Published: May 20th 2006April 21st 2006
Cross Country Event
Kate starting her cross country course, going very well.
How you all doing? We were just arriving at Port Augusta, weren't we. Hmmm, Kevin and Tracey, as well as Nathan and Jess, their almost grown children looked after us and entertained us very well, Jess even gave up her bedroom for us!!
Jess is big into riding and horses and has a beautiful young thoroughbred chestnut mare called Tess. The weekend that we were visiting, Jessie's mentor, Kate was riding in a two day event, dressage, crosscountry and show jumping down in Kadina, so early on Saturday morning we lleft Port Augusta and headed south to Kadina. We arrived just in time to watch Kate compete in the dressage, and then Jrss Tracey & I spend the remainder of the day watching the showjumping, some of the riders were dire, but some were very good. Surprisingly, the oldest pony competing was over thirty years, very old in pony terms!! And many of them were in their 20's, perhaps it's the climate that keeps them going so well into a ripe old age. Arnie, Kevin and Nathan went to Adelaide for the afternoon, Nathan had a judo training session and it's only 200k from Kadina!!(you couldn't imagine Arnie spending
Even deserts have flowers!!
the afternoon watching a pony club event!!)
We stayed in Wallaroo on Saturday night in a 3 bedroomed beautiful beachside self contained appartment, (compliments of Kevin & Tracey) very comfortable except the air con didn't want to warm us up!!
Sunday morning, after having a look around the new marina, we go and watch Kate compete in the cross country, she had a clear round except points taken off for going too fast!!
We watch a few more cross country riders and then some of the showjumping, Jess's friend and neighbour Amelia has a clear round on her horse and has moved up the placings.
By now it's time to be heading back to Port Augusta, and Arnie and I take our time driving back just having a look around.
We have an hour in the pub with Kevin & Tracey and friends from Perth ( not until I had travelled in Australia, did I realise the distances between places and now I can see just how small and over crowded the UK is compared to Oz)
Monday is spent preparing to go through the outback, so we go to Wadlaka Outback Experience, this is very good, the staff are
Here we can see the start of the red earth in these cliffs
very helpful, giving us information on campsites, petrol availability etc. There is also an exhibition which is extremely informative on the wildlife, mining and living in the outback also an insight into Aboriginal culture and information on the Royal Flying Doctor Service. I have a go at pedalling to work the radio and listen to a school lesson and I even manage to to get some letters on the morse code machine!
Next we head out of town to the Arid Lands Botanical Grounds, it's not really a garden. Here there's lots of info. on flora & fauna in the outback and lots on the Great Artisian Basin, the largest artisian basin in the world. Rain that falls on the east coast enters the system and travels south at less tha 3 meters a year. Water that comes out at the south western end of the basin is reputed to be around 2 million years old!! The Arid lands needs more time than we have to spare, but on the way back we stop at the Flinders Lookout, and the fantstic view gives us a feel of the vastness of the country we are about to to cross!! We have
Sign leaving Port Augusta
It's difficult to imagine travelling these distances.
to shop for food, and fill the car up with petrol it's cheaper here than out in the outback. By the time this is all done we are almost late for dinner and tonight Kevins parents are eating with us, Arnie met Kevin's dad at the Sydney Olympics. We had a very enjoyable last evening and were ready to set off early next morning in the the red and dusty outback. Coober Pedy, here we come. ( Just a footnote, Keving teased us as we thought it necessary to check our spare before setting out, a good job we did as it turned out we needed it!!)
Bye for now Arnie & Maggie