After our late night at Mungo we had a rather relaxed day on Thursday. We went to see “Big Lizzie” at Red Cliffs. She is rather well known.
She is also rather big.
We had lunch at a lovely pub by the river and then went in search of the arid lands botanical garden. The roses were lovely, but it was too hot to be walking around the rest of the extensive grounds.
We had another evening out. This time we went back to Wentworth with the Rockhampton crew for dinner, followed by an evening cruise of the junction of the rivers.
There was quite a light show starting to appear to the south and we even had a little rain during the night once we had returned to our camp.
The boat had big flood lights that lit everything up well, but of course, photography was not a success.
I did get a snap of the water of the two rivers running side by side. The lighter one is the Darling and the darker is the Murray.
Friday saw us on the Murray again. This time we departed from Mildura on the “Rothbury”, which was built in 1912.
We went past the “Coonawarra”. My Mum and Dad went on a four day river cruise on her in 1999. They loved it.
The paddle steamers are so elegant.
It must be a terrible life being a riverboat captain.
These old barges remind you of times past when the river was the highway, before trains and semi trailers.
Once again the dead trees are a feature of the river banks. Note the on in the middle with the mark where the 1956 flood came up to. No wonder it is still talked about.
Birds love them for nesting.
There are some rather grand homes on the banks of the Murray.
This was my favourite. It was no where near as grand as some, but I could spend ages sitting in the deep shade of the verandah overlooking the river.
Mind you, I would also be quite happy with this spot.
Houseboats are also really popular and a new marina is being built on the edge of town.
Or you could travel by a simpler means.
Mick and I decided that this looked the most inviting to us.
Friday night is the first official dinner for the rally. However, all our crew had opted not to attend this year. Instead we went next door to the cricket club for dinner. The junior cricket club had been proactive in putting on dinner for $10 a serve each night of the week. There was a choice of meats and salad. We all opted for the steak, which was beautiful. They had been getting hundreds of people turn up each night and the kids were all getting in and helping with the serving and cleaning up. It was a great initiative. It was also a lovely venue for an outdoor dinner.
Friday was our final day at the rally, as due to work commitments we had to leave for home on Saturday.
There was a grand parade through town of all the bikes on Saturday morning, so we said our goodbyes when everyone else left to go to the marshalling point. We then had time to pack without being rushed.
By the time we had finished packing the parade was going past the camp ground, so we watched for a while. Some people go to a lot of trouble to dress up for this.
Seeing as we were headed in the same direction, we just tagged onto the end, trailer and all.
There was a huge crowd lining the way. I loved this message.
And this family group.
The “Hills Group” from Sydney are always distinctive in their green feather boas. We have close friends in this group and have attended some of their functions.
As everyone turned off to park, we kept going.
It was sad to be leaving, but we had a wonderful time in Mildura and have brought home some great new memories.
We travelled home the same way. Remember Mirrool Creek from our trip down. Well the water had come up during the week and we did have to ride through a little bit of water.
We got as far as West Wyalong on the way home. We stayed in a different caravan park and wandered up the street to the New Paragon Cafe for the best ever gourmet pizza. The cafe was straight out of the 60s. I wish I’d remembered to take photos.
Here I am, all ready for our last day of travel.
Now you must finish things as you started, so we had a delicious lunch in a little cafe at Blayney, back on our beloved Central Tablelands. It is always so good to see those hills after visiting the flatter parts of our country.
Lunch was a lovely way to end the trip, before we returned to our usual routines.
The next Ulysses AGM is at Harvey Bay in Queensland next April. We are going to try to attend, but we will just have to see if we can sneak away for the week or not. Time will tell.