From: 1904 Beach
Distance to Go: 1869km
It rained a fair bit last night. Fortunately the tarp that I put up over the tent worked really well and the tent was completely dry this morning. I did have to get up at around 10.30pm to adjust the tarp slightly because it was pooling water and every now and then there would be a rush of water as it dumped it out on the the sand. I tried to put up with it for a while but it was very loud and very random, so I had to do something about it. After I adjusted it by lowering one of the sides, it worked perfectly and I had an uninterrupted sleep for the rest of the night.
Today’s paddle was very chilled. The water was pretty shallow in parts because the river has got considerably wider. The sun came out at around 9am, so the morning was very delightful and even got pretty warm. I was looking forward to getting to Tocumwal and having a leisurely bakery lunch in the park by the Big Murray Cod. Unfortunately as I approached Tocumwal, the clouds started coming over and the wind picked up, so it was not as pleasant as I had hoped.
I pulled up by the boat ramp in town and changed into my “city clothes” (I.e. I put a pair of pants on over my thermals and board shorts) and got all my valuables out of the boat to take with me. I then walked the 200m up to the main road. The only thing I needed from the supermarket was some more methylated spirits for my stove, so I popped into the IGA. I then visited to the bakery and got myself some lunch and a coffee. Being that it was not such a nice day and that I had left my boat by the boat ramp, I decided to head back to the boat and ate my lunch on the edge of the river by the boat ramp.
It didn’t take long to start getting cold, so I packed all the gear back into the boat and started paddling again. I only had about another 15km to go to get to the planned campsite at Woperana in the Murray Valley National Park, which meant I could take it pretty easy. I arrived at camp at around 2.30pm and found it too be a lovely campsite with a nice view of the water and enough firewood for me to have a decent campfire.
One of the interesting observations today was the large number of people that have set up camp on the Victoria side of the river. There are families and large groups have set up large tent and caravan cities along the banks. I assume they are sitting out the lockdown in the caravans or have no fixed address. Or they are just hiding out while the lockdown is on. I think the border towns are pretty relaxed when it comes to checking up on people and where they are from or where they should be.
I have a pretty long day tomorrow. I need to do about 50km to get to the next section of the Murray Valley National Park on the NSW side of the river. There are no designated campsites in this part of the National Park, so I need to allow myself plenty of time to find somewhere suitable to pitch my tent. The restrictions for regional Victoria are meant to be easing up tonight at midnight. Unfortunately I have no internet at this campsite, so I don’t know what the latest is on this and I also don’t know what the NSW government’s position is about about people crossing the border from Victoria into NSW. The current position is that if you come from Victoria into NSW you have to go into a 7 day lockdown at your home. Hopefully they will ease this restriction for people coming from regional Victoria.
I have finished another audio book today. I have been mixing it up a bit and have listened to a variety of genres (ranging from deep to trash). They include:
Well, the temperature is starting to drop now that the sun has gone down, so it is time to add another log to the fire and maybe make a cup of hot chocolate.