Travelling Australia - Journal 2008b
17 June 2008 - Mannum
Location map The night was cold with no rain. At this time of year the sun rises quite late; the day takes a while to get going and so did we. In the morning we went into Mannum for a cup of coffee then did some food shopping ready for departure tomorrow; we ended the morning with a lunch time pastie in the bakery. The day was sunny but a cold wind discouraged outdoor activity.

In the afternoon we stayed in the caravan out of the wind. Mary did word puzzles and crosswords while I sorted photographs. In mid-afternoon I went for a walk on the dried wetlands beside the caravan park. The mud, normally underwater but now well above the depressed water level, had dried and fissured with cracks wide enough to require care when walking to avoid a twisted ankle or broken leg. Many empty fresh-water mussel shells dotted the mud and there was a row of gum trees about a metre high along the river frontage; when the water returns these healthy trees will drown as the River Red Gum likes its roots in water for about nine months of the year but must be water-free for three months; otherwise it drowns.
Dried wetlands Cracked and dried mud in wetlands at Mannum, the caravan park is in the background.
We had found this to be a particularly good caravan park and had enjoyed the stay here. During summer it may be a bit busy for us given that Mannum is advertised as only an hours drive from Adelaide. An unusual feature is the number of purple moorhens grazing around the park on the grass acting like chooks and pretty well ignoring people and cars. Ironically this species of bird is usually wary of people.