Yesterday it started raining and I didn’t really feel like sitting in the back of my truck to finish writing so I got in the car and moved on to the next town, Castlemaine. I’d never been there before and I haven’t really heard much about the place either.

So I jumped in the car and drove the 30KM to get there. My first impression of the town was how friendly everyone was. Whoever you walked past would give you a smile and say g’day. Everyone was genuinely kind. My second impression was how many impressive beards I saw getting toted about town.

I accidentally pulled right in front of a second-hand shop. This was like no second hand shop I’d ever seen though. This place was full old tools and boxes and furniture that you might find in a shed that’s been left abandoned for a hundred years. The stuff that was used before the invention of plastic. The time when everything was built as best as it could be built. There was no such thing as building something to meet a price. Everything was made from cast iron, welded steel and old heavy wood. You could find the tools you need to fix things because people did that then. I was grinning ear to ear. I even found a wood plane which I’ve been considering buying for a few weeks on ebay. It cost thirty dollars instead of ninety.

I hadn’t had a wash in a day and a half so I decided the next thing should be to find somewhere to get clean. After driving around town I walked into a gym and asked if I could use their showers. Usually you’d have to pay but they were happy for me to just go for it. That was another unexpected win for the town.

After I was clean, I decided to take a walk around and see what the place had going for it. I found even more second-hand shop. There is so much great stuff in this town and mostly very affordable too.

The stores were all closing so I got myself something to eat then looked for a place where I could gauge what the locals were really like. The first place was a little bit quiet so I left after one beer to try the Bridge Hotel. It so happened that I arrived on trivia night and there was a team who was down one bearded man and wanted me to fill the position. After spending so much time by myself, I very happily obliged.

We did pretty good. Equal third I think, but it didn’t matter. I made what I would consider friends on my first night. Found a bar where I think I can meet more people. The town has a really nice atmosphere. It’s less than two hours from Melbourne. I like Castlemaine.

Here are some photos of one of the second-hand stores.

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