Well all I can say Richie is well done but you were veerrrrrry lucky!
With the noise of the Kiwi all-night revellers (all 2 of them) ringing in our ears and a surprisingly dry tent, we left Cowell bound for Whyalla and Port Augusta at 7.30 to be met by heavy rain, the heaviest in almost 4 months! We had our first sighting of the Flinders Ranges out of Port Augusta and crossed the mighty (again) River Murray at Blanchetown (photo) after lunch in the pretty and prosperous wine town of Clare. Our decision as to where to camp for the night was decided by someone other than us as we pulled in to Renmark and the heavens opened. We therefore sought shelter, somewhat guiltily I might say, in a cabin at the Riverland Caravan Park alongside the Murray. The non-drinkable water from the taps smelled to me suspiciously like the fragrance of Rotorua so Pete and I tended to limit our use of it.
The next morning, having quickly managed to get over our guilt in the very comfortable accommodation, we left for Mildura and Oxley (80 ks west of Hay - see photo of road thereto) to stay with my sister-in-law Andrea and her husband Graham on their property Geramy. We spent the afternoon treading the bounds with Graham and shared the experience with lots of emus, roos, a few bunnies and lots of lizards. After dinner Pete and I then had to do without the tent in the very comfortable rooms provided. I can honestly say that neither of us missed the amenties block that night. (Memo to me: you do go on a bit about amenties blocks!). Many thanks to Andrea and Gra for your hospitality. Both of us admire how you have managed in what must be one of the remotest places I certainly have encountered.
This morning we left Geramy and travelled through Hay and Narrandera and stopped at the Temora Aviation Museum. The museum has some wonderful old aircraft including a Spitfire and a Canberra Bomber and is really worth a look, especially if an airshow is on there.
We also attended a sheep auction in Temora (photo). I thought I was the successful bidder at $136 for one sheep but to my horror it turned out I had purchased the whole pen of 100 of the critters! After some very fast talking I managed to reverse the situation and on-sold the lot to the Woollies buyer. I didn't make any money on the transaction but I'll certainly be watching the meat dept of my local supermarket very carefully to see if there is any significant price change in that area!
We have just set up the tent at what will be our last site on this amazing odyssey. Young, in centralish west NSW, is the town privileged enough to be hosting us tonight. Did someone mention a civic reception or keys to the city?
Tomorrow we head home to kith and kin in Sydney. I thought I would delay my final post until I stop weeping once there. It has been an absolute blast and I want a little bit of time to collect my thoughts before putting finger to keypad. I'll be back one more time to bring all this to a conclusion in which John will participate.