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Published: April 14th 2015
Well here we are on the road again! Welcome to our Travel Blog - it’s here for you to read if you so desire and we love to receive feedback and comments.
This trip is for about 3-4 months, and we are travelling with two other couples, the Whitfields and the Baileys. We all have caravans capable of doing some rough roads and free camping i.e. we have solar panel/battery systems enabling us to stay off the grid for periods of time, shower/toilet facilities and reasonable fridges, our only limitation is water really. Our proposed route is the Flinders Ranges in Sth Australia, then on to Streaky Bay and across the Nullarbor. Then heading down to Cape Le Grand National Park and on to Albany for Anzac Day on April 25. We then plan to head up the WA coast revisiting some of our favourite spots from our 2006 trip along the way. But I am getting ahead of myself.
John and I set off on Wednesday April 1 and headed out to Bathurst for a few nights with Greg and Libby. Then we were on the road heading for Broken Hill where we picked up the other travellers.
Note the concrete cricket pitch.
The road to BH was varied weather wise, we had rain and fog and finally sunshine and spent our first night at Narromine. Caravan Park right next to the airport and surprisingly no radio or TV reception. John missed the 7 o’clock news!!!
Next day, we’d planned an overnight stop in Cobar but as we got there by lunch time we decided to push on. We are seeing lots and lots of roadkill along the way and then after each shower you can see why. The country is so dry that the animals are coming onto the road after each shower to drink from any puddles left. Plenty of live wildlife of course, the usual kangaroos, emus, goats and one echidna so far. We overnighted at the Emmdale Roadhouse - free camped on the old concrete cricket pitch and had dinner in the Roadhouse. Big night out !!! We were cosily ensconsed until about 11:30 when a very large truck stopped for the night. As he woke us up, we were able to go out and see the lunar eclipse which was fascinating. The night sky was spectacular, a promise of many skies to come. Unfortunately, the truckie kept
Rest stop water tank.
See how the goat has learnt how to turn the tap on? She was the only one who could do it.
his motor or generator or something going all night and kept us awake until he left at 6 am. We hadn’t realised how many trucks were there, about 10 or so and this one was just a nuisance. The licensee of the roadhouse was kept awake also and as it was the 2nd time it had happened, she said he would be told to move on next time he showed up! We moved on to BH after encountering some problems with the water pump and hoping Graham and Geoff might have some helpful ideas when we get there.
So it was lunch time Easter Sunday when we arrived in Broken Hill and the 3 boys set to solving our pump problem, which they did over the next 3 hours or so. We now have a working pump - so far so good. Had to celebrate both the successful repair as well as the real start of the trip with our first bottle of bubbles.
Left BH to head off to the Flinders Ranges with our first overnight stop a free camp at Waukaringa historic ruins. A quick note about free camping. This doesn’t particularly meant that it is
free as in $$$. It means that you are not using power or water supplies other than what you have in the van. In National Parks particularly, you would pay a camping fee and the night at Emmdale cost us $10 because we used their showers. This particular site was purely the ruins of the old inn and when we arrived it was windy and bitterley cold. We circled the wagons - oops, I mean the vans for some protection and then set up on the uncovered verandah of the ruins for happy hour. Didn’t stay there long as the wind picked up even more and it became too unpleasant to stay out. We spent the night cosily huddled in our vans hoping for better weather to come.
It’s now April 7 and we are heading into the Flinders Ranges NP. Very cold morning but luckily the pump is still working and we were both able to have hot showers. The route was on dirt roads via Koonamore, Cunamona, Erudina and Martins Well. I am hoping you can find these places on a map especially my overseas readers. The country is incredibly dry and dusty but it has it’s
"We're on a road to nowhere"….
own beauty and majesty. How the early settlers persevered in the heat and cold and dust and flies is beyond my comprehension. We arrived safely at Rawnsley Park early afternoon and set up on 3 adjoining gravelled sites - very flat and plenty of room to set up. Happy hour and then dinner and early night ready for our first big walk tomorrow.
Up bright and early - Geoff has been here before and has lots he wants us to see. Today we are doing the 20 km walk around the rim of Wilpena Pound - yes 20 kms!!!! Ignorance is bliss they say, Geoff had warned us it was a hard walk but I don’t think any of us were really listening. It started off beautifully with lovely scenery and a gentle rise. Then we got to the hard stuff. Literally scrambling up rocks and feeling like a mountain goat until we made it to the “saddle” where we stopped to devour our lunch. The scenery on this climb was just spectacular. We stopped often to soak it up (and because we couldn’t get our breath). Stupidly, we thought that was the hard part. Getting to the saddle
was about 8 kms so we still had 12 to go. It was easier in some ways going down but the track, though well defined, was really rocky and I spent most of my time looking down to see where I was placing my feet. 12 k’s is a long way normally but on this sort of track it was challenging to say the least. When we finally made it to flatter ground, Gayle and I were exhausted and just concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other. We did finish without assistance and the feeling of achievement was fantastic. We have the blisters to prove the effort, poor Gayle had big one’s on both feet so was suffering badly by the end. The effort was truly worth it though - the isolation and views were something to behold and we were very lucky with wonderful weather, sunshine with a bit of a breeze and not a fly in sight.... Must be a record! We have agreed though, next time Geoff suggests a “walk” we will listen a bit closer. We went out for dinner to that night - it was just too much to think about cooking!
All set up for "Happy Hour" - just a tad to windy and cold to continue!
A better suggestion for the next day was th eMoralana scenic drive, a loop via Parachilna, Blinman and Glass Gorge where we went for a walk (short walk)! All dirt roads, very scenic and the lunch at the Prairie Hotel at Parachilna was fabulous. John and I had a Feral Tasting Plate, which included Kangaroo pastrami, Goats cheese, Camel mettwurst and Emu pate with fresh sourdough bread. Yum!!! Parachilna is very isolated but is now one of the must see places to stop for anyone loving their food. The dining room was just about booked out with a number of tourist buses making this their lunch time stop. It was a great drive and a we think we got a great look at the Flinders Ranges over the 3 nights here.
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