Day 3

A big day!

The day started at the Balranald Takeaway which opened early despite it being Good Friday. Two cups of surprisingly good coffee, a cheese and ham toastie and bacon and egg roll and we were on the road at 8:20am.

We headed west to Euston through flat country covered with scrubby bush and the odd sandy paddock. Not much to see apart from the inevitable road kill.

As we approached Euston we broke out of the bush to intensive horticulture with lots of grapes. The town is tiny, sits on the Murray River but has the very flash Euston Club Resort. A little incongruous in the circumstances and no doubt thriving on the pokies!

What gambling can buy

It was the first time we’d seen the Murray which was grey/green and despite the drought looking quite full. Environmental flows?

We didn’t stay long and headed further west to Mildura through more scrub – Mallee Scrub in this case. As we got closer to Mildura the farms became more organized. Huge areas of land tilled and ready to plant or covered with last season’s stubble. Nearer to Mildura once again more grapes. In fact it seems anywhere there is water Aussies grow grapes and make wine.

Mildura was actually a bigger and nicer town than we’d expected and is just across the border in Victoria. Population about 30,000. Probably a nice retirement location and again situated on the Murray with some lovely old houses in the back streets.

There was a vintage and exotic car exhibition going on in the Main Street. There was a huge crowd with lots of large people in singlets and shorts – what is it about big cars with big engines that attracts women with big bums? Is that Queen I can hear playing in the background?

Some of the Mildura crowd

A big car with a big engine!

We had a cup of coffee, filled the bike with petrol and headed further west. Once again flat open country, more huge fields and very long straight roads. On one section we did 15, 8, 9 and 16km straights with only a gentle curve between them.

Flat as ……

Straight as …..

Just before Renmark and close to the border with South Australia we passed through a very smart, well set up fruit fly control stop. The idea being not to take fruit into SA in case it was infected. It was notable that the more public spirited travelers tossed their bananas and apples on the side of the road well in advance. By this stage it was getting hot so I guess any fruit fly would have been short lived in the conditions!

We got to Remark in time for a late lunch. Renmark again sits on the Murray. Seems to have a thriving tourist industry and has lots of gorgeous roses in public spaces.

Renmark on the river

More petrol for the bike and this time started to head south west.

We passed through lots of small towns each about 50kms apart – Barmera, Waikerie, Blanchetown, and Annandale. All close to water so some agriculture going on.

Getting close to Truro we went across a very large flat basin and then up onto the range at Accommodation Hill, Dutton East. There’s a pull in at the top of the hill with an amazing view back over the way we’d come and a fence covered with soft toys – hundreds of them! Apparently the local farmer started it all by putting a gorilla which he found on the side of the road on the fence and the idea took off.

The view from Accommodation Hill

Soft toys

The only other thing of note is that at the top of Accommodation Hill, in the middle of next to nowhere, they’ve got broadband! But not in Wahroonga on Sydney’s upper N Shore in Sydne.

In case you felt like streaming a movie

We went trough Truro and then Noriootpa and after that started to skirt the Barossa. At that point we joined the freeway and finally got to the outskirts of Adelaide.

A long day with 575kms covered and some amazing scenery and places to see. Pretty good to check into the Mayfair for a shower though!

End of day 3

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