A NIGHT IN THE WILDERNESS
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
325Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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Where I stayed
PRITCHARDS CAMP GROUND
The storm stayed overhead as we drove to our intended campground at Lower Glenelg National Park; we thought we would check out Pritchard’s Camp because it was close to the main road and had just 1.5 kms of unsealed access. If not accessible or suitable we would drive on to the town of Nelson, 15 kms away. Well it was a fantastic spot with 20 camp sites set high above the wide and flowing 75 km long Glenelg River and at first we thought it was deserted and that put a question mark over us staying! However we then noticed a caravan tucked away in a corner and decided to stay; we introduced ourselves to Karen and her husband as they put together a camp fire. We had a good chat and returned to the van to get dinner.
The family of kangaroos kept us entertained as did the beautifully coloured swamp hens pecking their way around the camp ground. This was a gorgeous camp ground and we appreciated the feeling of wilderness and lack of all modern facilities; we had a pit toilet and camp fire places and that was it.
Showers fell frequently so we were confined to the van after sunset and pulled out the Sudoku and reading material. The night was cool but not totally dark in our forest as the nearly full moon shone light from under the clouds. The silence was almost deafening when the rain stopped and we could hear a few animals now and then scouting for food and there were no other sounds until morning when the birds started their choruses.
Around 7.30 the next morning, Kath was out looking for early morning pictures, when she heard the sound of a motor below on the river and sure enough the next minute, a small boat pulled up alongside the wooden jetty and a man wearing a captain’s cap made his way up the river bank and introduced himself as Col. Wow! it was like the old Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn movie “African Queen”. He was from Hamilton in Victoria and often sailed the Glenelg River, fishing and camping with family or friends- today it was his friend Jim, who eventually left the boat and joined us. They were merino sheep farmers and they had good stories about life in the bush, drought, family inheritance and fine merino wool values etc. By this time Sheila had left the van at the sound of voices and joined us and we all had a good laugh because Col was a bit of a larrikin. Apparently a big group of friends were camping out here Friday night and over the weekend with music, good food and wine- this he told us was a regular get together for boaties, fishermen and families. He also told us about a jazz festival at Robe that we might like to attend if we were in the area.
After this unexpected meeting in the national park, Jim and Col returned to their boat, we had breakfast and explored the area a little more. It seemed that the rain was going to continue on and off and there were no nearby walking tracks to enjoy so we made the decision to move on.
With the weather still precarious, we decided to leave our little paradise and pursue our next destination which will take us out of the state of Victoria and into South Australia.