Saturday 26th March. (Broken Hill).
A small town of Silverton 30k west was the order of visits today. This is now a ghost town after thriving for about 20 years back in the late 1800’s. There are very few houses left in the town, as most were transported to Broken Hill. What buildings are left do hold a fair bit of character and tell a story of what was, and a very interesting place it is to visit.
The road to Silverton has gotten us rethinking about going to Menindee with the van, as it was a little rough with many sharp dips. If the road to Menindee is similar then I will not take the van down it, so we have decided to just have a day trip tomorrow. This will save us 4-5 days so we can get north a little earlier to the warm weather.
Sunday 27th March. (Broken Hill).
Today saw us take that trip to Menindee, about 110k SE, and what a worthwhile trip. It is just as well we made it a day trip as the road was a bit rough and the camp areas were a bit too dirty and dusty for the van.
Menindee boasts that it is the first town on the Darling River. The area consists of several very large lakes, Menindee Lakes, and is a water storage system for the district. It is the main water supply for Broken Hill and considered an endless supply for the city due the enormous size of the system. Even though the river is low, as are the lakes, there is no apparent need to consider water restrictions for the area. If you have a look at a map the largest of the lakes is Menindee Lake, which is an overflow lake for the rest, and is at present actually empty. The one thing I would have thought of this area would be the possible lack of water: Not so.
This area offered many scenic aspects of the typical outback, such as very low river levels with black muddy banks, overall very arid landscape, very large old twisted and knotty eucalyptus trees around water holes (Billabongs) and dusty dry camping areas close by the river. This scenery made the trip a very worthwhile day, Linda was heard to say “This is the sort of scenery that makes one appreciate what the outback is all about” and I would definitely agree.
We haven’t had much of a restful period as we thought we would while here as we have spent all our time so far sightseeing, maybe we might get a days rest on Tuesday.