Tuesday, 20 June 2017

A trip to South Australia - week II

Monday, 8 May, 2017

Sandy Point Reserve was a nice place for camping and there were plenty of people who must have thought the same.  Patricia had talked to a couple of men the day before and after our morning walk, which turned out to be very pleasant, we returned to the campground where we had breakfast with the small group. They were  from Ballarat and on a fishing trip. Patricia had made damper and since it had been a cold night it was great to have something warm to eat and sit around the camp fire.

On our walk we'd also found a cache:

GC (#1621)

Of course we leave a bit later than usual, at 09.45h and drive to Balranald ( S 34° 38.431', E 143° 33.901') where we have lunch and look around at the shops.

It seems to becoming a habit of small towns to adorn them with quirky sculptures nowadays, probably to attract interest.  It's not a bad idea actually.

We also find a few caches on our walk through town:

Mary MacKillop - Balranald (#1622)

Water Tower (#1623)

From Balranald it's a short drive to Lake Benanee (#788) S 34 31 13, E 142 52 39, for our camp for the night.

Tuesday, 9 May, 2017

On our half hour morning walk I take some pictures of the lake:

We stop for morning tea somewhere between Balranald and Euston on the Sturt Highway when we receive a surprising phone call from Dianne, who asks if we can take a third person on board for a short while.  She wants to join us when we are visiting the Yorke Peninsula.  Of course we can! We make arrangements and agree to tentative dates.

We stop for lunch somewhere past Mildura and find a dump point at Renmark.

Our spot for the night is Bert Dix Memorial Park (#98) S 34 10 59, E 140 46 37.

Wednesday, 10 May, 2017

It's a very foggy start of the morning and Patricia declines to come for a walk.  As I am wide awake by six am I decide to brave the cold I go on my own anyway.

The above black stump is a historical 'monument' and actually also a multi cache.  As I am there I might as well.... After answering a number of questions and calculating the new coordinates I go and make the find.  The actual cache is close to where we are parked!

The Enchanted Forest – The Paringa Black Stump (#1624)

We have breakfast upon my return and we leave shortly after.  We eat a lot of fruit, because we will cross the fruitfly exclusion zone shortly and will need to hand in any left over fruit and vegies at the quarantine check point.  Which we do, because we still have a few bananas, grapes and mandarines.

Later we stop a Karoonda where we top up fuel and groceries. 

Patricia surprised me also with a (very appropriate) door mat for the camper, in matching colours!

It's beautiful weather and we go in search for a few caches.  Not very lucky we find 1 in 3 only!

Pioneer Park at Karoonda (#1625)

Interestingly enough it's hidden in the Pioneer Park, which doubles as the local museum, so we walk around in the park:

The next stretch is to Murray Bridge, where we'll visit Patricia's brother, Trevor.  It's not a long drive from Karoonda, so we arrive at mid afternoon.  After a bit of small talk and a cup of tea Trevor takes us to a take-away restaurant where we all buy a 'snack-pack', which works out to be far too big for one meal for each of us, Patricia and me!  After dinner I leave Trevor and Patricia to catch up and watch TV and I have an early night with a good book.

Thursday, 11 May, 2017

Today would have been Frank's birthday, and it would actually have been our 47th wedding anniversary on the 8th.  My dear brother Wim is the only one who remembers, or if not the only one to remember he at least has made the effort to send me a lovely message.  Gerrie had already done so on the 8th. 

On our morning walk Patricia and I find a cache:

You Leyet Up My World (#1626)

Today is a kind of work day.  Trevor, who has a washing machine that only he knows how to work, washes all our clothes and towels.  Good man! In the meantime I take the chance to sort out the holiday pictures and log a few geocaches.

As Trever had an appointment at the medical centre he dropped Patricia and me off at the shopping centre. I was in need of something from Target and as we walked past a fashion shop I bought some more warm clothing with a view to the colder mornings and my visit to Europe at the end of the year. Beside two blue ones I now own a green jumper. :-)

When home again, at Trevor's, I rang Stephen and Kevin to let them know I was thinking of them too today.  The rest of the time wa spent on updating pictures and logs.

Friday, 12 May, 2017

Another early moring walk supplied us with two more caches.  For the first one we had to walk back to the dog park, because the day before we discovered that, although we could see where we would find the cache, the entrance to the park was at the opposite site.  Today we changed our direction:

This one has gone to the dogs #3 (#1627)

The next one was a real tricky one and took quite a while until I discovered that something wasn't what we thought it was. The 'lock' on the gate wasn't a lock after all!  Very clever!

SUDDENLY, we have a winner !!!! (#1628) 

As I have always wanted to take a boat trip on the Murray River I was glad that Patricia suggested we do this together.  She'd booked the tickets and by 11.00h we were ready for our next little adventure.

I have always heard and learned so much about the Murray-Darling catchment and the major environmental problems that have been experienced with the two rivers: The Murray and the Darling (which finds its source all the way in Queensland) that I was happy to finally be here.

We made the trip with Paddle Ship (no longer a Steamer) Captain Proud and were on board till 02.00h.  The trip included lunch which we took quite relexaed while chatting with another couple at our table, Lisa & Harry from WA.

Patricia and Lisa

Patricia and yours truly

Saturday, 13 May, 2017

As it had been a very cold night, with temperatures plummeting to freezing point I had no intention to get up early.  Nine was soon enough. :-)

Trevor had some shopping to do and then took us to the field where model airplanes are flown.  Trevor used to pilot his own plane and now flies the model planes for a hobby.  Unfortunately this was not the best day to come and see the men playing with their toys as it was too overcast and they were also preparing the field for a competition the following week.  Besides it was misty and cold and I really longed to go back, but that didn't happen before Trevor had talked to various fellow 'pilots'.  I had looked up the geocaching app to find if there was anything close by, but not even that was granted me, so wait I did...

After lunch I read a bit and Patricia and I went for a walk and in search of a few caches in Murray Bridge.  We might as well!

What Heffalump again (#1629)

Hop to a stop (#1630)

Sunday, 14 May, 2017

Another late and cold morning, and since Patricia doesn't walk on Sundays I slept in a bit as well.  The temperature was a bit higher than the day before at 4 degrees.

Trevor did some more washing, mostly Patricia's as I did not have much to add and then I talked to Kevin, who rang because of Mother's Day.

After that Patricia and I went to the car wash around the corner, as the bus could do with a bit of cleaning up after all the mud and dust we had collected at the various roadworks.  

Then it was time to say goodbye to Trevor as Patricia wanted to be on the move again.  We found a dump point before we left Murray Bridge and then drove the short bit to our next stop for the night: Frank Potts Reserve (#185) S 35 17 56, E 139 02 33.

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