After a very comfortable nights sleep in the big king sized beds at Mungo Lodge I was up around 5.30 and out the door just after six… along with Lisa and Amy we jumped in with Roy and Julie and headed off the the Mungo Lookout for a sunrise. Location was average… it was reccomended to us by John at reception as a good sunrise spot. It was. For viewing a sunrise. But for shooting a sunrise it left a lot to be desired. No foreground interest and miles and miles of flat endless plain to the sun on the horizon. I think in future, when someone recomends a spot to me, I am going to ask “are you a photographer” if the answer I no I will disregard them!
Once the sun was up we drove down to the Historic Shearing Shed just a few minutes down the road…………..
After about an hour we headed back to mungo lodge for showers, breakfast and checkout. Breakfast was a delicious cooked buffet in the restaurant. Leaving mungo we came across Paddy Melons growing beside the road.
Paddy melon (Cucumis myriocarpus) and Afghan melon (Citrullus lanatus) are both prostrate annual melons germinating in spring and summer. Their growth is favored by good moisture relations and bare or fallowed paddocks. Melons can stabilise areas prone to wind erosion and provide stock feed when food is scarce (although opinions vary greatly). Horse, sheep and cattle losses have been associated with eating the melon but the smell of the plants generally makes them unpalatable. Dept of Agriculture
From Mungo we were heading first to Balranald and then onto Swan Hill. Between us and Balranald lay 154kms of dirt road. According to google maps its a 5 hour drive.. maybe they are asumming you are driving a horse and cart as we did it in just over 2 hours. Just out of Balranald we finally got the bitumen back.
We stopped off in Balranald for coffee and comfort stop and were then on our again. Finally driving on lovely bitumen we arrived in Swan Hill around midday. Popped into the motel and made sure all was ready for the arrival of those travelling behind us… then headed over to the Pioneer Settlement and organised the tickets for the evening light show, settlement entry and Pyap Paddlesteamer ride. We wandered around the settlement for a while, bumped into a few of the group who had arrived, took a paddlesteamer ride and then headed back to the hotel to relax for an hour before dinner.Spoons Restaurant beside the settlement. Sitting outside on the deck the sky started to turn a glorious orange red, everyone started looking, and then dashed off for a couple of shots with phones. Awesome sunset and most of us there without cameras.
After a delicous dinner we headed over to the settlement for the Heartbeat of the Murray Laser Show. Excellent show using water, laser and sound, it recently won a prestigious multi media award. With the closing of the show we went back to our motel for the night… it was the end of a fabulous week. Got to know some people better and met others for the first time… by the close of the week we had all become closer, had a million memories, and about as many photographs 🙂 Next morning it was pack up and head home… and back to ‘real life’. Thankyou to all who took this journey with me.