April 2012

April 1 - Robe

What follows is a conversation heard at a cafe in Robe, it involved Mum trying to order breakfast for her 2 little darlings, both under 5:-

“What would you 2 like to eat for breakfast, there’s toast & jam or would you like a muffin, what about an egg on toast, would you like an egg or what about a muffin”

Kids-Yes I’ll have a muffin and I’ll have one too

Mum-So you don’t want an egg or toast?

Kids-start fighting and screaming

Dad-SSSSSHHH, what have I told you about being quiet when we go out, there’s people trying us read (US!), if this continues you’re going in the car

Mum-So is it the muffin then and what do you want to drink?  There’s lovely fresh orange juice or hot chocolate, do you want an orange juice?

Kids-more screaming & fighting, another threat from Dad

Mum-right I’m going to order now, you 2 I’m getting you a muffin &  a hot chocolate, OK?

Kids-more screaming & fighting, Dad now getting VERY SERIOUS with his threats

Mum-is nobody listening to me, it’s like talking to a brick wall, what do you want to eat & drink? I’m fed up with the lot of you.

Frazzled Mum finally ordered, and of course then the kids complained that this wasn’t what they wanted. We wondered why parents give their kids so much choice.  What Greg was saying isn’t printable but those that know him will probably have a clue...

You could tell we’re from the city when we arrived at Robe cinema half an hour before the advertised screening time.  We’re seeing The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and when we purchased the tickets the bloke said we may be the only viewers.  We weren’t as it turned out and after ‘Ol Alberto had stuffed an ice cream into his face we sat ourselves down.  Cinema is a rare treat for us and this was no exception.  Tomorrow we leave Robe so it’s leftovers for dinner and after a dash around the house with a vacuum that really sucked and a chux super wipe, we’re ready for an early night.

April 2 - Robe to Cape Jaffa, 40.41 klms, Avg speed 13.2 kph, Cycling time 3.03 hrs; Total kms 27,199

We didn’t want to leave Polperro this morning, it had been so relaxing & with the wind blowing a frenzy outside it would have been perfect to spend another day there, just to see the water glistening & hear the surf crashing in the distance, just 1 more day please.  We felt despondent, we’d both had this feeling before when we used to go away for weekends in Sydney, come Sunday afternoon this same feeling enveloped us as we hit the highway to hell back to Sydney.  Still, onwards we went to our next destination, this one for the next 8 nights, a budget cabin at Cape Jaffa Caravan Park.  Being Easter it’s bound to rain.  Took us ages to ride all of the 40 klms, 3 hours, rotten wind.  Cape Jaffa’s small, so small I can’t even find its population, the info says it’s nestled on the southern tip of Lacepede Bay with sandy beaches & clean seas apparently perfect for swimming , walking, diving & fishing, there’s also a few wineries dotted around the place too.  There’s no cafes, restaurants, pubs, nothing except a basic general store at the Caravan Park & what looks to be a gastly looking development called Cape Jaffa Anchorage trying to entice some unlucky souls to build there, “comes with your own residential marina” the brochures said.  Riding past this awful, sparsely built place there’s an  awful stink,  it’s so bad it’s nauseating, it’s mountains of rotting seaweed on the beach, another reason not to live here.  Luckily the Caravan Park is in old Cape Jaffa so doesn’t see this hideous thing but it does get the stink now & again when the wind is blowing from the west.  But our cabin is cute, the park is spotlessly maintained by Helen & Peter, the birds are chirping away, it’s blissfully quiet so looks like the perfect place to hibernate from the Easter crowds.  We’ll keep fit anyway, the nearest shop is a round trip of 50 klms & Judy & Jim are coming over from Robe tomorrow for lunch.  Jim and Judy duly arrived at just after midday, just in time for Greg to announce the yard arm had passed and it was time for a beer.   The weather was just perfect and we sat ourselves outside in the shade of some large boxwood gums on the lawn.  As before, both Greg and I really enjoy having people to cook for and entertain.  It’s not often we get to invite people over for a meal, but with limited supplies and limited carrying ability it can be a challenge.  Still I managed to produce a very passable bruschetta (sans the basil), and Greg went to town on a risotto.  He calls it vegetarian, but the man’s a fool as it’s got bacon and chicken stock.  He thinks that any meal not cooked with the sole purpose of eating meat must be vegetarian.  Neanderthal!!  A lovely lunch was had by all and it was well after 5.30p.m when our guests left for their journey home.  We wonder when we might see them again....

