Hello again

It feels ages since I last wrote, as I’ve been places, met people and animals, and had much to think about and muse upon.

I’ve taken heaps of photos, but sometimes days go by before I’m able to download and look at them.  Sometimes it’s because there’s been so much activity,  that I run out of time and energy, and other times it’s lack of power for the equipment.  However, I’m camped with a powered site tonight, and so I’ll begin to catch up a little.

After the showjumping at Mt. Pleasant, I headed down south, taking a long route through the Adelaide Hills, looking at places I was familiar with a long time ago.  It’s lost its charm for me now, as it’s increased in population and road traffic.  I was glad to finally escape from it all. We did a short camp near Langhorne Creek, then took a detour next day to Milang just cos we could.  🙂

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Next stop was lunch at Meningie, on the Lake Albert.  Part of the Coorong.

These are the words of one of the Traditional Elders of the area.

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Pelicans abound in the area. Wonderful wonderful birds 🙂

At Kingston SE I was able to catch up with a friend of mine.  While there, Fred and I managed to get in a paddle on the beach. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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A couple of days later, we headed back north again, this time at a more leisurely pace, stopping off firstly at The Granites.  This is a place we’ll return to more often, now I know what it’s like!  Amazing place.

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Camp that night was beside the Lake Albert at Meningie.  A pleasant caravan park.

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Peaceful.

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That evening I met again a couple I’d spoken to briefly at the Granites, and we ended up sharing a bottle of wine and stories.  They were from USA, and really enjoying their visit to Oz.  Nice nice folk.  Meeting and making connections, no matter how brief, is why I travel.

Even Fred made a connection, of sorts, with the ‘dog’ at the caravan park entrance.

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Then I was back to Mt. Pleasant, where I got more and more of my horsey fix!  More on that next time 🙂

 

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Happenstance

As you know, I’m back on the road travelling again, this time southwards from Quorn, going through the northern Adelaide Hills and meandering further south towards the coast.   On Saturday afternoon, (17th Feb) I drove into the Mt. Pleasant showgrounds campsite, a great place I’ve used before, only to see showjumps setup on the oval.  Well…. this looks interesting I thought.  Then I found out there was a jumping weekend happening.  Yippee!

In my early years, I was totally into showjumping.  It was a complete passion, taking virtually every waking moment of my time.  Eventually, I weaned myself away from it, to a more balanced life (perhaps!) but the love of it never left me.

On the Sunday morning, the second person I saw as I approached the oval, somehow recognised me – a fellow competitor from decades ago!  I don’t think we’ve seen each other since maybe a Showjumping club reunion about 20years ago…. if we did meet then, as I only have hazy memories of that time.  Anyway, it was good to catch up, and also to catch up with his wife, who I’d known even longer.  Isn’t it amazing how things turn out…

That’s how it’s been since I’ve left Quorn.  I’ve caught up with people I’ve not seen for either months, or even years, all without much planning.  Nice.

Anyway, enjoy some shots of the horses, enjoying what they’ve been trained for.  Believe me, horses don’t become good jumpers, and athletes, unless they enjoy it.  It doesn’t mean I didn’t see some instances of poor riding/misunderstanding, but thankfully only a few cases.  Oh, horses are such generous creatures!

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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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On making adjustments…..

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve noticed a dearth of notifications from W/P, and thought that perhaps most people were simply taking time out from blogging…. but, eventually the penny dropped that something wasn’t right.

Somehow my notifications got turned off.  Not by me.  A glitch.  Yes my intention for this year is to reduce distractions, to fine tune my focus.  But delete my blogging  community? No way! Honestly, if it wasn’t for the friends I’ve made here over the years, I probably would be going troppo.  Even without living in the tropics. 🙂

So I’ll try to catch up with the missed posts, but please forgive me if I don’t manage it. The intention is there…..

Currently I’m preparing to leave the summer house we’ve been staying in (thank God for it over these 45C plus days!) sometime in the next few weeks.  I need to make adjustments inside the van furniture wise, preferably first, and also at some point, upgrade my solar system so I can recharge camera batteries and run laptop, without having to stay in a costly caravan park too often.

Longer term, I’d like to purchase something along the lines of this unit or something similar.  When I first decided to live on the road, I had no idea how I or the animals would go with it.  So I purchased something within my limited budget so I’d have no debts and away we went. I have unresolveable health issues and have to work with that on a daily basis, even though I’m extremely grateful I’m now able to do more than I ever expected to.  Usually.  Not always.  But being on the road suits us all, despite  being cramped in the little van, and so that’s what it will be for who knows what time…..

Lacking a large bank balance, I can’t purchase a new vehicle just yet.  However,  if Lady Luck decides to favour me with a gift of a slightly larger home for life on the road, I’d not turn her down! 🙂  A Toyota please.  Very reliable and parts and service always accessible.  A kind loving home guaranteed.  🙂

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A Peak Experience

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One of the small towns I visited on Eyre Peninsula is Darke Peak.  The town, like many others, has been renamed from it’s original name.  In this case it was proclaimed Carappee (a place of water) in 1914, then in 1940 it was changed to Darke Peak after John Charles Darke, the first European who explored the area in 1844.

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Typical farming country, of sheep and cereal with the grain silos dominating the townscape.

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Well, apart from the Hotel.  At one time, it recorded the highest SA beer consumption per population ratio – aussies who take their beer drinking seriously!

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Not so serious, are the hi-jinks the locals have got up to……the first Hellbent hotel was talked of on New Years Eve 1979 so that the drinkers would have another place to go to once they were kicked out of the Pub at closing time…. and by daylight 1980 the first new hotel was finished.

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While planning the Legends Weekend for October 2009, it was decided to rebuild the Hellbent Hotel in honour of the occasion, and here it stands today.  A typical example of what a mob of blokes can get up to out bush 🙂

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The population of Darke Peak is about 50 people.

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A big attraction to the area is the highest point on Eyre Peninsula, Carappee Hill (495 metres) and Carappee Hill Conservation Park.  The Park also has a camping ground with bush trails and toilets.  Sadly, due to my four-legged mates, I can’t go to these places.

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It is a sealed road from the Birdseye Highway turnoff at Rudall, and past the township is a well maintained dirt road, with not too many corrugations – unlike some others we took!

Travels across Eyre

I’ve just returned from 6 days travel across Eyre Peninsula,  South Australia, and it’s going to take me ages to go through the hundreds of photos I took of this diverse region!  However, here’s a few links for you to look at, to whet your appetite.

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Eyre Peninsula was named after Edward John Eyre, an early English explorer of Australia.  In my travels I came across some places he’d visited, and I really liked the sculptural pieces at Kimba, particularly because it recognised his Aboriginal companion Wylie.

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More on this interesting man Here, and Here, and Here, and Here.

Eyre Peninsula is a large area, and in just a few days I could only visit a small portion of it.  My last trip over there was in the mid 80’s, and was mostly on the lower section, so this time I kept mainly to the upper region, and the beginning of the West Coast.  I found some places I’d enjoy to visit again, for a longer time, and some places I would bypass…..

Venus Bay I adored!

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Fred would be most happy to visit the beaches again and again and again!

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As for the cats, they enjoyed taking some early morning walks with Fred 🙂

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A new day beckons

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Last week the weather was quite hot, and the animals and I were glad to have a cool refuge.  However, this week is supposed to be much milder, and so we’re taking advantage of cooler weather to go off adventuring for a few days…..off into the great unknown…. not to my usual places…..and maybe some ocean will arise?  In the meantime, I’ve scheduled some posts, in case I’m unable to access technology.

” Travellers, there is no path, paths are made by walking.”  Antonio Machado