquisite thing I have seen. I have yet to discover how it works though. . .

The very afternoon was supposed to be our canoeing session (not canoodling haha) but the weather was a bit too harsh so we had to stop halfway through the journey there. While everyone was busy talking about where to go instead and when to go canoeing instead, I commenced my paparazzi-ing leng chai Daniel session. Infernal Affairs- inspired.

After the slight disrupt of plan, we headed to a winery. A good hour long journey (including half an hour where we got lost!).

On the way there, due to the constant interchange between rain and sunshine, we saw the most complete rainbow ever. A perfect arc across the sky.

The winery we went to was a really nice and cozy place hidden deep within away from all main roads. The owners are amazing people and even their dogs are so smart that they know how to open the doors themselves! My favourite out of the wine list was the LP Zinfandel cause it was sweet. I love sweet wine and choke on dry ones.

After wine tasting, we moved out to the outdoors area where they had this big chess set. The guys, being engineering geeks wasted no time for a game. Since the weather was cold, the lovely lady from the winery actually made us warm wine.
That's a very first for me - warm wine. And it tasted oh-so-good in the cold. I asked her for the recipe - fuzzy memory speaking here - which goes like this: boil water and sugar, then add cinnamon, cloves and lemon, before finally adding in a red wine of your choice. Definitely a winter winner!
There is something interesting I realized about Echuca. There seems to be leaflets everywhere promoting an Echucan-wedding! From the Murray River to the winery, they all seem to be great potential wedding places! A winery wedding, anyone up for it? Or maybe!! A PaddleSteamer wedding!! Or a getting lost in the middle of a highway wedding!! Cool nya.

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