April 4  - Cape Jaffa to Kingston SE return, 52.65 klms, Avg speed 18.8 kph, Cycling time 2.48 hrs; Total kms 27,252

Made the trek into Kingston to stock up on supplies, no Easter traffic jams on the back roads in fact not much traffic around at all.  Kingston could do with a decent cafe, saying that we only tried 1 of the 2 there, the bakery serving a locally roasted brew, Mahalia Coffee roasted in Robe.  Mahalia’s a great marketer, her beans are appearing all over South Australia, it’s usually great but depends on the barista, we’ve come to the conclusion that bakeries tend not to serve good coffee.  Still 6 klms from Kingston we saw a sign advertising espresso coffee and decided to call in on our return.  Glad we did, we met Robyn the owner of Sandy Grove who not only runs a relaxed cafe, also serving Mahalia coffee, but also grows olives, strawberries, raspberries & muntries, a native plant producing berries about 1 cm in diameter, green with a tinge of red at maturity & having the flavour of a spicy apple.  After having several cups of Robyn’s great coffee we took a tour of the farm & learnt more about the muntries, all interesting stuff. The remaining days were spend hunched over my new crocheting project or in ‘Ol Albertos case spread on the bed reading “at a hundred miles an hour” he informs me.  The weather has turned and with wind gusts exceeding 80klms/h we were glad to have our cabin.

April 7  - Cape Jaffa to Kingston SE return, 52.07 klms, Avg speed 20.7 kph, Cycling time 2.31 hrs; Total kms 27,304

Another ride into Kingston, the last 5 klms from Wyomi is all along a sealed bike path running next to the beach so it’s a great scenic ride.  Returned again to Sandy Grove, being Easter Robyn was doing a roaring trade dishing up plates of her scones served with lashings of whipped cream & Muntrie jelly, it was hard but we resisted.

April 10  - Cape Jaffa to Kingston SE, 27.55 klms, Avg speed 16.8 kph, Cycling time 1.38 hrs; Total kms 27,332

Our 8 nights at Cape Jaffa flew by & thank god we had the cabin, had the most perfect, sunny, windless day when Jim & Judy came to lunch but after that the weather was wild, windy & cold.   On Good Friday the winds reached 80 kph!  We slipped into a relaxing routine at Cafe Jaffa, lots of reading, crosswords & a new crochet project for me, after 8 days though Crazy Ruby & Horsey were raring to go & so were we, even if only a short ride & 1 night stay to Kingston.  The nights are now getting chilly so for the next few days we’re staying in O’Nite Vans or cabins, we’ve gone soft.  Kingston’s home of the Big Lobster & is the northern gateway to the Southern Ports cray fishing region as well as a popular destination for recreational fishermen, so if you love to fish it’s definitely the place to be.

April 11  - Kingston SE to Salt Creek Road House along The Coorong, 86.82 klms, Avg speed 17.6 kph, Cycling time 4.54 hrs; Total kms 27,419

For the next couple of days we’ll be riding on the Princess Highway passing through The Coorong, a long, shallow lagoon more than 100 klms in length that is separated from the Southern Ocean by a narrow sand dune peninsula.  The Lakes Alexandrina & Albert form the mouth of the River Murray & are comprised of fresh to saline waters.  The Coorong’s fragile ecology depends on getting a mix of fresh water from the Murray & sea water from the ocean.  The shallow lagoons & waterways of the Coorong are home to more than 200 species of birds, including the world’s largest breeding colony of Australian Pelicans.  Unfortunately for the first 86 klms you don’t see any water, the road takes you inland & through dense bush, however, the riding conditions today were superb—warm, blue skies, favourable gentle winds, it was a joy to be out riding.  Only downside was the heavy traffic but luckily there was a great shoulder to ride on.  We stayed in a cabin at Salt Creek Road House & had hamburgers & chips for dinner, naughty but nice, especially the chips!!

