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Shepparton to Griffith

Day 14 - Friday 24 May 2013

The temperature was 3.8 degrees this morning when we woke up, but the forecast was for a clear sunny day with a maximum of 18 degrees. As we had packed away the awning last night while it was still dry there was no great rush this morning.

We eventually got away at about 9:45 am and set the GPS for Griffith a distance of 292 kms. Just north of Shepparton the GPS sent us towards Katamatite then north again towards Tocumwal on the Murray River. We crossed the Murray River at 11:00 am and continued along the Newell Highway to Finley where we stopped for a coffee and scones at the Finley Bakery and Coffee Bar. It must be the best bakery for miles around as it was packed with customers standing 3 deep at the counter. As we walked back to the van we noticed that a nearby coffee bar was empty.

Just north of Jerilderie we turned off the Newell Highway onto the Kidman Way which will take us all the way to the Queensland Border. We stopped for a photo of the Bucyrus Erie Walking Dragline Excavator at Coleambally. As we walked back to the excavator we noticed lots of cotton balls on the side of the road - Di says she did not need to buy any in Shepparton. Cotton and rice are the major crops in the area. The excavator was imported from the USA in 1935 along with 3 others to construct irrigation canals in the Murray Valley and Coleambally irrigation areas. The machines were powered with a 275 HP Diesel engine and were walked from one construction site to the next at 3 KPH. The machine weighs 130 tonnes, and is still in working condition and drags a 4 cubic metre bucket.

The start of the Kidman Way

The start of the Kidman Way

Cotton balls on the side of the road

Cotton balls on the side of the road

Bucyrus Erie Walking Dragline Excavator

Bucyrus Erie Walking Dragline Excavator

4 cubic metre bucket

4 cubic metre bucket

While there were a few trucks and road trains on the Newell Highway, traffic was very light on the Kidman Way. We arrived at the Griffith Tourist Caravan Park at about 2:15 pm and were allocated a drive through site at the back of the park for 2 nights. There are 3 other vans from Tasmania nearby. So far we have had a chat to two of them - one van is from Penguin and he is working locally to the get some "more bikkies in the bin" and they have been travelling for eight months, and the other is from Launceston and like us they are heading north for warmer weather.

After setting up on the site we went looking for Woollies petrol and the supermarket. We filled our jerry cans as this will be the last opportunity to use our petrol discount dockets until Cloncurry.

Posted by TwoAces 03:35

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