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    Michael's 4WD Trips
    Click here for a list of my Four Wheel Drive and Camping Trips.
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    "The SS Undola has great fishlife"
    Lachlan River Trip - July/August 2022 - Part 2

    Click here to read the first part of this trip.

    Day 11 - Friday 22 July 2022 - Wallanthery to Booligal

    Weather: minimum of 6.6ÂșC and sunny

    A warmish night with the same minimum temperature as last night. I wake at 6:55 am and do my usual of listening to the ABC news, but today I cannot read the SMH as there is very little Telstra phone coverage here. Instead I reading my Kindle. I get up at 8:00 am and it is 7.1ÂșC and sunny. I have breakfast and read some more and then walk to the rubbish bins on the other side of the cricket ground. We then pack up. I am ready at 9:40 am and we leave at 10:04 am. It has warmed to 12ÂșC.

    Instead of going by the more direct and tar Kidman Way, we continue along the Lachlan Valley Way which is dirt but then tar. It is a good road and a more scenic route and besides, I have done the Kidman Way last year. We arrive in Hillston at 10:45 am. We go straight to the free camping area at Johnsons Bridge. However, the Lachlan River is right at the top of the bank and has flowed over into some parts of the camping area. Damn, it looks like a nice spot (both sides of river).

    The 1929 Club Hotel Hotel in HillstonTwo emus near the park

    We drive the short distance into town and park near the IGA store. It is 42 kilometres to here. It is now a nice 16ÂșC. I purchase a few things, including a roast chicken ($51 all up). We then go to the small park we passed on the northern end of the main street. Here we have morning tea, use the toilets and then refill our water tanks.

    The bridge over to the walkThe walk is totally flooded

    There is also a pedestrian suspension at the start of a walk, but the walk is totally flooded. There are some artworks here too, emus. At noon we drive to the bakery and buy some bread rolls. We leave town at 12:10 pm. Again we continue down the Lachlan Valley Way. It is tar for 19 km, then dirt. We mostly sit on 70 km/h as it is a very good road. We stop at the intersection with Crows Nest Road, 34 kilometres out of town. It is 12:35 pm and 18ÂșC.

    We leave at 1:08 pm and at 1:50 pm we arrive at Booligal. This is 121 kilometres from Wallanthery and 79 from Hillston. The last 20 km is tar. Booligal is a very small town, with a public school and a hotel (which also sells fuel and has accommodation).

    We have a quick look around and then park in the Duke of Edinburgh Hotel's car park. The manager of the hotel (he is relieving the real manager (perhaps owner) is on the verandah and he tells us to camp anywhere around the back. It is free and a shower is $5 (although we end up not paying anything as we have dinner and drinks both nights we are here).

    The Booligal sign as you come into townThe Duke of Edinburgh Hotel, Booligal

    At 2:00 pm we drive around to the back of the hotel and set up camp. This is a great spot, really good grass. Veto especially loves the grass. After I set up camp, I have a cuppa and read the rest of yesterday's paper and then start on today's. I have my solar panel out and am getting a very good input. John has some problems with his battery charging as his whole DCDC charger has melted down. The manager says he can connect into power. This takes us a while to work out as the fuse trips when we test which power outlet is active. We end up getting it reset and it all works.

    I later go for a walk to the Booligal sign (see photo above), the church, school and back via the park. There is another memorial to John Oxley's 1817 exploration of western NSW. He was here on 5 July 1817. I read the rest of the SMH and at 5:45 pm I feed Veto. At 6:00 pm I go and have a shower. After this, I go to the hotel.

    The camping area behind the hotelThe Anglican Church, Booligal
    The memorial to John Oxley's 1817 Exploration TripJohn and I inside the Duke of Edinburgh Hotel, Booligal

    John comes and joins me not long after. We watch the two NRL matches on TV and then have dinner. I have a chicken parmie ($27). It was very nice and quite large. There are about 20 people here, all but us appear to be locals from the town or nearby properties.

