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Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Horsham
December 29th 2009
Published: January 1st 2010
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Kipling and Brabham tributeKipling and Brabham tributeKipling and Brabham tribute

During the 1850's the local port developed into a major export point for copper ore from Burra Burra and local grain and wool. Jack Brabham won his first Grand Prix on the 10th Oct 1955 at a track at Port Wakefield and the 'Roadhouse Strip' was born with the Shell Roadhouse opened in Oct 1955, the second in Australia.
Day 247 - Port Wakefield (South Australia) to Lockiel Rest Area (Victoria)

Don't get us wrong, the blog title is in no way disrespectful to Port Wakefield and we don't wish to sound ungrateful, we’re just longing to be back in our little caravan and back on the road. Hopefully that will be today. Ken from Parrish Motors seemed pretty positive so we’re taking him at his word! No pressure!!

We gather our belongings and with most of them loaded in the car Dar heads over to the caravan whilst I finish the Boxing Day Test blog and get that uploaded. My Dad goes into hospital today for his heart by-pass op so our thoughts are half on the job in hand and half thinking about him and Mum.

Dar got going pretty early round to Lee’s and was there in time to help load the caravan onto the back of the tow truck. It’s not very easy getting it up there but it’s even harder getting it off but the lads were just arriving for work down at the garage when they pulled in so Dar left them to it.

We have to be out of the cabin by 10am and as I didn’t score a direct hit about gaining a late check out we have to find a new home for our fridge items! This is a council run caravan park and they keep their recreation room under lock and key so it’s another grovelling conversation to ask if we can leave food in the rec room fridge for the day. Luckily the lady, she said yes!

With that done and a bit more work completed on the blog we vacated the cabin and retun the key with one minute to spare! Got to get your money’s worth or in this case the RACV’s money’s worth as they’re picking up the bill through our recovery insurance, phew!.

Round at Parrish Motors we had a good old chat with Ken, the conversation ranging from England to Australia and finally settling on motor sport, no surprise there. We have a look through his vast collection of model cars and he kindly gives us a magazine for us to while away some more time whilst we’re hanging around. The lads are also going to service our car whilst we are waiting for the person on a
Beautiful murals in Port WakefieldBeautiful murals in Port WakefieldBeautiful murals in Port Wakefield

Depicts Matthew Flinders, the local Kaurna people at the time of his visit on opening up of farming land being the first local industries. A rail link to Yorke Peninsula was est 1867 - 1870.
recovery mission to Adelaide with the return quest of bringing back our new leaf spring.

We wandered around town, sat by the ‘pool’ in the sun and wrote some more postcards. The town’s Museum was shut unfortunately although we did peer through the windows but couldn’t really see much. We were able to take a look at the interesting murals dotted around and one really caught my eye. It depicts Jack Brabham as the winner of the Australian Grand Prix in 1955 which was held in Port Wakefield! Well who would have known, not us that’s for sure!

Our meander around town unearths beautiful historic buildings and shows that Port Wakefield deserves to be more than just a transit town but at this moment in its life that appears to be its main purpose. The three fuel stations on the main highway are always full of cars and yesterday they even ran out of unleaded petrol with the public bank holiday encouraging most people to get out with their boats.

Lunchtime was soon upon us but we could still see the jack under the caravan so we knew we had a while to wait yet. We opted
More muralsMore muralsMore murals

Depicts the transitions into modern times with the establishment of the Army Proof Range in 1926, the growth of the local fishing industry and development of the wharf area. Opening in 1999, the Primo Port Wakefield abattoir heralds a new era of industry to the local area.
for a homemade pie from the bakery which was very tasty and I couldn’t help but laugh when the cop in front of me ordered a doughnut, stereotypical or what! I thought they just did that in the movies!

The rest of the afternoon was spent ‘relaxing’ in the car. We waited and waited and waited for the spring to return from Adelaide. Time dragged by so we just entertained ourselves by people watching, it’s amazing what you see! People ransacking the black garbage bags at the back of the café, they were coming away with armfuls of ‘goodies’ and just as we got brave enough to check out this treasure for ourselves the chap returned with the spring.

There was an immediate rush to the caravan by a mechanic and then he disappeared - oh no, could this mean a problem? Thankfully no! Despite the new spring being slightly narrower it’s the same load rating so with a bit of a touch up here and then courtesy of the grinder all was soon in order.

How lucky have we been, in the grand scheme of things this slight inconvenience of being somewhere we hadn’t planned just pales into insignificance but now there’s the question of the bill. I’m quite nervous going into the office, what with the service and all the running around to get the spring plus labour costs are never cheap these days. I was amazed to read $254 at the bottom!! Plus they gave us a new jockey wheel for the caravan because ours was damaged when she came off the tow truck this morning - no quibbles and we didn’t even have to mention it being broken, they just put it all right. We are so glad that we got towed in here, we’ll never know how long we would have had to wait elsewhere or whether this sort of friendly service and embracement is what country South Australia is all about. It’s great and we love it … and we’ll be back!

We said our goodbyes to Ken but were disappointed at the prospect of not saying goodbye to Lee so were delighted to find out that he’s on his way back to the depot. With the understanding that we’d be back we rushed round to the caravan park to retrieve our food from the fridge and freezer.

With perfect timing we returned to Parrish Motors to see Lee’s truck parked up outside. He was pleased to see us and with hugs all round we bid him a fond farewell promising to be in touch soon. We just couldn’t have wished to be ‘saved’ by a better group of people, good on them all.

We were back on the road by 4pm and heading in the direction of Melbourne but with some 896 kms to go. Jane & Tony had sent us a text this morning to see how we were getting on with things so once we were on the road we gave them the thumbs up! Didn’t want to tempt fate by doing it sooner! Simone (The Reeves) rang to see how we were getting on and we’ve now decided that we’ll meet them for a few days near Mildura once we’re through to the New Year.

In a short amount of time we’ve got quite a long way and once we’ve navigated through the outskirts of Adelaide and up the huge hills leading out of the city we’re doing well with the sun still high in the sky. I’m keeping a watchful eye on the network coverage on the phone, where ever we stop tonight must have coverage as Mum will be letting us know how Dad has got on and obviously we don’t want to miss the update.

We don’t lose the light from the sun until about 9pm which includes our 30 minute time loss as we enter yet another state - Victoria. We wind our clocks on but Darryl is keen to continue the drive so we do.

It becomes obvious that we’re on a major trucking route and there are just hundreds of trucks about all lit up like Christmas trees! It’s quite un-nerving being overtaken by huge trucks on country highways in the dark.

Our salad lunch bowl came in handy as dinner and just after 9.30pm we found a rest area for the night. Going in there was plenty of phone coverage but when we checked again having set the caravan up we found the coverage had gone. Bugger! We decided to drive on and hoped the coverage would come back.

We joined the endless stream of truckers driving in the dark and chuckled as we listened to them over the UHF. Camps 5 indicates a rest area just off the highway around Horsham called Lockiel so with two huge trucks up our bum we start indicating and slowing down to pull over. The truck directly behind us warns the truck behind him to ‘watch out for the little caravan turning’! We feel safe with all this UHF contact around us so thank them and watch them zoom on their way.

We’re delighted that the phone coverage here is good! Hurrah! The rest area is huge and well set out but close to the road so we’re unsure of how much sleep we’ll get but then I’m not sure I’ll be sleeping much anyway.

A cheese and biscuits dinner was enjoyed by both of us and with a couple of Rummikub games under our belts we went to bed. I am back in victorious mode for once!

With one eye on the phone we went to bed.

Dar and Sar

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