Cummulative total = 1346km
We had 2 good solid rest days in Robinvale over the weekend. Although very hot especially at night and difficult to get a good nights sleep we left today and felt good cycling along. A short day mind you! but the legs felt rested.
We didn't take any photos today - in fact I should have taken a photo of the all the Almond trees we saw but I sort of forgot.
We left around 9am after popping into the IGA as the next 2 days we are in very small towns. The first 15km south of Robinvale is devoted to table grape vineyards and we saw a few people working and picking table grapes. I tell you that looks like hard work especially on your back stooped over under the vines snipping away! At the caravan park there were 2 groups - 1 group that was all young foreign back packers more than likely doing the grape work and the other group being older retired Australians who live on the road in their caravans, vans and buses who have just started to arrive for the Almond season which is due to start very soon and last for around 8 weeks - I say this because the Almond picking work is done by machines so it is suitable work for older Australians who just want to earn a little extra money along with their pension and this is obviously a good place as after the 15km of vine yards you get another 15km of almond farms!!!
Apparently the almond trees are shaken and a machine sweeps up the almonds - nothing is physically done and all done by machines hence the older Australian doing the work as they just operate machinery. They work 6 days a week and 12 hour days and get paid around $23.50 per hour - so it is not bad work - big tax but if they work it right they should get the bulk of that back at tax time ... maybe Neil and I will invest in a van and do that sort of thing!? Couldn't do it on the bikes - to hard to work 12 hours and then come back to a small tent!!! need some creature comforts!
Anyway as we cycled along we saw a group of people spraying and neil pulled over to ask what they are spraying for - the woman said fruit fly and had sprayed all the trees from Nyah west and up to Robinvale. When we saw them they were just outside an organic farm and couldn't spray the farm trees due to the chemicals. It is hard work for them especially the past 5 days as it has been over 30 degrees. They are very paranoid about fruit fly since they have found some around Albany and Gippsland recently - not sure how the fruit fly containment system works here in Australia - I know there are zones around areas that have orchards and over some of the borders they monitor it but in other places they don't seem to bother - ironically the one at Renmark where you have to give up your fruit - the majority of the people are caravaners who buy their fruit at supermarkets - yet the trucks supplying the fruit to those victorian supermarkets are the same trucks supplying the same fruit to the SA markets!!! weird!
We got to Boundary bend just on lunchtime and when it started to get really hot - this is the last 30 degree day for a while and tomorrow is meant to be only 24 degrees - yay nice and cool and hopefully it will be cool at night.
There is not much at Boundary Bend and the caravan park is also the petrol station, general store and local takeaways. The park is mainly for pickers and the murray river is just across the road and I wouldn't have been surprised if there wasn't water on the road a few weeks ago.
One thing we noticed was that the road that joins Calder highway and Murray valley highway was closed - originally I had thought about going down that road through Hattah and across to here but we chose to go to Robinvale - lucky!!! I think it was closed from the flooding - there must have been some damage done to the road.
Tomorrow is another short day to Wood Wood.