As an Australian, the Murray River is part of the cultural heritage. But as a West Australian, I hardly ever saw it. As part of the CoC project we will be travelling along a part of the river, collecting stories and maps, images and impressions. In preparation we are collecting all sorts of information and misinformation.
Other than the official maps of the area, which concentrate upon the landforms, we have obtained the two pilot guides for the river, one for the lower part within South Australia, another for the upper river part. Both are filled with historical notes, landscape and other information. Including where to get fuel which, happily, we can ignore!
We are also investigating the wonderful world of the Murray river myths. Stories of dry river beds and “carrying the boat,” the silting up of the mouth, salt levels and a lot of other things… it seems that some might be true but most are myths.
But most of all it is about finding out all sorts of stories and suchlike so that we can approach this part of the world with an open mind, meet some people, collect their stories and try to see ways in which their stories are similar to and differ from, the stories of people in the east and west of Europe.