If you are travelling South Australia and get the chance to visit Barmera and Lake Bonney, do it. It is a stunning little town directly beside a beautiful lake. It reminded us very much of the Lake Taupo and Taupo situation (except warmer). On the stopover we were able to park up beside the lake and with only a 5-minute walk into the township.
The lake was heaven sent on Tuesday. The outside temperature in Barmera was around 45C with very little breeze. The temperature inside the van was approximately 49C. We spent most of the day in the lake. While endeavouring to stay cool we even tried our hand at paddle boarding. It wasn’t overly difficult and something we will consider taking up when we get home.
We decided it was too hot to cook dinner so escaped into Barmera and dined out for the night. The meal was itself average but the air conditioning in the restaurant was wonderful!!
Tuesday night was another nightmare sleep. The temperature inside the van sat around 37 – 39C all night and as we were freedom camping, we could not run the air conditioning unit. We are not sure whether it would have done much good anyway in those temperatures.
On Wednesday it was back on the road and in an easterly direction toward Renmark. Because of the continuing high temperatures we decided not to stray too far from water and stopped for the night at the Martin Bend free camp area just 5km west of Renmark. We spent the rest of the day either in the Murray River or on the edge of the river with a glass of wine and a beer.
The weather is playing a big part in our travel as you can tell. We were watching the news on Wednesday night and the forecast was for torrential rain for the following two days. We looked at the sky in disbelief however decided not to ignore the warning. Much of the ground at Martin Bend was a mixture of sand and dust so if it did rain, mud was going to be the obvious result.
Based on that, on Thursday morning we packed up and headed further west to the township of Paringa and parked up on blacktop at the Bert Dix Memorial Park, 1km west of Paringa. We had only been there 2 hours and the rain started. It is now Friday afternoon and the rains have not stopped. While many parts of South Australia are now flooded, the upside is that a number of rogue fires have been contained because of the rain.
Ignore a weather forecast warning over here at your peril.
Depending on the rainfall, and whether or not the Murray rises too much, we plan to stay here for another 24 hours.
We are not quite sure what we will be doing today for Valentine’s Day. If it clears up we may walk into the local town for dinner. If it continues raining as it is now, I may have to cheer Dearne up with my rendition of Pearly Shells and Ten Guitars. That should do it!!!