The Mighty Murray River!

The Mighty Murray River!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Ouyen to Red Cliffs


Ouyen to Red Cliffs = 89km
Cummulative total = 517km / 19,423km
Morning temperature = 11 degrees / daytime high 24 degrees
Red Cliffs caravan park = $25 unpowered

Thought I would share a few pictures of the campground and township of Ouyen before I start on todays blog.  Here is our camp kitchen ...
 and our campspot which is about 20m from the kitchen ...
 we had dinner just in time last night - there is a caravan club also staying at this park and generally the rule is individual caravaners are nice, collectively they are absolutly ignorant bastards (Neils words not mine!).  We sort of guessed that they were going to come up and use the bbqs which is fine as we weren't using it so we started our dinner of packet curry and 4 bean mix! and they start coming up to cook and off course they always have to comment on everything including us and then more come and realise we have one table so they start to bring up their chairs and tables and start putting them out and around the kitchen ... completely ignorant of the fact that they are now about 2m from our tent and encroaching on our site.  They are everywhere so we quickly eat our meal, pack up and finish.  Meanwhile they are everywhere!  Now I have no problem with them using the communal kitchen but I do have a problem with them bringing up their chairs and tables and settling themselves in the unpowered section and being rowdy and loud.  How would they like it if we came down and plonked ourselves near their sites and became rowdy and loud?  They would be very quick to complain!
So not happy to sit in our tent and having to put up with them we decide to walk into town and have a look around.  Ouyen is a well presented little town.  It is also famous for hosting a big vanilla slice competition every year years ago (of which nearly every small town bakery, including Bayswater, lays claim to winning this competition every year!)
We did come across a mallee stump - of which I could not pathom what is great about it but here it is ...

and the local bakery had this to say about its' vanilla slice ...
 Looking at the cartoon character I think the J.K stands for Jeff Kennett who is an ex-premier of Victoria about 13 years ago ... bit of a nuff nuff
So onto todays ride to Red Cliffs.  We had decided to get up early so that means in the dark and lucky for the kitchen as it had a light and we quickly had brekky and packed up and was on the road at 7.40am ... a record.  I think about it at the end of the day and we were probably the  first on the road this morning and one of the last to get off since we are so slow!
We also wanted to get to Red Cliffs so we can listen to the Geelong vs. Hawthorn game (Geelong by 2 points at 3 quarter time!).  We both felt good and strong although I can't say if we feel like that after 90 odd kilometers!
A beautiful sunrise this morning and a clear sunny start which eventually end up being cloudy and cool - great riding conditions.  No wind at all today until maybe around lunchtime but even then still gentle and the road is protected by mallee scrub either side of the highway.
Anyway at 8am in the morning there is no one going our way and everyone is coming out of Mildura - the first ones we see are the early birds that probably want to get back to Melbourne so they don't get stuck in traffic.  They come in dribs and drabs and then they come in convoy groups, meanwhile no one is passing us!  It is a bit like those end of the world movies where there traffic flow is all going one way out of a city and there is the lonely hero/ine going in the opposite direction!
Well that soon changed - at about 11am to 12.30pm the traffic started to become heavy in the direction we were going and it was all vans, caravans and campers - we assumed they were waiting for Mildura caravan parks to empty and for them to replace them.  So at that point traffic was heavy in both directions!
The road didn't vary that much - malle scrub both sides ...
 We have to admit along the Calder highway was like a 'shopping mall' for Neil - so many road kills - 2 sunglasses, a knife sheath (which proved useless) and a Qantas toilet bag which will  make a great computer gadget bag.  Neil was smiling from ear to ear.  He saw other things like an empty wallet and a broken phone but didn't bother with them.
I think the road is very similar to yesterday, rolling, although not as bad as yesterday but enough that by the time you got to about 70km (5mins into the final quarter and Geelong are 16 points up!) you were sort of sick of it!  Fortunately it did flatten out a bit.  Happy to see some green
grass, grapevines and water filled channels as that indicates you are near civilisation.  Coming into Red Cliffs which I think is on the outskirts of Mildura (maybe an outer suburb?) you see this big machine on display and Neil pipes up and says don't forget to take a photo of Big Lizzy ... my reply is who is Big Lizzy and Neil informs me she use to carry wheat in the old days ... so here she is...
The caravan park still has people here, although there are a lot of empty sites which is good.  Behind us is a vineyard and I am going to assume they are for eating rather than wine.  The park is nice, expensive at $25 for unpowered.  It does have a camp kitchen but that is only open at 8am in the morning which is not good for us - too late.  But we have not much food left with us after this easter.  The shower wasn't the greatest - it took nearly 3 mins for warm tepid water to come through and another 2 mins for hot water to come through and then you are bombarded to water saving notices throughout the toilet block ... go figure?!
Tomorrow is a smaller day - around 45kms to Wentworth where we will stay for a rest day.

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