The Fella and I were in the Grampians. Now, in your mind, travel a few hundred kilometres north, away from the craggy outcrops of Mt William and the Pinnacle, through the Mallee country. Flat, wheat growing country. No waterfalls here!
Our coffee stop was at Hopetoun. We went through towns that looked like they were struggling to survive, empty shops with dusty windows. In fact some hadn’t made it. All that was left was a plaque on a fence with something like “Site of the Methodist Church of (insert town name here)”, or “Site of the (insert town name here) Primary School”. However, Hopetoun seemed to be living up to its name. It appeared to be a town that people cared about and wanted it to survive.
A good example is the coffee shop where we stopped. It was unique in that it was in the butcher’s shop! The shop was huge. They wanted to do something different with the space and decided on the coffee shop. It sounds strange, but it worked (and no meat smell either). The decor had a funky feel to it and the coffee was pretty good. As well, they served slices of local sponge with strawberries and cream!
However, the thing I really loved about Hopetoun was their fountain in the round-about. It was such a sweet little thing that it brought tears to my eyes! I was even more delighted to read about it in the local paper — along with the results of the netball and football teams. Apparently the fountain has only recently been turned on again, after many years of drought.