Wednesday, July 9, 2008

inland sand

Frantically heading north to avoid the winter weather- Daylesford and Ballarat had snow 2 days after we left.We are now back on the River Murray further west than before in Mildura.The river is somewhat fuller then when we left it so our rainmaking tour has not been in vain.

The camp site in Mildura is a picturesque spot on the river and the fees are very reasonable so we are treating ourselves to a warm van and the height of decadence- hot baths! Been weeks since we had such luxury.

Mildura itself is a modern regional city, pop. 60,000, and we have avoided too much city driving, but it is well placed for the tour we did yesterday to Mungo National Park. The park is 100km from the city along a dirt track so we joined a tour and went on a 4 wheel drive bus leaving a disgruntled ginger dog back at base camp.

The National Park consists of 17 dry lakes ( dried up approx 15,000 years ago when the last ice age rerouted the Darling River). The lakes have been eroded by years of wind, searing sun and drought leaving a sandy fossil landscape. 'Mungo man' was discovered in 1974 and is around 40,000 years old and has caused much debate about the geographical development of homo erectus.

We were lucky to visit on a dry and sunny day, and the 'Great Walls of China', a large eroded crescent of quartz and clay 30km long and 30m high, are truly stunning.

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