33 comments on “Red Cliffs and blue skies.

  1. Poor old river … dammed into submission. I remember it in flood, back in the 50s – a mighty roaring river then, but really, no match for any of the great rivers of the world, and I suppose that’s it’s charm. 🙂

    • There is constant fightng over water allocation and that is just sad. One look shows that the poor old girl needs better flow to get back to even a shadow of her former self. 😦
      If the Murray was one of those raging and terrifying rivers it wouldn’t have been the big wet highway it was and so the old stories would have been very different wouldn’t they?

      I would love to see the river during a big flood, those banks are so deep that an amazing amount of water would be able to be (sort of) contained there. What a sight it would be!

      • I wonder if they ever get big floods now – like last year, and the year before, when they had record rains in Queensland and Victoiria? Poor old river is right – there’re just too many competing demands for water from our parched land – throw us all back from whence we came, I say (i don’t really, but it’s incredible what damage we (non-indiginous humans) do to our environments, isn’t it?

        • I think that the water from those big floods headed towards Lake Eyre, that has had water in it for a few consecutive years now and seems to be having some of the best conditions seen for decades.

          Every time we do a long trip I marvel at the fact that we bother to farm away from the mountain ranges at all, as soon as we get into the flatter centre there is no water and no topsoil and trying to wring something out of it is just too hard on the land.

          • Yes, i heard about Lake Eyre filling two years in a row – which means some water must have gone down the Darling – the poor, poor Darling.

            I remember – no topsoil, and much of the subsoil is clay … the place certainly isn’t a western garden of eden. But what a fascinating place it is. I’ll enjoy reacquainting myself with the land 🙂

          • No matter how arid places are they still have an amazing fascination if you look at them the right way. We live in a very green place and each time we go into a dry place it just blows me away that anything can survive, let alone thrive, there. I am sure that you will find many forgotten loves in Australia when you return here 🙂

          • Oh well, now you have an excuse to see all the bits of Aus you want. Maybe you need a campervan instead of a house!

            We are having a great holiday, we are still in Broken Hill trying to decide where to go next!

          • Somebody suggested a campervan to me just the other day! But it won’t do at all – not these days! I’ve found I’m not keen to be on the move any more, I like spending time in a place, putting down roots and learning about it from the ground up. A compromise of some sort will have to be reached, but first, I’ll get myself home.

            I’ll look forward to seeing where it is you decide to go next … 🙂

          • It is amazing how many older people we meet on the road that have not been home for years. The Grey Nomad is taking over Australia! As we drove from Red Cliffs to Broken Hill 90% of the vehicles were cars towing caravans.

            I was talking to a couple from WA who were on their way home to see their grandchildren for the first time in 2 years yesterday. Some of them have budgies and pot plants and dogs, all the comforts of home. Caravans are not the same as my grandparents had anymore, they have bathrooms and washing machines and wine fridges!

            I will be interested in all of your back-to-Australia stories when you return 🙂

          • I’ve been hearing about the grey nomads, courtesy of The Australian Network – the good old ABC’s foreign service TV. One thing I learned was that they’re a hazard – responsible for most of the traffic accidents out there, where they’ve no experience of the driving conditions …

          • I think that the sheer number of Grey Nomads would make it seem as though they are a road problem but I suspect that they are no more of a problem than a family who are on a schedule and have to be back at work and haven’t seen everything they want to yet.

            Most of the G.N’s we speak to are in no hurry to get anywhere (like us) and have been on the road regularly for most of their retirements. The ones who overtake us on the highways going at huge speeds are usually the younger families or 4WDs full of young blokes and swags. The G.N’s are most likely to slow the traffic to the speed limit!

          • It wasn’t speed actually, that was the problem, according to the news story I saw from Queensland. The problem, according to police occurs when the unexpected happens on outback roads – roos, road trains, changed road conditions, etc. – and city drivers, unaccustomed to handling such heavy/unweildy vehicles in these sort of conditions loose control. I don’t remember whether statistics are showing the increase in fatalities and serious injury or whether the Queensland police were acting on anecdotal evidence so far, but they talked about it being a serious issue in remote areas that hadn’t existed, even a decade ago.

          • The great Australian dream these days seems to be pack up the 4wd and go around the country. Most younger people who travel to remote areas only do it once a year, if that. I haven’t heard that the Grey Nomads were a particular problem but they may well be. Down in Vic we wouldn’t hear about that kind of road problem in QLD.

