RtR – Beer Paddle with Steamer

Posted: November 8, 2019 in Travel

Some heavy rain early in morning raised some concerns but all cleared to a nice morning by 7am. A final breakfast with family had us on the road for a relatively short trip to Echuca. The reason we decided to stop here on way home was to do the Gin, Beer and River Trail on a Paddle Steamer up and down Murray River. As you do. As we may be a tad blotto afterwards are staying at Quest Apartments in Echuca, stumbling distance from Dock.

Good run up had us at Quest in plenty of time for our 11:30 cruise and drinkery. Of course room not ready “but we will ring you” . Yeah right. At least we could park off street under cover so that was main point. Time then to walk the streets of Echuca and get a coffee. Very picturesque town indeed but odd mix of shops, at least near the river port. Heaps of cafes , pubs, eateries and – I shit you not – 3 Xmas shops in same street in less than 100 m. Had a nice coffee and a walk but sadly no beer with Duncan. We were actually in High Street rather than town centre , hence the eclectic mix of shops

Meandered down to Port area and a themed street with quaint and quirk in equal measure. Many companies offer cruises but finally we found ours . It was starting to drizzle a little but mostly passing scuds. Luckily the sun wasn’t out because someone knicked my golf cap!

As 11:30 arrived as did the heavy rain. The SS Rustbucket was moored at dock amongst the other 37 there but easy enough to board. Not a lot of research done apart from beer and Gin being involved but just assumed it would be a group doing the “trail”. Nope, we just caught the Padddle Steamer that happened to leave at 11:30. Have to say glad didn’t fork out the $1000 we contemplated for an overnight cruise. After 5 mins I was bored rigid. The Murray is dull as dishwater and colour to match. Full of other steamers and houseboats. The captain was a handsome devil though and had an authorative presence.

Took 15 mins to reach our next dock and then a short walk to Morrison Winery. Very impressive looking place and as if on cue the sun came out. Well organised and our beer paddle was awaiting us. And only us. The other 2 couples that also got off just had a lunch bought out. We ordered lunch and it was excellent. Then we did a wine tasting as boat was still 30 mins away

Steamer trip back was equally dull even in good weather . The other part of our ticket then was a Gin Tasting. Once again, poor research led us not to know that we had to walk to The Distillery in town for tastings. So we decided to check into Quest as it was after 230 pm. Had I been called as promised? Ah nope. Apartment looks fine for what it is and all we need. Just hope noise isn’t an issue later

About 4 pm we headed out to The Distillery for our Gin tastings and it was excellent. Great presentation and tonic provided. We were a bit shaggus by now so picked up some Fish and Chips for dinner to take back to unit and eat. Have our breakfast cafe selected already and no great rush to leave tomorrow as we are heading to Bonnie Doon or something and place is a one street town south of West Wyalong. Should be quiet and dull. Sweet

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