April 12  - Salt Creek Road House to Meningie, 63.84 klms, Avg speed 15.3 kph, Cycling time 4.09 hrs; Total kms 27,482

Meningie, situated at the northern end of the Coorong on the shores of Lake Albert it combines all the charm of a small country town with the stunning natural beauty of the Coorong & Lower Lakes of the River Murray.  What a beautiful place, just a peaceful, relaxed waterfront town & being only 150 klms from Adelaide no wonder the Caravan Park gets booked out yearly in advance at Easter.  As we rolled into the Park it was so quiet, not too many caravans, the madness of Easter had come & gone.  Egret 1 was our neat as a pin cabin for the next 2 nights, fantastic value at 52.00 pn & with lake views from our veranda too.  With clear, blue skies, sparkling water & birds tweeting away 2 nights didn’t seem long enough.  We couldn’t make up our minds whether to stay for 3, so stupid as we had no need to press on but in the end 2 it was.  Our relatively tough ride wind wise to get here was soon forgotten.  After drinks & nibbles down by the water’s edge watching a fantastic sunset the chilly air had us scurrying inside where Chef Gregorio prepared one of his delicious vegetable risottos, with 2 huge pots overflowing guess what’s for dinner for the next 3 nights! We’re both beginning to shake now as we haven’t had good coffee since the day we left Cape Jaffa.....

April 14  - Meningie to Wellington, 47.11 klms, Avg speed 15.3 kph, Cycling time 3.03 hrs; Total kms 27,529

938 klms & one month later we’ve just finished our loop ride around the Limestone Coast, some favourite spots—Keith, Mount Gambier, Robe, Coonawarra, Meningie, Beachport but really we still get excited riding into & exploring any new town & you can usually find something pleasant in each town.  So we’re back in Wellington, a great ride here passing large pink salt pans, really nice open countryside with a few small hills to get the blood pumping.  It was hot too, had to say hello to my heat rash again.  Last time we were in Wellington we stayed at “The Welly” Pub in one of their cabins, this time we stayed at the Caravan Park opposite in their bunkhouse.  ‘Ol Alberto had visions of sharing with long legged Dutch beauties, had to break it gently that it only had one set of bunk beds & he’d be sharing with a short legged Pommie dragon.  For consolation I took him to The Welly, always a great place for a beer & dinner watching the ferry come & go.

April 15  - Wellington to Murray Bridge, 42.17 klms, Avg speed 15.7 kph, Cycling time 2.40 hrs; Total kms 27,571

We’re experiencing a heat wave at the moment, seems strange not to be wearing layers early morning, the good news is that this heat wave’s going to continue for the next 6 days, perfect timing to be riding along the River Murray.  On a flying visit to Murray Bridge 6 years ago we didn’t think much of the town so this time contemplated riding straight through to Mannum.  But we changed our mind & have come to stay for 2 nights.  Riding into town (pop 18,000) past some lovely stone houses, the place was deserted, well it was a Sunday but no shops were open except the big shopping mall.  Obviously the folk at Murray Bridge aren’t coffee drinkers but luckily we did find a pizza shop which served “fair coffee”.  We lunched in a park overlooking the River & finished off our ride for the day with a 5 klm hike to The Avoca Dell Caravan Park.  This Park got great reviews & justly deserved—great facilities & fantastic location overlooking the River Murray.  With the weather being so warm out came the tent, hadn’t seen it for 18 days as we’ve been slumming in cabins/o’nite vans.  No sooner had were arrived we were pounced upon by the fella in the caravan next door who had one of the worst hair pieces (think fury road kill and you’ll get the picture)  declared without drawing breath “you can get 12 TV stations, 3 radio stations here, cheap Schnitzel at so & so” & on it went.  I miraculously found washing to do & in the distance I could hear a patient ’Ol Alberto mutter something about 12 TV station no good to us being on bikes, I chuckled to myself.  Time to wash Crazy Ruby & Horsey & then it was into the huge camp kitchen for dinner—’Ol Alberto’s at the stoves again-rosemary & mint lamb shoulder, roast potatoes & pumpkin, brussel sprouts, corn, zucchini, risotto (told yah it would last 3 dinners), ooops, forgot to mention an entree of BBQ’d haloumi & lemon.  Being in a tent has its advantages, we were the only ones in the camp kitchen, everybody else was glued to the tele in their caravan watching Deal or No Deal.  With some music playing, bellies full it was lights out at 8pm, not our choice, that’s when the boss closes the kitchen & dining room, ridiculously far too early.  We agreed that it wasn’t a camp kitchen, rather a lunch room with late closing.  We walked and cycled Murray Bridge partly to have a look and partly to find some reasonable coffee.  We had a good look and a fair cuppa, we’re really shakin’ now....

