Rawnsley Park

After I left Hawker last time, I eventually ended up at Rawnsley Park campgrounds.  I had been heading to Blinman but as the day had crept forward I decided not to risk travel on kangaroo roads in fading daylight.  It was a good choice, as even though it was still school holidays the staff found me a relatively quiet powered site and we were undisturbed.

That afternoon, with a little time before sunset, Fred and I took a walk up a steep hill where we could view the landscape better.  We weren’t the only ones up there.

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Fred began making a great deal of noise about this…… and got told to shut it.  I’ve figured out since that he thinks he’s protecting me from them, so have tackled his behaviour differently with reasonable success.

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It was a steep climb and I was glad to stop and admire the view along the way.  It also kept pulling me upwards…

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Looking down on the campground below, in a north westerly direction. Beyond the buildings is a long stretch where bush campers can setup for lovely private views.  There are also a couple of toilets along the way but aside from that campers need to be self sufficient.  In season, campfires can be lit if you have your own wood supply. I’m certainly hoping to return there at some stage.

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This shows Rawnsley Bluff and the little Eco Village – high class accommodation for the wealthy.  There is a walk to the top of the bluff but I passed on that 🙂

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Don’t think this land is only grey/greens.  This Cassia lights up the landscape especially in the light of the setting sun.

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The type of view I love – no houses! 🙂

It was time to return to camp while it was still daylight as I didn’t fancy finding my way down the steep rocky path in the dark.  It was a nice conclusion to a lovely day of exploring.  It was also forecast to be frosty overnight and we needed to prepare for that.

Next morning despite the freezing conditions, Fred and I were out exploring at sunrise.  More on that next time.

Today we’re back in Hawker, about to head north to Parachilna.  It has changed a lot since I was there last and I”m curious to see the changes.  There’s also an art exhibition I’m wanting to see.  There’s unusually some rain around and I figure I may as well be nice and warm in the van travelling as sitting somewhere chilly 🙂

 

Up North

Without any further ado, here’s some images from my week in the Flinders Ranges SA.  I’m back in the Mid North for now, but plan on returning northwards soon.   I have until perhaps October to explore there – after that the temperatures may start getting a bit high for us all.

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This is Sturt’s Desert Pea, the floral emblem of South Australia, and a personal favourite.  In a good season, out bush the ground is carpeted with them.  And there are natural variants with white ones even occasionally being found. These images however were taken in a town.

The landscape up north can vary considerably, but there are certain commonalities of the area, and of the flora.  My first campout was at Carrieton, a sweet little community run campsite on the edge of town.  Quiet and peaceful, I spent two nights there so I could explore the town in a relaxing manner.  Mind you, it did get frosty overnight!

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It’s the open spaces which help my heart to swell……………..

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I first came through here back in the late 70’s when I left the city to take up a job out bush.  In those days the road was dirt – and there was no bushfire refuge!  Which incidentally is on the town oval.

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An old house on the edge of town, sadly now in disrepair.  What a backdrop view though!  And what I wonder, stories does it hold…..

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Like most towns the world over, the population has dropped since this plaque was unveiled, as the cities have grown into sprawling messes.

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Speaks for itself 🙂

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On to Hawker.  Regarded as the Gateway to the real North.  🙂  Now I’m really starting to feel at home.  Lived at Lyndhurst at one stage in my life and visited the others on the top sign at various times.

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The colours of sunset.  Like no other areas I’ve lived in.  Do I sound like I’m in love? Yes, I am.  🙂

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After leaving Hawker, I really began meandering. Bush time…. slowly does it…..                      Creeks in this world can be large, and mostly dry, but when they flow, watch out!  Never camp in these creek beds, as even if there’s no rain locally the water can flow down from elsewhere and arrive with a roar!  But what a wonder world it can be to stroll down looking at the rocks.  This is an ancient landscape with treasures for those with eyes to see it.

 

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Elder Range.

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Chace Range in the background.

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Perfect spot for a coffee……  just soaking up the view ……..

The next step of the journey took us into a slightly different country so I’ll leave that for next time.

At last!

Today the sun is shining – in various ways!

Finally I can sit at my own laptop, using WiFi at the council library – in this instance it is at Portland Vic library.  It has taken many deviations to get here, and I’m still not convinced it will be without glitches, but fingers crossed it all goes well.  🙂

For the past ten days I’ve been at Portland, housesitting for friends, who are now on their way back from a family gathering in N.Z.  Before that the Mob and I spent a week doing proper life-on-the-road stuff.  It was full of moments ranging from THIS IS WHY I’M DOING THIS, to OH DEAR NOW WHAT!  Overall though it felt good, despite some freezing cold mornings where waiting for the kettle to boil felt like forever!

The cats and I have developed a routine that is working reasonably well at present.  At first light I let them out of the van, and they can scamper about and explore and attend to toileting  while the rest of the world is still asleep.  Then they are content mostly to spent time in the van, either in their travelling boxes if we’re on the move, or sitting on the bed or their cushion by the window.  At end of day, it’s similar, although not quite as good as the mornings.  I always try to find the quietest campsite, whether that be in a free campspot or in a formal caravan park.  It evolves…..     This week I upgraded their litter tray….. Pixel is inclined to send litter over more than her tray…. and this new one has a lid and a cat flap.  Hmmm…… still getting them used to going thru the flap…. but we’ll get there 🙂  Of course, adjustments have to be made to fit into the small space of the camper, this added piece of equipment………  and constantly I’m doing reshuffling trying to find the most economical use of space.

