From: Doolans Bend
Distance to Go: 2080km
“I haven’t ever seen it this low”… If I hear that from a local again I think I will cry. I think I talked to about 5 people today, all of who were amazed at how low it was. Not only is it incredibly low it is also really slow. So today was another long day of solid paddling.
It was always going to be another epically long day, with 56km to cover in order to get to Corowa. I deliberately got on the water just before sunrise in order to maximise the number hours of daylight I would have. Unfortunately, once I was on the water, it took me a while to get motivated to actually start paddling. However, I put on an audio book and quickly got into “the zone”.
I did soon realise my body was tired and it wasn’t long until my lower back started to ache. By lunch time it was getting really sore and I was doing a lot of squirming in my seat to try to get comfortable. At lunchtime I took an anti-inflammatory and shoved a sponge between my lower back and the back of my seat which seemed to do the trick and my back was much better for the afternoon.
I actually don’t really remember much of the paddle today because I got so engrossed in the book I was listening to. So I will write about that instead. The book was one I had never read, but is apparently a classic, called “My Side of the Mountain” by Jean Craighead George. It was written in the 1950s and is actually aimed at children, but it is a great story and good for adults too. It is about a boy who runs away from home to go and live in the forest in the Catskill Mountains in New York. It is just a nice story of adventure and what it is like to live off the land and survive in the wild. It is a bit like a sanitised version of “Into The Wild” by Jon Krakauer (with a much happier ending). Thanks Paul for recommending this to me the other day.
So after 9 hours of listening to my book (and paddling), I eventually arrived in Corowa at around 4pm. I am staying at the Corowa Caravan Park tonight. Unfortunately the boat ramp at the park was about a metre above the waterline, so I had to unpack all the gear and carry the boat out of the water. As I was walking up to reception to check in, Ed, the owner of the park appeared in his car with an empty trailer to give me a ride to the other end of the park. He had done the same for Amy, one of the other paddlers on the Murray, a couple of weeks ago. He was so keen to help, but I had to explain that one of the rules I have set for my journey is that I have to walk (with my kayak) if I am not paddling it.
Speaking of Amy, she took a photo of the boat ramp (with Ed standing on it) when she was here. Here is that photo and what it looks like today. Just a slight difference.
You can view Amy’s videos on her YouTube channel “Amy Outdoors”
After checking in and dumping my gear, I walked into town to find that pretty much everything was closed (being a Sunday night in a country town), so I settled for a burger and milkshake at the local take away.
Tomorrow was planned to be another 50+ kilometre day, followed by a 20km day across Lake Mulwala to Yarrawonga the following day. I had structured it this way because I wanted give myself a shorter distance for the lake crossing as it would not have any flow to assist. However, since there is basically no flow on the river now, I am going re-adjust things to make the two days a little bit more even. So I will probably will end up camping somewhere near the Collendina State Forest tomorrow night.
I saw the movie “My Side of the Mountain” as a kid and remember really enjoying it 🙂