    We leave after the last game finishes and I am in bed at 9:40 pm. It is a warmish 10ÂșC.

    Weather: Fine, max of 18ÂșC Arrived: Booligal Time: 1:50 pm Distance: 121 kilometres

    Day 12 - Saturday 23 July 2022 - Booligal

    Weather: minimum of 8.6ÂșC and overcast

    It is a warm night as cloud came over while we were in the pub. I wake at 6:55 am and listen to the radio news and then read today's SMH from 7:30 am. I get up at 8:00 am. Last night we decided that we would stay here again as Souths are playing tonight and I would like to watch them on TV (the pub has Foxtel). I have a sausage sandwich for breakfast, using the leftover sausage from a few nights ago.

    At 9:30 am the wind comes up and it feels a lot cooler now. At 11:00 am we John and I walk to the river at the bridge and then back to the river west of the pub. Here we realise you could also camp at this spot where there is a weir. There are not many spots here and with the height of the river now, there are even less. We are back at the hotel at 12:10 pm, the walk was 3.8 kilometres. It is now sunny and much warmer at 18.5ÂșC.

    The town and Booligal signThe Lachlan Way and Cobb Highway intersection, Booligal

    I listen to Bludging on the Blind Side with Roy and HG on ABC radio. Still the funniest people on the radio, over 35 years after they started on 2JJJ. I have had my batteries connected into the solar blanket this morning as the sun was on the wrong side of the camper trailer for the main solar panel. I now change to the main one and the voltage goes up. I have lunch and read more of the paper.

    Looking west towards the Lachlan RiverThe Lachlan River campsite
    The former Booligal Post OfficeThe former Booligal Court House

    When the wind dropped it became very warm, probably the warmest we have had on this trip. At 3:30 pm I go for another walk, this time to the southern end of the town and back via the old post office and court house. Any 1.5 km. I am back at 4:15 pm. It is now cloudy and calm. I read my Kindle and feed Veto. I have a shower and at 8:10 pm I go to the pub (Veto goes into the camper trailer and sleeps).

    I have a hamburger and chips ($20), another very nice meal. We watch the NRL again, Souths beat Melbourne 24 to 12. While we are there, the Ivanhoe rugby league team stops here on the way back from their grand final in Narrandera (251 kilometres to the south-west). They unfortunately lost. They have a drink and use the loos, then continue on the 132 kilometre trip home.

    I go to bed at 9:45 pm.

    Weather: Fine/overcast, max of 18.5ÂșC Arrived: N/A Time: N/A Distance: 0 kilometres

    Day 13 - Sunday 24 July 2022 - Booligal to Soapworks Bend, Hay

    Weather: minimum of 8.9ÂșC and sunny

    Today is Veto's 14th birthday, so we have some celebrations later. I actually sleep past the 7:00 am news and get up at 8:00 am. It was a warm night, mostly around 11ÂșC. I have breakfast and read the paper and then pack up. We leave at 9:56 am and head south on the Cobb Highway.

    BooligalOne Tree
    Veto on her 14th birthday, eyes closed!The former One Tree Hotel, very nicely restored

    At 10:26 am we stop at One Tree Hotel, 40 kilometres south off Booligal. This was another of the Cobb and Co stops on the way north to Wilcannia (as was Booligal). The only thing here is the old hotel which is privately owned and not open. This building dates from 1899 replacing the original one that was here. We leave 11 minutes later.

    The Hay Boer War MemorialThe 1887 water tank

    At 11:05 am we arrive in Hay. We stop at a park and have morning tea. It has the war memorial, an oval and an old water tank. We walk around, the water tank was built in 1884 and extended in 1891.

    When taking Veto for a walk around, she continually insists on rolling on her back and making me drag her around on the grass. She wiggles so that she is on her back, then her left side and then her right side. She will sometimes do this for minutes at a time, scratching her back. I am sure that some people who see me dragging her around think I am so cruel, when in reality I am doing her a favour.

