Some places we've been and some places we're going.

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Camping Rigs

We saw the full range of camping rigs when we were away, the biggest was a caravan being used by a member of Infamous Cabaret Circus, I think. The show was in Darwin when we were there, later we saw the rig on the road.

Fifth Wheelers are also BIG, they comprise a ute with a fitting in the tray that connects to a long caravan.

There are some very big Motorhomes, some have expandable sides so that when they’re set up the “room” inside expands. Unimogs are big and so are other similar setups. Buses come in a range of sizes.

Many of the caravans we saw I would have considered big until I saw those gigantic ones. The caravan in this set is like our family caravan of the 1950s and I’m one of five children! Maybe the “big boys” slept outside.

A lot of clever ideas have gone into designing compact campers, we have a kitchen with sink, burners, draining board and storage all on the outside of ours.

No matter what size the camper, caravan, campervan or bus is, “stuff” will fill the space.

People with the smallest “accommodation” must be a lot better than we are at prioritising their needs.

Day 55 Marla to Arckeringa Station

It was cold overnight and I was glad of my Shawn the Sheep socks again but there was no condensation on the Camper so packing up was easy.

On the road a few cars passed us pulling trailers with Supercars on the back and I was keen to see if any were stopped at Cadney Park, a Station owned roadhouse. I wasn’t disappointed though motorists filling up would have been, fuel there was expensive, 40c dearer per litre for diesel than at Marla.

After Cadney Park we turned off the Stuart Highway and onto the Painted Desert Road which goes through to Oodnadatta. At first the road seemed to be recently graded so in good condition but after Evelyn Station it deteriorated and there were corrugations. Now we have problems with our back door, something has come loose in the locking mechanism, it rattles constantly and is finicky to open.

At Evelyn Station work was being done with young cattle.

When we reached Arckaringa Station we were greeted by dogs but no people appeared. There was a sign on the house yard gate warning NOT to let the big white dog out and what problems that causes. I was VERY careful at the gate but after I manipulated myself back through a tiny gap and walked back towards the car. The white dog was there, I thought it had to have transmogrified.

The boss of the outfit was actually the tiniest dog but there were no problems with Fergus. When the Station Manager came home about 4:00 he admitted they hadn’t been able to keep the dogs contained but they don’t seem to stray which is just as well. The Station covers 2,745 square kilometres!

We drove out about 10 rough kilometres to the Arckaringa Hills Walk which provides stunning views of the landscape before coming back for refreshments and we thought we’d have showers during the day rather than at night or in the morning when it’s cold. Alex tried the showers but only a trickle of water came out instead he tried to fix the back door and I went wandering around the campsite. There were Zebra Finches and other birds drinking where water was spurting onto trees and shrubs but they took off as soon as I came near.

After we spoke to the Station Manager, on his recommendation, we went back to see the Arckaringa Hills Lookout. Rather then waiting for sunset.

My Panasonic camera (number 5, I think) is having zoom issues just like its predecessors and I’m not sure it’s going to last the distance. I do have a backup camera but am not confident I’ll get the long shots I have before. :-(­

Day 45 Berry Springs – Tumbling Waters

We wandered a little more widely around Tumbling Waters today and found the usual dead bus being used as a home. There are obviously people working here for at least the season if not all year but it’s hard to imagine what it must be like during the Wet Season.

The minibus loads of kids had set up their tents in a very orderly way and they were off on an excursion somewhere.

It strikes us as a bit insane that tonight we are sitting in the camper with the AC on cooling us while outside there are several fires blazing. One man who seems to be working here has a big fire every night, at least it’s a way of clearing up dropped Palm fronds though I’m not sure that’s what’s happening.

Our little excursion today was to Humpty Doo because we like the name and we remember having something nice to eat in a cafe there. The place was a shock, it took us ages to find where we’d eaten before and we couldn’t access the verandah without going through the Roadhouse so that was a NoGo. Instead of the little place we remembered there is now a substantial shopping strip, new housing subdivision, a big bus depot plus Park and Go. We didn’t see any cars at all parked there but maybe weekdays are different.

The Recreation Area had plenty to offer, Lawn Bowls, BMX track, Skate Bowl, Scouts hall as well as a Community Hall. A birthday party was happening on the lawns.

We saw today what happens when someone with a big caravan tries to turn off a busy road onto a narrow culvert into a driveway!

Mango orchards flourish up here and there is a lovely native shrub that looks like Heather though much taller. In some places it looks like a Heather hedge.

Tonight the movie was “Buzz Lightyear”, I think they’re catering for a regular family-campers weekend. The pre-movie music was firstly by ACDC then The Eagles.