Cruising on the Goulburn

I type this from my bed of pain, having been soaked, battered, bruised, humiliated and sunburnt this morning (January 4), on a canoe journey on my favourite river, the mighty Goulburn River. Actually, it was fantastic.

BILL HOWARD January 21, 2014 6:30am

Rowers cruise down the Goulburn River.


Peter (my brother and Shepparton Adventure Club lad) insisted upon my coming because the challenge of canoeing from Trawool to Seymour was really playing on his mind.

As a veteran traveller of this beautiful river, I was the obvious choice to help him out (he is older and has difficulties with quite a few things).

We began at the Trawool bridge where I was introduced to SAC members and friends Richard, Maatje, Alfred, Dianne, Howard, Judith and Rachel (our capable leader).

Peter and I were awarded the green Canadian, which we promptly tipped over. Is this some sort of devious initiation, where the new chum is unceremoniously dumped fully into the river?

At least the water was quite warm; unlike the time dear Peter dropped me into the same river once in spring at Alexandra, just after the gates had been opened at Eildon, affording me a snow fresh bath.

After some severe adjustment of the seating arrangement in our canoe and handing my (now) destroyed mobile phone to my wife Deb, who had the good sense not to laugh (we do still live together), we set off with more determination than Captain Phillip into (almost) uncharted waters.

But what a lovely river. Coolish weather, eagles, kingfishers, cockies (flying and farming), too many cows in the water and a light breeze made this journey closer to what Jerome K. Jerome’s three men had in mind (no Montmorency, thank you).

Morning tea and lunch was more a time of gloating than resting.

Rachel pulled out her picnic rug and set up camp. I revealed the two largest vanilla slices with bright pink icing to accompany the brewed coffee, Judith opened up some Thai cuisine.

We arrived at Seymour early in the afternoon, in time to watch some young lout hacking into one of the park trees with an axe.

He was given a suitably arresting word of advice and subsequently sulked off somewhere.

We loaded up the vehicles and went our own ways, having had a top trip down Victoria’s premier waterway.

Thanks Rachel for organising this, and thanks for allowing me to be there to help my brother.

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