    Hay Railway StationHay Railway Station

    At 11:30 am we drive the short distance to the old Hay Railway Station. This old building is no longer used as the railway line has been closed for a long time. In a couple of old railway freight carriages is a very interesting museum, the Dunera Museum. This is dedicated to the many men transported to Australia in World War II by the HMT Dunera. They were mostly Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria who fled to the UK. At the start of the war they were interned as "enemy aliens" and then sent to Australia on the Dunera. Most we sent to Hay Prisoner of War camp.

    A stone tank made at the Hay POW campInside one of the carriages of the Hay Dunera Museum

    In the camp were also local Australian interns of Italian and German origin as well as some Japanese prisoners of war. The museum entry fee is $5. There are large numbers of photographs from the camp as well as maps and some relics from the camp. These include their own money, stamps, tools and other things they made there. At the end of the war, most of the men stayed in Australia and became known as the Dunera Boys. A really good museum.

    A panoramic photograph of our campsite at Soapworks Bend.

    We leave at 12:18 pm and head out to Soapworks Bend. This is a free campsite to the west of town. We arrive there a few minutes later and after driving around, we stop at our campsite at 12:28 pm. There are quite a few wet sections and the track to another larger area is totally underwater. The spot we pick out is quite nice and right on the Murrumbidgee River. We set up camp.

    After this I change into shorts and T-shirt as it is 19ÂșC and there is little wind. We have lunch and then I read the paper and listen to the NRL on the ABC. Later I have a cuppa and then walk with Veto around the sections still accessible and also collect some firewood. At 4:30 pm I start the fire and at 4:50 pm we have drinks and nibblies. A caravan comes in and sets up away from us. Lots of cars come in and out, I assume they are locals looking to see how far the water is up.

    Veto and me on her birthdayVeto having her birthday dinner of chicken schnitzel and fried rice

    I have brought with me a chicken schnitzel I purchased from Aldi. They are pretty good. I cook this and have Mexican rice that I made a few days ago. Veto gets a bit of the schnitzel and rice for her birthday dinner. Afterwards we have apple pie and ice cream. Of course Veto also gets some too! A very good birthday dinner I reckon. It is quite mild tonight and I go to bed at about 9:30 pm.

    Weather: Fine, max of 19ÂșC Arrived: Soapworks Bend, Hay Time: 12:28 pm Distance: 82 kilometres

    Day 14 - Monday 25 July 2022 - Soapworks Bend to Kyalite

    Weather: minimum of 8.4ÂșC and fine

    Another warmish night but when I get up later it is cool as the wind is blowing from the south. Before I get up, I take the bed sheets off the bed and put clean ones on as we plan to do some washing in a few days. I get up at 8:05 am and have breakfast. We leave at 9:36 am and head into town to do some shopping.

    We go to the IGA and I spend $25 but I could not get yogurt, so I then go to the Foodworks and get it there. We leave town at 10:07 am and head down to the Sturt Highway and head west towards Balranald. There is some drizzle from 10:50 am but it stop as we arrive at the Willow Vale Rest Area. We have morning tea here.

    The road here is very wet, so it must have poured here before we arrived. There are toilets here, the only ones at a rest area since Hay (94 kilometres). All the other rest areas do not have any at all. We leave at 11:40 am. At 12:06 pm we arrive on the outskirts of Balranald. It has rained most of the way to here. We go to the BP service station t o refuel (note that it is not where the NSW Fuel App says it is). I take 86.9 litres at $2.289 a litre, $190.23. I have averaged 14.4 l/100 km.

    We leave at 12:25 pm (the fuel pump was the slowest I have ever encountered!) and head south towards Tooleybuc. I have been on this road twice in the past year, the last time coming back from South Australia just after Easter. At 12:52 pm we arrive at the Kyalite Wakool River Camping Area. This is just over the river heading south, on the left. There is a large area along the river with a few spots to camp. There is some water around but we find a nice spot near the middle.

