|I awaken to a cacophony in the surrounding trees, hundreds of sulphur crested cockatoos are loudly and coarsely greeting the morning. Not at 4.00am as a fellow camper warned me, but a far more respectable 5.45am. Though what does it matter anyway, I am on holiday. I sit outside my home and watch the river for hours, tiny birds hopping around me feeding. Most are 'superb fairy wrens', busily darting here and there, pecking for food.
It's so very peaceful. Only a few vehicles camp during the four days that I’m here, contrary to the spot 15kms away on the very edge of Wagga Wagga where they have packed themselves in like sardines. I chum up with Peter who has come down from Qld and is reliving his past youth, when he was a teenager apprenticed locally in the 1960s. He delights in being my tour guide around the city and district, telling me both tall tales and true, then spoils me further by cooking a scrumptious three course dinner in the camp fire : damper, rosemary-infused roast lamb and vegetables, followed by apple duff for dessert. My overloaded but happy tummy doth protest ... eventually!
Various locals come down late in the afternoons with their fishing lines and some chat to me before leaving emptyhanded, the carp having eluded them yet again, so too the more preferred cod and yellow-bellies.
I’m camped on the banks of the mighty Murrumbidgee River. Murrumbidgee means ‘big water’ in Wiradjuri, the local Aboriginal language. It is a major tributary of the Murray and flows from the Snowy Mountains, through the ACT in a mostly westerly direction, until it joins the Murray west of Balranald around 1500km later.
A sign just down the road reads “Welcome to Oura - Somewhere on the Murrumbidgee”. What a great spot this is. I’m camped literally ten metres from the water. This is what I’ve dreamt of during the times when the busyness of life caught hold of me. In the mornings I step out of M’Home, put the billy on, and sit. Just sit. And be.