Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tailem Bend – on the River Murray – SA (13 – 16 April 2010)

We left Robe on Tuesday and at first we took the wrong road, oops, so turned around and were soon on our way again, via Kingston S.E.   Larry The Lobster, (whom we had seen a few days before on our day trip to Kingston, greeted us when we stopped for a Lobster and lettuce sandwich – yummy and coffee, then we  were on our way again.  We had booked into a small caravan park which over looked the River Murray.  As per usual, with some of the less star rated parks what you see is often not what you get.  The BBQ area left a lot to be desired, however, the rest of the place was not too bad. The park is small, with plenty of shady trees, we decided to park near where we could see the river.  Well, due to the long drought the river was actually not where it used to be. A photograph, which was taken 6 years ago, is in the park office, and it showed the water, about 6-10 metres from the base of the cliff, with a causeway through the water to a small island.  Houseboats were moored to landings and others were moored out near the island.  The houseboats are still moored to the landings, but have no way of floating down to the river now that the water has retreated. All, a bit sad when one thinks of how grand The River Murray used to be. Although there have been huge floods up north, including Queensland; and The Channel Country and Lake Eyre have water, none of the it is expected to flow down the river ways to Tailem Bend or the sea; as most of the recent water fall is being stored in huge dams, for the Cotton and Rice growing areas of Queensland and NSW. Talking about storing water, in 1956 there were huge downfalls of rain in Queensland and NSW dams were in danger of overflowing; so the NSW powers that be, decided to release water from the storage area of Meningie Lakes.  The huge volume of water caused a massive flood around the lower reaches of the Murray, especially in Murray Bridge.

Link for more info on Tailem Bend: http://www.murrayriver.com.au/tailem-bend/
IMG_1429_2Wed 14 April - The Big Olive – while in Tailem Bend we went out to The  Big Olive, which is set in a new Business Park on the outskirts of Tailem Bend. The olives are grown near Strathalbyn and processed in Tailem Bend.  A tasting table was set up with various olives and delicious oils, to sample.  Of course we bought oil, as well  as olives.

Link for The Big Olive: http://www.bigolive.com.au/about-us/

Wed 14 April – Murray Bridge – After buying the olives we took off for Murray Bridge, there were a couple of churches I wanted to see as well as have a general look around the town. The first bridge to be built across the Murray is was a rail bridge, and one of the supporting pillars has a notice on it noting the level of the flood in 1956.  An old steam train is also sits dock side, we had to climb on board like the ‘young’ kids we are!  (Click on photos to enlarge)
IMG_5092-a                            IMG_5099

Thur 15 April - Old Tailem Town – Bucko and I being gluttons for punishment, decided to visit Old Tailem Town, an example of what life was like for the settlers of South Australia from 1860 - 1960. We had seen a Pioneer Village when we were in Inverell, NSW, but this one is different. 
Set out in the style of a village, with buildings relocated from their original sites and some of buildings being built onsite, in the style of yesteryear.  IMG_5186In particular a house made out of flatted Tar drums.  When the roads around the area were being built in the days of the depression folks would grab the empty tar drums, have them flatted by the steamroller and then make a house out of them. All the houses and buildings are furnished in keeping with the period of the house.   It was interesting to see how chairs were made out of branches of trees, wire and sacking and beds made with branches of trees for the bedposts. I would not liked to have lived in those days and Bucko and I certainly admire how the pioneers survived in this harsh land. Link to Old Tailem Town:


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