We both slept well last night and woke up to quite a nice day – slightly overcast but with blue sky poking through and great for driving.
Packing up Bertha is a lot quicker than what was required for the Trailblazer – just roll up hoses and power cable, wind-down the TV aerial, clean the windscreen, and without too much further ado we’re off.
As we left Big 4 Renmark we spotted a group of intrepid Avanners heading off on their way into town.
I love driving around places like Mildura and Renmark with grape vines growing right up alongside the road even on the outskirts of town. After getting onto the Sturt Highway (A20) we passed through Barmera which again featured vines and citrus.
Our morning coffee stop was at Waikerie where the roadside revealed vines, stone fruit trees, citrus, almonds and walnuts. Along the way we spotted several well-known vineyards including Angoves and Banrock Station.
From Waikerie we headed on to Morgan where we got two surprises. The first was that the road ran out and we had to catch a ferry across the river. As new motor-homers this was quite exciting but it was something of a relief to back on dry land again.
The second surprise was that the weather turned nasty – the skies clouded over, the wind came up, and it started raining quite steadily. And here we were thinking that we’d missed most of the bad weather. None the less, we persevered.
At Morgan we changed to the Goyder Highway and the fruit and vines pretty well vanished from the roadsides, to be replaced by mostly scrub and saltbush. We passed a turn-off to World’s End, but things hadn’t got quite that bad yet so we continued on the highway.
At our friend PK’s suggestion, we took a slight detour off the highway to Burra. This is a historic precinct with many delightful old stone buildings. According to the brochure from the Tourist Information Centre, Burra was made famous though the finding of copper in 1845. By 1850 Burra had one of the world’s largest copper mines and saved South Australia from bankruptcy. There are organised tours of the town for those who have the time. The copper mines resulted in a large Cornish population settling in the area, so we couldn’t ignore PK’s recommendation to have Cornish pasties for lunch. We got the last two in the shop and they were very good!
Returning to the highway we again faced strong winds, and then realised that we were passing a large wind-farm so it made sense that it was windy there.
Just passed Mt Bryan coming around a bend we were confronted by a huge tractor and some sort of harvesting equipment coming towards us and taking up most of the road. Immediately behind that were two B-Doubles with large “Explosives” signs on them. Needless to say we made sure we got off the road and let them pass safely. Ann was so stunned by this that she didn’t think to take a photo!
From Mt Bryan it wasn’t very far to our destination for tonight – Peterborough. Peterborough is a railway town and even the Tourist Information Centre is in a vintage railway carriage. We have stayed here before and found it to be a nice, comfortable place. We checked in at the Peterborough Caravan Park and set up Bertha for the night, then went for a good long walk into town. The rain had stopped but the wind was still quite fierce, so we rugged up for the walk. There are some beautiful buildings around town but like many country towns things don’t appear to be as prosperous as in the past.
After our walk we came back home to Bertha for a light tea, update this blog, and do some reading. There’s no TV reception here but we can cope with that!
Today has been another tough driving day but the scenery has been interesting and varied, and we have stopped and seen some great places. Bring on tomorrow!