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.

The Homecoming

Well, I’ve travelled over 1,000 kms since leaving Victoria and now am back where my heart beats loudest, the Flinders Ranges SA.

It’s been a meander along the way, catching up with old friends and some family, and places not seen for years.  Too much to go into now…… but rest assured I have heaps of photos to share.  Finding Wifi in the right places at the right time is more the issue.  Even now when I have it, I’m itching to be on the road exploring!  So it’s brief.

It’s a tough land, sparse rainfall, but rich in many many ways.  And with my trusty navigator Fred and the cats, how can I go wrong!

Little adventures

Well, the story of our travels continues.  The additional work on the van was carried out successfully, and a few days later we took off onto the road again for a few days exploring.  I wanted to be back in Port Fairy for some activities on the long weekend of June as I didn’t want to travel too far, selected Colac as the starting point.  It’s a nice country town, situated on a lake, and lovely old architecture.  Fred and I took a walk around the town when we arrived mid-afternoon, and then headed out to our campsite for the night, about 15mins from town.  It was a free campsite, and had toilets and tap water and is fine for brief periods but didn’t hold a lot of interest for me.  So off we went exploring the next day, and despite initial plans to go elsewhere, we found ourselves heading into the Otway Ranges. Now years ago I’d put that area on my to-do list, especially when I found out about the Otway Fly.  

However, I knew a brief visit would never satisfy me, which is why I was surprised to find myself selecting it for this brief road trip.  However….. can’t argue with my muse…

Yes, it was truly wonderful,  No, my time there was too short.  Yes, I will be returning.  Yes, it is one of the wettest places anywhere, summer or winter, and yes it does get very cold……..  but doesn’t usually get snow in winter.  Ha!  Despite my non-enjoyment of cold weather, I’m planning to spend somewhere between 1-4 weeks there this winter!  The reason is that during the summer the place is full of tourists but during winter the numbers reduce dramatically.  I don’t like crowds.   I’ve got a good offer at a caravan park in the region, where I’ll have power and hot showers and a camp kitchen as well as a concrete pad for the van and so I”m willing to give it a go!

Later this week I’ll be housesitting for friends again, and so it will be  early next  when we plan to head back to the beautiful temperate rainforest region where time has almost stood still.  I’m not very satisfied with the photos I took on the first trip and am definitely not happy with my laptop for viewing images – I DO so miss my desktop screen however, it is what it is for now…….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Walking high in the tree tops was an amazing experience.

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Climbing this 47metre tower as a challenge but well worth it for the view.

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The walkways did sway if others were on it – once again a good reason to visit when not many people were walking on it!

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Naturally there were times of going up and times of going down……

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In the really damp areas, the walkways were covered with wire to prevent boots from slipping too much but it paid to keep attention to placing the feet carefully.

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I was half expecting to see a dinosaur appear from the tree ferns…..

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What really interested me was finding a black snail……unique to the Otways.

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All I was able to photograph was the empty shell of one so guess what my next challenge is?  Yes, a real live one!  A snail that isn’t vegetarian – now that’s something different!

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Naturally in such a damp region there are many waterfalls.  This one is Triplet Falls, not far from the Otway Fly.  Gorgeous.

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The image doesn’t do it justice.  Hopefully next time I”ll do better.

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So there you have it.  For now. 🙂

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! 🙂

Preparations

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Days then weeks go by, and still I haven’t posted any updates….. sorry.  So here’s a very brief one.  Things are progressing on all fronts.  Slower than I’d have liked, but still, progressing.  Going through all my personal things, deciding what to keep, what to dispose of, it all takes time to do it thoroughly and with care.  But I’m getting there…. where-ever “there” is!

Changes happening to the van also.  Some cannot take place until January, but at least they are in the pipeline now.  Other small jobs done today and more on Sunday planned.  Once some basic refits are done, I want to do short trips to trial it and then adjust as necessary.

I’m beginning to dream of getting back into taking my photos again – so I can once more share with you the magic of the natural world and all its bounty.  🙂

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It’s arrived

While I’ve been quiet on this blog the past weeks, I’ve been busy elsewhere, including researching online possible vehicles for my next venture – life on the road.  Many and varied were the ones I considered, gradually eliminating those either way beyond my budget, or with reliability issues.

Finally it came back to good ol’ Toyota.  My current little car is a Corolla, as was my previous hatchback, and so it seems we form a good partnership.

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Money

So I last week I handed over most of my savings, and got this girlie in exchange.

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My new home

The previous owners converted it from a wheelchair bus, to a camper for themselves, and had great enjoyment taking trips in it.  However, they’ve decided now to accept that their aging bodies would like more comfort when travelling, and so their camping days are at an end.   While I can go camping right away with it, for the longer term I’ll be doing a re-fit, for my particular needs.  Including getting an awning.

There has been much rain lately, and continues to be and any jobs will be fitted in around those conditions.

The next town along the road from here is Yambuk, and driving through there earlier this week, I saw a great deal of water.

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Yambuk  flooded

While I’m happy to see the land finally get a good soaking, I do feel sorry for those who have to deal with the flooded areas, and am grateful that’s one thing I don’t have to deal with.  I’ve enough on my plate for now thanks, as I deal with disposing of my household items and personal treasures.  Parting with my books is the most difficult……  but on the other hand, I am looking forward to travelling and the nice adventures that will arise.

Regardless of what arises, this is the next step in my life.  And I’m not alone in this issue of homelessness, as recent National Radio programs attest.

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/rise-in-the-number-of-older-homeless-women/7684642

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/lifematters/homeless-women/7821490

Once upon a time, the government provided low-cost housing.  Not any longer – not in the quantity that is required.  Not when a woman rated as high need can be on a 4 year waiting list.  Yes, Australia, the Lucky Country.

Just don’t get old…….   http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/lifematters/could-you-live-on-$400-a-week-fix-pension-poverty/7846444

Now to leave you with a pretty picture, and one of my favourite songsters.  🙂

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Down the road