With the announcement that the Govt. is going to reinstate the 44.2c a litre fuel excise I’m relieved that we’ve had our big trip prior to that happening. In some places the price was already nearly $3 a litre and that was with 50% off the excise. We did 11,600 kms so used quite a lot of fuel!
I went for a walk in the bush area which is part of the Caravan Park and met a lady who was also at the Alice Springs CP. Their campervan had come into the park on a transporter but her husband managed to fix the problem and they are on their way back home to Victoria.
It was only 6 deg. when we left Wilmington and 23 kms on we came to the tiny town of Willowie. I’m sure one of the residents works on a farm because he came home in his ute while we were there, I didn’t see anything in the town that would employ people.
Before driving through Orroroo we stopped at the Big Gum Tree, it really is massive.
Jamestown is the birthplace of R M Williams and there is recognition of that in a small display hut.
At Jamestown we not only got a nice hot drink but also entertainment from some locals. I think a coffee at the IGA/Cafe is probably a Sunday morning ritual. There were two men sitting at tables outside when we arrived, they greeted us then continued their conversation.
Alex was in the shop when a third man arrived. He shuffled along in his baggy tracksuit and thongs and was greeted by the first two. After some minutes the chat went something like this:
Someone busted me fence. Know anyone who will fix it?
What about Joe Blow?
Can’t do it, he’s too busy.
Joe Blogs could do it after October.
No, he’ll be organizing his party then.
Not having him! Coward punched me at the pub!
After Christmas. Them shearers were in, had an Esky full o’ beers an’ they were drinkin’ them, not buying from the pub. Sneaky bastards. I didn’t do anythin’. ‘e came at me from behind, got me like one o’ them sheep down on the floor. Punched me. Had ‘is arm across me neck then I seen his thumb an’ I chomped it hard. You could hear the crunch!
That wouldn’t tickle!
Another person arrived and greeted the men with, “G’day Mad Arabs!” but we had to move on.
Apart from the brilliant yellow Canola which is flowering at the moment and the lush green crops, chimneys catch my eye. They are the strongest parts of old stone houses so when walls fall down and only ruins are left the chimney is often the one part left standing. They’re like beacons pointing out where pioneers struggled to make a living.
The Morgan to Whyalla pipeline also snakes along beside the road in parts. It seems that where the original pipeline has deteriorated a new section has been built beside it.
As we approached Saddleworth we could see cars lining the road and lots of people, it was Market Day. We didn’t stop but now know it’s held on the first Sunday of each month and is the biggest country market in South Australia with about 150 stalls.
We stopped at the Tarlee Bakery about midday but there was no bread left so we decided there’d be no more stops until we got home. The rush of traffic when we were on the Northern Expressway made me wish we were back out in the country but home is quiet, we have space, space, space and there were dozens of tasty Sugar Snap Peas just waiting for me to eat them.
Now, where is the remote for the Camper Mover????
In 1991 Glendambo Resort had a swimming pool, Fauna Park, excellent camping facilities and cabins and won a Tourism Award for an Outback Resort. The photo below sums it up for us now.
We were on the road by 9:00 and called in at the Lake Hart Rest stop where several caravanners had obviously stayed overnight, it was difficult to tell whether there was water out on the lake or not. When the sun shines on the surface it’s very deceptive.
We were surprised by the number of Road Trains transporting hay north and have no idea where it would be coming from not where it was going. As far as I know there’s no drought been declared anywhere. They weren’t the only trains we saw, the railway line seemed very busy with each train hauling a long line of containers some stacked two high.
Despite our experience last year we stopped again at the Ranges View Rest Area and I was pleased to see that the facilities have been cleaned at some time. Toilets are composting ones, there were no locks on the doors, no toilet paper, no working tap but it was still a big improvement!
Driving in to Port Augusta was a shock, we were back in a city with lots of traffic! A new span is being added to the bridge and was suspended from a crane as we passed by. The Wind Turbines are always impressive for their sheer size.
Not far out of Port Augusta we turned onto the Horrocks Pass, it’s the same way we went last year but fortunately this time there was no accident up ahead of us. We’ve never seen the country as green as it is now.
We were aiming for Melrose, our planned stopping place for the night. At Wilmington, Alex was able to get a snack at “Rusty Kates”, a couple of locals were sitting outside and several others stopped to talk to them on their way along the street. It seemed a very friendly town. MANY motorbikes came into town and stopped at the Pub. There are small plaques at premises in the main street providing information on the places and we read a few before returning to the car and continuing on to Melrose.
We’ve stayed at Melrose before and are reasonably familiar with the layout so quickly found our way to the Caravan Park but we didn’t get beyond Reception. Apparently tomorrow is Fathers’ Day and the place was very busy. From the line up outside the little pub it looked to me as though several fathers were already enjoying their special weekend.
The Caravan Park only had one very small site with power available and it was in too awkward a position to be appealing. Both the managers recommended a “lovely Park at Laura” but we decided to return to Wilmington instead.
We’re happy with our site here though I was thrown for a nano-second when I booked in and the Manager said Alex had requested a site for a month!
The CP Manager also suggested that when we’d settled in we should drive out to Alligator Gorge and take a walk there. We tried to do that but only a little way along the road was the “No Dogs” sign so we decided on a walk up Mount Maria instead. It’s not really a mountain even by South Australian standards but, for some, has the advantage of a Golf Course near the base.
While we waited for our Pizza and Garlic ‘n Parmesan Bread to be prepared we walked about the “town centre”. Tomorrow we should be home!