Assorted

I’m finding it simply not possible to catch up at present…. but here’s an assortment of pics taken over the past three weeks.  From local to far away and back to local again.

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Taking the rough with the smooth

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Sometimes in life, you have to take the rough with the smooth.

I took these images last month on Australia Day.  It was a day that didn’t begin well…… the power supply failed in the early hours of the morning… and the expectation was it wouldn’t be restored until at least 8pm that night.  Temperatures even early in the morning were quite high and by midday it was very sticky.  The mobile phone service was also disrupted, as were land lines and only some people were able to receive text message updates on the situation.  The cause of the outage was a bushfire several kilometers from town, and while a temporary power station was being erected it would take time before it was operational.

I had just stocked my house fridge up with meat for the animals, and didn’t want to lose it, so I loaded it into the van fridge, but as the temps were high, I needed to drive the van with the airconditioning on so it was cool enough for the fridge to operate.  So Fred and I putt-putted down the road, heading for Warren gorge, where at least there were large trees for shade.  Mind you, it’s dangerous to park close to gum trees on very hot days, as they can suddenly drop a large limb.  The first warning is a large crack sound and then a split second later, whoosh!  as the limb falls downward, taking anything in its path with it.  So we needed to be careful.

It was a slow trip to the Gorge, but fortunately there was little other traffic so I wasn’t causing anyone inconvenience by driving so slowly…….. it was a matter of getting the van as cool as possible before parking.

We found a suitable spot, and settled down for a while after opening all windows and doors to allow some air to circulate.  There were some kangaroos sheltering in the shade of a large bush nearby, and only one of them decided to make the effort to go elsewhere. It was simply too much effort for the others…… I read some poetry… snoozed a little…. took Fred for a very short walk,  nibbled on supplies, and then the warning beep on the van fridge informed me conditions were too hot and I needed to move on again.

So the images on this page, are the result of a day quietly putt-putting about the back roads of Quorn, including exploring a road I hadn’t taken before, with the bonus of meeting a mob of very friendly and well-mannered ponies and horses.

By the time we arrived back home, the worst of the heat had receded and a while after  the power resumed, and all was well with the world.  Especially good news was that the bushfire had been controlled.

It was certainly a day that tested my resources, but  I comforted myself with,  “this too shall pass” 🙂

I was looked with admiration at Valerie Jardin’s blog today and the wintry conditions she’s dealing with, and yet managing to take absolutely gorgeous images!

Windows

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We are all prisoners but some of us are in cells with windows and some without.
Khalil Gibran

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The windows of the houses even if the house is ramshackle are always beautiful because windows represent light!
Mehmet Murat ildan

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Give me a window and I’ll stare out it.
Alan Rickman

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If you want the people to understand you, invite them to your life and let them see the world from your window!
Mehmet Murat ildan

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All the windows of my heart I open to the day.
John Greenleaf Whittier

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The windows of my soul I throw wide open to the sun.
John Greenleaf Whittier

A funny thing happened on the way to the shops……

Earlier this month, Fred and I headed in the van to Port Augusta, to buy a few things not available locally.  Shopping isn’t necessarily my favourite past-time, so we (I) decided to do a little bit of pleasure first, by heading to the Port Augusta Arid Lands Botanic Garden.

I LOVE this place, and plan on doing a separate post on it another day.

However, when we took the Highway to the Gardens, a large road sign showed the next lot of towns and distances…. including Darwin.  I said to Fred, how about we go there?  To which there was total agreement!  So we sailed past the turnoff to the Gardens and kept going!  Ha!  It felt good to be hitting the highway again, even if we were just having a pretend time of it.  (the cats were home and I had limited supplies in the van and other obligations the following day)

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The landscape is totally different to that of the Flinders Ranges.  This is flat desert country, with funny flat-top mountains at the beginning of the Stuart Highway. 

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This road is said to be the Gateway to the Outback.

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Perhaps one day I’ll do it, but have no real immediate plans, as it’s an awfully long long way without a co-driver. As it was, we drove about 30 kms, and then found a nice little rest area and did some little exploring before heading back the way we’d come.

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The Australian movie, Last Cab To Darwin, tackles both the road and a controversial topic.  I’ve seen the movie twice and love it.

The road signs were a little different, so I took some shots of them to share.

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Coming back, on my left were the Flinders Ranges, always enticing even though without the afternoon sun on them from this perspective, their full charm is hidden.

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Inselbergs

These strange creatures are to be found on Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.  I felt they deserved a slightly different editing treatment…..  another time I’ll show them ‘normally’.

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Secret Rocks

Continuing  the story of my recent travels across Eyre Peninsula, South Australia, is my visit to Secret Rocks. All I knew about it was the name on the map…… but as I’m keen on rocks of any description, it was sufficient to pique my interest.  Sometimes I research a place, but other times prefer to simply let it unfold.

I turned off the Lincoln Highway……. Secret Rocks is 2/3rds along the unsealed road which meets up with the Eyre Highway in north-westerly direction.  Now unsealed roads can vary greatly in their condition, from well-maintained traversed in top gear, to low-gear bone-shakers……………

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Boneshaker

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Corrugations……

Unfortunately, the section from the Lincoln Highway got worse the further along I went, and there was no point by then of turning back, so it was a matter of slowly chugging along at 5-10kms p/h, listening to everything in the van protesting – including Frank being very vocal about communicating his displeasure!

At one point, another vehicle overtook me, but that was the only other vehicle I saw the whole time…. tick tock tick tock….

Eventually, hurray!  There’s the sign pointing to Secret Rocks!  There’s a nice parking area, and we found the vehicle which had overtaken us was parked there.  Fred had a brief pit stop, and then I went on alone to explore.

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I was most surprised by all that I found, as I’d no idea Eyre Peninsula had such interesting formations, and further into the trip I found more.

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In general, the land is fairly flat, so any rises are most welcome to get a broader view of the area.

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The crevices and folds in the rock, captures moisture, and provides a wonderful habitat for vegetation.

Delicate native ferns in particular grow here.

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Not the best of photos sorry, but you get the idea of it. Slightly different from another plant that grows nearby.

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Spikes

There was also another soft leaved plant I didn’t recognise.

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On reaching a high point on the rock I came across the occupants of the vehicle parked below.  A lovely young couple on University break from Adelaide, who were visiting the region.

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David and Michelle.

We chatted for a while, then they continued further up the rock and as time was getting on, I headed down to continue the journey.

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It’s one of those places I’d like to return to, as there’s much more to explore there.

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Back onto the boneshaker…… and to our great relief the road was much improved from then on to the Lincoln Highway.  Obviously I’ll be using that direction on any return visits!  All part of the learning and experiencing life on the road 🙂