Kelly was working an extra half shift and finished at 2PM so we thought we may as well head off as far as Jugiong, a small community snugged up against the meanderings of the Murrumbidgee River, about a 90 minute drive from Canberra.
This is our third visit to Jugiong (you can read about our first impressions here)
We arrived around 5PM and after settling in walked the short distance across to the Sir George restaurant, pub and artisan bakery.
The Sir George was re-built in 1845 after the first incarnation washed away in a huge flood. Unperturbed the Irish owner, John Sheahan brought a group of stonemasons from his homeland to erect a new sandstone structure further away from the river and with cataclysm proof walls that are 500cm thick.
The Sir George is said to be the oldest family run hotel in Australia with Sheehan’s descendants are still overseeing the place.
Other things worth checking out include:
- Jugiong Wine Cellar
- The Curator’s Collective (designer homewares and clothing)
- The Yard (fresh flowers and artworks)
- Outdoor swimming pool right next to the Showgrounds.
During dinner we met Tony and Ruth, a Victorian couple on their penultimate night away from home after 4 months travelling in their motor home. We spent a lovely evening sitting out on the pubs rustic veranda chatting about travel destinations, and British TV comedies.
After dinner a slow dusk stroll down to the riverbank under the guise of burning off some burger calories. What we were actually doing is checking out all the other rigs along the way. Covertly sneaking glimpses of the unfolding lives lit inside.
A couple having dinner. Another group in conversation bathed in the neon flickerings from their TV. A collage of trip photos across an overhead locker. This rig totally dark. It’s always interesting to see how others make a home out of these small spaces.
Back in Ripley we are too tired to even make a brew of tea. I read for a few minutes, until my heavy eyes slur the words and carry me to bed.
Up early for my morning meditation followed by breakfast at the Long Track Pantry. Situated right next to the Sir George, this cafe offers delicious breakfasts and on point coffee.
Over breakfast we consult the maps deciding on a general vicinity of destination for today. Other than that we are making it up as we go along.
In Jazz there is a term called singing scat where the vocalist improvises rhythms and melodies with nonsense vocables and made up sounds. Travelling scat is how we roll.
Lay of the Land:
Campsite: Jugiong Showgrounds.
Fee: By donation.
Facilities: Well maintained toilet block. No showers.
Dogs: Yes. On lead.
Terrain: Easy access. Flat grassy ground. Riverfront sites.