Day 3, 12/5/2016, Thursday, Bridgewater on Loddon to Balranald, Rain clearing
What a great little caravan park this is. Lush green lawns, modern clean amenities and situated on the banks of the Loddon River. The town is little more than a block away. The pub and bakery are renowned but there isn’t much more.
We move on to Kerang and cross the Murray River at Swan Hill with Woody cursing about the narrow width of the heritage listed old wooden bridge. The land between here and Balranald appears worthless where it isn’t cultivated yet the farmed land is like an oasis. With five large rivers in the area there is no shortage of water. We even pass a pistachio plantation. About twenty kms from Balranald we see an eagle picking at roadkill. He takes to the air then changes direction but all too late. I shield my face as he hits us with a loud whack just above our windscreen. There is no damage to the car or van and without stopping we can’t see the remains of the bird.
Balranald is on the Murrumbidgee River. The caravan park is well grassed, right on the riverbank and walking distance from town. We spend the afternoon catching up on all the news and finding out what we missed at the tomato farm. Including the home baked goodies that Marilyn was plying everyone with. It turns out that they grow grain not tomatoes. Which they buy in from another farm before they are ripe. The crop is then pickled for several years hence. Everyone vows to return again some time.
Mat our van park host lights the fire pit on the riverbank so we up chairs and amble over to toast the end of the day. We meet a passionate Gem fossicker from South Australia and her less enthusiastic husband. They are on their way north to run the bush camp out on the Winton opal fields. Mars rises in the eastern sky, yes those clouds have gone.
Towing Distance 251kms
2021 Note: There are many historic bridges along the Murray that were designed to lift up for the paddle steamers passing below.
So impressed were we that we did indeed return to the Bridgewater on Loddon caravan park for a caravan club muster a few years later and in the serendipitous nature of this caravanning life who should we run into but friends from Mackay whom we were to first meet in Charters Towers on this Rollingstone trip. My apologies dear reader if I’ve totally confused you!