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June 8, 2014


Well, we arrived here at Wentworth which is a small town at the junction of the Darling & Murray Rivers, and also the site of the weir & lock 10, last Thursday & only intending to stay here for the night then head up to Pooncarie for a couple of nights with the day trip out to Mungo NP, hoping to do the 70k loop drive which was closed in 2009 when we were first there.
But, all good plans can come to an abrupt halt, as ours certainly did.
Left here rather early & headed to the servo for fuel. All good until we left there & drove out over the gutter & as straightened up in the street heard this awful noise from somewhere. Bruce looked in rear vision mirror to see the front wheel of the van rather crooked!. Pulled into park & got out to find the stub axle broken. Just so thankful we were not on a highway.

Anyway, next minute a lady arrives & hands us a part she saw fall off at the time of the noise ( do not know what it is called). Just after that a mechanic walked over to us, got under the van with the comment “I can help you”. He took the wheel off etc then we followed him to his workshop around the corner. He worked out what was needed to repair the problem, rang Adelaide with specific details etc etc. All good, they would make what was needed & get it on the transport up to Mildura Monday then it would be here Tuesday morning.
Part arrived Tuesday as promised, BUT, they had not made what Mick the mechanic had told them to do, so he rang Adelaide & gave them the same instructions, then he rang us. Bugger. This part will arrive at Mildura this afternoon (Wednesday) but to late to get delivered up here to Wentworth , about 35ks. Mick is going to be at Mildura in the am to collect & bring it here himself so we have to have the van to him by 8.30. Now that is what I call service from a typical country town.
Contacted RACQ about paying our van park fees through Ultra Care, not a problem. Seven days up to $200/day! Pity there is not a place here with a $200/day room. This is only the 2nd time Ultra Care has been used in 54 years of membership so getting a little back from them.
Had thought about taking a day trip up to Mungo Friday or Saturday but this time the weather turned against us & the looP road was closed again.
Here are a few photos from our other trip there.

The markets were on over at Red Cliffs on Sunday so that is where we went for the day. Was a cold windy day but at least the sun was shining. Bought some fruit, had a coffee & met up with Sandra & Dennis. Went back out to have another look at the Red Cliffs beside the Murray.

When I was taking the second photo there were 4 young Asians standing outside the fence right on the cliff top- why do they have to do this? Obviously climbed the fence! Just laughed when I said the fence was there for a reason.
Back into town to go see Big Lizzie again.

This is how she looks now after being restored.

This area is a very large grape growing area & driving along there are many vines which have just been left to deteriorate as well as vines full of grapes simply because the cost to harvest is not worth the returns. There must have been good money at some time because there certainly are some magnificent farm homes and the other end of the spectrum some homes that look as though the doors were closed & abandoned- so sad but that is the life of a Primary Producer in bad times.
Took a drive out to the river junction on Monday then to the lock 10.

The Darling is on the left of the junction.
This is a 2009 photo which shows the dirty Darling & the clean Murray.

This was on the Wentworth for a cruise up the Darling & Murray in 2009.

This house boat had 4 couples from Geelong who were on their way down the Darling & then about to turn up the Murray to return to Mildura.

This morning we were fortunate to see a boat going through the lock.

These taken on Sunday & the following this morning in a very heavy fog even at 9.30am.

Sunrise through the clouds & the sun shining on the dew on the plants. There are many different varieties of water life here on the river. the pelican below di not move until I was about 2 ft from him. I though it was asleep but then noticed his eye open.

This mornings fog over the river.

Old Wentworth goal ( spelt this way at the time it was built).

Thought that the sunset rather nice shining in the gum trees beside our van.

This past week we have been parked beside a couple from Ballarat who have been great company. Have invited us to their 20 acres after we leave Halls Gap on the 15th.
This morning, Friday 6th we took the van to the mechanic to get the new axle fitted. As promised Mick had driven to Mildura to collect the 2nd axle.
The 2 of them worked & had job completed by 10.30am .
The quality of service at Wentworth Motors I would recommend to anyone- just typical small country town service. Even if it cost big dollars.

After the old axle was removed & on inspection there is a crack on the other side as well! We have all old parts except the axle so took photos of the crack to show the manufacturers.

With Rob & Kath we are having a BBQ this evening before going our separate ways. This was last nights drinkies.

Kath & I went for an hours walk this afternoon before using the camp kitchen to cook dinner. Going to be cold to-night as there is no cloud cover at all. The nights have been warm previously which has been great.
A few photos from our walk. Did not do the full length as the clouds were getting too heavy & we certainly did not want to get wet!

This paddle steamer “Ruby” is in the process of being restored which is a great thing to try to keep the “paddle steamer “ era alive.

FRIDAY 6.6.14
At last we were able to leave the peaceful Willow Bend van park at Wentworth & say goodbye to new friends.

This wooden sculpture is beside the cafe as you leave the van park. Headed for Mildura then down to Walpeup for a couple of nights.

The highway down to Ouyen revealed that we were once again travelling though grain country, but not a lot to see as road side lined with trees.

We did not stop here but turned west for another 30k to Walpeup.

This is a tiny public park with clean amenities and a washing machine, $2 per wash. Cost is $10pn & even though beside the Mallee highway, which surprisingly, is not a busy highway. Fees are put in an honesty box on the amenity block wall. Local shop is a 2 min walk from the park.
Yesterday we did a trip out to the Murray-Sunset NP, minus the van as had decided to stay here 3 nights.
Drove west towards Linga where we turned off the the NP.
The way this crop was sown was very different.

Note that there is a difference in the space between the sown seed and the wider rows obviously sown later than the other. Son-in-law possibly will know the reason.
The road put to NP had just been graded and because of the late fog the sun was shining on the dam leaves.

Lake Hardy was the first Lake we saw & that is the beginning of one drive, the Pioneer Drive, which is the one we decided to travel by going up the centre of the photo to Red dam then around to the T junction & back to the bottom of the photo.
There are well set up camp sites throughout the park with each having a BBQ pit. Drop loos are at each area with a water tank but not for drinking as it is untreated rainwater. The best day for viewing is an overcast day & unfortunately there were only a few clouds up above. When the sun did get behind a cloud then the pink was much more pronounced.

These salt mounds are fascinating. They are rock solid with unusual formations & colours.


The hole in the rock was curved so could not actually see how far it went inside. managed to get camera in to show that it it totally white. Was a little scared that something might come out of the hole but cannot imagine anything living in salt.

The water is crystal clear & extremely salty with the bed of the lakes solid salt and a species of red algae gives the lakes their colouring.

There were a group of 8 who looked as though they were off for more than a day’s hike but the looks of their back packs.

This was probably the pinkest we saw all day.

The Grub Track is definately 4WD only. The 2nd photo shows the road back to the highway with grain fields either side.

A couple of the old buildings in Underbool, which, when driving through the town, looks small, but we decided to go off the highway & it is much bigger that obvious.
Back to our van for the afternoon & a SCAN (senior citizens afternoon nap). The lady who cleaned the amenity block came for a chat about 5pm so we asked her where the Town Mural could be seen.
This morning we did as she suggested and went to the store to get the key for the Memorial Hall which houses the Mural.

[Wentworth, Red Cliffs,Big Lizzie,Pink


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One Comment
  1. You have been busy, no wonder you needed a scan, lovely photography as well

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