April 17  - Murray Bridge to Mannum, 30.32 klms, Avg speed 14.2 kph, Cycling time 2.08 hrs; Total kms 27,601

We woke to a foggy morning & a sagging dewy covered tent so escaped to the warm kitchen for yummy sultanas & porridge waiting for the sun to peak through the clouds.  Our friendly neighbour again imparted his knowledge on ‘Ol Alberto who was cleaning his choppers, telling him to take a certain route as the Murray Bridge was closed for maintenance.  When informed this didn’t effect us, we could ride our bikes over the Bridge, his eyes glazed over, yes, remember mate we’re your neighbours on bikes!!  Luckily the tent dried & we escaped along an quiet (thanks to the bridge being closed) road while overlooking the Murray twisting & turning through the landscape, so picturesque sparkling in the sunshine. We heard the sound of Whistling Kites & it brought back memories of our time in NT where they were in abundance, we love their call.  We caught the ferry across to the Mannum township & rode up & down the high street searching for a decent cafe, we ended up at a Coffee Shoppee selling gifts & home wares where the cappuccinos arrive with a mountainous whirl of wobbly fluffy stuff.  We declared Murray Bridge, Meningie & Mannum need decent cafes, we’ve yet to stay at Morgan, best at that to the list too.  There’s only one Caravan Park in Mannum & it’s right on the banks of the River, it was more packed than Avoca Dell, the latter we’d rather stay at.  We came to the conclusion that as it’s still school holidays this one is perfect for families—Mum & Dad can lounge on the banks while attempting to coheres Damien or Kylie to play in the river aka bugger off & give us some peace.  Mannum’s (pop 2042) a very pretty & filled with gorgeous stone houses, it’s the birthplace of the Murray River paddle-steamers including the first ever built, the Mary Ann, constructed in 1853 by Captain William Randell.  Blacksmith brothers John & David Shearer contributed to the settlement by establishing a farm machinery factory where they created a string of inventions, in fact in 1897 David produced one of the first two cars in Australia, which featured a differential gear in an enclosed case.  We ate in two nights and lashed out with a pub feed at the Pretoria Hotel on the 3rd.  Mainly to escape the inane conversations being held in the camp kitchen between Mummies, Daddies and the future generation of Australians. Truly frightening..... They’re all going to be master chefs and it’s staggering to watch parents turn themselves inside out trying to enthuse their bored witless little darlings in between cajoling them into contributing to the preparation of the family meal before giving up and doing it all themselves.  Some even think we’re interested although it takes only a momentary stare from Greg’s Easter Island face to set them straight.  Greg keeps muttering about the collision of “quality time” and “parental crime”.  Hurry up the end of the school holidays!

April 20  - Mannum to Swan Reach, 62.42 klms, Avg speed 18.4 kph, Cycling time 3.22 hrs; Total kms 27,664

Today’s ride had the WOW factor — delights such as passing through the small towns of Walker Flat with its tall, ochre-coloured cliffs, stopping for lunch at Nildottie boasting panoramic views of one of the most pristine stretches of water on the Murray & gazing down from Big Bend’s lookout at the tallest cliffs along the entire length of the Murray, believed to be up to 20 million years old, with so much water in the Murray we’re seeing it at its best, how lucky we are.  With glorious weather, little traffic & light winds this perfect ride has gone into our Top 10 ride bucket.  Mid afternoon we rode into Swan Reach (pop 237) a quiet little place on the Murray River.  It was once one of five large sheep stations & the original homestead is now the Swan Reach Hotel.  Established as one of the first river ports for Murray River trade with the introduction of rail and Morgan's rise as one of the state's busiest ports, saw the era of paddle steamers in Swan Reach decline.  Today the picturesque river scenery and excellent fishing make the town a popular holiday destination.  I couldn’t find any reviews of the Swan Reach Caravan Park, bit of a worry as I’d book an O’Nite Van for 2 nights, cheap for 41.80pn so expected the worse.  However, it was perfect—clean, comfortable & with an annexe to store Crazy Ruby & Horsey.  Brian, the manager, had certainly looked after us.  We headed to The Swan Reach Hotel for dinner & enjoyed magnificent panoramic river views from their beer garden.  The sun slowly sank & we headed indoors for a big stuffing of calamari followed by roast pork & chicken parmiagiana  .....ZZZZzzzzz came easily.  Nothing to report on the coffee front.  We did have a couple of cups but they were only slightly less sour than the face of the person serving us.  She comes from the “how can I run a business in the hospitality trade when I keep getting interrupted by people” clan.  Luckily for her there’s no competition in town.

