The Wandering Tops

The Wandering Tops

01 April, 2014

Upper Murray - 2

After a couple of days back in Albury to catch up with Briony and to stock up with goodies we headed towards Echuca.  We had 4 days to get there for Helen's family reunion so had plenty of time to spend at some more free camps on the river.

Camp fire cooking in Victoria!!
We had coffee with Michael and Ursula, good friends from Port Pirie at the River Cafe, one of our favorite spots for coffee before heading out.  As it turns out Michael and Ursula were passing through Albury and Michael "checked in" on facebook, without realizing we were in town - I was able to surprise them with a quick visit. They had just finished their meal at the Bended Elbow when I sauntered up and said G'Day - the look on their faces was classic.

Coffee with Ursula and Michael, still shocked from the surprise visit last night.

As we had previously traveled along some parts of the river we decided to try & travel on the other side and find some good camping spots.

Police Paddock camp area

After coffee headed towards Rutherglen as had heard about a free camp 12km NE which sounded OK for a couple of nights.  We headed out to Police Paddock, named after the island across the river where the police would rest their horses.  Even though it was drizzling there was a few other campers and we managed to find a spot right on the river which had left over firewood ... bonus.  I was a great spot.

What was going to be 1 or 2 nights finished up being 3 and each night we were able to cook on the open fire, cooking some delights like stew, damper and roast chicken.  The weather on the 3rd day was overcast but had sufficient brakes to enjoy a short stroll and throw the line in.  Unfortunately the line caught a snag and when I went to the waters edge it was very muddy and slippery so after 15 min or so I slowly maneuvered my way back out of the muddy edge and onto firm ground.  At this point I started to pack ....... fishing rod was first item to pack away! Not long after my mud bath we saw a 1.5 metre black snake swimming down the river - glad I was up on the bank and not still trying to release the line!

Great camp cooking - hearty lamb stew

We left with the intention of another camp along the river somewhere between Yarrawonga and Cobram.  Unfortunately the rain was persistent and after checking out Scotts Beach near Cobram decided against camping as the actual camping area was a little too soft to risk maneuvering the 3 tonne van.  We could see another camp area across the river on the NSW side so headed over towards what we believe was called Wattle Bend.  This looked great from a distance but as the rain set in we decided that it was again too risky to venture along a narrow dirt track therefore continued on towards Echuca stopping at a roadside camp adjacent to the Goulburn River, no facilities but good enough for a night stop over. Had a great 'happy hour" (or 2) with other campers.

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