This week Sepia Saturday suggested bridges as our theme and my header above shows the bridge over the Barham River just as it flows into the ocean on the outskirts of the township of Apollo Bay in south-western Victoria. The Barham River rises in the Otway Ranges 16 km , i.e. less than 10 miles away from Apollo Bay. After coming down through narrow valleys it begins to widen as it passes through farmland then meanders through a flood plain before flowing into the sea.
But this final crossing of the river is not one that we would normally use, instead we would head west from the town along the Barham River Road, skirt the flood plain and follow the road between farms. A short distance out of town you come to the first river crossing.
This picture was taken at one of the Barham River bridges about 1936. On the right is my father’s youngest sister Norma Fricke. Born in 1926 she died earlier this year
The road continues between farming land until it passes between what used to be the Fricke and Garrett farms and comes to a second bridge.
This photo on one of the local bridges was taken in the early 1930s. Counting the photographer, who was possibly Tom’s wife Enid, there are nine people so they wouldn’t have all fitted in the family car, an Essex of about the 1930 vintage.
Entertainment was strictly of the home-made kind and a daytime walk was sometimes taken across this second Barham River bridge, following the road further upstream into the valley. In this Google Earth photo you can see the right hand road following the stream. Though the hills are cleared a narrow strip of bush remains along the river bank.
After crossing this second bridge a little further up the road is an area along the river called Paradise, and on a hot day in summer this gully really is Paradise – a cool paradise of lush tree ferns and other local trees and plants , lichens and mosses, and home to a variety of birds. It is a magical place. With its special aroma and the music of the water over the pebbles every leaf has the potential to have a fairy peeping out from underneath.
When you leave the road and walk along the river you can cross over on fallen trees or on stepping stones in shallow parts of the narrow river. . The bottom is pebbled and the water is fresh and clear.
More bridges from around the world can be found through