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Meningie, SA

Monday 2 - Tuesday 3 Nov 1998

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Monday 2nd

We left McLaren Vale for the south via Aldinga Beach where we arrange for the transport to Ferny Hills of the Christmas present we bought for the Marretts at the Bushing Festival yesterday.

We drove towards Goolwa and then up the Finnis Valley to Strathalbyn. This part of South Australia is the epitome of bountiful primary production with green, rolling hills, the river, the trees, and glorious golden fields of wheat ready for harvest. There is nothing spectacular about the scenery but one is left with a deep feeling of satisfaction after the journey.

Strathalbyn possesses, at its heart, an oasis of water and grass and roses and birds in the Soldiers Memorial Gardens right in the centre of the town and surrounded by the everyday dull commercial streets and shops and offices. Its a fine place to stop for morning tea.

As one drives east from Strathalbyn, the landscape suddenly turns hard. The salinity of the soil on the edge of Lake Alexandrina is everywhere evident. On one side of the road is saltbush and rose-coloured ponds and dried out salt pans and on the other side is farmland with sheep and cattle and crops surviving because of an extra metre or two of elevation above the salt.

Crossing the "Mighty" Murray at Wellington gives one the feeling that someone is playing some kind of joke. That enormous of catchment of 1,000,000 square million kilometres (400,000 square miles), which this spring has flooded with a bang over the entire northern half, ends in a whimper, a small river not a hundred metres (110 yards) wide with hardly a perceptible current.

South of Wellington is Meningie which we had found so pleasant previously. The caravan park is still delightful with each site separated from the adjacent ones by several trees all filled with Wattlebirds and Honeyeaters. The sites reach to the banks of Lake Albert which is home to many many waterbirds including Australian Pelican, Great Egret, Sacred Ibis, White-faced Heron, Little Black and Little Pied Cormorant, Caspian and Crested Tern, and Silver Gull.

Tuesday 3rd

Lay day.

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Created by Robin Chalmers on Mon, 2 Nov, 1998
Last revised Wed, 4 Nov, 1998