Where are we now?

Where are we now?
Where are we now? Tahmoor, NSW. Updated 7th December 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Day 200. Darlington Point to Tahmoor

New Introductions: Hello Miss Isabella Turner!

Bec couldn't sleep. It was a long night of tossing and turning that kept her up, which in turn kept me up too. Somehow I think Bec was a little excited about returning home for a visit today and to see her family again - and especially meeting her new neice Isabella.

At just after 4am this morning, Bec finally gave in to the inevitable and rolled over and said to me: " I can't sleep". I replied: "No Kidding". It was at this point that Bec suggested that we hit the road early, as she couldn't get back to sleep. What could I do? I could try to pretend that I didn't hear her and had already fallen back to sleep - but I knew that would of ended up with me wearing a pillow for my troubles. Instead I just grunted in reply, and Bec took this as the OK to get out of bed. Before I knew what was happening, the caravan light was on, the heater was turned on, and the kettle was on the boil.

30 minutes later, we were pulling out of the caravan park. Bec had Scarlett bundled into the Pajero still wearing her pajamas, while in the meantime both Bec and I had the van packed and ready to hit the road; all in complete darkness!

No sooner had we hit the road and we came across an owl that barely missed the Pajero as we headed along the hwy. Scarlett was very impressed, as it was her first owl she had seen in mid flight. After that, it was impossible to get her back to sleep as she wanted to see more owls. Unfortunately for her, no more owls were to be seen during today's travels.

It stayed dark for ages (obviously due to the fact that it was still an ungodly hour of the morning that most normal people stay tucked in their warm beds), but eventually the sky began to lighten and the sun poked its head up over the eastern horizon. I'd like to say that a glorious morning greeted us - but that would be fibbing. Instead, the sky was a dismal grey, with rain clouds as far as the eye could see. Bugger! I guess we weren't in for a cruisey drive back to Bec's parents house. The road stayed mostly dry for the first couple of hours driving, but eventually it stared to drizzle, before turning into full rain and gusty winds!

We stopped off at Wagga Wagga McDonalds for a hot breakfast to go; and also filled up with diesel for the last time. We were on the final stretch back home and nothing was going to get in Becs way of finally holding Isabella.

We had hoped to surprise Nana by arriving a day early. Our original plan was to arrive at her house tomorrow, but technology foiled us. Silly me updated the map last night on our blog, and Nana being a woman of the world figured out that we weren't really that far away from home - so halfway up the Hume Hwy Bec gets a call on her mobile asking what we would like for dinner? Double Bugger!

No room to move. Make way! I'm coming through!
(That's Scarlett getting a big hug from nana behind Bec)
Scarlett was really looking fwd to surprising Nana, so we explained this to her and decided that she should look really surprised to see us when we arrived and hopefully Scarlett would be none the wiser. As we turned into the street Nana lives in Scarlett was almost hysterical. She was bouncing in her seat and kept repeating "We're here! We're here!" I think she was excited!

We walked into the house and their were smiles, screaming, laughter and hugs all round! Scarlett was over the moon that she was finally back at Nana's house, and she immediately hugged Nana and wouldn't let go. We had also pre-arranged with Courtney to visit when we arrived, and this is exactly what Bec was waiting for. She was overjoyed to see them both as she entered the house, which resulted in more hugs and kisses. (You would swear it was an episode of "Days of Our Lives").

Nana, Scarlett and Isabella
If I didn't know any better I would of swore that Bec went all clucky this afternoon! She held and cradled Isabella at every opportunity; and even did a nappy change! That woman never ceases to amaze me! Nana had her hands full playing with Scarlett, while I was left to start unpacking the car and the van of essentials. Weather permitting, Bec and I will clean out the van tomorrow an have it repacked and sorted - ready for our next adventure in a couple of weeks.

Unfortunately Both Russell (Bec's dad) and Adam (her brother) weren't here when we arrived this morning. Adam was called into work early, and Russell has disappeared to QLD for a long weekend to attend a 'Team Mates' dinner Dick Johnson Racing, and also to watch the V8 Supercars at Willowbank. Hopefully we'll catch up with Adam tomorrow and Russell next week when he returns home from his own adventures.

Courtney, Bec and Miss Isabella

Once everything had died down this afternoon, it was time for a little bit of relaxation. It was a novel feeling as we enjoyed a home cooked dinner, soaked in a hot shower without things on, and curled up on the couch to watch an evening of TV. I've realised its the little things that make all the difference.

We plan on staying home for a couple of weeks to rest and restock - before hitting the road once more. Then we'll tackle inland NSW and inland QLD, before reaching the top of the Cape and heading back down along the coast. I'm guessing over the nest couple of weeks that the blog wont be updated daily - sorry - but I hope to continue giving a weekly update of what we have been up to every Sunday evening; so watch this space!

Bec was suppose to write tonights blog, but I think she is emotionally buggered and drained after todays reunion. I've decided to give her the night off and write the blog for her, so hopefully I have done todays blog justice. It'll feel strange not writing the blog every night for the next couple of weeks, but I think we've deserved a break from it.
In the last 200 days we have travelled extensivelly around this land we call Australia - but in truth we've only seen the tip of what there really is out there to see. The journey so far has been a highlight of my life, and I can't wait to continue and see more.

