This is the first part of my series Alone in the Wild - Chowilla Kayak Camping Expedition
Chowilla Game Reserve is located to the north east of Renmark here in South Australia, it's a 17,500 hectare nature preserve.
The reserve is full of wildlife, on my journey I encounter many different species of animals.
I start the series just after my initial portage to Slaney Creek from the Murray River.
In this part of the series I show you my kayak and gear, which was quite challenging dragging through the portage. It was 32 degrees C and all up I was lugging 55 - 60 kgs of gear so as you can imaging it was physically draining considering the portage was about 200 meters. I had to do the portage in two runs, taking my gear on the first run and then my kayak loaded up with gear on my second run.
The portage was actually a little difficult to get started, as there was nowhere easy to get on to the bank.
This part of the journey runs along part of Salt Creek, as we make our way towards the South Australian and New South Wales border.
This part of my journey wasn't as spectacular as the rest of the series will be, while it's interesting with some good scenery there were some bland spots with no trees and baron looking land. I think that's what makes the experience great though, as you get such amazing swings in scenery changes.
There were some amazing sights to see, on of my most memorable was in this part of the series where a giant tree had fallen over but it just kept on growing anyway and looked like it was now four trees.
I also really loved navigating around the big ol fallen trees, many of which left only a narrow opening to maneuver through. You would have to be careful in these situations as the current could drag you under the water and pin you to the tree which would be the end of the road. I would recommend carrying a knife on you somewhere, mine is in a zip up pocket on my life jacket but you can also get ones that strap against your leg and I think I will get one of those too as a backup option.
A knife could come in handy if you get snagged under the water by a branch, you may need to cut some of your clothing to free yourself. This is something I had never originally anticipated but as I progressed through my journey it became apparent that it would and could come in handy.
I'm really hoping this series gives others a good idea of what to expect if they are willing to undertake a similar journey, as along the was there were many obstacles and challenges to work around.
When I planned out my journey I had no idea that the water would be flowing so fast in some sections, and my route I planned to take from campsite 25 up Slaney Creek back to the portage was against the current the whole way. This series will help others plan for such things :)
I have also created a youtube channel where the videos will always be available.