After yesterday, we were again blessed with better weather – 10 to 23 degrees and the wind was next to nothing for the first couple of hours, then came up to 10-15km/h and we only had a few shortish sections where it was a headwind.
We were a little late hitting the water for our first leg today. The run from Blanchetown down to Swan Reach, a 27km stretch that both Brad any myself know only too well – from the MCC Xmas Race.
The first 5-6km was pretty hectic with boat traffic at just 8am in the morning, we had a day of particularly long straights and the first 5 or 6 was beside the cliffs before it opened up a bit
We had the first 16 or 17km that was almost millpond, once we were away from the other boat traffic – it was spectacular
We had a short break to stretch the legs on a nice sandy beach where there were a few people camped before we continued on our way.
Again this 27km stretch is one where again neither Brad or myself remembered much detail – as when you are paddling a Marathon you tend to not notice the scenery.
I must say, that it was much nicer than I really remember – without the wind that usually came with the Xmas race.
It consisted of fairly longs straights, slight bends and clifflines that went for quite a way and most of the time is fairly wide, with the odd narrower section.
Before we knew it,we had turned the corner
and in the distance was the Swan Reach Ferry.
With the Ferry came an increase in boat traffic, but most of it was downstream. We had a lunch break at the boat ramp, and while we were there about another 5 or 6 boats were launched!
Yes, the next leg was a bit slow – and a lot of boat wash. It seemed like every bend brought with it another landing, more jetties and even more boats.
You can’t really see it, but coming towards us in this photo there was at least 10 boats and jetski’s
It was a welcome break at Big Bend boat ramp after dealing with nearly 10km of feeling like we were in a washing machine!
As we left Big Bend, we soon reached the Bend itself, a left hand bend with some of the most impressive cliffs so far
We had a very gentle left hand bend and a cliff that is somewhere around the 30-50m tall mark that gently curved around for nearly 4km, before falling away. This is the final leg of our trip south where we are going the wrong direction – as this is a North-Easterly leg.
At the end, we took a right hand turn and again had about a 5km leg with the cliffs on the other side.
This time the cliffs were initially in shadow, but as we progressed we saw the light come back onto the cliffs again.
At the end of the cliffline, we again took a short break out of the boats at Greenways Landing. As we were still feeling OK, we decided that with Nildotte only 2.5km, we could go a little further and set out for our final leg for the day.
With the cliffs falling away it was only a matter of a km or 2 before we made Kroehns Landing, for a 55km day and now with about 220km left of the journey.
I have to say that as much as I love the scenery between Overland Corner and Waikerie and Lock 2 and Morgan, the 10km leg between Big Bend and Greenways Landing is probably right up there as my favourite part of the river.