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Active Retirees : Active Retirees June-July 2012
52 | www.probussouthpacific.org mEmbEr proFilE I n June 2011 my husband Bill and I, thinking we were still 18 when in fact we are 83 and 75 years old, joined a 210k, nine- day trip down the Warburton Creek into Lake Eyre and back again. The Warburton only flows after heavy rain in Queensland, so there are few opportunities for this adventure. After loading up our Oka four -wheel drive in Morgan, on the Murray River in South Australia, we drove north to Carrieton for the night, then up the Birdsville Track to Mungerannie where we picked up supplies, fuel and our boats. We then headed west through Cowarie Station until we reached the Warburton. We slept in swags under the stars (no tents for our intrepid group) and the first night it rained. The native rats ran over and onto our swags, and I found they had used our hats for toilets and chewed my shoe. “That's it, I'm going home,” I said to Bill. Don't ask me how I thought I was going to do that! After a hot breakfast we set off on the creek in our tinnies, and all thoughts were focused on the wonder of this magnificent watercourse flowing through the desert. We chugged along with the fast flowing current and stopped at picturesque places for morning teas and lunches. Billy tea and cake were welcome after our very early starts. Bird life was everywhere – our group named 98 different species of birds on the river and environs, with fairy martins nesting in the exposed roots of coolabah trees an indication of the power of the flooding waters. The many barn owls favoured the denuded sand cliffs for their roosts and, as we ventured further towards the lake, stirring up the water on our way, huge flocks of kites, storks, herons and pelicans followed us. It was wonderful to sail into the lake and boil up the billy on an island – tea never tasted so good! The weather was very cold, but the crew cooked wonderful meals for us each night. As we waited for our tea the late afternoon light on the river was truly beautiful and we thought how lucky we were to be in this place. The scenery constantly changed as we retraced our steps, and the sun made patterns on the water as we twisted and turned to find deeper water. I thought of all the wonderful memories I would take away with measIlayinmyswagonenight listening to the mournful calls of the dingoes as they talked to each other across the camp. All too soon we were back at Cowarie station, finding our land legs after nine days afloat. A bore water shower at Mungerannie after so many bird baths brought us back to earth and left us pondering the grandeur of this magnificent river, which in a few months – unless it rained in Queensland again – would just be a string of water holes, and most of the birds would be gone. It wasn't an easy trip for us – Bill said it was a character -building experience – but we both agreed it truly was an adventure of a lifetime. •• Sail away When the once-in-a -lifetime opportunity of sailing off up the Warburton and into a flooded Lake Eyre presented itself, avid explorers Bobbie and Bill MacKenzie from the Port Victor Combined Probus Club couldn’t resist. bobbie macKenzie shares the story of their latest adventure. It wasn't an easy trip for us – Bill said it was a character- building experience. BenjaminLiewPhotography
Active Retirees April-May 2012
Active Retirees Aug-Sept 2012