Due to the Swan Hill bridge works, Thursday turned into a rest day in Swan Hill. First thing on the agenda was a cooked breakfast at the Big 4 Caravan Park next door to the Pioneer Settlement which has recently opened an outside café.
The crew then wandered around the Pioneer Settlement especially enjoying the Steam Workshop. We were also given the privilege to have a look onboard the PS Gem. And what a big paddlesteamer she is! They have begun the tedious and expensive task of restoring the Gem back to her former glory however as we know this takes an enormous amount of time and effort.
Throughout the day the Swan Hill bridge works was on everyone’s mind. The RTA still need to conduct test lifts however we really couldn’t afford to spend any more time in Swan Hill if we wanted to make it to Mildura for the PS Melbourne’s Centenary Celebrations. Late afternoon we received notice that RTA will close the bridge from 10am – 12noon tomorrow (Friday 1 September), and will conduct a test lift. If the first test lift is successful the will then allow the PS Adelaide and other houseboats through on the second lift. So this confirmed that we would be stoked up ready to depart first thing the next day.
In the afternoon, crew went and sourced more firewood from Ted Ward and Cliff Hayes, even stacking the wood on the back deck.
At 7pm we attended the Pioneer Settlements Sound and Light Show experiencing it in a whole new way.
Roast beef rolls were on the menu tonight and after a quick dinner everyone went off to bed, ready for the big day ahead.
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