Travelling Australia - Journal 2010
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17 March 2010 - Deniliquin
The night had cooled after a warm day yesterday; the morning was cool but bright and sunny promising another warm day. At 10:15 we left the caravan park in a tag-along trip to the Charlie Carp factory on the edge of Deniliquin. Charlie Carp is liquid garden fertiliser made from carp which is regarded as a pest fish causing severe damage to rivers and streams because of its habit of burrowing into the bed and sides of streams. Twenty vehicles, mostly large four wheel-drives, travelled in a queue through Deniliquin and along the Cobb Highway out to the factory. Fortunately we were not on the highway long since other users would have had difficulty passing twenty vehicles in a long convoy.

At the factory we were greeted by the sight of pallet loads of big frozen carp and were given a description of the process. Carp were originally caught locally but reduced rainfall in the past seven years has led to the local source drying up and carp now come from the Coorong and Lakes Entrance. Fish are caught in nets or stunned with electricity; stunned fish float to the surface, carp are removed from the water and native fish left to recover and swim away. Carp are frozen whole and transported to Deniliquin for processing. The factory can accept carp only before they have begun decomposing; sometimes local councils try to send carp killed by natural causes to the factory but the fish are unsuitable for processing.

2.5 tonnes of whole carp are minced then placed in the processing tank with water and stabiliser and slowly cooked and rendered down to liquid. After filtering, the liquid is bottled and packaged. In the past few years a centrifuge has been added to separate solids during processing; these will become a solid form of Charlie Carp but the supply it limited. Liquid Charlie Carp is mainly retailed through Bunnings.

Vehicles left the Charlie Carp factory individually. We went to do some shopping before going into Deniliquin for a cup of coffee. Then back to the van for lunch.

The afternoon was warm, as expected. We did several load of washing in the caravan washing machine relying on the bright sun for quick drying. In the evening the caravan park put on a barbeque for the caravan club followed by a bush poet. In the late afternoon and early evening mosquitoes were bad around the caravan and worse beside the river flowing past the caravan park; they are quite large and readily bite through socks and shirts but are also slow to move after biting and could be easily squashed so we usually had the satisfaction of killing the mosquito which had just bitten us.

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