    Veto and me on her birthdayVeto having her birthday dinner of chicken schnitzel and fried rice

    We have lunch and then setup camp. It is overcast and 15ÂșC. After this I fly my drone to get some photographs. I then have a cuppa and read the SMH some more. After I finish the paper, I take Veto for a walk around the whole reserve. Near the bridge is a wrecked car which has come off the road, through the Armco railing and then through a fence and ended up down here. The airbags have gone off, at least four of them. It does not look like anyone would have been severely hurt in the accident.

    While walking I find a lot of timber, so I go back to the car and get my chainsaw. I cut it into long pieces, it is not real thick, so easy to drag them back to the campsite. Back there, I cut it into suitably sized pieces. Later a lady comes in and camps relatively close to us. I go for a another walk with Veto and we have a chat. I invite her over to our fire once we start it. When I get back, I discover Veto has rolled in shit. She stinks! To make it worse, I reckon it is human shit. Pigs, crapping right near a campsite.

    Major Mitchells CockatoosOur fire by the river

    I end up giving Veto a sort of wash using water on a Chux, with John giving me some dog shampoo. This at least gives her a bit of a nicer smell. It is way too cold to give her a proper wash. I start the fire at 4:45 pm and Lee joins us.

    Later I cook rissoles and potato on my frying pan. We sit around the fire till 9:30 pm and then go to bed. I read a little. While we were at the fire, there were a few spots of rain, but nothing to make us move.

    Weather: Overcast, max of 15ÂșC Arrived: Kyalite Time: 12:52 pm Distance: 164 kilometres

    Day 15 - Tuesday 26 July 2022 - Kyalite to Murrumbidgee/Murray Junction

    Weather: minimum of 5.9ÂșC and sunny

    It was warm most of the night, only cooling down early. I wake at 6:40 am and at 7:00 am I try to listen to the news but I have to keep changing the station as there is poor reception and I end up not hearing it all. It is still only 6.1ÂșC when I get up at 8:05 am. I have breakfast and read the paper and then pack up.

    I am ready at 9:45 am. When I waiting for John to finish, 20 or so pink (Major Mitchell) cockatoos come in and land in the trees near us. Yesterday afternoon we saw a few but they were not as close. Such a beautiful bird. We leave at 10:00 am and at 10:15 am we arrive in Tooleybuc. We go to the park near the bridge and use the toilets. We also have morning tea.

    The historic lift bridge across the Murray River is being repaired. It is closed each night from 4:00 pm till midnight. There is also a brand new huge floating pontoon wharf. Wow, it is so good, even has power, water and sewage pumpout. Too bad they have not put one like this to replace one I use in Sydney which is rubbish. I don't understand though why they did not put it next to the boat ramp. At the ramp people have to get into their boats by climbing over the side while it is at the river bank.

    We leave town at 10:33 am and travel on the Murray Valley Highway towards Robinvale. At 11:11 am we arrive at the junction of the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers. This is in the Murrumbidgee Junction Reserve. We decide to camp straight at the junction. It is not the flattest spot, but we find some level bits. While moving, John backs into a tree and damages his spare wheel carrier and his canopy. It takes a little work to open the carrier so the rear door can be opened. Bugger!

    It is windy now and cool. We set up camp and have lunch. After this I have a cuppa and read. Another car comes in to have a look at the junction and a national parks car comes too. This is not national park, they are just having a break it seems. Veto keeps going over to the first car as they are cooking hamburgers for lunch. She ends up getting a little bit!

    I set up the shower for later too. At 2:15 pm I take Veto for a walk. I follow the Murray downstream and then cut back across to the river upstream of our campsite. There are three or so good campsites on the downstream section but I cannot follow the track all the way as it is closed for some reason. I get back to camp about an hour later. I walked 4.0 kilometres.

    I have another cuppa, it is still windy and cool. At 4:15 pm the wind drops a little so I fly my drone. The water coming out of the Murrumbidgee is much cleaner than the Murray, this surprises me. At 4:40 pm I have a shower and John has one after. We are staying here two nights, so I leave the shower set up.

