Thursday, 23 January 2014

Go the Gumi!

As well as spray bottles, I'd packed water pistols and three body boards. 

The boards were very useful when floating down river but we found ourselves envious of other swimmers using inner tubes - or gumies as they are known locally.

Nick wasn't greatly keen but we were insistent and won him over!  A few people had vaguely advised a gumi would probably cost around $10.00 -$15.00. 

While out on other missions we called into a tyre shop.  It was left to me to do the talking, so I smiled brightly and stated our desire to float down the river.  The very pleasant salesman asked how many tubes were required and we suggested two or three, though no price had been discussed.  He said that bigger tubes had gone (in the lead-up to the annual Gumi Race) but he would see what he could do. 

When he returned, he asked me to hold out my arm and plonked four tubes onto it - freebies!  How good is that?!  We were super-impressed and after thanking him profusely, left the shop with huge grins.  Doesn't take much to make us Happ(ier) Hamby Campers!

Sadly, there are no photos of us floating down the Murrumbidgee in/on our gumies and bodyboards.  It very pleasant though - drifting on the river with various birds flying overhead, dipping into the water and so on.  Some exertion was necessary at the launching site and again when returning to the small beach landing area, as the current was quite strong in places. 

The strong current claimed a victim during our stay.  On our last night, a rescue helicopter searched along the river for a 19-year-old man who had sank into the water, while attempting to swim to the other side.  We thought of him often while packing up and as we travelled home.  The extensive search continued over the weekend.  His body was found on Monday.  A very sad loss.

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