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Published: April 18th 2015
Firstly, thanks everyone for your very kind comments and emails, it's very much appreciated. The blogs are a little longwinded to start with but as time goes on and there are more things to do the posts will become smaller…..
Our last episode ended in the Flinders Ranges at the Prairie Pub in Parachilna if I remember correctly. (I had to finish there - time and internet constraints were a problem.) From there we continued our drive through Parachilna Gorge to Blinman - a very pretty little place where the coffee in the pub is really, really bad but served with such good cheer you still enjoyed it - sort of! Home from there to Rawnsley Park and packing for an early departure the next day.
Friday 10th April we left Rawnsley Park for the big adventure out to Chambers Gorge, free camping for what ended up 3 nights in the most beautiful spot. The drive was amazing. 70k’s from Rawnsley on the bitumen to just before Blinman and then on the gravel through Wirrealpa to Chambers Gorge. This involved about 60k’s to the turnoff and then another 10k’s through dry rocky creek beds till we arrived at our
gorgeous destination - found quite a lovely spot and were all set up quite early, we girls relaxed with a cuppa and a book and the boys went for a walk. To make a long story short, they found a better campsite, with water views so we packed up and moved. The things you do for love!!Pictures don’t do it justice, suffice to say it was peaceful, pretty and wonderful night skies again. Amazingly, not many flies again. We had a campfire each night there but didn’t misbehave too much. Saturday we took a long drive out to the salt Lake Frome via Balcanoona. Our group had their first flat tyre on this little jaunt, just near “Peter Fegans Grave” for anyone looking at a Hema map. Geoff, Grahame and John did a great job considering Geoff hadn’t taken the spare off his new car so far. John learnt a lot about fixing a tyre and it was generally noted that at the next Caravan and Camping show, there are a lot of gadgets available that a man really can’t live without. Ever onwards though and off we continued to Lake Frome. This was my first experience and taste of
a salt lake. Boy it was vast! And salty! Once again you can’t help but be amazed at all the changes of scenery out here. From there we headed up back through Balcanoona and onto Arkaroola. This is a real outpost, some people love it, I’ve seen it and am really glad we didn’t spend a night there! Back to our spot in Chambers Gorge doing the last 10 -15 k’s through the creek bed in the dark. Thankfully the animals behaved themselves and we arrived safely.
Of course the next day was my birthday and everyone had agreed we would stay the extra day out in the bush and have a real rest/down day. We had a lovely walk down through the gorge where there are fantastic aboriginal rock drawings. I’ve never seen so many in one place and so accessible. Then again, I wouldn’t call Chambers Gorge accessible for most people but it was just wonderful to see them in their natural state. We headed back to camp to spend the rest of the day reading books and pottering till sunset drinks and a great BBQ tea in front of the camp fire and a cake thrown
in for good measure. Thanks guys!!! Ruth and Geoff had found a bottle of Scotch for me on their travels from the Bluestill Distillery in Young so of course Geoff, Grahame and I had to have an official taste last thing at night. Luckily we were sensible and were still able to “bounce” out of bed for an early start the next day!!!!!
From here we safely navigated the creek beds again to make it back to Blinman, turning south and back down past Rawnsley Park and on to Hawker. Stopped in Hawker to see the Jeff Morgan Gallery. He is a local artist who does the most amazing paintings of the district and a number of life size panoramas that just transported you into various parts of the Flinders. One room had a a circular “Cyclorama”. A raised dias in the the middle allowed you to view the painting as if standing on St Mary’s Peak and looking all around you at Wilpena Pound. Quite stunning.
From there we headed down to Quorn for an easy overnight stop with power and water. The caravan Park here is an Eco Park, you really have to see SA to
realise how short of water they are - bush gardens are the standard in so many places as in Quorn, and water tanks are an essential way of life here.
Enough for now.
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