Edit Blog Post
Published: November 7th 2014
Trees and Big Hills
The landscape has completely changed as we've crossed the ranges. We now have tall trees and crops.
We were dragged out of bed by a knock at the door at 8.45am (when we were having a bit of a lie in) and Barry found a Jehovah’s Witness outside the door trying to sell us the Watchtower magazine. He was very unimpressed as we were in a van in a free camping area. He finds it bad enough that they come around to houses but this was the end for him. He firmly said no and came back inside grumbling.
We had intended to go back into Peterborough to look at the Steamtown Heritage Rail Centre and a Federation Quilt but there were rain clouds approaching fast, driven by a 30 – 40kph southerly wind. Barry was worried as he’d discovered the plastic cap over the toilet pipe on the roof had gone which meant that water could enter the roof cavity if it was heavy. At least the wind was favourable for the trip to Broken Hill so we decided to try and beat the rain and got going immediately.
Before we left, I crumbed up two slices of bread and scattered them for the birds as it was too windy for them to fly. That
Crossing the Flinders Ranges
We're nearly at the top of this one!
should keep them going for a bit.
On the route, we passed the aptly named Dusthole Range (at least today!) and later stopped at Yunta to stretch our legs. So far we’d beaten the rain. Just along the road were four emus, behind the fence, casually strolling along but with their feathers blowing every which way.
The scenery had really changed since we’d crossed the ranges with the wheat and now we started seeing sheep everywhere. Everything was so much greener. Oh and we’d seen 6 shingleback lizards as we travelled, either crossing or following the road, and one light brown skinny lizard. We had to watch out for them as they are quite slow moving and could easily get squished.
We stopped at Olary Hotel for lunch, thinking it looked as if it had some character, especially when we had to walk around the back through the laundry to get in. It had even more inside. It was really rundown and dirty. We bought some pies from the pie warmer and a coffee each, which was instant and you had to make yourself from a tray and kettle. There was a box of dirty plastic spoons
Looks good on the outside - don't eat lunch there, though!
on the tray which looked as if it was a few days old but at least I found another box with a couple of clean ones in it. While I was making the drink Barry looked around at some pictures on the wall, and came across a pile of cat poo on the floor. We’d already seen the owner take the cat off one of the dining tables and decided we’d eat at the bar. About the only good thing we could say was that it was out of the wind!
We resumed our journey and arrived at our chosen site, the Broken Hill Racecourse, only to discover that we couldn’t stay as they were expecting a car event on Thursday and people were already moving in early. They suggested we try Silverton, 22km up the road, where we could stay for the same price of $25 per night (considerably cheaper than all the other caravan parks in the area.
We filled the car up with fuel as it had started beeping it was empty just before we’d arrived in town, then headed off on the very humpy road to “Penrose Park Recreation Reserve and Camping Grounds” at
Mural of Umberumberka Mine
This mural was on the toilet block at Penrose Park. It shows one of the early, pre BHP, mines that existed in the area. It opened in 1882, employed about a hundred men and then closed in 1892.
the edge of Silverton.
The Reserve was huge and spread out in a very haphazard way with the few power boxes attached to large sheds, a rotunda and some of the toilet blocks. Unfortunately, they didn’t correspond to the areas where you would want to park the van very well. The manager had told us we could park anywhere so long as the power cords didn’t cause a safety issue (i.e. drape across a road or path) which was actually hard to do. We eventually settled on a spot right next to a tennis court which didn’t look as if it had been used in a long time, and nestled beside one of the large storage sheds which provided some relief from the strong cold wind. The 2 toilet blocks had lovely murals on them but were rather old and had no soap or towels. At least the showers were a bit better but were quite a bit further away. We couldn’t hook up to water but were told we could top up our tank using the rain water from some large storage tanks if we needed to. We’d filled up in Broken Hill so we were OK for
This female Australian Ringneck Parrot stood for quite some time looking at the body of the male, amongst the leaf litter, that we found next to our camp site at Penrose Park. We think it must have flown into the wire tennis court fence. It had disappeared, all bar a few feathers, by the next morning - probably eaten.
In its heyday the reserve had been a popular spot for large groups and families from the area to come for special celebrations and local events but this has obviously stopped in recent years as everything looks a little run-down, especially the tennis courts, which have grass growing through the asphalt surface and very tatty nets up.
While we were waiting for the manager to appear on our arrival we’d also discovered a small group of animal enclosures with goats and hens, some birds in cages and Jack the Corella who said “Hello” to us then retreated into his log from where he still talked to us. We learned later that he swears and can’t have a mate because he attacks them. He also had very fine mesh on the cage to stop people putting fingers in as he’d bite them. Dopey bird is his own worst enemy!
There were lots of wild birds around the park, too, including more Apostlebirds, Yellow Miner Birds, Magpies and Corellas. Unfortunately, we also found a dead Ringneck Parrot right near where we’d parked the van. Barry thought it had flown into the wire around the tennis court and
Camped at Penrose Park, Silverton
We managed to find a spot tucked in next to one of the tennis courts and sheltered from some of the strong wind by the shed. This is just one small corner of this huge reserve.
broken its neck, poor thing. A bit later, a female came down and just stood nearby looking at it so we think he might have been her mate. She eventually flew off and joined a small group of other Ringnecks in a nearby tree.
As usual, I put down some bread for the birds and then went inside to make dinner. By this time it was getting really cold and Barry was complaining about it (yes Barry – not me!) saying he was a Northern Territorian now and this was too cold – idiot! He wanted the heater on so we put the little fan heater on once I’d finished cooking, which had already warmed the place up a bit. Hope it’s warmer for our sightseeing tomorrow.
Tot: 0.069s; Tpl: 0.012s; cc: 11; qc: 29; dbt: 0.0418s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (10.17.0.13); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.1mb