Glen Valley, Easter 2006

For our Easter break this year we headed up to Olivia's parent house in Glen Valley, officially in the Mt. Wills Historic Area of north-east Victoria - a 6.5 hour drive to genuine, almost untouched high country (I took the picture at left, a place called "Bogong View", about 2 kilometres down the road from where we stayed).

"Glen Valley" itself is made up of a handful of houses and an empty hall - there's no water, electricity, police, shops, etc. It's about an hour north of the nearest small town - Omeo - by very windy roads. Back in the 1890's, Glen Valley was a gold settlement, reaching a peak of around 100 people, and seems to be often linked with the larger town of Glen Wills, although both are now abandoned.

Olivia's Dad Ted built their three-storey house and surrounding buildings. I don't have the time or space to tell you what sort of effort he's put into the place, but I reckon it's amazing - solar panels for energy (which can also charge by moonlight), water from the old mine, a slow combustion stove for cooking and a pot belly stove for warming, and a diesel generator which Ted has also tried using home-made bio-diesel in. The bottom storey is a garage (with workshop and washing machine); the next storey has a verandah, kitchen, bathroom, dining room, family room and the master bedroom; and upstairs, in the a-frame roof, is another 3 bedrooms.

The weekend's weather was great, the hospitality was fantastic, and it was very peaceful to just "get away" for a bit. We ate a lot: sadly, for me, at least 33% was chocolate or choc-related! Olivia's Mum Marijke is tireless with the youngsters (Olivia's sister was also there with her husband and kids) and is a great host and cook. None of us wanted to leave when we eventually did, just after morning tea on Monday, and for the first time (we have been every year, except last year) I think we all could have spent a lot longer there.

On a side note, our little Camry did 700 kilometres to a tank of petrol (435 miles), and the trip's physical distance is almost smack on 430 kilometres (267 miles) - petrol is also at a frightening AUD$1.30/litre (US$3.61/gallon).

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[Listening to: Some Of Us - Starsailor - Silence Is Easy (03:38)]

6 Responses to "Glen Valley, Easter 2006"

liv said... Wednesday, April 19, 2006 9:05:00 PM

Hugs - thanks for writing such a great blog about our great weekend. I too really enjoyed our time there, and felt like we could really be ourselves whilst being around others, namely my family. I thought you got some great photos too.

Love ya, Liv

Thomas said... Thursday, April 20, 2006 4:55:00 PM

Thanks Wifey. You absolutely, positively, must write about how your folks found Glen Valley in the first place, and all the stuff you've done there (well before I was on the scene!)

mattharmless said... Thursday, April 27, 2006 2:05:00 AM

Great blog. Keep up the good work.

Rodney says to say, "HI!"

Thomas said... Thursday, April 27, 2006 1:47:00 PM

Thanks Matt for dropping by!

It looks like we share a few of the same favorite movies (see http://thomasswilliams.blogspot.com/2005/03/my-favorite-films-of-all-time.html)...except that I don't like the new War of the Worlds at all :-(

Cheers,

Thomas

Iris Flavia said... Thursday, April 27, 2006 4:08:00 PM

Hi Williams-family,
a great blog! Well written and interesting! I found you due to Rodneys recommendations and will come here regularly :-)
Have a nice day,
Iris

Thomas said... Friday, April 28, 2006 1:16:00 PM

Hey Iris, thanks for stopping by. I hope you keep enjoying your reading!

p.s. when are you going to start a blog?

Cheers,

Thomas

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