The Mallee

For the fourth night in a row the temperature was below freezing, very unusual in Horsham where it went 12 below the normal average for this time of year. I stayed in a caravan park a few kilometers outside Horsham and sat around a campfire and had a few drinks with some guys there. They brought the beer, cream cheese, dips and crackers, I brought Hob-Nobs and tea later on. I’d found an Aldi store in Horsham and they had large packs of Hobnobs for $3 in addition to the other goodness that resides within.¬†They’d never tried them before but the entire pack was demolished before we called it a night, had to make another pit-stop for a second pack in the morning before moving on.

I’m now in the Mallee region of Victoria, the heart of the grain producing area. Everywhere as far as the eye can see are grain fields. For hundreds of kilometers there is nothing but grain and every 20 or so kilometers are massive grain silos. Being winter they are just starting to sow the next harvest so there isn’t too much activity going on. In the evening I stopped in a place called Brim, on the shore of the ‘lake’. It’s been dry for a decade and the neglect is obvious. There are signs about water safety, swimming areas, water ski channels all around the lake. It really strikes hard just how serious the water shortage is in this place. On the news yesterday I hard that despite getting 15mm of rain in a day the levels of the reservoirs supplying Melbourne fell 1mm. And it’s not raining that often here. For my sake on the bike I don’t want it to rain but do they ever need a good soaking….

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