Day 85 – 27 Sep 2012 – at Nhill

Lovely quiet night. Once again we woke to find many of our fellow travellers had already left the Park – before 7.00am. They either have a long way to go, or are just early risers.

We talked to a couple parked not far from us – they live at Balgal Beach (just out of Townsville) so we had a few things in common. However, different to us, they have been on the road for over 2 years – working when and where they can. He was in the electrical trade and she was a hairdresser.

We left the Park around 9.45 and turned off the road a few kilometres outside of Waikerie – heading south. For a short time we followed the Murray River. It is amazing just how much this River turns and winds around in this part of S.A. We stopped at Pinaroo for lunch. As we are still in the ‘fruit fly zone’, we went to the local supermarket and just purchased enough fruit for lunch. We were quite surprised at the size of this town and just how well set out it was. The weather was finally calm (after all the wind we have had on and off for over a week now) but by the time we sat down for lunch the temperature was up to 30C.

Hay bales and old tyres used to advertise Pinaroo Show

Every town seems to have some sort of festival/show/ and in Pinarroo’s case it is the annual show and they had this innovative way of advertising it as you can see from this photo, using hay bales and old tyres.

We have noticed a large amount of gazanias growing all along the roadsides now and the orange and yellow colours did look rather nice, although I do not like these flowers all that much. We wondered if they are indigenous to South Australia, but have discovered they are indigenous to South Africa etc., but here in Australia they are called ‘naturalised’. Very interesting. They are certainly widespread. They do well in poorer soils and are drought tolerant so no wonder they do well here in South Australia as it is a very dry State.

Gazanias along the roadside

We saw no wild life except for the occasional stumpy tailed lizard attempting to cross the road — again. They must have suicidal tendencies because they certainly take a risk crossing these busy highways!.

Once past the National Park area, we came to farming land. The crops were mostly canola and oats/barley/wheat and some vetch and they did look good. Many of the paddocks had centre pivot irrigators installed – we presume all the water comes from bores because there was no surfance water around.

We stopped at Bordertown where we re-fuelled before now heading on the Duke’s Highway. We crossed the Victorian Border around 3.00pm. Another time change. We reckon it took us so long to get used to the 2 hour difference in W.A., and then the 45 minute difference at Caiguna, and then the 45 minute difference at Ceduna and now we have gone all the way back to Eastern Standard Time —– realising in a short while Victoria will go to Day light saving time.  AAAHHHHH! My mobile will not change automatically, but Ian’s phone does, so that helps us to make sure we have set our watches correctly.

The countryside beside this highway was absolutely beautiful.

Crops just out of Bordertown, S.A.

All the crops looked magnificent and it would appear that they have had a good start to the season. We saw some silage being baled. We still have seen very few livestock – just the odd flock of sheep and a few head of cattle. They must be somewhere, just not beside the roads we are driving on.After travelling so far over 18500 Km over nearly all states and having never visited this part of Victoria I can truly say that the WHOLE countryside just looks magnificent.The only area that comes close in our opinion is the area around Port Lincoln where the crops were comparable but the other paddocks were nowhere near as good as those around Kaniva and Nhill.

We planned to stay at Kaniva, just over the border, but when driving through the town we missed the sign to the caravan park, so kept driving another 45 kms or so to Nhill. It is a very small caravan park here and there are only a few vans. Peak season is finished! We walked about 20  minutes into the town and refreshed our pantry with fruit and vegetables as we were not allowed to bring any of these over the border into Victoria. We were pleasantly surprised just how large the town itself is, although it was disappointing to see a lot of empty shops in the main street.

It is still warm (around 27C) at 6.30 pm but the sun is setting and the cockatoos outside in the nearby trees are making a racket so it is a lovely peaceful evening  in the country.


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