Day 2 Monday 6/6/2022, Tocumwal to Berrigan, 13 degrees sunny with an icy breeze
Gosh the van was buffeted last night. But, it was warm as toast and I slept for 11 hours. Of course, Woody was up early and went for his regular morning walk.
Oh, the joy of breakfast with warm bright sunshine streaming through the windows and hundreds of white corellas, wheeling and screeching over the river. This is the essence of The Murray.
We stop in town for a coffee at the Bookshop Cafe, a cosy little spot with a table full of retired farmers beside us yapping away happily. How do I know they’re farmers? It’s all in the drawl and having grown up on the land I’m instantly transported to my Aunt’s living room when old friends drop in.
We take the Newell Highway up to Finley. The highway is being widened. And not before time as it isn’t even divided at present. We’re surprised at how busy Finley is. The last few times we’ve been through here have been Covid lockdown years when things have been incredibly quiet.
Turning east we follow irrigation channels and paddocks of crops as we approach Berrigan. We’re in a rice growing area now. Berrigan it seems has a name for horse breeding. It is the home of the country’s first racing syndicate and the first rural fire brigade. However, it appears to have seen better days. We count 4 old pubs but only the Federal is now operating, though another is under renovation. And speaking of renovation, the old St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Chanter Street and the manse next door have been sensitively restored as attractive private homes. The agricultural supplies store and the bakery seem to be the busiest places in town.
The Berrigan Caravan Park is in a peaceful setting with grassy sites under pine trees and as neat as a pin. The relieving managers tell us they’ve downsized to a house in Melbourne’s outer suburbs, but have only slept one night in it as they quickly hit the road to enjoy a life of semi-retirement. After working up in The Daintree during Covid their current aim now is to eventually settle in South Australia.
I take another walk around town, in a different direction this time and I’m confronted by 6 lost sheep roaming in the grounds of the Anglican Church. Perhaps they’re the gardeners or is this what they mean when they refer to ‘the flock’?
Still living off meals we prepared before leaving home, we have Curry Prawn Pies for dinner. At least we made it to Berrigan.
Accom: $30.00 (power, water, toilets, showers, laundry, dump point)
Towing Kms: 43kms (phew, that was a big day)