Day 59 – A Bit of a Grind – Loxton to near Moorook

Distance: 39km
Time in Boat: 7hrs

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mums.

Today was a hard one.

I got up early and was on the water by 7am. Something I have discovered is that the first paddle stroke you take is a pretty good indicator of how your day is going to be. Today it felt like I was pulling the blade through wet cement. I knew right away it was going to be tough.

My shoulders were really achy and for the first hour I pretty much only did half strokes as not to extent my shoulder muscles too much. The morning was also really grey and overcast, so this didn’t help with the mood too much.

After 3 hrs I had only covered about 16km, which is a lot less than I normally do (I average about 7.5km an hour). My shoulders felt like they were grinding in the sockets.

After a short break on the side of the river I decided to snap out of my grey mood and suck up the pain. The sun also started breaking through which also helped. I increased my pace a bit and got in with the job.

Today was one of the first long straight days. Before now a long stretch of river before you get to a bend would be about 2km. Today there was one stretch of the river that was 8km long and even the bend at the end was very minimal. Paddling long stretches can get pretty boring. I decided to put the Hamilton soundtrack on and distract myself a bit. The fact that I listened to almost the entire soundtrack before getting to the end of the straight bit shows how long it was.

A long straight section

About 2km before my planned campsite, I reached the small town of Moorook South. It has a lovely park on the riverfront but more importantly it has a general store just across the road. If ever I needed a reward at the end of the paddle, today was the day. I treated myself to a burger with the lot and ate in about 5 mouthfuls. I then spent some time lying on the grass l, digesting and procrastinating getting back in my boat to paddle the last 15 mins.

A satisfying lunch in Moorook South
Digesting on the grass in Moorook South

My campsite tonight is at a place called Campsite 6 (very imaginative) in the Moorook Game Reserve. It is a lovely spot with easy water access and very peaceful (of course two 4wds drove past as I wrote that). Being that it is a Sunday night, hopefully all the weekend campers will have gone home.

Campsite 6

I have 36km planned for tomorrow and then 30km to Waikerie the following day. Depending on how my shoulders are tomorrow, I may switch those distances and make tomorrow a bit shorter.

Time to go and sit by the river and drink a cup of tea.

The view from Campsite 6

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