Day 34 – Thursday 31 August & Day 35 – Friday 1 September.

Day 34. Thursday 31 August.

We leave Adelaide behind. The weather, family and friends have been good to us.

Apart from a brief stop at BWS to restock, Nurioopta for a coffee and fresh provisions and a walk through Barmera’s main street, we just drove, ending up, perhaps appropriately at Psyche Pumps Lagoon a few kilometres out of Mildura, near to King Billy Lagoon where we had stayed previously. Barmera is a sad town with many empty shopfronts but we didn’t find out the cause of the demise. Presumably, it’s like so many small towns where agricultural labour is no longer needed. Apart from the odd vehicle passing on the dirt access road, we had the Mildura spot to ourselves. We had tentative plans to go to Stefano’s for a meal, but the logistics after a long day were too hard. A campfire dinner, with T exclaiming that the bbq sausages were the best meal she’d had on the trip. Finally subverted!

Day 35. Friday 1 September: Spring has arrived.

Did we write that we had the spot to ourselves? Only if you exclude the chorus of feathered friends who woke us in the early morning – a Butcherbird, Magpies, Magpie Larks, Noisy Miners, Swamp Hens, and Parrots. We were delighted to meet them and share their joy at another lovely day. And the first day of Spring!

Mildura provided a coffee and a visit to the Mildura Arts Centre – three exhibitions: Badger Bates, the Harris Brothers (both of those were indigenous art) and a Kylie Minogue travelling expo, primarily of her costumes and dress items, backed by a huge screen playing some of her notable concerts (none of which, sad to say, D nor T had ever heard of – is that un-Australian?) The security girl minding the Kylie exhibition sighed when T announced that she wasn’t interested in this gallery but was looking for the Badger Bates.

Another long day on the road and we’re back to the beginning – stopping at the same spot on the Murrimbidgee that we used on Day 2 – 30 July, the only difference being that the dead sheep that was a good 500 metres away on the side of the river is now less than 10 metres away below the bank, and unreachable to push out to float away. We therefore cop the occasional whiff of rotting carcass but fortunately it doesn’t linger. When we first arrived, T was giving D dark and questioning looks, but he quickly found the real perpetrator. Perhaps it’s fitting that we’re back to the beginning as T’s month of knitting has become a month of unknitting; not only did she discover late this afternoon that she’s been knitting on needles one size too small and that makes the gauge very different but also that the garment is much TOO BIG at the yoke/neckline! The wool is a beautiful fine merino; it won’t end up like that sheep that D has finally dealt with using the shovel.

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