Saturday, May 23, 2015
Total distance = 289km
Oh my lordy was it a cold morning this morning - I think I have frost bite on my fingers. If you remember we camped alongside a channel last night and this channel goes to a billabong. It is not a formal channel but we think it just takes a little overflow from the Murray. Well we marked some of the water and it was slowly creeping in - not alot to drown us but enough to make a puddle! So here is a photo of when we got here ...
Although it is freezing, the sun is shining and it is yet another cloudless day and also no wind. Once we got going we soon warmed up and it was such a lovely kayak today with no wind, no real coldness and when we stopped at the end of the day sitting in the sun was just lovely!
Since it is Saturday there are a few people camping for the weekend and also a few boats out - all are drinking before lunch and all don't have life jackets! I think they look at us with our life jackets on and think we are nuts! But they all wave and say hello and all are catching carp!
Today we saw what is typical of NSW property owners ...
there was a group of campspots at the wrong time for us and we struggled to find anything suitable, so we opted for this tiny wee spot and a sloping beach not far from a water pump that is going and it is loud! Beggars can't be choosers when it comes to camp spots now!
It is a spot that faces west - so a lovely afternoon spot but a terrible morning spot as there will be no sun to warm us up.
the owner of the water pump came and turned off the motor at 6pm - lucky as I would have been awake all night!
Tomorrow we reach Swan Hill only 13km down the river.
Total distance = 264km
It was such a cloudless morning when we woke up, will have to wear a long sleeve tonight as I woke last night with cold arms - Kouta slept at my feet part of the night and he was warm!
Our eagles were flying around this morning - I think they were waiting for us to leave. We did see a Kite not long after we started.Not alot happening on the river today - the odd old Steam powered pumps - or the remains of the sheds
usually the new pipe and pump is built alongside the old one - in the photo above you can see the small white pipe coming out of the water to a modern pump system and then a very old piece of corrugated iron covering it!
About 10km up the river we passed the river that flows into the Loddon and then into the Murray a little later on and this form Pental Island.We weren't quite sure what sort of island Pental Island was - it most definitely is not like Gunbower Island a state forest in fact Pental Island is just like the main land - farms! Not alot of houses along this side but a few pumping stations going into clear farmed land.
Alot of straight stretches this morning and we had to have a delayed cuppa as we could not find a place to beach the kayaks - we had 3 attempts and all failed - the first was not enough clay to beach and hold the kayaks while we got out, the next was amongst big tree snags which created to swift a flow of the river and the boats couldn't be anchored to get out (thoughts of Neils kayak floating off again discouraged this beaching!) and the last was again not enough clay to anchor the kayaks. So 30mins later we find a small beach that could take the 2 kayaks. Not liking Pental Island!
So with this in mind we did debate just how easy it would be to find our camp spot. We have been discussing the various house boats on this river that we have seen and we have seen all sorts from flash to basic. A few have been for sale and we both love the lifestyle of a riverboat and we couldn't believe that we came across one for sale and it is at such a bargain price that we are seriously considering it. We stopped by it and had a good look at it and are thinking about putting an offer in ... it is a little bit run down and needs a bit of renovating but we think when we get to Swan Hill we will put an offer in ... what do you think?LOL the houseboat must have been damaged in the floods around 2011. I like the for sale sign!
So we had sun all day today - not a cloud in sight which means that we will probably have a very cold night tonight again! We did struggle to find a spot to camp and in desperation we came across one near an aerial that keeps track of the tagged fish in the river but it was so boggy and messy that I said no so just down the river I found a chanel and there was a nice little area to beach the kayaks so we chose this as our camp spot - a short day and another day like today for tomorrow and a smaller one on Sunday rather than 2 long hard days into Swan Hill.
Total distance = 242km
Today we woke and I wished Neil a happy birthday - 56 years young! We were surprised that it was so warm this morning - around 11 degrees - it was cloudy though. We were away by 8.30am. I had forgotten to mention that while we were in Barham at some point the river rose 1 meter - the campground owner mentioned it to Neil so we assume that some water must have been released at Torrumbarry Weir. Lucky as one of the campspots we had before Barham was on the waters edge so that would now be under water! Hopefully tonight they don't release any more water as we are close to the waters edge again tonight!
We passed the entrance or exit of the Little Murray River about 10km up the river
we see millions of these (we hear them first!) but we only see them flying in the tree tops and very rarely close up unless it is a pet! But this one was sitting on a snag and as Neil passed it didn't budge so I decided that as I floated pass I would try to take a photo and it sat perfectly still for me and didn't fly off even after I passed!
We had a cuppa on a beach in NSW and I am really hesitant to set foot on this part of the river - there are so many signs saying no tresspass or private property but we were desperate as Victoria offered little opportunities to beach the boats. So this one had a private property sign but we still landed and had the quickest cuppa ever! Mind you it was a shady spot and the southern wind was blowing through so it was cold.
Relieved to get back on the river and out of the exposed winds and back into the sunshine. This didn't last very long as the clouds soon came over! We came across this pipe and pump station
Not far from this and just before we found our camp spot I spotted yet another wallaby - watching this one was funny as it saw Neil and Kouta and watched them intently completely ignoring me but when I passed it it jumped out of its skin when it saw me! It was so busy watching Kouta that it forgot that there could be something else coming up!
