Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Putting the brakes on photography

For some reason I took hardly any photographs on the last day we were in SA or the 1st day of the drive home.  So I have combined the last three days of this trip into one post.

We did a longer walk on the Sunday morning going up to the waterfall.  It had no water!  I did take one image of a flowering Hakea laurina - presumably a residual plant from a house in the area at some stage.
That was it for that day.

The next morning was getting out of there day.  As:

  • we had about 700km to drive, 
  • were losing 30 minutes of daylight; and
  • the weather forecast for later in the day was gross

I was pleased to be on the road by 8:45 (including a short dog walk.  I was surprised at the amount of traffic on the freeway out of Adelaide but then realised that we were about 3 hours later than usual.  The drive to Pinnaro and into Victoria was uneventful as far as I can remember.

Once across the border we stared to come across a number of oversize loads.  One of these - possibly the first was very wide and I was not impressed when the following vehicle indicated I should pass, but the oversize vehicle neither pulled over nor slowed  down to facilitate this.  As a result I ended up with 2 wheels in the dirt and accelerating hard as a corner loomed.  Things then calmed down again.

It felt strange to turn right, rather than left when we got to the Murray Valley Highway, but our destination was Echuca rather than Hay.  We stopped briefly at the Ibis Rookery at Kerang but the sun was in the wrong direction and too low to facilitate seeing details: a Whistling Kite became Bird of the Day.

Noting the 3 points above it was on, on to Echuca where we quickly found a caravan park.  They had two signs up,one saying that pets were not welcome and the other that they had demolished their camp kitchen.  Probably just as well, since the sour attitude of the bimbo on the desk did not incline me to stay there anyway!  (We did have a warning as the place was called a 'Holiday Park' - generally this means they are not the sort of joint we like.)

However they did show the locations that were pet friendly and we chose the Rich River Caravan Park.  Very helpful manager and we were soon installed.  Some of the other guests seemed to fit the definition of bogan but as soon as their screeching visitor left they calmed down and were no problem.

The forecast strong winds arrived about 1am the next morning, but we have been through far worse and woke to a picturesque dawn.  (We were up early here as we had another 700km day with a few winery stops built in.)
We went for a dog walk down to the Murray and admired the houseboats.  The River had a good flow, but seemed well below full - I reckon the last house in the road we walked down would get flooded on a regular basis!
During the night we had heard livestock bleating.
On looking at the cars lined up at 7am I thought it likely that the shed was an industrial facility.  And so it was - the word under 'Riverside' is not good news for the sheep.
The Park also called itself  a "Lifestyle" village.  This implied long term residents as exemplified by this installation.    I find it hard to see how these folk have a socially deprived life, as is often claimed for permanent 'van dwellers.
On down the road with a first stop at Rich Glen Olive Oil.  While Frances went in to taste the produce Tammy and I wandered the gardens looking at the art.


Next stop was Warrabilla Wines where a very small amount of tasting occurred before we purchased a couple of cases of their excellent cleanskin Shiraz/Durif.  Apparently another cleanskin is about to be bottled so more purchasing will occur.

Then on to Rutherglen itself with the obligatory pause at Chambers. The usual friendly welcome and although the 2006 Cabernet Merlot appears to be finished they had a very tasty 2009 Shiraz and a 2007 Cabernet, both of which found their way into the back of the car.  So did some 2012 generic white - quite drinkable for $7 a bottle but aimed more at the risotto area of our consumption.

As we left we met this mixed flock coming down the road, possibly with a senior Chambers in charge!
The final 400 odd kms rumbled under our wheels and we were home by 3:45.

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