    At 4:44 pm I start the fire using some timber I have collected as well as timber we have with us. We have drinks and nibblies. John makes jerk chicken and rice and I cook the chicken on the fire using my cast iron frypan. It was very nice. We stay around the fire till 9:45 pm. Before going to bed, I put the heater on as it is now quite cold. I go to sleep at 10:10 pm.

    Weather: Fine, max of 14ÂșC Arrived: Murrumbidgee River JunctionN/A Time: 11:11 am Distance: 58 kilometres

    Day 16 - Wednesday 27 July 2022 - Murrumbidgee River Junction

    Weather: minimum of 5.7ÂșC and sunny

    It ended up warmish during the night but the temperature dropped after 3:00 am. It is very quiet here. I wake at 6:50 am and download the SMH. It is very slow, but ends up working. I end up listening to the 8:00 am ABC radio news via the app as I could not get a station on my radio at 7:00 am. I later listen to AM. I get up at 8:30 am, it is now 8ÂșC, but there is still a cold wind.

    I have breakfast and then fly the drone again. I read the paper some more and at 10:40 am, Veto and I go for a walk 2.6 kilometres towards the highway. I am back at 11:50 am, having walked a total of 5.4 kilometres. I also collect some firewood on the way back and mark some more to collect later. There is timber everywhere here, no need to bring any with you that is for sure.

    I relax in the sun, it is nice if you can get out of the wind. At 12:30 pm I have lunch. At 1:30 pm I go for another walk (without veto as she is exhausted and won't come). I go downstream again and past the blocked road sign. Here I find the road is totally flooded, at least a few metres of water over it in one spot. So that is why it is closed. All up I walk 8.9 kilometres today.

    I get the fire ready and have a cuppa. I put the fire on at 4:00 pm and then have a shower. At 5:00 pm we have nibblies and drinks. I am cooking rosemary and mint lamb steaks for us for dinner and vegies in the camp oven. Everything is cooked by 6:15 pm. Beautiful! We sit around the fire till 9:30 pm. It is much milder than last night.

    Weather: Fine max of 14ÂșC Arrived: N/A Time: N/A Distance: 0 kilometres

    Day 17 - Thursday 28 July 2022 - Booligal

    Weather: minimum of 8.6ÂșC and overcast

    Weather: Fine/overcast, max of 18.5ÂșC Arrived: N/A Time: N/A Distance: 0 kilometres

    Day 17 - Thursday 28 July 2022 - Booligal

    Weather: minimum of 8.6ÂșC and overcast

    Weather: Fine/overcast, max of 18.5ÂșC Arrived: N/A Time: N/A Distance: 0 kilometres

    Day 17 - Thursday 28 July 2022 - Booligal

    Weather: minimum of 8.6ÂșC and overcast

    Weather: Fine/overcast, max of 18.5ÂșC Arrived: N/A Time: N/A Distance: 0 kilometres

    Day 17 - Thursday 28 July 2022 - Booligal

    Weather: minimum of 8.6ÂșC and overcast

    Weather: Fine/overcast, max of 18.5ÂșC Arrived: N/A Time: N/A Distance: 0 kilometres

    Day 17 - Thursday 28 July 2022 - Booligal

    Weather: minimum of 8.6ÂșC and overcast

    Weather: Fine/overcast, max of 18.5ÂșC Arrived: N/A Time: N/A Distance: 0 kilometres

    Day 17 - Thursday 28 July 2022 - Booligal

    Weather: minimum of 8.6ÂșC and overcast

    Weather: Fine/overcast, max of 18.5ÂșC Arrived: N/A Time: N/A Distance: 0 kilometres

    Day 17 - Thursday 28 July 2022 - Booligal

    Weather: minimum of 8.6ÂșC and overcast

    Weather: Fine/overcast, max of 18.5ÂșC Arrived: N/A Time: N/A Distance: 0 kilometres

    Click here to read about the next part of this trip.

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