Next week an overhead shelf will be installed, along with a central roof vent.  That will change things again and I’ll spent a few days making further adjustments.  I’ll be staying in the Port Fairy region while that takes place, and am making hazy plans for heading to a warmer clime now that winter is about to break.  We’ll see……

I’ve been spending far too much time in the past fortnight dealing with tedious issues that took most of my patience and brain power, and celebrated with the conclusion of all that (which I’ll discuss later) by taking off to Fred’s and mine favourite beach in this area on Friday.  Weather was perfect and we had a great time.  Haven’t downloaded images yet but will show them in due course.

Here’s the view from our first morning on the road.

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It was teeming with bird life especially ducks and swans.  Lots of fish too apparently.

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The area we were exploring is volcanic and has many craters full of water and I found it utterly fascinating.  Definitely an area I’ll spend more time in along the way.  Today I won’t go into details, just some images……..

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So far I’ve hardly had time to look at the photos myself, so this is just a quick edit while I’m online.  However, as I say, hopefully all the tedious must-do’s have been done, and now we can all get on with enjoying our new way of life! 🙂

And now it is winter…..

In case you were wondering, I’m doing ok, just taking life a lot slower these days, after a hectic…. um… two years actually!  And I feel it’s just a respite, so I’ve been making the most of it.  The future looks unsettled…. but more on that another time.

It’s winter, and so far there have been gales, fog, frosts, rain, and this weekend snow could fall in the mountains.  As you can imagine, I’m very grateful for a small cottage that is quite cozy especially if there’s some sun about to stream in the sitting room windows.

For now, please enjoy shots of Fred and the cats Frank and Pixel, and the various calves on the property. It is so very very nice to be able to walk out again with my furry friends and not have to worry about traffic – and at this time of year, the snakes are less likely to be active. 🙂

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Autumn

Yes, it’s now just over two months since I moved onto the dairy property near to Port Fairy, and I can’t believe how the time has flown.  Many times I’ve had to change my plans to stay home and relax as one thing after another has landed on my lap, leading me away.  Finally though, I’m settling into some sort of a routine.

Each morning Fred and I walk up my driveway to the top of the hill, and beyond to the grid at the main road, and then back again.  It takes about 15 mins of brisk walking.  The cats usually come only part of the way, and rejoin Fred and I as we return.  I collect kindling for the cottage from the gum trees on the side of the drive to build up a supply for the coming winter.  So far, I’ve only had one fire, more to check that all was working properly as much as anything.  I get plenty of sunlight into the cottage during the day from the northern windows and that’s a real bonus of this place.

Earlier this month my piano finally had its tuning and now everything is working smoothly and it sounds lovely – when I get a chance to play that is!  The piano tuner placed its date around 1905, so she’s doing very well.  He remembered tuning her once before, several years ago, when in Portland.

There’s been welcome rains recently, and fungi are popping up about the place.  While on a recent road trip, I stopped to examine one that grew around the gum trees.  It was enormous!  And it had plenty of family members around the same size not far away.  On that same trip, I found an unrestored vehicle that I’d love to own – a Citroen 2CV has been on my wish list for years now and suddenly there it was!  Entirely impractical for my needs, but one can always dream 🙂

Stability

This week I was reading Pat’s blog post on Courage and the New Year and she finished by asking what word speaks strongly for this new year.  The word that quickly arose for me was “stability”.  It’s not that I’m against change, it’s simply that for the past year I’ve been constantly packing bags and travelling back and forth, living in two places.  My home, and another’s.  And neither feels like the home I wish to have.  My cats and dog have adapted extremely well to the situation, to the extent that now when the travelling crate comes out, Pixel goes in immediately and settles down.  Frank is slightly more reluctant and always voices his disapproval at the beginning of the trip, but overall he’s pretty good.  Fred, well, he’s a dog and a terrier, so he’s always up for a trip in the car.

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The road much travelled

It’s me who’s feeling weary of it.  Seeking solutions.  Seeking stability.  I still want to work on my friend’s garden as I find bringing it into order a very satisfying experience.  But it’s too far from my place for a quick half day visit, and so entails packing and unpacking…….

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Front view

When I moved to my beach cottage last year, I initially only took out a six month lease as I wasn’t sure how I’d adapt to no longer living in the middle of a very very large cow paddock.  Well, it has been tough as even though I’m not crammed into a suburban block as such but look out onto the ocean in front and a paddock out back, I’ve still got to contend with road traffic….and Fred spends far too much time on a leash.  Not what we are used to, and now I don’t think what we can get used to….. I’m too old a dog myself to learn that new trick.

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We want to be wandering paddocks like this again…..

Find some gold again

And find some gold……

I’ve extended my lease for another three months while I continue the search for something to fits our needs better, and gives me that much needed sense of stability.  Or else I’ll simply hit the road……….

A quiet walk

Although it’s summer, fog rolled in overnight, and it lured me out with the camera just on daybreak.  As usual, the cats came a short distance, then waited in the trees for my return.

Sadly, Mr. Merriwether wasn’t with Fred and I either.  He has disappeared.  The property’s stockman saw him (he thought) last week when I was away, out in the paddock with the young cattle, but mustering has failed to produce him.  The place is quite empty without him, and I feel sad about not knowing his fate.  Sigh…. but that is country life with animals ……..

Compared to other local properties, this place still has plenty of grass, as the owners don’t overstock – so we saw plenty of kangaroos out enjoying the coolness of the morning. The snails enjoyed it also 🙂

Just click on an image and then scroll through to view.