OK, so I’d been reading a photography magazine as we approached Lake Cullulleraine at the end of a long day on the road, and I was itching to try a few things out. So what if my camera was ‘only’ a point & click, and not one of the fancy-schmancy-hi-tech must-have gadget-laden-gizmos the mag condescended about.
Besides, I was in a BAAAAAAD mood.
We SO hadn’t planned for a four-day dash 2000 km (that’s a LOTTA miles) across the country for home only a few short weeks after we’d left.
We also hadn’t planned on the camper trailer’s broken spring.
Or the brake malfunction.
Or the hiking boot loss-of-sole emergency.
Or the killer storm that sprung us a leak AND turned our campsite into a make-shift mud-wrestling arena.
Nor had we planned on an escalating family misfortune, sucking us into its cruel maw and grinding us down with despondency.
Or the unforeseen injury that saw one of us barely able to move or drive and held us captive in a place where it seemed to never stop raining (split infinitive be damned!) …
No, this road-trip was doomed. Nothing for it, but to cut our holiday short!
So now we were three LOOOOOOONG and dismal days on the road UP with – please goddess – one more day and a few hundred more kilometres DOWN ’til home.
Dropping like a post-poor-policy-announcement pre-election poll, the temperature plunged into single figures as we headed south into the cold and dreary gloom of the winter we’d almost escaped. The one cold-climate outfit I’d brought was getting an unexpected airing. Every day.
If only our washing machine hadn’t self-destructed just before we left …
And we’d passed the last bakery before the border.
Life sure wasn’t proving to be all RED Rocks and Rainbows on this dismal downunder day.
So in the late afternoon, after 3 days and ~1600 kilometres on the road, we pulled into Lake Cullulleraine exactly 5 weeks to the day since our first visit*.
‘Let’s try the other caravan park this time,’ Pilchard suggested in the interests of equality.
Too tired to argue, we turned off the highway towards the lake’s edge where a couple of other vans – a good sign – were already set up, with no barking dogs, blaring radios or blithering idiots apparent.
No obvious axe murderers or aliens either*. Actually, NO ONE AT ALL!!!
Had the secret rapture come early to this small lakeside settlement??
The sign at the entrance advised us to select a site, set up and the managers would track us down later. And so did the park resident who emerged from the cottage near the office to show us the ropes.
Finding a level, drive-through site with a bit of space between us and the nearest campers wasn’t too difficult.
So we pulled into a spot with plenty of space between us and our nearest neighbours, set up the camper trailer and headed for the lake to watch the sunset, pausing only to purchase a packet of chocolate biscuits – essential, given the circumstances – from the roadhouse and general store.
The lingering cloud under which we’d driven for several hundred kilometres throughout the day was breaking up as the sun sank through it towards the lake. Strategically placed trees, reeds – and even birds – silhouetted themselves photogenically against its glow.
I started playing with my camera settings.
Maybe that magazine was worth the bucks I’d paid for it after all!
As the sun sank slowly over the lake, the glow in the sky intensified and the reflections turned into an awesome colour palette beyond my wildest dreams through the viewfinder, my shutter button finger was in serious danger of developing a bad case of Repetitive Strain Injury.
And if the friendly local who wandered over for a chat as the sun sank lower hadn’t been an artist and photographer with expertise in Photoshop as proven by what he showed me on his i-phone, I probably would have shown him my snaps.
Maybe one day he’ll discover them here instead …
The (thankfully much later) southern dawn brought a whole new set of photographic fantasies despite the low-single-digit overnight temperatures, firmly placing Lake Cullulleraine into the ‘favourite place’ category.
Our short stay at the Lake Cullulleraine Holiday Park was worth every cent of the $25 I put into the honesty box with my business card just before we left – only moments before the manager appeared!
And so we set off for the South Australian border – and home.
With a clutch of (in my opinion) killer photos that had miraculously lifted my despondency and despair.
I’d found an antidote to the dark side of our Australian travel adventure.
My camera sings to me.
When I could actually understand the photographic code and lingo peppered throughout its articles, I learned a lot from the photography magazine.
But the artful and inexplicably ever-so-slightly-tilted lake horizon was mine.
Want a Lake Cullulleraine adventure all of your own?? Of course you do! But live too far away?? No problem – with Travel Associates the world can be yours!
And you can show me how to keep that horizon straight …
- Lake Cullulleraine: so COOL it’s HOT!
- Lake Cullulleraine, via Mildura, Victoria
- Lake Cullulleraine Holiday Park
- MORE Aussie Sunsets!
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