The Mighty Murray River!

The Mighty Murray River!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Day 7 @ Princetown

I couldn't believe my eyes this morning when we woke - it was bright blue skies, sunny and not a breath of wind!  The perfect kayaking day (and also cycling day!)
Eager to get going this week we decided to take the short drive up to the bridge - about 500m walk to launch the kayak.  We unloaded everything and I waited while Neil took the car back to the campground.  
I am not sure if I have mentioned this before but we are having a few problems with Kouta taking to kayaking ... basically this dog HAS to like kayaking whether he likes it or not!  He took to cycling like a fish to water so why can't he take to kayaking?  We think it may have something to do with getting a little wet especially on windy days.  He sits behind Neil and so gets a little wet.  Today was calm so he wouldn't get wet today but he didn't understand that and after having a few words with Neil Kouta begrudgingly got in the kayak ... lets just say Kouta was ready to pack his bags and walk to Colac we headed out under the bridge which is quite low - thought we may have to do a bit of limboing ...
 no sooner had we started that I came up with the idea that maybe Kouta would prefer to sit up front and he definitely wouldn't get wet at all even on windy days, so Neil decided that he didn't like how his rudder was performing so we turned around and went back.  So I took the lid of Neils front compartment and for today I thought Kouta could ride in that so we gave it a go ... here is the new set up ...
 within 5 mins he had settled and faced Neil for the first hour or so and then decided that he would face forward to navigate.
I tell you we couldn't believe the change in him he was so content with just sitting there up in front and didn't care that I was behind and he couldn't see me .. the fact that he was head of the pack was just the bees knees for him.
So we hope we have solved his rebelious teenage attitude to us and kayaking.  Where he is sitting now is an important luggage container for when we tour so the lid has to be on the compartment or else the kayak is not waterproof so Neil will try to rig up a plastic container to sit on top of this compartment.
So this Gellibrand river is quite nice and wide at the start.  All along is reeds both sides and it looked like it had been recently flooded - we found out later on that the Wednesday before Easter they released water further up the river and so it was about 1m above what it is now ...
 We were going against a very light flow and you didn't really notice it until further up when the river narrowed but is was no real drama.
 so here is Kouta settled and facing forward ....
 the further you go up the river the narrower it gets ...
 and it was about 2 paddle widths wide - sometimes less in places but you could always paddle ...
 plenty of lovely water lilly type plants floating towards the sides ...
 We did come across a farmer who stopped to chat to us and we decided to have a food stop about 2 hours up (after a 20min chat and break with the farmer).  due to the recent release of water the embankments are very slushy and muddy and there is really no easy place to pull over and step out as the water is deep and the embankment drops suddenly into the water and you all know by now that I have extreme difficulty getting out of the kayak in shallow water let along deep water! so we floated and had a bite to eat - the cattle were very curious as to what we were doing!
 going back you noticed the flow going with you especially in the narrow parts and by the time we got  to the wider section the flow wasn't there.  We got back 4 hours after we started so we guessed we had paddled for over 3.5 hours and believe me the arms are feeling it!  They are not sore of aching - just weary!  Happy to get back for a cuppa and also some apple cider!  Neil found this yesterday here at the campground - a group of German backpackers left there rubbish where they camped and Neil went to pick up the cardboard left and found this tin of apple cider still in there - I have never had it before and it has 4.5% alcohol.  I liked it - it is a bit like a little bit of bear with alot of apple juice - Neil didn't like it that much but that didn't stop him from finishing it off when I had my shower!
Tomorrow we are back at Colac and fingers crossed we can do an over nighter at Meredith park on Wednesday night.

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