Day 4, after 4 days back at work, we hit the river again today.
Like every other day, we started out from where we left off last time – and hit the water in Berri just before 8am. Conditions were again near perfect on the river with the temperature in the mid 20’s when we started and almost no wind.
Just after we started we passed the 526 River marker on the old ferry and then headed under the Berri Bridge.
Even though I have paddled this section of the river before during the RPM 200 I have almost no recollection of any distinguishing features of the river! Sounds crazy, but when paddling a marathon you are in a totally different mode!
The river was flat and the early morning low angle light makes for some spectacular contrast of colours – from the water, the cliffs, the trees and even the sky.
Before we knew it, we were in lock 4 and the flow meter looked very encouraging for a bit of extra water once we passed thru..
In a few short minutes the lock-master had pulled the plug, we had dropped another 3 meters and we were on the way.
Once we passed thru the lock, I looked back and could see the water coming over the weir – very encouraging indeed!
It was very obvious within a few minutes that there indeed was a decent flow on the river which was quite welcome! We made the most of it – as this section f the river is actually quite narrow – rarely extending to 50m and often only 20m wide or less as we came to a bend.
Speaking of bends, we were going around a gentle sweeping left hand bend and spotted this tree – and it was covered in birds. There were a few other trees around and we are still wondering why this tree?
As I said, I could not really remember anything much about this section of the river between Berri and Loxton, and it varied from the wonderful sandstone cliffs to lowland both with old and younger river gums right up to the edge.
After a quick stop at Rilli or is it Rilii or is it even Riley Island (yes, an exercise for the reader – as we had 3 different maps all with different spelling of the place name) across the river we spotted a significant (for us) 500 marker. It was interesting that this section of the river we spotted most of the markers as we came down.
After a short lunch break in Loxton we headed back out for our next leg for the day. I sort of remember this section of the river – a few sharp turns, some wider expanses and cliffs – but not the rally big ones.
We have to make a decision on how far we will go each day – and that is dependant on where the next accessible part of the river is for our landcrew, We had excellent access at Pyap, just after the Katerapko Creek re-joins the Murray, just past the 482 Marker. The lockmaster at lock 4 asked if we were taking the creek or the river – as it branches off the river about 5km from the lock and is in fact about 20km shorter! .
As the next spot we can access the bank is New Residence, a further 20km downstream, we decided to call it a day after about 46km.
The temperature had risen to the mid-30’s, and the wind was still almost non-existent when we finished for the day.