April 22  - Swan Reach to Morgan, 77.10 klms, Avg speed 15.7 kph, Cycling time 4.53 hrs; Total kms 27,741

Leaving Swan Reach & saying cheerio to Brian, he gave us a bit of good news, we’d have tailwinds heading north to Blanchetown, we’d been trying figure out where the winds was coming from as it seemed to be whirling around, it was strong too.  With that good news our plan was to call into Blanchetown for a cuppa (28 klms away) or ride a further 49 klms & stay at Morgan.  As soon as we climbed out of Swan Reach, something was wrong, that was no tailwind it was a blowy 35 kph head/side wind gusting to 54 kph, thanks Brian!!  At least the sun was out warming us up.  Not many towns disappoint us but have to say our impressions of Blanchetown weren’t positive ones including the Caravan Park so we climbed up the hill, bought lunch supplies at the basic store & headed to roadhouse for a cuppa, desperate needs.... Certainly we left he Roadhouse less satiated than when we entered.  Despite the wind we continued on along a scenic, quiet route & rolled onto the Morgan ferry at 3.30pm checking out the historic town before us, we liked what we saw.  At the height of the paddle steamer era, Morgan was the busiest inland port in South Australia & has preserved its history with considerable flair.  Picking up the keys to our bright, 1 roomed cabin we sat on the steps & had a cuppa tea.  With the main supermarket closed we picked up a tin of toms, packet of pasta & a lettuce from the general store & expanded the remains of last night’s combination of Puttanesca and/or Arrabbiata sauce into another meal, delicious too.  Warm showers, big dinner, couple beers and a couple of tired ‘ol buggers sleep the sleep of the dead zzzzz.

April 25  - Morgan to Waikerie, 47.43 klms, Avg speed 16.6 kph, Cycling time 2.51 hrs; Total kms 27,788

Brrrr..’Ol Alberto, what’s the temperature this morning, seems a bit chilly?  Wellsy, it’s below 2C, get used to it, winter’s approaching.  Out came our new merino wool cycling tops, another couple of layers & our trusty daddy long legs before we set off for Waikerie via the Cadell ferry,  we love checking out small towns but somehow managed to totally circumnavigate Cadell pop 460, navigation skills were never my strong point.  Luckily we were enjoying the ride, the sun shone, the layers were peeled off & the countryside was beautifully quiet.  We’re in the centre of the citrus & fruit industry in South Australia & rode past fields & fields of recently picked orange trees which appeared to still have loads of oranges on their branches or on the ground, what a waste.  As we haven’t had a fresh orange for ages it made us cry, oh the temptation to take some!!  Still we thought we’ll get some at Waikerie supermarket but no locals ones to be seen, they were all from the USA, how ridiculous is that.  Another cabin for the next 2 nights at Waikerie, it’s double the cost of a tent site but with an open camp kitchen, fridges bulging with bags of backpackers’ food (they’re picking the oranges) & cold conditions we didn’t think twice.  Our cabin had a small oven so ‘Ol Alberto hopped on Horsey & returned from the supermarket grinning like a Cheshire cat, tonight we’d be feasting on roast lamb, brussel sprouts, pumpkin, carrots, potatoes, onions, peas, gravy, good comfort food for those cold nights!!  Contemplated staying in Waikerie for 3 nights but we’d seen enough after 2, it’s a pleasant town but we didn’t feel the pull to stay longer.  Besides oranges, the area has hundreds of grape vines making it one of the largest tonnage producers in the Riverland.  I attended the dawn service on ANZAC Day, never had an inclination to attend one while in Sydney but have attend 5 on this cycle trip in Macksville, Mossman, El Questo Station, Mount Barker & Waikerie.  Well when I say dawn service, Waikerie’s was at 8am, how civilised was that!!

April 26  - Waikerie to Kingston-on-Murray, 40.63 klms, Avg speed 17.4 kph, Cycling time 2.20 hrs; Total kms 27,829

We’re still not used to riding such short distances between towns, in a way you sort of feel guilty but with not having to be anywhere at a particular time we can stay & enjoy all the small towns along the Murray. We rode on the busy Sturt Highway to Kingston on Murray, could have taken the short route adding another 20 klms but when you’re dying for a good coffee we reckoned Banrock Station Wine & Wetland Centre would be the place, it didn’t disappoint.  We sat on the deck of this  award winning wine & ecotourism centre, a beautiful rammed earth building, gazing at the panoramic views of the vineyards & wetlands, the latter now offering walking trails which they’ve restored, good of them.  We contemplated the walking trail until we found out 6 klms of the 8 klms trail was under water due to so much water being in the Murray, it’s so great for the environment at the moment.  Kingston on Murray’s a tiny community, pop 257, with just a general store & caravan park, the place had a nice feel to it.  One of Australia’s great explorers, Captain Charles Sturt, landed near the town on his Murray River expedition of 1830.  The Caravan Park was blissfully quiet & our basic cabin kept us warm as toast.  Dinner was left over casserole, a favourite of mine I love to cook-Shin Beef Ragout (cooked in just a smidgin of red wine!) smothered in carrots, brussels & frozen mashed potato, the latter sounds disgusting but surprisingly tasted like the real thing.

