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Published: June 15th 2013
Mad Max Car
as featured in the film
Broken Hill To James Town, Via Silverton
Despite little or no rain in the night, the morning started really cloudy, fairly cool but dry.
Today could really turn out to be a mad kind of day, we are packing up this morning to move up to Silverton from Broken Hill which is only about 25 kilometres from our current location, despite this short hop, our day turns out to do another couple of hundred kilometres on top, but all for very good reason.
Thursday morning is also free pancake breakfast day at the camp site we are on and the venue is the barbecue area next to the swimming pool, so of course we have to partake.
The packing up was started before breakfast and then off we set with our chai latte’s to the bbq area, many campers had already gathered and were queuing for seconds by the time we arrived, so we had to be quick to make sure we had our firsts!
I had two lovely looking pancakes on my plate, cooked to perfection with a smidgeon
Another Guys Landcruiser
David was very polite and came and introduced himself.
A country boy from Parkes NSW
of lemon juice and sugar, yummy. They were so good I went back for more.
Whilst eating I noticed a spider in the swimming pool, I must have been looking longingly at the swimming pool, but believe me swimming in this weather would not be fun, way too cold. The spider was still alive, it was walking around down on the bottom.
I could not see what type it was but I have read about this before with spiders that can stay alive for a significant amount of time because the little air bubbles attach to their hair follicles which they use (somehow) to breath. I do believe that the Sydney Funnel Web can stay alive for quite some time in water using this technique, however we are a long way from Sydney Funnel Web territory so I wonder how long this spider will last.
With breakfast behind us, we head back to Gypsy to finalise the packing up, Andy gives me instruction over the UHF as I reverse back to hook up, we are on and a final check around the site we are good to go.
I have the wheel (at last!!) so I am driving the short journey up to Silverton, it says the road is open, but you can see very clearly where the rain has fallen some areas are very water logged. There are a number of dips in this road, well signposted but some are deeper than others and not really all that even either so it is a little bit disconcerting as you drive through.
Just to give you an idea of how many dips there are, there is an art studio at Silverton called Beyond 39 Dips, and was also initially a Kidman Brothers butcher shop, one of several owned by Sir Sidney Kidman before he was famous as the “cattle King’, who owned several cattle stations, covering more than 3 percent of Australia.
Just outside of the township Andy spots a couple of camels. Now this is real excitement for us as in all the time we have been in Australia we have not spotted a single camel, so today is the day. We get busy taking photos really pleased with this find, but it is only later on that I realise they
are wearing bridles, feeling disappointed about this because we thought they were wild. I was thinking about photo shopping the bridles out and pretending they were wild, but we won’t do that to you.
Scoping the town first, it is very small and so very quiet, we can see various buildings dotted around, but head straight up to the Mundi Mundi lookout which is north of the town.
It is lovely and sunny up there but the wind is bracing. A guy called David wandered over to Andy introduced himself and they chatted. David lives on a property out at Parkes, which is one of our favourite places because of the Parkes Radio Telescope.
Andy is taking to David about his Landcruiser, as it is set up nearly the same as we have set up jack, the only difference is David sleeps in his, and is just touring about seeing some of Australia.
The views from here stretch for more than 90 kilometres toward the Boolcoomatta Hills in the Olary range, you can also see the curvature of the earth. Silverton is more famous for being a film
location than any other place in Australia, films such as Mad Max and Priscilla Queen of the Desert were filmed right here.
We headed back into town stopping at various locations for a wander and photographs.
In the 1880’s Silverton was gripped by “silver fever”, hotels and shops were built and men arrived in droves, looking at it today, it almost seems deserted apart from the tourists that we see driving around and not to mention the few locals that are keeping Silverton alive for the tourists.
Next to the Mad Max Museum we find a little café that we venture into for coffee, for a brief moment in time we are the only ones in there, they have a good menu of outback food including damper.
We didn’t go into the Mad Max Museum, but had a good look at the car outside, and then drove off to the next building.
At this point we decide that we would have seen everything we wanted to see and although we had planned to camp there that night, felt that we wanted to get back to
Broken Hill and commence our journey South West toward Adelaide.
I don’t know if we mentioned before but we had a text from our friends Jan and Keith, who we originally met in Lichfield National Park, in the Northern Territories on our original journey and they were heading back home to Canberra on the way home from Western Australia, it was touch and go if our paths were going to cross, but there was only one way to do so and that was to make it happen.
We found out that they were in Jamestown and heading for Burra, so had originally planned to meet in Burra on the Friday night. We thought that we could perhaps surprise them by turning up in Burra.
We drove back to Broken Hill, topped up with diesel and headed down the Barrier Highway toward South Australia (note at some point over the border you have to ditch any fruit and veg on board due to quarantine restrictions).
Our album of the day was the Evolution of Manfred Mann.
We text Jan and Keith to find out where they
Jack and gypsy parked
When we went running after our first camels
were and they said that they were still in Jamestown because they had a flat tyre to deal with, that really scuppered our plans to surprise them, so we fessed up and then decided we would divert to Jamestown.
It was an interesting drive, following the train tracks and looking at more stunning scenery, we turned up in a place called Cockburn there were probably about 2 buildings here including one that was a café and fuel station. It was also on the border of South Australia. I grabbed a couple of Beef and Gravy rolls for our lunch and despite Andy wearing most of the gravy down his sweatshirt we continued on our way.
Eventually we turn off for Jamestown, another really pretty drive and with our estimated time of arrival almost accurate we arrived at the Jamestown Country Resort at roughly 4.57pm.
No surprise but it is raining, I check in and we make our way to the site next to Jan and Keith which was waiting for us. We greeted each other with enthusiasm and very soon sat in the warmth of Jan and Keith’s caravan drinking copious
amounts of tea and catching up on the last 5 months.
They had kindly arranged to cook dinner for us as well, knowing that we were going to have a long day of driving from Silverton, which we were very grateful for as we were both pretty tired.
It was gone 8pm and we had not yet set up so we bed each other a goodnight and Andy and I headed off to the warmth of our beds.
Despite being tired, I felt like reading my book and got so into it I could not resist but to finish it. That is two books down for me on this trip, I have a third ready and waiting.
I may have forgotten to mention in a previous blog, but I see from our friends Dee and Lee that they have named a rabbit after me, however I thought that they had got themselves a nice cute pet, but no it is a wild rabbit who has chosen to burrow under their house. I am flattered to have a rabbit named after me, please don’t shoot it Lee!!
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