Travelling Australia - Journal 2012
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14 June 2012 - Murray Bridge to Mannum
Late yesterday afternoon the Weather Bureau issued a severe weather warning for much of southern South Australia including forecast winds of up to 50 kph. The wind was forecast to reach us in the middle of the night. Since Murray Bridge was mentioned by name as being included in the warning we took notice but have learnt from experience that such warnings tend to be over-stated and should not be taken literally.

At about midnight we heard the wind increase with nearby trees in motion so it sounded as if the warning was correct but then the wind died away. There was a bit of rain heard on the caravan roof in the next few hours but the strong winds reaching 50 kph did not happen. The morning was a cloudy-sunny one, no longer raining, no wind, cold to cool. In the words of the Adelaide newspaper the forecast strong wind was a 'fizzer'.

We connected the caravan and packed up in slow time ready for a short drive to Mannum upstream along the Murray River.

We left Murray Bridge via the heavy vehicle bypass to avoid traffic lights if we could and passed a dairy factory on the edge of town; this was a sure sign that dairy cattle grazed in the area although we did not see any north of the town. We did pass beef cattle and sheep, and one duck farm. There was also number of ploughed or seeded paddocks in a mixed farming area. We were now away from the limestone region and in a red-brown soil area.

The road had a reasonable surface but frequent hills along the way slowed us down. Traffic was light. In about half an hour we entered Mannun and made our way down the hill into the town along the bank of the river and on to the caravan park. We were in Mannum to do a trip on the paddle steamer Murray PrincessMurray Princess while leaving the caravan at Mannum and were delighted to find that the park had a 'storage' tariff of $10 a night for an unoccupied van left on a site with electricity connected. So we booked in for a week at that rate and a few days at the normal rate.

We had booked for a three-day cruise (afternoon of 15 June to morning of 18 June) followed by what is known as a four-day cruise (afternoon of 18 June to morning of 22 June) with a bus tour to the Barossa Valley on the 18 June.

The caravan park is beside the Murray River; we set up on a site near the one we had been on during a visit four years before; close to a flooded wetlands where I had walked over dry and cracked clay when the Murray level was down because of the drought during our earlier visit. Now black cormorants were happily diving in the water and the water in the Murray was lapping at the top of the bank.

After setting up we drove into Mannum shopping centre for a few items and to collect our mail. The shops are along both sides of a single street with plenty of the earlier stone buildings still present.

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