A Winters Tail

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July 2nd 2013
Published: July 6th 2013
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A winters DayA winters DayA winters Day

Yep 26 Degree's, how good is that
Leigh Creek to Farina

Thanks everyone for your messages, all good with Andy, we went to hospital as a precaution really and all turned out well, even though it could have been construed as a ploy to get a ride in a big RFDS plane (thanks Ted!)

Anyway, we stocked up with provisions, diesel and comforted on health matters we headed north towards Maree, I wanted to stop and look at the ruins at Farina, there was also camping there which had been highly recommended to us by a number of people so it was going to be worth a look.

First though we were heading into a town called Lyndhurst, if you blink you would miss it, this is most unlike the Lyndhurst in the New Forest near where we used to live in England. The sign here says it has a population of 30 (most days), there are a few houses, a fuel station and a public toilet (with flushing loo's).

However, we were about to drive straight through when Andy saw a sign that said "Talc Alf", and said "we have to stop and see this!" Apparently recommended to us by John and Cheryl Southwell, friend of ours,
Stocking up on provisionsStocking up on provisionsStocking up on provisions

The Super market in Leigh Creek was excellent, next to our wood collection
who are members of the ACT 4 wheel drive club.

So we headed 2k's up the Strzelecki Track, and find a few more houses, some quite delapitated, it is hard to tell if people still live there, at the end we find Talc Alf. He is an artist, now somewhere in my mind I thought that he perhaps drew pictures out of talcum powder but no, there are sculptures, lots of them. He was born in Holland in 1945, migrating at a young age to Western Australia and brought up on a dairy farm. In 1960 he left home to explore Australia as a geologists field assistant and discovered talc and found it the perfect medium for his hobby. He is a self taught talc sculpture, artist, poet, bush philosopher and supporter of the new flag for Australia, Born as Cornelius Johan Alferink.

We make a gold coin donation to Talc Alf and and move on.

The road today is quite busy, mainly with large 4wd's packed up to the gunnels, we see a caravan pull over and let all of us pass, he is taking it steady on this dirt road.

The day was getting hotter and by the time we reach Farina we are really quite hot, there is a ruin of a building that you can see from the main track, but a sign directs us to Farina, where further along we find numerous ruins, a sign board shows how the town used to be, which looked as if it was a hive of activity. How sad to see a town in ruins.

One thing has struck me already and that is the significant amount of broken bottles lying around the area, it really is quite bad except the track that has been graded is perfectly clear. It is disappointing to see such mindless vandalism in a beautiful area.

We head into the camp area, it is beautiful, lots of salt bushes and trees, not short of shade here, which is unlike a comment someone made to me back in Leigh Creek, but I wonder if they came down this far off the main track.

Farina campground is $5 per person per night, with flushing toilets and showers (heated by a donkey). I may need to explain the donkey to some of you, but a donkey is an old Australian way of heating water, this one is a 45 gallon drum, which contains the water, lying on some kind of frame work with a fire underneath and pipework from the drum to the shower head. The first time we came across this set up was at Kingfisher Camp in Far North Queensland just near the border of the Northern Territory and we can testify, what a gorgeous hot shower!

There is nobody else here, we drive round first and scope out the whole area, and find ourselves a lovely spot tucked in near some bushes and a tree, but more importantly a fire pit!

Wood in this area seems to be very sparse, but as we drive along we are constantly collecting and putting it in the truck, if we cross a floodway and see a dead tree, Andy usually whips the chains saw out and cuts us some wooden rounds and puts them in the truck for future use. Just a note on chainsaws, you are not allowed to use them in some places so you do have to be mindful.

I head up to see the war memorial, it is very interesting to see that there were so many young men from Farina who were involved in both World War I and World War II, many of them are not buried here in Farina Cemetery, they are buried in France. It is really a lovely tribute to the men of Farina who served.

A while later we see a caravan pull in and they also take a nice secluded spot, we do a few chores and enjoy some relaxation in the sunshine, Andy gets the fire on the go so that we can boil water for tea and hotties and get ready for dinner.

As we had bought some blade steak earlier, we chopped it up and added some vegetables and stock which placed in the camp oven over the camp fire, made a great dinner.

We noticed how busy this camp ground had become, people were pulling in and filling up all the available nooks and crannies and very quickly getting the camp fires burning, some pulled in after dark.

The night was cool and perfect for star gazing with a few shooting stars thrown in, we are lucky to see at least one or two on most nights that we sit out by the camp fire.


Waking up to
Welcome to LyndhurstWelcome to LyndhurstWelcome to Lyndhurst

Population 30 (Most Days)
a very cold morning and it takes us a while to get started, and by the time we get up the sun has followed us and it promises to be a nice day.

Looking around me I noticed how empty the camp site was looking, everyone must have got up at the crack of dawn and scarpered!

We had a great morning lounging around reading our books, both of us fancied a shower and as we couldn't be bothered in faffing around with lighting the donkey, Andy set up the annexe and the Aqua Cube, it was so lovely to have a great shower then sit and enjoy the afternoon sun.

Gradually the camp site started to fill up again, and before the sun went down we decided to drive up to the cemetery, which is a fair distance from the camp site, we drive through 2 gates and eventually arrive at the cemetery. It looked as if someone was standing reading the notice board, I thought perhaps it was an optical illusion (as opposed to a ghostly figure), but as we got closer we realised there were 2 people there! That put us to shame really as they had walked up from the campsite rather than drive.

We had a good look around, it also looked as if some rabbits had been digging some holes over the graves. Each grave was clearly marked out with stones, some had iron crosses and others only had a wooden cross. The notice board lists the names and ages of the people buried there, sadly there seems to be a high mortality rate in newborn and infant children. There is one name that stands out from the rest "torn calf", we ponder that for a moment and then head back to camp.

Actually we drive straight past camp and up to the ruins of Farina (latin for Flour), while Andy sits and grabs the internet (we can get a couple of bars using the black aerial on the truck) I wander off with my camera to take photos and have a look at the ruins.

The notice boards tell us that there is a committee in place that are working to establish restoration work on the ruins and it is hoped that they can get the bakery up and running, but I guess that all depends on money and finding someone who is prepared to run it.

Farina campground is a busy campsite (at the moment) so would hope that at $5 per person, that they would be making enough money to put back into the restoration work.

I cooked teriyaki chicken and rice for tea, which went down very well, then we both sat by the camp fire and were joined by Peter and Rose for part of the evening, we chatted and gazed at the stars, a perfect outback evening.

We were not late for bed as we needed to be up early in the morning as we had plans to go and explore Roxby Downs and Woomera.

Additional photos below
Photos: 24, Displayed: 24



An old Australian town, now in ruins, but gradually being restored
Memorial PlaqueMemorial Plaque
Memorial Plaque

For the men from Farina
Cemetary BoardCemetary Board
Cemetary Board

names and dates of those who have died

7th July 2013

Farina Bakery
TV programme last week showed Farina Bakery in operation. We thought it was in business serving caravanners/travellers - perhaps it was a short season - or maybe we misunderstood. ABC TV Landline programme next Sunday (repeated Monday) will be including an item on the Farina Bakery. Love Keith & Jan
12th July 2013

Hi Jan, thanks for the comment, I had a chat with the Station Manager and he advised me that it is currently only open for 6 weeks of the year May/June. However they are thinking about getting it open to coincide with school holidays. That would be a good money spinner, Farina is so busy!! Caroline

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