23 December 2018

Trip to South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory and New South Wales #14

Hi all
We have been in Wagga for two weeks now, staying with my brother Ian's family.
Whilst here we have caught up with family and friends and the days have just FLOWN past.  There are lots of people that we WANT to see but it is finding the day and time to see them.
I have been to the Hands On Weavers (HOW) group and renewed some friendships, and went to a weaving workshop where I made a pouch using cumbungi - under the tutorial of Harriet Goodall - a renowned Weaver from Robertson in NSW.
I got some great news on Wednesday of last week - an Art Gallery in Alice Springs want my weaving in their gallery.  I am currently completing orders for them.  All because they saw my Sista Basket when we were in their gallery.  I am pretty chuffed with that.
Only 2 days left before Christmas morning - so we are wishing ALL OUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS and a safe and prosperous 2019.
Keep safe one and all.

07 December 2018

Trip to South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory and New South Wales #13

 Welcome to Alice Springs and below are some of the murals and street art around town.

 Beautiful Sturts Desert Pea

 Wendie, Darrel, Myself and Darryl

Sun 2nd.  We were out of the van park by 9.30am and making our way down the south.  
 The Centre of the Centre at Erldunda

We stopped at Erldunda for a relief break, before heading south to Kulgera.  
 the wide open spaces

 the ceiling of the bar at Kulgera

This is the first and last pub in the Northern Territory.  We stopped here for the night and joined in the Happy Hour from 6 – 7pm.  We even had a lovely swim in the pool for an hour or so before that.  The water is a little cooler than what we have been having and was truly refreshing.  The owners of the roadhouse also have provision for the local community artists to come and do their art at the roadhouse and then they put it in the gallery here.
Mon 3rd.  Heading south again and stop at the State Border for a couple of photos before passing into South Australia. 
At the border

 even found some wild flowers 😀

We have just lost an hour as South Australia has daylight savings time.  
We were to stop at Marla, BUT Darryl wanted to keep going as it was still early and it was an overcast day and a little cooler.  Soooo, we travelled on to Coober Pedy, where we refuelled and then kept going.  
 more wide open spaces

 the mullocky heaps appear about 10km north of Coober Pedy

 HUGE piles of earth at the mines

We stopped about 50km south of Coober Pedy and called it a day.  It was 4.30pm.  We were soon joined by three other vehicles.  The temperature dropped quickly once the sun went down and it got to 15 degrees overnight.
Tues 4th. Today we pulled out of the rest area at about 8am and kept heading south.  We refuelled at Glendambo, stopped for a look at lake Hart (a large Salt Lake) 

and also at Island Lagoon (another large Salt Lake) 

then refuelled at Pimba (on the corner of the highway that leads to Woomera) and again we kept going.  
 more straight roads and not much vegetation

 the freight train at Port Augusta some with double containers

  This bright light is at the tomato farm for Coles and is powered by Solar and sea water

 heading for Horrock's pass and Peterborough

 We didn't realise how much we had climbed until I looked in the side mirror

 a small Kangaroo by the roadside
 and coming out of Horrock's Pass it all turns very brown

 a welcome into Peterborough

We finally stopped at Peterborough and paid for 2 nights.  We had a lovely dinner in at the Peterborough Hotel before retiring for the night.
Wed 5th. Today I did the washing and got it all hung out before we headed in to STEAMTOWN.  The railway precinct of Peterborough and had an amazing tour of the Roundhouse and about 12 different carriages.  Our guide, Kim, was very informative.
 Steam engine with some steam

 a steam engine and then 2 diesel engines

 round house

  a Baby health Car

 Inside the Baby Health Car

 In a 1st Class car

We then went into town to the Capitol Theatre, which is now a café, and had lunch.  It is a quaint café with the sloping floor of the old theatre. 

The lunch was great.  We then walked along the street and found ‘The Burg’ in the Newsagency.
 [Peterborough was originally named Peterburg, but its name was changed in 1917 when a lot of German place names and street names were changed or Anglicised]. 
‘The Burg’ is a miniature railway, that was built by the newsagency owner and the room it is housed in has a lot of different murals depicting the history of Peterborough.
We then went to the Railway Museum carriage in the main street and said Hello to the statue of ‘Bob the Railway Dog’ [an interesting history/story of the dog from 1883 to about 1895] and then into the museum carriage and sat in the compartment and experienced a day’s travel on the train.  

You watch a visual display in the windows and have the audio to go with it.
From here we walked to the YMCA and wanted to see the miniatures built by Mr Meldonfield, 

BUT we were too late for the day.  We then called into the town hall and saw the beautiful Centenary Quilt of the history of Peterborough.  

Peterborough is unique in its design, in that all the shops are on one side of the street and all the official buildings and train station are on the opposite side.
Time to get more groceries before heading back to the van, had a swim (water was initially very cool) and then an earlier night.
Thurs 6th. We left the park at about 9am and headed EAST. Down through Burra and across to Morgan before heading to Renmark.  We refuelled at Renmark before we kept going and crossed the border into Victoria. 

 We lost another half hour here and made it to Merbein, where we stopped for a coffee and some lunch.  We had come through some beginning dust storms and witnessed many willy-willy’s start and grow, during our trip today.

 Willy-Willy of dust going up into the sky

 another Willy-Willy starting in the paddock

 the bridge across the Murray River

 and into New South Wales we go......

We decided that we would continue through Mildura and over the river into New South Wales and stop for the night at Buronga Riverside Caravan Park.  We stayed here in 2012 with our friends, Elaine and Bob, and Greg and Carol.  We set up the van [it was already 4pm] and went for a swim (yes, I know, we seem to be doing a bit of that.  The water was considerably cooler than Peterborough, even though it was still 41 degrees).
When we returned to the van, all our 12v power turned off – no lights, no water pump (and we need the 12v to flush the loo, even on 240v) and no 12v fan.  We still could use the AC but had to resort to head-lamps and torches for light and used water from a bottle to flush the loo after use. 
I went to the office and the lady gave me the card of a local auto-electrician.  We gave him a call and left a message and then managed to get hold of our service man on the Gold Coast.  After chatting and sending photos of what was happening, we were no closer to having 12v power.  Ahh, the fun of it all.
The caravan park owners had been setting up their Christmas lights today, here are some of them

Fri 7th.  Awake before 7 and having breakfast when the Auto-electrician rang at 7.45am.  He would come to us.  Yay.  He arrived at 8.50am and took him about 30minutes to find the problem.  The main little fuse box in the over-head cupboard had no power going to it.  Even though all our fuses were intact, because the panel itself wasn’t getting power – nothing else would work.  He pressed a couple of buttons on the main panel from the solar panels and VIOLA we suddenly had lights and the pump was working.  For some reason the ‘trip switch’ [which we didn’t know we had] had tripped and nothing would work.  We now had working lights and pumps, and all was good with the world.
We packed up the van and said farewell to our neighbours (who were also travelling to Wagga Wagga – to see their daughter graduate from Uni on Saturday) and then we left.
We refuelled at Balranald
 the heat haze/mirage in the distance

 and then again at Hay and booked into the Hay Caravan Park for the night.  It was 2pm and we had had more dusty weather, and very strong side and tail winds and the wind seemed to be getting stronger, so it was time to pull over.  We have about a 3-hour travel tomorrow to Wagga (with towing the van) and it will be very nice to see and spend time with all the family.