06-Feb-2005 -- We (myself and my partner, Carol, who really isn't interested in confluences) set off from Mildura at approximately 10am with the aim to visit the confluence and then head further north and see the highlights of Mungo National Park.
About 5 km out of Mildura on the Silver City Hwy we turned right onto Arumpo Rd. We then headed along this road for about 90km (last 70km unsealed) until we reached the turn off to Euston/Robinvale. We turned right onto the Euston road and followed it for about 15km. Along the way we saw a Blue Tounged lizard sunning itself near a Cattle Grid. This was probably the first really sunny day for the lizard in a while as there had been some unseasonal rain and cloudly weather in the past week.
We then turned left onto a track marked on my GPS that headed towards the confluence, which was still about 7-8km away. About 1km in, we reached an unlocked gate. Once through the gate we passed a holding pen of extremely curious sheep, who obviously weren’t used to seeing two strangers in a fairly old (yet reliable) Magna 2WD sedan.
From this point on the track began to get harder and harder to follow, requiring us to stop several times to find the best way through the scrub. The narrow track combined with the surrounding shrubs and spiky bushes was scratching the paintwork and for my partner it was like running fingernails down a blackboard!!! Several times I was convinced that the road had ended and that I would have to start walking, only to re-find the actual road through the scrub.
As it turned out I should have stopped the car and started walking earlier. After driving along the track for nearly 4km the track dipped down into a gully and there was a small lake/watercourse about 30 metres off to the right of the track. My partner warned me that the next section of track looked a bit damp but I drove on thinking it was OK and the inevitable happened – THE FRONT OF THE CAR WAS BOGGED UP TO THE AXLE!!
After I had gone white as a ghost, contemplating my stupidity and the thought of a night out in the middle of nowhere, some sanity and logic prevailed (particularly from my partner who was more composed than I was!) and we set about getting the car and ourselves out of the bog. Luckily I had a shovel and a jack in the boot and we jacked up the front (drive) wheels and put whatever sticks and shrubs we could find under the wheel path to provide some traction. After an hour and a half and a lot of physical effort we managed to reverse the car out, much to our considerable relief.
At this stage I was definitely not going to drive on any further but nor was I going to let this confluence defeat me. I set off on foot (by myself), with a 4.5km walk to go to reach the confluence. The walk was pretty uneventful, starting off in scrub, then opening into a huge plain where I photographed a dead tree with an interesting backdrop. (see picture 6) I then followed a fence line for a while before making the final 600-700 metre walk through scrub to the confluence.
The confluence was fairly uninteresting and very typical of the scrub in the area. Spent 10 minutes at the confluence before heading back to the car. Overall the walk took just over 2 hours.
After the unnecessary excitement of getting bogged earlier we were both keen to head back to civilisation as soon as possible. Unfortunately the planned trip to Mungo National Park had to be abandoned as it was now after 5pm and we were both pretty stuffed anyhow. Eventually we made it back to our hotel at 7pm and enjoyed a very warm and relaxing spa. My first confluence visit was definitely an interesting and challenging one.