Well we were in Renmark the other day and it was so fun. We flew into Mildura and it was already pretty hot out and the airport is honestly just like a shed. It's tiny. We landed and we were the only plane there and basically pulled up right next to the terminal, walked off and through this tiny shed they call a terminal and out the other end. It's so small that the only thing that separates you from the tarmac when you're outside is just a little fence with practically no security. The only airport I've seen like this before was Bergerac in France, and that's saying something.
|Yup that's everything, the whole terminal.|
Arrivals AND departures. Check-in,
security and gates.
We got our rental car (with me now feeling more confident about driving on the wrong side of the road) and started our journey to Renmark which is about an hour and a half from Mildura. You don't know the middle of nowhere until you see rural Australia, which is really the middle of nowhere. Sadly, where we were wasn't even as rural as other parts. You just drive through absolute nothingness and as you drive all you see is nothingness and heat haze in front of you. It was quite the experience that's for sure, and at one point while driving we hit a red dust storm and it was so strange, everything was in this reddish smokiness.
|The red dust storm ahead of us on the road|
In case you didn't believe me about there being nothing.
For miles and miles and miles. We drove past this field with a Shell sign in it (as in the gas station) and at first I thought, "Weird, a gas station in the middle of a field" and then I thought, "Not a bad idea." And then I saw the sign under it. "In 84 km." Thankfully our tank was full, but if it wasn't you'd be out of luck!
Along these roads there are signs that indicate the danger level of a fire and the lowest point is on this sign is "high" and goes to basically "you're on fire." If the low point is high I shudder to think what severe means. Luckily, we didn't see any fires.
You also pass through quarantine on the way to Renmark (which is in South Australia-- Mildura is technically in Victoria) so you pull up in your car and they ask if you have any fruit or vegetables and we said no, so the guy asked to see in our glovebox then checked the trunk and we were sent on our way. It was certainly an experience.
Once we arrived in Renmark we saw the town (not much to see I'm afraid) and then decided to rent a canoe and go out canoeing. The woman working there had told us there were lots of wild koalas along the river so you can imagine my excitement and out we went to find these koalas. We went up one side of the river and didn't see any, then crossed and started going down the other side with no luck. We then decided to pull our canoe up onto this island bit in the middle of the river and look.
We were there no more than a minute when I squealed and grabbed Michael's arm and pointed to a tree whispering, "THERE'S ONE!!" I didn't get any pictures since I didn't bring my phone so it wouldn't get wet, but it was great. The koala just kind of stared at us and wherever we walked moved just its head to watch us, it was super cute and I didn't want to leave it. That was the only wild koala we saw but it was good enough for me.
Happy with that we canoed back and returned it then barbecued some hot dogs for dinner. Then to top off our great day we watched the sunset over the river which was beautiful.
Now, happy Thanksgiving! For Thanksgiving we made our own Thanksgiving dinner and it was delicious. Of course it's almost impossible to find a turkey abroad so we settled for chicken, but we made all the other staples. It was weird not being home for the first time on Thanksgiving but I celebrated in my own way.
|Stuffing, roasted potatoes, honey roasted|
parsnips and carrots, gravy, bread sauce,
|Typical Thanksgiving-- just thrown|
onto the plate
It's been a really good couple of days (I am still beaming about having wifi) and in the past two days I've given directions to four different people so I must be starting to look like I live here and know what I'm doing.
Now just stay tuned for my post about Christmas down under!