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CLARE RAWLINSON & JACOB MOSS
SNAKING its way through the Lower Glenelg National Park down to its mouth at Nelson, the Glenelg River is an accessible escape for all, from the suburban family of ﬁve to the Akubra-wearing adventurer. The sound of the kayak is soothing as it glides across the river, carving an elegant trail in the waters until uncoordinated paddle strokes slap ripples into the seemingly untouched wilderness. Our itinerary, designed by passionate custodian of the river Ross Atkins from Paeston Canoe Hire, will be an easy feat, we realise, as the strong ﬂow of the river - awoken by recent rains - begins the hard work for our half-keen paddlers’ appetite. “You could climb on a log ﬂoating by in the river and end up at the river’s end by sunset,” Ross told us back at base camp. On arrival at Paeston Canoe Hire’s base in Winnap, 5kms from Dartmoor, we were greeted with Ross’ enthusiasm before being briefed on our custom-tailored journey. We then crammed our possessions into dry lock bags before being driven to the river as Ross ﬁlled the transit with tales of his trips on the Glenelg, almost as if it were an old mate. We left our cluttered lives behind and disembarked from Forest Camp - one of the many camp sites accessible to the public only by canoe, lining the banks of Glenelg River in South Western Victoria. Ross boasted that the river lay off the tourist trail and was largely unknown, keeping it a relative secret amongst those some parts of the river reaching 300 metres below the water’s surface. That night we pitch our lonely tents at Patterson’s canoe camp, making sure we were not within possum-reach of the nearest trees, heeding Ross’ earlier warnings of “suicide possums” known to jump from trees and use your tent as a slide in the middle of the night. The sites provide comfortable camping with a traditional long drop toilet, ﬁre place, picnic bench, grassy areas, shady trees, and in the case of Patterson’s Camp, several burnt-out old Scout huts as well. We put to the test the river’s well-known reputation amongst anglers as a quality ﬁshing spot, however the native perch and mulloway eluded us and we resorted to our supermarket-sourced salmon pasta by the campﬁre instead. The next morning we stumbled out of our tents and were met with a curious stare from two large Eastern grey kangaroos and an almost hypnotising mist covering the river. It was at this point that we fully appreciated what it means to be in a place that can only be accessed by boat. After another day of zig-zagging across the river, we perfected our paddling and too soon were making a smooth arrival at Donovans landing, where Ross met us with his truck and trailer. We turn on our mobile phones to be bombarded by messages: A brother got a tattoo, Lleyton Hewitt was ousted from the Australian open and the State Government still wants to sell the forests. All of a sudden we have a swelling urge to push the kayak back out into the river. Even more so when Ross tells us that another customer got a glimpse of the elusive platypus just the night before.
ESCAPE: As soon as our kayaks were launched, we left our cluttered lives behind and headed out into the mighty river. Pictures: CLARE RAWLINSON
NATURAL BEAUTY: The colours in the Limestone cliff face were spectacular.
from neighbouring towns. This appeared to be true, as on the ﬁrst day we had the river almost entirely to ourselves. The great thing about canoeing is how it brings you close to Australia’s secluded territory simply by rounding a bend in a river. This was true of the mighty 400km river, which begins as a trickle in the Grampians. As we paddle downstream the low lying
ON THE RIVER BANK: Pattersons Canoe Camp proved to be a camper’s dream.
banks develop into towering Limestone cliffs where gorges act as an amphitheatre for the abundant bird life in the trees above. We keep our eyes peeled for kingﬁshers and the endangered red-tailed cockatoos native to the area. Humbled by their magnitude, we paddled up close to touch the cold limestone on the sheer cliffs that plunge into the depths, in
How to get there
Paeston’s Canoe Hire is located about 50km from Mount Gambier, just off the Princes Highway in Winnap. From there, owners Ross and Marg Atkins will drive you to and from the river landings you wish to launch from. They will also drive your car to the designated pick-up point so you can jump out of the kayak and into your car
If you arrive late or do not want to camp, free bunkhouse accommodation is available in a renovated shearing shed. Otherwise it will cost $10 per permit for each tent to camp at any of the many sites along the river.
