Historic Overland Corner Hotel to Berri (Murray River)

 photo IMG_0978_zps528ebd0a.jpg
I woke to the sound of birds singing and the sun shining. All my gear had dried overnight under the shelter of the marquee and I could walk around without my feet getting wet. I looked around the beer garden and thought this place must be a great place to hang out in the spring when the weather is warm but not yet hot. After packing my gear I was on the road by 8:30am and enjoying the views over the River Murray that were blocked by yesterday’s rain. It was beautiful to look out over the flats below the cliffs that I was steadily climbing. Back on the highway I stopped at the Overland Corner Cemetary where gravestones told the stories of the pioneers of this part of the world. Across the road was a view out over the hotel and river so I stopped to cook up a breakfast of eggs with zucchinni and romano cheese followed by bananas fried in butter and sugar served with custard. As I sat there the sun disappeared, a cold wind picked up and gray clouds blanketed the world.
 photo IMG_0986_zpsa31fe5d5.jpg
I rugged up and set off down the road. Before long I turned off the highway towards Bamara and came to the Loch Luna and Bonney Lake. The lakes are huge and I am sure that Bourke and Wills probably would have fallen over their tongues thinking they were the mythical inland sea they sought. Small waves were lapping against the shores of Bonney Lake, making it seem a little menacing in the winter cold. I was definitely not tempted to pull out the packraft though it would be a great place to paddle on a sunny day.
 photo IMG_0993_zps71a58ffc.jpg
In Bamera the lake looked much more beautiful due to both the jetty and being on the side where the wind was blowing from. I stopped for a rest and to imagine how many laughing people would have jumped off and swum around the jetty on warm summer days.
 photo IMG_0990_zps2f49fb80.jpg
 photo IMG_0995_zps4511f366.jpg
The Riverland where I am riding is one of Australia’s big wine and fruit growing areas. When I wasn’t riding through mallee scrub or between lakes, vines and citrus trees lined the roads. Just about everyone here works in agriculture or to support it. Fruit picking, vine pruning, potato or onion farming, wine making and automotive work seem to be the big employers. Despite the labour intensive agricultural industry, unemployment is said to be high due to the seasonal and physical nature of the work. It’s a story told over and over again across many parts of rural and regional Australia.
 photo IMG_0999_zpsabd373b0.jpg
Fruit stalls lined the road between Bamera and Berri. Some are retail stands while others are run by growers. I happened to stop at a pretty stall run by a grower who was proud of her produce.
 photo IMG_1001_zps67ea848e.jpg
I bought a big bag of mandarins despite not having enough space to carry them in my panniers. So I found a new use for the touring bars and rode the final 6km to camp with the mandarins resting on the bars. I reached camp at about midday and enjoyed my first hot shower in four days. I am learning that I am not a roughing it kind of guy; I like a hot shower every few days and the comforts of a camp kitchen where I can sit comfortably at a table to write blog posts and do some work. I spent the afternoon eating lunch near the River Murray, reading a book in the sun at camp and taking an afternoon nap.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Historic Overland Corner Hotel to Berri (Murray River)

  1. Andrew, do I read a possibility for a strong woman like me to work in agriculture over there?

    The lakes are pretty. Almost not to place, is it tropical or misty and mystic? What an unusual colours. Beautiful. Though the weather seems very much like what we’ve got here in the Netherlands.

    Good to see all these fruit stalls : )
    Be well

    Cindy

    • Hey Cindy,
      I’m not sure about the fruit picking work here. I have heard it is easier to organise it from overseas through backpacker agencies. It is physical work and the pay is rubbish. So I think mostly backpackers do it. The French backpackers I spoke with the other day told me it is really hard work and that the pay is rubbish but enough to travel on.

      Here where I am traveling the winters are cold and wet while the summers are hot and dry. So at the lakes it was misty and mysterious. It is not tropical here … This part of the country has a Mediteranean climate.

      I love fruit stalls 🙂 They let me eat well for cheap. I am still eating the potatoes I bought the other day and the mandarins will last me the rest of the week.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s