Day 278, Friday, 1 January, 2010

Distance travelled – 103.7 km
Avg speed – 17.3 kph
Max speed – 32.8 kph

Meningie to Coorong National Park

Our original plan for today was to stop somewhere near Salt Creek but given we are 1 day behind our schedule to Ballarat we thought we would try and catch up by riding the 145km to Kingston.

Our ride today took us past the north and south lagoons of the Coorong. Rather than the views our outstanding memory of today will be the smell. We passed this way 21 years ago and we have always wanted to return to the Coorong. If it smelt then like it does today we would not have had this positive memory so we suspect the smell is due to the low water levels in the lagoons due to the drought. It smelt like a mix of rotting compost, seaweed and fish, it was most unpleasant. At times it was so strong we could taste it!

Towards the end of the day the wind picked up, our progress slowed and it was clear that we would not make Kingston today so we decided to stop at one of the camp grounds in the Coorong National Park.  It was a great spot below a large sand dune about 400 metres from the sea.

It was nearly 6.00pm before we stopped and the temperature had begun to fall so we had the tent up and dinner cooked very quickly. But by the time we were ready for a wash it was very cold and our 1 litre of wash water was nearly as cold. So we did something we have not done before and emptied out the tent warmed the water and had a wash inside the tent. Fiddly but far more pleasant than freezing off all our small bits and pieces outside. 

A good day except for the smell.

As we were uploading this page we received the following Email. When we met at the Rest Area Denise and I were most surprised to hear that the writer had heard about us through our website.

Hiya Mark and Denise,
I’m the odd fellow in leathers who emerged from the scrub along the Coorong on new year’s day. I hope you ended up finding a decent camping spot further south. As you left I regretted not letting you know about the long sandy tracks that lead to the water: most of them would be a real trial on a bike as loaded as yours: we ended up behind that truck stop because we couldn’t get the BMW down many of the others. Just as well you didn’t stop with us though: I realised over the next few days how many annoying questions I would have bombarded you with…
Take care, all the best and see you again on the road somewhere,
<Name withheld>
PS. I was rather proud of that moment meeting you: I go to great lengths not to appear too normal. Being a statistician does this to you…


Zoom into the map and use the 'Satellite' layer to see our new location.


South Lagoon, Coorong National Park

Denise riding into Coorong National Park

Camp behind the dunes Coorong National Park


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