The Mighty Murray River!

The Mighty Murray River!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Day 3 @ Dartmoor

As you can see from the title of this post we are NOT in Nelson but in Dartmoor.  We left around 9am this morning eager to get to Nelson and on the way pop into Tyredarra - actually just before it there is a turnoff to the river outlet (on our left is a fence loaded with shoes - will stop there next time to get a photo - actually tomorrow as our plans have changed!)  It is a nice spot to kayak plenty of water.
So we go into Portland to pick up some bread and continue on to Nelson, along the way we are reliving the ole days of cycling as we have cycled along this road twice and both times stayed at the same bush camp spot amongst the pine trees.  Just before we get to our spot at the turnoff to Winnap and Dartmoor we see an emu - now this emu doesn't move or panic and run while we are in a car but should we have been on our bikes it would have run like crazy, then we see a fox taking some road kill at the turnoff to Dartmoor and then while at Nelson we see a sealion frolicking in front of us at the landing .... now who says you don't see wildlife in a car!
So upon getting to Nelson the campground is temporarily closed so the other campground doesn't take pets so we are stuck and poor ole Neil he is so down in the dumps that we don't know where to go so we have a cuppa and look at the map and see that Dartmoor has a campspot on the river edge so we risk it and make our way there which is about 50km or so away.
We are very disappointed at the river at Nelson is good to kayak - our rist at going to Dartmoor is there is very little water in the Glenelg to kayak.  On our way we have to go through the national park - now if we didn't have dog we would go there and paddle and stay in the numerous camp spots along the river but this is a park that more than likely would be patrolled by a ranger as we stopped at one spot just to have a look - this is the river at Moleside - it is a canoe and walking campspot 
 there is a sign the the river mouth down at nelson is blocked and we had wondered why at Nelson the river was high and alot of the shed were partially submerged!
 here is where you dock your kayaks ... as you can see it is partially submerged too!
 the campspot is nice
 will remember this as I have wanted to do this Glenelg river kayak tour (takes 4 days starting at Dartmoor) but our problem is we have no way to get back to our starting spot - I am thinking along the lines of a there and back trip ... starting at Nelson to Dartmoor and returning to Nelson ... but now we are at Dartmoor and the river is very shallow and full of snags and rocks which are difficult to navigate - maybe further down the road is okay but it is difficult to find a landing point so I have just thought that we know the river is good through the national park so I will suggest to Neil that when we come back to do this river start and finish in Nelson (when the campground opens again!) and only kayak the national park.  Just said it to Neil and he said that is a good idea for when it is warmer!
So here we are at Dartmoor at the free camp spot called Fort O'Hare it is alongside the Glenelg river but there is not much water.
Plenty of people free camping here, heaps of space (would have been crowded at easter), clean pit toilets, no water but some in town or at the rain tank up by the playground.
We have a nice spot with a picnic table ...
 looked at the map after lunch and decided we will go to Tyrendarra tomorrow then onto Peterborough and either stay there 2 nights or 2 at Princetown.  Neil is happier that we can kayak at these places - we think Peterborough is okay - I think anywhere that has a river going into the sea is bound to have some sort of esturary to kayak!
Dartmoor is a small town with a tiny general store and it has lots of wood carvings from trees that have been cut down.  Initially the Atlantic Cedar trees we deemed unsafe so they lopped them and a Melbourne chainsaw sculptor Kevin Gilders carved things out of them - quite spectacular ...
Australian animal icons ...
 fairy tale characters ...
 more Australian animal icons ...
 and mainly war images and themes in the main street ... this one is called A soldiers life ...
 the parting ...
 the nurse ...
here are a few of them  in the street ...
as I was taking the photos this little ole lady came running out to give me a brochure on each of the statues names - so sweet!
The town has nice public toilets and a cold shower in the disabled toilets - since I won't be having a shower tonight or tomorrow I did consider having a shower there but it is too cold to have a cold shower!
Tomorrow is another bush camp but is $5 but nothing there - hoping the day is warmer so we can have a dip in the river!  Not sure if there is internet reception there ... if not will post from Peterborough on Saturday.

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