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November 9th 2010
Published: November 30th 2010
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We did have slightly sore heads in the morning but it was our own fault for not eating dinner. We didn’t want the previous night dinner to go to waste so we ate smoked salmon and avocado sandwiches for breakfast (don’t think we are extravagant it was all reduced price) a slightly strange breakfast but tasty non the less. After driving back to waikerie for cold drinks we got on our way. Our first stop of the day was in Burra. It was a centre for copper mining in the mid 1800s with many people from all over Britain moving there. The largest community was the Cornish. Evidence of this can still be seen in the local café where the speciality is their Cornish Pasty! We would have loved to have tried one but as with all the other shops here, the café was shut. On inspection of their opening hours we found that many people would probably pass through Burra and not get to try their pasties as they seemed to open whenever they liked. With such a lack of open facilities we found the local teenagers listening to rap music and drinking beer, which seemed strange as everything else round the town was right out of the 1950s.

We then had a long drive ahead through nothing but wide open space with a few abandoned farms. We were sure we would see a roo here….but we were disappointed once again. A whole week on the road and not a roo to be seen. We did however see plenty of Locusts. We had heard that they would be a problem this year in some areas but this was far worse than we were expecting. For 50km we had to have all the windows and vents shut as we drove through millions of them crossing the road. We would later find a large proportion of them stuck to the grill and radiator. Not long after this we came across something to cheer us up after all the Locusts….On the side of the road with no one else around as far as the eye could see was a tree with dozens of pairs old shoes hanging from it. It had been named the bootafull tree and was requiring donations. Next to this stood another tree with pairs of pants hanging from it. This was called the Pantree and made us chuckle. With no spare pants or shoes to donate we drove on till we reached the town of Yongala. We soon found out that there was little point in stopping as the entire town appeared to be deserted - spooky. Carrying on we eventually arrived in Peterborough again. There are only two Peterborough’s in Australia and we had now been to both. This one was much bigger than the last. It was also much dustier. It reminded us of an old western town. Our guide book told us to look for signs to Magnetic Hill, which was supposed to be about 10km from town. After driving round in circles for some time we decided to give up and try to find a campsite for the night. We arrived in Orroroo and found the campsite. A rather bored looking man strolled out of the office, took the $19 for the night, and told us to pitch wherever we wanted. There were only two other vans on site so we had allot of choice. It did make us wonder how exciting the like of a campsite manager is when only a handful of people turn up in a day.

The next day to give the manager some more work to do we asked for directions to magnetic hill. After travelling out further into the middle of nowhere on a bumpy unsealed road we were surprised to find another couple there. They were quite unimpressed, and amazed to find that it was only an optical illusion. I’m not sure what they were expecting - maybe an actual magnet that pulled them up the hill?! When they left we stopped Hilda and turned off the engine as the sign told us to do. Much to our surprise it really did look like we were rolling uphill. We even tried it backwards. Andy asked me to get out and video it which I can tell you is not an easy task when half a dozen flies are doing their best to get up your nose and in your ears. We had read about flies being a nuisance but nothing can prepare you for it. They are the most persistent flies in the world. You can swat them away with your hand and they either don’t move at all or fly straight back and land on your nose. Video taken I ran back to the protection of Hilda. On our way to Port Pirie the police were stopping everyone for breath testing, which of course Andy passed. We found some rather interesting local radio which played Rod Stewart, followed by a remix of the Star Wars theme tune and then a classic waltz. These were followed by lots of local adverts where rather than hiring someone to read, it sounded like they had just asked Maureen the cleaner to read the script with as little passion and excitement as possible.

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