Early Saturday morning, we headed off for Menindee Lakes and a bit of free camping. After travelling 100 km on bitumen, we hit the dirt and shook the last 20 km over corrugations on a red dirt road. In the end it was worth the effort, as we set up camp about 10 metres from the lake on a side road. In the afternoon, we spent the time looking at the weirs that control the flow of the Darling River. The lakes were full for the first time in 10 years after the floods in Queensland.The weir was also the place where Burke and Wills set up base camp for their expedition. We enjoyed the sunset over the lake beside an open fire and the boys cooked up a lovely roast beef in the camp oven.
The next morning, after a leisurely start and a cooked breakfast, we went for a walk along the lake shoreline where we meet two couples from Port Augusta who were cooking their pork in a camp oven buried in the sand.They were hoping they had solved the grit problem this time!!! The afternoon was spent looking at the ruins of the Kinchega Station which once covered 1 000 000 acres and ran 143 000 sheep.The woolshed is still standing and at its peak had stands for 26 blade shearers. We also spent time looking for the boiler from the steamer 'T'he Providence- it is supposed to be embedded in the bank of the Darling- after blew it up when the crew came home drunk and forgot to fill the boilers; it was nowhere to be seen. We spent another quiet night beside the lake, enjoying the sunset.