We have had a huge day, we were up early, had brekkie and then went down to the Old Port to try and get some better lighting, nope still not good, the sun was not up high enough to light up the wharf, we decided to give it another go just before the tour of the Port area. Still was not the best, so hard to get the light into the dark areas of the Wharf. Thought we would try later tonight.
We got our tickets and waited for the tour to start. A funny little man with a very well trained Corella was the tour guide. He took us around to some of the port areas including an underground pub. Apparently in its hay day Echuca had way to many pubs so they closed a lot of them down. The Star Hotel wasn’t ready to give up its tidy little profit so they started bring in grog from over the border of NSW on row boats at night. They then created an underground bar and an escape tunnel so when the police came around the people up stairs would knock on the floor and the patrons below would escape out the tunnel. Many years later a family owned the Hotel as their home, the pub and tunnel had been covered up so they lived there for 40 yrs not knowing what lay beneath. The City of Echuca bought the property and later found the hidden pub.
After a very entertaining tour we popped home for lunch before returning ready for our cruise in a paddle steamer. Our boat was the PS. Alexander Arbuthnot built in 1923, it was the last steamer built on the Murray during the river boat trade. During WW2 it lay idle and in 1947 sank at her moorings but was raised from the deep murky depths in 1972. It’s only a fairly small boat, but was still lots of fun.We then wondered around the Port and Wharf ourselves checking out all the nooks and crannies. We finished the port area with a horse and cart ride around the port precinct, it was fun.
We grabbed a bit of shopping before coming back to the van, had banana smoothie, then when it was getting dark we went back to the river below the wharf to try and get our shots, trying to use to moon light to help light up the wharf, we think we have got some satisfactory results. We then came back home for tea and made some muffins.
Tomorrow we leave Echuca and the Murray area and start to make a way back up north. For me the Murray is as I remembered it as a kid, a muddy looking river, it’s been fun but I think I prefer rivers with clearer waters.