Tuesday morning, as pre-arranged the night before, everyone was up in the dark, out the door by 6am and heading down to the Mildura Wharf for sunrise. The river was still and quiet, save for the morning bird calls and the odd early morning jogger going past. We were setup on a lovely wooden walkway that gave a good view down (up?) river to the bridge over the Murray. Even at that hour there was a constant stream of traffic across the bridge.
By 6.45am the sun was coming up, more joggers and walkers were going past and traffic was picking up… the river and the houseboats all remained quiet though.
Back On The Road
Once the sun was up we headed back to the motel for breakfast and showers, then booked out and headed to Broken Hill, 296kms up the Silver City Highway. The road is well maintained bitumen… but long….. long… long…. with the occasional bend to keep you on your toes. Between Mildura and Broken Hill reception drops off quickly once out of Mildura and you dont get it back till about 20kms out of BH. Between Mildura and BH, there is only one little general store and three unattended rest stops. Apart from that its just you and the goats..lots and lots of wild goats beside the road and the emus.
We made it to BH by around 1pm – where the group met up again at the Demo Club. The club began life as the Barrier Democratic Social Club, a working mans club similar to the RSLs, but it has evolved into a curious cross between a pub and an RSL. No half full wineglasses here.. every glass was a millimetre from the top and half the price of the victorian pubs. From the demo club we booked into our rooms at the motel, unpacked, and took a brief rest before heading off again. This time we were off to the Line Of The Load a miners memorial overlooking BH. It has the name and cause of death of every miner who has worked the mine in BH… and there was a lot. No such thing as OH & S a hundred years ago.
From the memorial we headed just outside of Broken Hill to Sculptures in the Desert – 12 sandstone sculptures set on a hill top. With Bill and Deanne Holmer from Melbourne Light Painting we were going to shoot the sunset and then do a little bit of light painting before the ranger kicked us out at 7pm to lock the gates.
Right on clockwork the Ranger turned up at 7pm and dispersed the party…then it was back to BH for dinner at Mario’s Palace Hotel…made famous from the movie Priscilla Queen Of The Desert
Next Day: Silverton and Daydream Mine