Saturday, August 15, 2020

Gorgeous Day at Menindee Lakes, The Darling River and a Star Gazing experience with Outback Astronomy at Broken Hill

Gorgeous Day at Menindee Lakes. We had to cruise the Darling River as there was not enough 

water in the lakes. There were heaps of scar trees where the aboriginals took wood from the Red Gums to make canoes and shields. Actually, they are all along the road as you drive around Australia. I have noticed them all my life but never known what I was looking at, which is an indictment on the Australian education system of which I used to teach geography in...... Sad and my bad. We had one in the bush near my house and I always thought it was a door for the fairies to get into the tree, when I was little.

We got off the boat and walked a little way to the old Cobb and Co road, now moved, to find a ruined little wooden bridge. I love treading in the steps of history.

Menindee was a much better little town compared to Wilcannia. All very calm and friendly.

In the evening we had a fantastic experience at Outback Astronomy, just 10 minutes drive into the desert from Broken Hill. No photos as we were asked not to take them to keep the light to a minimum. It was the first day of the lunar calendar so on that day the moon sets with the sun, so it was incredibly dark and absolutely freezing at -2C.

We were told to wear 6 layers, hats and gloves. We walked out into a paddock and lay down on camp beds and got into sleeping bags and then experienced one of the most interesting hours of my life......Lying down anyway. I had pre-ordered hot chocolates for the kids so they were quiet and happy. We learnt about which "Stars" are planets and how to read them in the sky. They rise in the east and come up in sequence Venus first then, Jupiter, Saturn and lastly Mars. I can now pick them out in the sky. I saw Saturn and her rings through the telescope, some new stars forming and some old stars dying. We saw 4 shooting stars and so much more. I can now pick out the emu in the Milky Way, which runs north to south and was used by the Aboriginals to navigate where they were going. We also saw some of the zodiacs. Mars is currently in Scorpio for anyone that follows it. I saw some smudges which are the 2 closest galaxies to ours. We were asked if we thought there was life out there other than ours. I answered probably.....which the guide agreed with. This is a fascinating experience and I highly recommend it if you are ever in the area. The Australian desert is wonderful

Taken from my travel diary in 2018.

For more travel stories go here

No comments :

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...