For dinner Neil had a korma curry for his birthday meal, we did have an extra slice of fruit cake as a birthday cake!
This is a lovely spot we chose - we got to spend the afternoon in the warmish sun and out of the wind, unlike yesterday where our camp spot was open to the cold southerly that blew through in the afternoon that it was too cold to sit outside. So it was nice watching birds pass by.
We do have 2 birds of prey that flew off as we arrived but hung around - very hard to get a photo of them - this is the best I could do in the eveningJust before we were to retire we saw a group of Kestrel birds fly in - there was about 15 of them (there were a few crows chasing them) and they glided around the trees just behind the tent, they glided for about 15 minutes and then we think they settled in the trees behind the tent - I hope they are quiet tonight! There are sheep across on the NSW side and they are noisy at the moment!
Tomorrow we will more than likely be camping on Pental Island which is about 8km away from here.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Total distance = 215km
We are a day later leaving Barham - it rained yesterday so we spent an extra day there. We felt well rested leaving at 8.30am this morning. Since Neils birthday is tomorrow I thought I would make him a birthday cake the other day. Nothing fancy just a packet mix done in the microwave!
The amount of times I have told Neil to watch his kayak as the river flow will pick it up and it will float off - I have lost count, he doesn't anchor his kayak enough when we have a break but will definitely anchor it at night times ... so at the end of the day do you think this is bit of an over kill?
So the arms felt okay today - a little tired towards the end. We did have a fair bit of a headwind today as it is blowing hard from the north west and the general direction of the river flow was north west.
Our camp spot is on the Victorian side as the island on NSW doesn't provide any great camp spots that are clear and have a place to beach the kayaks.
Even Victoria wasn't easy but we are between farms!
Tomorrow might be hard again to find a spot as we will have houses on both sides of the river.
Saturday, May 16, 2015
Total distance = 188km
Well we made it to Barham nice and early. Since we did a few extra kilometers yesterday I managed to convince Neil that we don't have to get up early so we can make the most of the day and get to the caravan park early.
so we left our normal time of 9am and it was a sunny and very still day - no wind what so ever. We reckon that our normal paddling is around 6km per hour and the flow of the river is around 1.5km per hour so we can do around 8km per hour on a day where wind is not a factor - we have found this over the past 2 days.
Plenty of lovely house as we got closer to Barham and we say this lovely paddle steamer house boat parked outside someones house!
So once we portaged the kayaks to our campsite - about 30m or so we set up the tent, sorted out all our dirty clothes - which was nearly every piece of clothing we have and along with our bedding we washed them in an actual washing machine! Then we had our showers - Neil was first and then me. Lets just say I had to borrow a chainsaw to shave my legs - it was like an old growth forest on each leg!
Oh and the luxury to have such soft clean hair ... oh la la!
So clean we were, next we had lunch - yes crackers, processed cheese and a jam wrap. Then Neil went to get some food and came back an said we will have roast chicken for dinner - mmmmmmmmmmmmm!
So after all the skype sessions and just resting and waiting for 5 o'clock for dinner which we couldn't make so we ate at 4.30pm! Now we have been eating wraps which I like and thought that when we get back to Bayswater that we would cut back on bread and eat wraps for lunch (still have toast for brekky) but once we sat down and had dinner with a loaf of bread and margarine ... well it wasn't a pretty sight at all! Jeeeesssssh I polished of 6 slices of bread with margarine and I had to stop myself from finishing of the rest of the loaf! I did have some chicken but oh the bread! well so much for cutting back on bread - I love it too much to substitute it when I don't have to!
Tomorrow we will clean the kayaks - well that is an easy job for me as mine is cleaned each day whereas Neils is just plain filthy and he can do his and I will just sun myself in the sun! As well as look at the supermarkets as to what sort of food we can get for the next 110km to Swan Hill. We are here until Tuesday.
Friday, May 15, 2015
Total distance = 178km
We woke to a very bright sunny day that I just had to take a photo of it - so please excuse the glare!
You know after our little bonfire last night we both hopped into bed complaining that our clothes stink of smoke and then this morning when Neil blew his nose on the hanky that was drying yesterday he again began complaining that it stunk of smoke and I also added to his complaints and complained that my shorts stunk of smoke when I put them on so we had a merry ole morning complaining like hell!!!
So not alot was to be seen today, we did come across this hut and according to our map it is Grahams Hut which is on the old site of Grays' mill
So coming along we remember that it is Friday and the weekend is meant to be nice along here and our goal is to get to 1538km and as we approach we realise that we may be competing for campsite and what do you know every man and his dog is out here so we had to keep going. We were having trouble finding a spot on the Victorian side as it is still the Gunbower Island and it has a dirt road running alongside the river and over the past few nights that has been okay to camp next to but tonight that road is like a damn highway so we don't want to camp alongside of it. We try 3 places and all are failures so we reside to the fact that we might have to continue on to Barham which is another 10km on and we both felt we could do it but in the end we didn't need to do it as we found this spot which was just off a road that has been blocked by piles of gravel as there are quite a few ruts in the road to be repaired so we think that no one will be next to us and the main road is just off us about 50m and no one can see us as there is alot of small scrub around.
So we are exhausted and soon set up camp. I have been meaning to take a photo of our table ...