ARIES: (March 21 - April 20) Lucky Colour: White Lucky Day: Tuesday Racing Numbers: 220.127.116.11. Lotto Numbers: 18.104.22.168.34.40. Good period for possible windfalls and a wish could come true. Something interesting from your past could suddenly pop up in your life again and change a few things or the way you think. TAURUS: (April 21 - May 20) Lucky Colour: Green Lucky Day: Thursday Racing Numbers: 22.214.171.124. Lotto Numbers: 126.96.36.199.39.40. It’s a matter of knowing what you really want then pushing hard for it. People might not agree with your choices but if it is what you are aiming for let them wonder. Romance should be good too. GEMINI: (May 21 - June 21) Lucky Colour: Yellow Lucky Day: Monday Racing Numbers: 188.8.131.52. Lotto Numbers: 184.108.40.206.40.45. Not a good time to tell or listen to secrets they could rebound back to you in the wrong way. Someone you helped in the past will now be in the position to help you.
CANCER: (June 22 - July 22) Lucky Colour: Blue Lucky Day: Thursday Racing Numbers: 220.127.116.11. Lotto Numbers: 18.104.22.168.34.40. During this period you could be ﬁnding out that your friends really are and no use wasting time with people who are only fair weather friends. Make sure you check all appointments and plans to avoid disappointments. LEO: (July 23 - August 22) Lucky Colour: Green Lucky Day: Monday Racing Numbers: 22.214.171.124. Lotto Numbers: 126.96.36.199.23.30. Business and pleasure may not mix very well during this period your loved ones could feel that they have been neglected. Some plans for travel coming up soon and could be long distance. VIRGO: (August 23 - September 23) Lucky Colour: Apricot Lucky Day: Sunday Racing Numbers: 188.8.131.52. Lotto Numbers: 184.108.40.206.45.5. Very tense period in which you could ﬁnd yourself at the receiving end of some unpleasantness. Try to keep your cool if you can and it will blow over in no time. Some luck with a Pisces person.
LIBRA: (September 24 - October 23) Lucky Colour: Lilac Lucky Day: Wednesday Racing Numbers: 220.127.116.11. Lotto Numbers: 18.104.22.168.42.21 You’re emotional and love life should be much happier than before and someone from your past could come and ﬁgure very prominently in your future. Keep an eye on expenditure. SCORPIO: (October 24 - November 22) Lucky Colour: Silver Lucky Day: Monday Racing Numbers: 22.214.171.124. Lotto Numbers: 126.96.36.199.36.9. Spending a lot of money is not always the best proof of quality. People are not always impressed with big spenders; try to keep some kind of sense in your money matters during this period. SAGITTARIUS: (November 23 - December 20) Lucky Colour: Cream Lucky Day: Saturday Racing Numbers: 188.8.131.52. Lotto Numbers: 184.108.40.206.40.33. Lots of talk about travel and many wishes could come true. You might be in the minds of some people and you could hear from them after a long period. Work situations could also improve.
CAPRICORN: (December 21 - January 19) Lucky Colour: Blue Lucky Day: Friday Racing Numbers: 220.127.116.11. Lotto Numbers: 18.104.22.168.2.11. New ideas coming up and some of them will be real opportunities for you. Financial matters should also help things along. If dealing with real estate matters keep your mind sharp and your eyes open. AQUARIUS: (January 20 - February 19) Lucky Colour: Violet Lucky Day: Thursday Racing Numbers: 22.214.171.124. Lotto Numbers: 126.96.36.199.2.33. Should be a lucky period in which many of your hopes and wishes could come true. Busy time socially and many new people to meet but keep your head above water in your ﬁnancial matters and do not get carried away with shopping. PISCES: (February 20 - March 20) Lucky Colour: Green Lucky Day: Thursday Racing Numbers: 188.8.131.52. Lotto Numbers: 184.108.40.206.40.22. Taking a ticket with an Aquarius friend could turn out to be very lucky for you. Hectic time for most and too much to do and not enough time to do it in. some good news coming up very soon.
Kerry Kulkens Psychic Line 1902 240 051 ( call cost: $5.50 incl GST per min. mob/pay extra)
SMS 199 242 76 ( $4 send/rec)
The Border Watch, Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - 9
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