April 27  - Kingston-on-Murray to Loxton, 44.37 klms, Avg speed 16.4 kph, Cycling time 2.41 hrs; Total kms 27,873

You’d think riding along the Murray would be flat, not so, today’s ride was up & down, not complaining though it’s better than just flat riding which can be boring, today’s ride you could give it a bit of grunt...’Ol Alberto’s feedback on today’s ride was he saw 2 cats, 1 dead (he’s just sleeping Wellsy) & 1 living, sitting in the sun.  Crazy Ruby & Horsey just cruised along passing by the Murray brimming full of water, we also saw almond, olive, citrus trees, grape vines & road stalls offering bags of pumpkins for $5, longed to be cooking huge batches of my Thai Pumpkin Soup.  I was happy to continue on to Berri, just 21 klms further on, the Berri Farmers Market was happening tomorrow, I wanted to be there to taste, smell, sample & stuff my panniers full with lots of goodies but ‘Ol Alberto was happy to hang around Loxton for a couple of days, he won in the end ......ggggrrrr.  7438 folks live in Loxton, a charming, vibrant town & one of the most productive agricultural & horticultural regions in the state.  It’s also  known as the “Garden Town of the Riverland”, we’ll let you know when we explore tomorrow.  It was a rare occurrence that I hadn’t pre booked our budget accommodation (no ensuite) at the Caravan Park (it’s a quiet time at the moment, me thinks there’ll be plenty available) but of course rocking up at the reception desk the last budget cabin had just been booked that morning, bugger.  There is NO camp kitchen at this Park, which is ridiculous, so with keys in hand we checked out our up market cabin with it’s own en suite cabin, can’t get used to it (well actually can), we’re so used to traipsing to the facilities block for a shower/pee, the latter great fun (not) at 3am, we’re like kids with a new toy.  ‘Ol Alberto’s at the stove again tonight at Chez Cabin 3—scotch fillet marinated in garlic, olive oil, chilli & herbs (& LOVE he muttered), topped with slow caramelized onions & served with crispy potatoes, cauli, beans, pumpkin, zucchini followed by cheese & bickies, another good stuffing. We walked the streets of Loxton and indeed the gardens are beautiful.  Roses still in full bloom perfumed the air. Loxton has a lovely feel to it but like all Murray towns it’s completely dead after midday on Saturday.  No one knows where all the people go but they’re not in the restaurants and cafes because they’re all closed!

April 29  - Loxton to Berri, 24.67 klms, Avg speed 16.7 kph, Cycling time 1.28 hrs; Total kms 27,898

So glad we stayed in Loxton for 2 days, it was a lovely, spotlessly clean town and the riverfront bush setting of the Caravan Park fabulous.  Great undulating ride to Berri which is surrounded by over 3000 hectares of irrigated orchards, we saw them full of almond, olive, mandarin, apple & orange trees as well as more pumpkins & grapes.  The roadside stalls beckoned but too heavy for us to carry, surely the local shops will stock them.  We circled the town looking for a cafe, being Sunday the town was dead but luckily we managed to have our coffee fix at the pub which had a balcony cafe overlooking the river.  Berri (pop 7,500) features a gorgeous riverfront with walking trail and was originally part of Cobdogla Station & a mooring place for paddle steamers.  The town takes its name from the Aboriginal word “bery bery” meaning ‘bend in the river’ and was proclaimed in 1911.  The town has become notable as a fruit processing town & a large % of canned fruit & juice comes from here.  We’re staying for 5 days in a very comfortable, bright & roomy cabin minus bathroom, will have to deal with 3am loo trips again, this time armed with specs & code # to gain entry, small price to pay for such cabin luxury.  I’ll get a hair cut, Greg will get a new and longer inner sheet after he discovered that the winter one he’d been carrying all the way from Adelaide was way too short.  Hopefully given our extended stay I’ll be able to get to what Greg calls my sticks and string (crochet) and I’m sure he’s looking forward to some horizontal thinking time, zzzzzz.