Monday, May 27, 2013
Victoria to South Australia
Today we followed the Sturt Highway crossing the border into South Australia prior to visiting Renmark. We have travelled this way before and we are always surprised that we need to dispose of all fruit and vegetables passing quarantine. Today the officer wasn’t prepared to accept our statement that we had no fruit or vegetables on board (we had also had to dispose as we entered Mildura due to control of fruit fly). I had forgotten about the need to dispose and had made a special trip to Queen Victoria Market on Saturday to stock up on fruit and vegetables for our trip. We disposed of all the fruit we couldn’t eat before Mildura and after dinner preparation on Sunday night left the balance of the vegetables in the cabin fridge. So annoying that I had forgotten. After casually looking into the Patrol and getting Peter to open up the back doors the officer allowed us to proceed. I do wonder about the disposal methods – all single items were put in a bin yet bagged and plastic wrapped items were sitting on the top. Perhaps these go to charity but I doubt it!
Renmark is the first town over the border. We have stayed here previously and it is a lovely town on the banks of the Murray River. We made our way to the centre of town on the river bank and while I shopped for lunch items Peter took the boys down to look at the river boats. There was a house boat tied up owned by a guy named Frank – it was quite unique as you will see from the photos. It even had chooks on board! Frank invited the boys on board to have a look around and after our lunch he offered to take Peter and the boys for a ride up the river. The boys each had a turn of steering and blowing the whistle having to remember how many hoots were made for each directional turn. The boat trip made their day and certainly increased the time we spent in Renmark.
With a delayed start we continued our journey driving through vineyards and citrus orchards before the land became very scrubby and barren. We were on kangaroo lookout for our NZ boys but although we saw a number of signs warning us of kangaroos we didn’t see any. The only wildlife we saw was a few emus.
We are now staying overnight in the small town of Burra. This town is an old mining down with many historic homes and buildings. We are staying in the Paxton Square cottages which are original miners homes – they have power and bathrooms but very little else has been done to modernise them. There is a caravan park adjacent to the town but unfortunately they don’t have any cabins and as it is to be around 6 degrees C overnight we opted against putting up the tents when there was another option.
We walked the old town and bought supplies of vegetables for the next few days – there is one small IGA store in town and a number of bakeries and specialty shops. Not dissimilar to a number of small towns there are four pubs. There is a small river opposite where we are staying and the boys enjoyed being able to play down at the river bank for a while – they are long days in the car and not very interesting at this stage for them. The trip on the house boat and seeing the paddle steamer in Renmark were the highlights of their day. Tomorrow we head further north skirting the Flinders Ranges and head to Parachilna. From there north we will soon be on to the Oodnadatta Track and our real adventure into the outback commences. We are hopeful the temperature increases as we will possibly need to tent from tomorrow as options for cabins decrease. It has been about eighteen degrees today with blue skies and no wind so quite pleasant but the temperature definitely drops around 5 p.m. and gets quite chilly.