Saturday, 24 April 2010

Leaving NSW, Victoria

I have been asked to do some design work for a fund-raising operation regarding the earthquake in Tibet, so I stayed another 3 days longer in Sydney at the Tibetan community.  I leave early on Wednesday morning threading my motorhome through Sydney traffic in order to get onto the Hume Highway which leads westward, toward Canberra.  Its a 4-lane highway, virtually all the way to Albury with only a few short sections of the old highway.  I have picked such a good day, beautiful and sunny, cumulus clouds all the way, building into something that could turn into a thunder storm.  The countryside is made up of rolling hills, populated by either cattle or sheep, the grass mostly green and there seems to be water in most dams on the properties that roll past me as I head west.  I arrive at Albury around 2pm but head straight to Wodonga, Albury's sister city across the border in Victoria, my aim is to re-stock my German beer supply at Aldi as they are not allowed to sell beer in the state of NSW.
Some of the flat landscape in the Murray Valley

From Wodonga I drive further west for about 15km where I stop by the Murray River in a rest area for the night.  My neighbors are an older couple in a caravan from the Central Coast in NSW and on my other side, a young couple living in a tent with 4 kids.  They are from South Australia and are looking for work in Victoria as they have found it difficult to find work at home.
The following morning I drive west again through Echuca and from there to Kerang.  On my way I encounter a number of Locust 'clouds' smacking into my vehicle as I drive along the highway.  When I stop at Kerang to check into a caravan park, not only my windscreen is covered but also the front part of the Motorhome with a yellow muck from the many dead locusts.  I spend about half an hour to remove the stuff.  I n the morning I continue on to Mildura.  On this leg of the journey I discover what it is really like, having to drive through an onslaught of thousands of locusts.  For about 50km my vision through my windscreen is badly obscured until I finally find a petrol station where I can at least clean my windscreen.  At Mildura I stop at a rest area by a billabong, fetch my bucket and start scrubbing the yellow mess all over the front of the vehicle.  It takes me about 2 hours until its beginning to look clean again.
Billabong outside Mildura

Before and After the cleanup
Its been unseasonally warm with temps in the low 30s - I am really looking forward to a (hopefully) cooler night, which, according to the weather bureau is about to happen, so, with a bit of luck, this may also mean the end of the locusts for tomorrow.

No comments: