We stayed at the Big 4 Riverbend caravan park in Renmark, perfectly located besidethe Paringa suspension bridge which opens twice each day to allow river cruisers and houseboats to move up and down the Murray River. The range of houseboats is amazing - both modern luxury style and older restored types. Little driver training is required, so now we want to go house-boating, or even better see if we can do a home/boat exchange in Europe or USA ... who wants to come with us?! The Chook Man was in town for the premiere of a documentary that has been made about him. What a character. Over the years he has graduated from a minibus to a "water vessel"- we use the term loosely! Worth reading about. A lovely afternoon river cruise on the MV Barrangul included Devonshire tea, and great birdlife photo opportunities for Ian. The owners are just starting off in Renmark after running a similar enterprise at Murray Bend for many years. We were impressed by their range of activities for children - good to see a varied age range getting right into solving intricate puzzles and games, and the big kids helping the littlies... not an i-Pad or phone in sight! The restored paddle steamer 'Industry' steams down the river occasionally - not inour time frame sadly. We have many beautiful red river gums in our back garden, and had heard about an artist in Lyrup who specialises in pen and ink drawings of them. After some detective work, we tracked Tony Smith down in his back yard, and spent a wonderful30 minutes yarning about fine art, the meaning of life, trees and ships. He was the Master of the Murray Princess for many years, and has spent 25 years regenerating native bush around his home. Tony's sight is failing due to glaucoma so we felt especially happy to have seen his finely detailed work, and have 2 lovely prints to remind us of our meeting. Sadly we were disappointed with the promise of fresh fruit in Berrie, Loxton and Renmark - wrong time, wrong place probably. Next stop, Mildura!