Monday, March 14, 2016

Tumut to Jindabyne viaTumbarumba, Cabramurra, Adaminaby & Berridale

March 2, 2016

The Elms Motel served breakfast in your room if you ordered it the night before.  Not knowing of any breakfast places in the area we decided to take advantage of this service.  $$  It was one of the better breakfasts we had while on the road and was worth it.

Shortly after breakfast we began the drive to Jindabyne via the Kosciuszko National Park.  Almost all of the Snowy Mountains Scheme is located within the boundaries of the Kosciuszko Nat'l Park.  The park covers more than 1,700,000 acres and encompasses Mt. Kosciuszko, the highest mountain in Australia at 7,310ft. Kosciuszko's alpine and sub-alpine areas contain plant species found nowhere else in the world.

The Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme is an integrated water and hydro-electric power facility located in Australia's southern Alps.  The Snowy Scheme has the additional distinction of being one of the most complex, multi-purpose, multi-reservoir schemes ever built.

Physical work began on the Scheme in 1949 and was completed in 1974.  Seven major power stations (two underground), 16 major dams, 50 miles of aqueducts, 90 miles of tunnels, a large pumping station were completed in all and now the Snowy Scheme has a generating capacity of around 3800 megawatts.

There were more than 100,000 workers on the project and 122 lost their lives in the dangerous job.  US, French and Australian companies worked together utilizing migrant workers from Europe.  The workers became "New Australians" once they completed their contract.  Gerry's cousin Mike was one of these workers.

We drove through large apple, peach and pear orchards along the way.  They also grow many vegetables, berries and other fruits.

 The sun is relentless and most of the orchards were covered with a white mesh.  It must be a tough job to cover the trees and maintain the mesh during the growing season.

 After driving a couple hours we decided to stop for lunch.  Well, actually lunch that day was a couple delicious Australian beers for Mike and me while Gerry behaved and had a coke.  Mike used to stop here when he worked on the Snowy project and said the bar was much the same but the place was much nicer now.

 On the way back to the car Gerry noticed an ice cream parlor and decided she needed an ice cream cone to carry her to the next stop.  It was full of bears hanging from the ceiling, walls and all over the place.  Plus, the ice cream was very good.

 We took the back road through the mountain and what a drive it was.  We were going up hill or down hill and around curves for about 45 minutes on a narrow road.  It was tree lined and difficult to see anything except in a few places.  Gerry saw these birds resting on the concrete and snapped off a photo.  The birds looked like cormorants drying off after a busy fishing day.

 Eventually, we arrived at Cabramurra which is at an altitude of 4900 ft.  It is the home to a number of Snowy Hydro workers and their families.  There is a general store, small cafe and community center for the workers.

 Mike enjoyed the view from the overlook of Cabramurra.  We were surprised to see so many dead trees in the mountain around this area.

 The plaque below shows the direction and kilometers to different cities and places in Australia.  At the time Australia used miles as their unit of measure so the plaque shows it's 220 miles to Sydney.

We continued our drive heading through Adaminaby and Berridale arriving at a T intersection with Jindabyne to the right.

We drove along this nice stream for a while and marveled how green it was here and just a few feet away the landscape was all brown.

 We arrived at the Banjo Patterson Inn and checked in for the night.  A trip to their nice bar was in order and Gerry was surprised to see a Canadian Club and ginger ale pump on the bar.  CC is her favorite drink and she said it was very good.  I wonder why this isn't more popular in the US.

 We went down to the dining room for dinner and they had a Wednesday special of flank steak, potatoes, salad and a glass of wine for $15 US.  It was very good and more than enough food for us.  

By this time it was sunset and we enjoyed the view over the lake.  Our room had a small balcony where we could sit and watch the sunset and the people coming off the lake after their outing for the day.  The drive was very tiring for Mike and he was ready to hit the hay for the night.  We were right behind him.

That was our day, how was yours?


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