Day 186: 2 December – Exploring the Riverland

Author: Mrs A

Location: Renmark & surrounds

We survived a stormy night of strong winds and rain, and the River Murray remained at the same level without flooding. We didn’t have to test whether the caravan could also cope with being a houseboat. The morning dawned dry but still very windy, the temperatures now not getting higher than 20 degrees.

We decided a walk might be in order so headed to Banrock Station which had an 8km wetlands walk I had read about. Banrock Station usually is known for its wine – not something we usually drink – they specialise in the cask or ‘red’/’white’ variety. We were not intending having a drink there.

We arrived at the Station – a fancy glass and wood building with a bar, restaurant and fabulous views across the vineyards and wetlands. Banrock Station puts a proportion of its profits into restoring its wetland ecosystem and has some programs in place to bring back a number of plants from the brink of extinction, including the spiny daisy.

I registered our intention to do the walk and was provided with a CB radio – they take safety pretty seriously here and there have been several poisonous snakes observed on the track. As I turned around to see whether Mr A had returned from picking up his binoculars from the car, a stranger asked me ‘Excuse me, are you Catherine?’.

Last time I heard that question from someone I didn’t know it was in Geraldton from a stalker/blog follower (now friend!). This time it was not the situation. ‘Your husband has fallen over out by the car park’ was the next sentence. Not what I expected at all!

Mr A had indeed stumbled on a wash out on the footpath from last night’s downpour, and had twisted his ankle and grazed his knee. He was sitting on the floor feeling very sorry for himself. The lady who was checking me in to the walk rushed out behind me with the medical kit, assessed the situation and returned with a couple of witches hats to warn others of the hazard. Mr A was more embarrassed than anything.

He hobbled back into the station and we were immediately offered free coffees – we selected hot chocolates instead, but it was very kind of them nevertheless. The laughter was very nervous when Mr A joked he was going to sue them.

So, an 8km walk was off the table. We enjoyed our hot chocolates and did a short hobble down to the wetlands to a bird hide. There were not too many birds to see through the hide, in fact more to see in the hide with a couple of Welcome Swallow nests up in the rafters!Leaving Banrock Station we drove back to Renmark. On a windy, overcast and relatively cool day it looked quite bleak. Most of the streets were shut off in anticipation of this evening’s Christmas Pagent – held at night due to the usually high temperatures. It was 37 degrees centigrade here on Thursday. Today it barely peaked 17! What climate change?

Instead we returned to camp. I took Tassie out for a short walk and we chatted to our neighbours (who gave us a freshly caught and steamed Murray River Yabbie to taste) before the cooling temperatures and strong winds drove us all indoors for the evening. A dinner of satay pork and vegetables was whipped up, and accompanied by a glass or two of Claymore Blackbird Sangiovese from the Clare Valley.

Our evening’s Netflix viewing was interrupted only by the gorgeous sun setting over the river – worth a dash out to photograph. Just in case you’re in need of a new Netflix addiction, we can recommend ’12 Monkeys’ – it’s a goodie!

3 Replies to “Day 186: 2 December – Exploring the Riverland”

  1. Hope Mark recovers from his fall soon. thanks for the Netflix recommendation. I can strongly recommend Bloodline if you haven’t done that one already, I’m about to start Season 2. Schitt’s Creek is also very funny if you haven’t seen it.

    1. Ooh thank you. – will have to hunt down some Wifi to download. We’ve watched all of The Good Wife (which we thought was a lame title but great show), Suits, Orphan Black, and are also enjoying Designated Survivor, Fargo and The Blacklist 🙂 There have been more, but I’d have to think!

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