Friday, May 21, 2010

Return to South Australia

Reflections - A Black Duck at MurrayBridge Wetlands
Murray Bridge - First Bridge across the Murray River in 1879
The Murray Princess at Murray Bridge
The Murray Princess under lights tied up at Mundurra SA
Return to South Australia

It was 5.00am on Thursday morning the 20th May 2010 when the alarm went off. It was time for a quick shower and to put the luggage in the car and head for Newcastle where we were leaving our vehicle. From there it was a three hour train ride to Sydney airport where we caught our flight back to Adelaide arriving at 2.30pm. We had just spent six days at home so I could go to work for three days. Our lifestyle is to travel in our car and caravan and come home once a month to work for three days and then return to the car and caravan to continue our travels.

After paying the car parking fees at Adelaide Airport, we set the GPS for Murray Bridge and drove around the southern edge of the city into the Adelaide Hills. We could not resist the opportunity to leave the expressway and detour through Hahndorf. It was just over a week since we were here and the trees had almost lost all their autumn leaves and the autumn tones that had been there, were now dead leaves on the ground, the colour drained from them. From there we followed the back road to Mt Barker where we rejoined the expressway. Arriving in Murray Bridge we booked into a motel for the night before a quick drive around the place and a visit to the Bunyip down beside the river. Dinner that evening was at the Riverview Hotel as the motel did not have a restaurant.

Next morning we had to repack our suitcase for the river boat trip before leaving the motel. Then it was back into town for some supplies and breakfast. Leaving town, we stopped at the Murray Bridge wetlands to check on the bird life and photograph a couple of the birds before heading north to Mannum. After lunching in Mannum, we spent some time walking down town and tracking back along the river to where we had left our car. This gave me some more opportunities for photographs.

At 2.30 pm we boarded the Paddle Boat “Murray Princess” and were shown to our cabin before we did an exploratory tour of the boat. After drinks in the lounge, we left the wharf at 4.30 and, driven by the large paddle wheel, powered out into the Murray River heading downstream. The sunset was again spectacular. Dinner was served at 6.30pm in the main dining room and at the same time we pulled into the river bank for the night at a place called Mundurra. The crew lit a fire using Malley Roots and after the meal people were invited ashore to share the fire. Leaving Coba in the cabin with a book, I went ashore with my favourite toy, my camera, and captured the Murray Princess under lights at night. She is a wonderful sight when she is lit up like a Christmas tree.

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