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Monday 18th December:
Left Menindee for Mildura. Now we had two choices of routes. One was 300km with 130km of dirt road. The other 400km but all sealed road. We took the 400km route, as we didn’t fancy doing the dirt bit in the Mazda.
We arrived in Mildura early afternoon in time for lunch then checked into our luxury cabin and had our afternoon siesta, as it was another scorcher outside.
Tuesday 19th December:
Another scorcher today so off to do the 11:00am paddle steamers cruise. Very interesting 2 hour cruise as we heard all about the old days of steamer boats on the Murray.
Back at 1:00pm and off to Gol Gol for lunch. Just as we arrived the hot north wind hit and it blew a gale (whitecaps on the Murray River). So after lunch it was back to the cabin for our siesta in the hottest part of the day.
At 4:00pm a huge storm hit with thunder and lightning along with pea sized hailstones. Just on 5:00pm as the storm subsided the power went out. Learnt from the park owners that 2,800 homes in Mildura are without power and they hope to have power restored by 9:00pm.
Then the sun came back out it became extremely humid. Ooohhhhh well good training for when we return to Marinduque (brownouts and all).
Wednesday 20th December:
Left Mildura for Renmark (150km) in much cooler conditions this morning. Along the way we visited the Inland Botanical Gardens and Orange World.
The Inland Botanical Gardens has the Sturt Desert Peas in full bloom, which was spectacular. The rose gardens were also in full bloom. Very nice place to visit as it was full of color and the smell of the roses was fabulous.
Next stop just up the road was Orange World. We took a tour of the 10,000 orange tree orchard and heard all about growing oranges, mandarins, lemons, limes and avocados. Also very interesting.
Made it to Renmark by 1:30pm so into town for lunch. Back to our very nice huge cabin and settled in for the afternoon.
Thursday 21st December:
Left Renmark for Port Willunga (our home away from… well no home) in nice cooler conditions (330km @ 4 hours drive). Grabbed a few groceries and lunch then back to the house to unpack the mighty Mazda as we are here for a week.
Guy found a cherry orchard 20 minutes away that allows self-picking of nice plum sweet cherries. So off we went and filled up a bucket and of course sampled a few (well quite a few) cherries. We both felt sick from an over indulgence of cherries.
Gave the mighty Mazda a wash and vacuum, as she was looking a bit rough and eeky after her outback experience. Like new again.
Friday 22nd December:
Leisurely morning as we made our way into Adelaide to the central market. Caught up with my sister Sandy and planned out the food requirements for the next 4 days. All stocked up and back to Port Will for a relaxing afternoon.
Saturday 23rd December:
Lazy day relaxing and eating with a siesta thrown in for good measure. For dinner Guy and I took Sandy & Brian out to the Star of Greece restaurant. Awesome food and view over the beach. After dinner we wandered down to the beach and watched the magnificent sunset.
Sunday 24th December:
After a last minute dash to the supermarket for a few supplies it was off to Second Valley south of Port Willunga to have a look at the geological formations.
A very interesting place with some magnificent geological formations to look at.
Then back to the cherry-picking farm where we picked another bucket of plump, juicy red cherries. Should last us a few days. Back for a late lunch and our afternoon siesta.
Monday 25th December:
Merry Xmas everybody. We had a light lunch with just the four of us as the big Kloeden family gathering is tomorrow. My boys (Rik, Jas & Mike) arrived late afternoon to stay the night so good to see them once again.
Tuesday 26th December:
We spent the morning preparing food ready for our Xmas celebrations at lunchtime. The rest of the family (my brother and crew) arrived at midday and the feast began for all eleven of us.
A great day was had by all.
Life is good.
Trevor & Guy