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Published: September 8th 2015
Kings Billagong kayaking1
While watching for birds in the Kings Billagong near Psych Pumps Mildura, I suddenly saw this kayak person padding full bore towards me. From quite a distance away, he was in no time speeding past me, really put in a hard workout. Made for some great shots I thought.
Entry 3 – Pt Augusta, SA
I’ve travelled from Mildura Victoria all the way across country to Port Augusta, at the top of the Vincent Gulf in SA, in fairly quick time. Even so I spent a quiet and relaxing Sunday on the banks of the Murray River at Ramco Point, a delightful free camp spot just out of Waikerie, in the Riverland region of South Australia. I was very excited when I arrived there because on the way through town on Saturday afternoon, I “thought” I had read a sign saying there were markets on the next morning. Unfortunately I misread the sign as the markets were on Saturday not Sunday, but none the less had a very enjoyable saunter through town that morning, found a shower, stocking up on groceries and (heaven and bliss) fresh mandarins and avocados from a road side stall outside a farm gate. How different produce tastes when it comes direct from the tree and is not subjected to cold storage. The avocados reminded me of my own that I used to grow at Burradella some years ago.
I always feel as if I am coming home when I cross the border into
South Australia. I just love it. Renmark is a beautiful little town where the river buzzes with paddle boats and other river craft. I did not linger but made my way onto Berri where I made a precautionary stop at the local Emergency Department of the hospital to consult a doctor about my cough and tightening chest. There must have been something magic about this whole consultation because as soon as I had the script for the necessary medications in my possession and knew I was equipped to handle any worsening of my condition, I felt better – well, the next day anyway. Phew; now to get back to having fun!
The doctor was a very personable young man (of a similar age to my own sons) from Renmark. And he did his best to persuade me to head back to Renmark and make camp there at a lesser known but apparently beautiful free camp spot on the river that he was well acquainted with. However, I am not one for retracing my steps, and so I pressed on to my previously decided destination of Ramco Point, detouring into the Murray River National Park and the Lake Luna Conservation
area on the way just to see if they offered appealing but closer camping destinations for that evening. But no, Ramco Point won out and it was well worth the extra drive.
Unfortunately Sunday turned out to be not the best of weather days with a strong SW wind blowing and bringing some rain with it. But it made for a nice relaxing afternoon tucked up in the Sally Wagon playing with photos, sleeping and generally doing nothing much (which was after all just what the doctor ordered).
Monday I set off again on to Morgan, for breakfast, and then to Burra for lunch, through farmland decked out in brilliant Australian colours – green and gold. Bright green fields deeply covered with barley and oats side by side with acres and acres of brilliant gold canola. Gentle rolling hills, soft blue skies and the road just went on and on, twisting and rolling its way to the waters of the Vincent Gulf. Lunch in Burra was a treat; cauliflower and broccoli soup with (wait for it) Gluten Free bread in the Gaslight Café – antiques, collectables and second hand books. What a haven. I didn’t even mind that
it took them approximately 30 minutes to bring me my soup, and that I had to sit outside in the wind at first waiting for a table inside to become available. I was tempted to stay there overnight, but the call of the ocean was too great and my desire to revisit the longest wooden jetty in Australia at Port Germein won out and I pressed on. I arrived in Port Germein in good enough time to make camp, put on a load of wash and then take a 3 km walk out and back on the jetty just in time to catch the sunset as I returned to shore. Port Germein Caravan park is just as I remember it from a visit approximately 10-12 years ago. Now under the management of the local progress association it could do with a rethink on its pricing policy. No unpowered sites (they only cost a little less than powered anyway) and same price for a double or a single!!!! Never mind. I made good use of all their facilities and power.
On the way to Port Augusta this morning I detoured by the Mount Remarkable National Park – what a beautiful
spot. River Red gums, rocky outcrops of quartz, babbling streams, mountain peaks dripping in mist, birds, emus, (yes, ok, I know they are birds too), wallabies – and so on and so on. A lovely place. I didn’t stay the night because my SA Parks + camping pass starts from tomorrow, the 9th
September and today was only the 8th
. I’m coming back this way though and its on my list.
This afternoon I spent a pleasant couple of hours at the Arid Land Botanical Gardens here in Port Augusta, but as I’ve not even downloaded those photos from the camera yet, that will have to wait for my next blog. And tomorrow I set off for the west coast of the Eyre Peninsular .... somewhere, I've lots of favourite spots there. Maybe at one of them I will take time to sit and chill out for 3 or 4 days before heading off across the Nullabor.
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