            Any driver of any age who is in unfamiliar conditions is a hazard. I can’t tell you how annoyed I am when I am driving through the high speed windy bit on the way home from work and fly up behind a slow driver braking in all the worst spots and creeping through. City drivers in the country are a danger, I am probably as much of a danger in the city when I just want everyone to make better lane choices and get the hell out of my way! 😉

          • It’s strange you should say that about the new Great Australian Dream – just the other day a young friend told me she and her hub have dreams of doing just that and as a first step, have bought a new car capable of towing the beast!

          • It’s strange you should say that about the new Great Australian Dream – just the other day a young friend told me she and her hub have dreams of doing just that and as a first step, have bought a new car capable of towing the beast! Not me, frankly – spent a year in a van going around Europe – that’s enough cramped living quarters for one lifetime 🙂

          • We know people who have done the same thing. I doubt that many of them will ever make it ‘up north’ or ‘over to the west’ but everyone has to have a dream and that is as good as any.

            As I write this I am sitting under a tree, on my right are large comfy caravans full of older people all sitting back in their chairs enjoying the sunset and the company of new friends. On my left are families with frazzled mums trying to make dinner out in front of their canvas camper trailers while keeping an eye on their crazed offspring.
            We are in the middle, a medium sized caravan, kids quietly amusing themselves and relaxed, the Man is making dinner. I really wouldn’t want to be one of those facility deficient frazzled mums!

            New caravans these days have showers and toilets and all the comforts of home, it is no wonder the older generation don’t want to go home, and it is no wonder all the young ones aspire for a little more comfort!

          • Ahhha! Seems you’re having a marvellous holiday – The Man making the dinner, offspring amusing themselves, time for introspection/blogging/people-watching. Are you still in Alice Springs? Where did you decide to head to next? How long are the September holidays in Victoria?

          • We are having a very relaxing time. We haven’t made it back to Alice this time, it is a bit further that our petrol budget will allow. We are still in Broken Hill, trying to decide where to go next. At this rate we will be here until we have to go home!

            September holiday are for 2 weeks, we left a week before and are staying out for a week longer, 2 weeks are just not enough to properly relax. You just start to feel it and you are back to the reality of life.

          • Ooops! i’m sorry – I knew you were in Broken Hill – for some reason I had forgotten! I know what you mean about grabbing the month – aren’t we lucky to have retained that luxury when almost everywhere else in the world is restricted to two weeks, or three at the most?

          • We certainly are, the Man even has long service leave stashed away waiting for him to reach the end of his tether at work 😉 3 months of paid leave is almost like winning tatts!

  2. Nice piece of trivia. I hadn’t realised “it is the third longest navigable river in the world”. The G.O. said he knew that, and “it’s debatable when it runs dry”, and “if they didn’t keep irrigating the bastard it wouldn’t be [debatable]… sums it up really. Back to me. I agree with your description “miserable looking cartoon fly”, and it sounds like you’ve had a lovely unhurried trip, the way it should be 🙂

    • Thanks 🙂 I knew it was one of the biggest but I was surprised to find it in the top three. I agree with the GO’s “if they didn’t keep irrigating the bastard it wouldn’t be” too. The poor river certainly can be a sad sight.

      When we were in Echuca a few years ago the shed, under the dock, where you walk down to board the paddlesteamer has a flood marker up the wall marking the levels and the years. The big floods would have been unbelievable as those marks were well above the top of the paddlesteamer as it rode in the water below us.

      We are having a relaxed time, we only just decided on Broken Hill as our next destination as I was writing this post! Planning is not really our thing when we are away 😀

    • I’m glad you like them 🙂 we are not doing too bad distance wise but we don’t really push ourselves too hard, we like the trip as much as the destination. The further north we go the warmer and drier it is, I doubt we will see much rain from now on, although anything is possible!

  3. I’ve only been ‘on’ the Murray when we went for a ride on a paddle steamer but I have to say the river there at Red Cliffs looks a hell of a lot better than I remember it! Still not as impressive as you’d expect it to be but not bad. 🙂

    Enjoy your time by the water coz all I can remember of the area around Broken Hill is constant red dust that gets into everything!

    Lots more pics too please 😀

    • I am sitting under a tree in Broken Hill at the moment, watching the sunset, trying to summon up enough motivation to write something….. I love holidays 🙂

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