Date written: 30 November 2020
Date posted: 7 December 2020
This post was written by hand in my diary on the road, and entered into the blog when I got home.
I slept in today, and had a nice campfire breakfast of fried eggs, muesli bars and espresso coffee, before packing my bag and exploring the Campbells Island State Forest on my way down to Barham and Koondrook.
Koondrook is a little town on the Victorian side of the Murray, and Barham is a slightly larger, but still small town on the NSW side. I crossed the river into Barham and stopped at the bakery for a shepherd’s pie and chips, chatting to a local named ‘Darby’, who was 80 and had lived in the area most of his life. Barham is a nice enough little place and reminded me very much of Wentworth, near Mildura but again on the NSW side of the river.
I stopped at the general store in Koondrook for cold drinks, water and fresh worms for bait, then headed back into the forest, this time Gunbower State Forest, to roam the tracks along the Murray. For the most part from Murrabit I have followed the River Track, which meanders along the Murray, not turning into every single long winding bend but for the most part sticking to the course of the river, and the track is a pretty good track for most of its length, getting rutted and slippery in parts but otherwise easy to follow. I saw kangaroos and spooked a couple of emus who ‘took flight’ pretty close to my bike due to the quieter nature of a bicycle versus the 4WDs and other motorised vehicles they’re likely used to.
At about 1500 I stopped to camp at a nice spot near Iron Punt Landing and the intersection of the River Track and Threader Track. It is a stunning place, but without phone reception (perhaps adding to its allure for some!) and I’ve since caught a little yellowbelly (golden perch) and seen and heard plenty of cockatoos and kookaburras. I had a dip in the warm water before having a Backcountry freeze-dried meal of “Beef Teriyaki” for dinner, as I couldn’t discern whether today is a total fire ban or not.
On my travels today, I passed through such beautiful country and would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of that land, the Yorta Yorta people, and pay my respects to their Elders, past and present. I’d like to thank them for looking after the country for more than 80,000 years.