In the last 200 days we have done some amazing things. Here are just a few highlights that come to mind:

  1. Visiting Kangaroo Island, where we got up close and personal during a rare encounter with wild dolphins in the open ocean;
  2. Swimming with Southern Blue Fin Tuna and Great White Sharks in Port Lincoln;
  3. Crossed the mighty Nullabor, and camped on the cliff tops overlooking the Southern Ocean;
  4. Saw the 'Super Pit' gold mine in Kalgoorlie, and visited Wave Rock in the middle of no where;
  5. Experienced the amazing cobalt seas along the southern coastline of WA,
  6. Climbed the 'Gloucester Tree' in the tall forests that call southern WA home;
  7. Sampled the beautiful wineries of the Margaret River region;
  8. Enjoyed wine and canapes while watching the sun set over the Pinnacles;
  9. Visted Monkey Mia and interacted with the dolphins and sealife - including a visit to a working Pearl Farm where Bec 'flirted' with Farmer Jamie;
  10. Being spellbound by the natural beauty of Coral Bay and swimming with the Whale Sharks at Ningaloo Reef;
  11. Stopping off at Tom Price and doing a tour of the Rio Tinto Iron Ore mine;
  12. Being gorged out at Karijini National Park;
  13. Shell fossicking along 80 Mile Beach, and watching Bec 'hook up' on her first big fish while beach fishing;
  14. Relaxing in Broome and Cape Levique,
  15. Flying a sea plane to the Horizontal Waterfalls, where we rode a high speed boat through the churning waters like wild water rafting;
  16. Experiencing the raw beauty of Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks;
  17. Driving across a river crossing while watching a 4 metre crocodile swim beside us;
  18. Meeting 'Brutus' and 'the Dominator' - both 5.5mtr crocodiles, while doing an Adelaide River jumping croc cruise;
  19. Watching Scarlett 'swim' with crocodiles at Crocosaurus Cove;
  20. Spending a wild night at Daly Waters Hotel;
  21. Seeing the West MacDonnell Ranges near Alice Springs;
  22. Making it to the top of Ayers Rock, and watching the sun rise and sun set over both Ayers Rock and the Olgas;
  23. Walking the rim of Kings Canyon, and watching dingo's 'steal' food in the camp ground;
  24. Seeing wild camels on the roads while travelling the outback;
  25. Fossicking for Opals in Coober Pedy;
  26. Visiting the Mad Max museum in Silverton, and
  27. Seeing old friends while travelling around Australia, while at the same time making new ones.
This certainly isn't everything we have done or seen to date, but just a slice of our adventures that really stand out for me. I'm sure Bec could quite easily add to this list!

PS: I just want to reiterate that our journey isn't over. Bec and I have had a number of people contact us and saying that they will miss reading our blog. I can assure you that we are only taking a holiday from our holiday. We will be hitting the road again in a couple of weeks, and hope to see all our wonderful friends in QLD during the next chapter of what is becoming a large novel called the 'Cheney Caravan Of Courage'....

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Day 199. Broken Hill to Darlington Point

The long road home...

After a wild night in Broken Hill; due to strong winds and pelting rain, we slept-in until just after 7am. It might not sound like much of a real sleep-in, but after so many long days spent on the road, a small sleep-in was all that we needed to help recharge our batteries - ready to tackle another big day on the road.

Scarlett enjoying a break from driving
 When we woke, the skies were mostly clear with a scattering of clouds, but the temp was only about 6 deg. This called for a brisk pack-up, and we ended up on the road just after 8am. We headed south towards Mildura, where we ended up stopping for lunch, as Bec picked up $1 chicken schnitzels from a local butcher. Yummy - chicken schnitzel burgers! We found a local park with a playground, and let Scarlett burn off some of the excess energy that she had built up during her long hours in the car; while Bec cooked lunch in the caravan!

We've come to realise that the one thing we haven't missed about NSW is its roads! If its not the skinny country roads with no shoulders, its the numerous potholes that threaten to destroy your tyres and suspension! That tied in with rain and B-Double trucks has got to spell disaster! (Touch Wood - as we have been very lucky. Toady we saw a 4wd and van bogged in mud on the side of the hwy today, but there was no where too stop to see if they needed a hand).

During the day, the clouds continued to build until it finally started to rain. That was east of Mildura, and it has rained on and off ever since. Driving along the road at sunset, you couldn't miss the thunder clouds building out on the horizon. Unfortunately, we are heading straight for them, so hopefully we don't get hit by a big storm tonight. (fingers crossed).

Here's another photo of Scarlett playing in a park just outside Mildura - just in case you missed the only other photo in today's blog!

The road trip today was very uneventful. Other than seeing numerous emus that were in every paddock along the road - not to mention the ones that were on the road and we had to brake for so we didn't hit them, there is not really anything to talk about. Bec and I took turns driving (and Bec also had to brake for a kangaroo or two in the rain that kept her on her toes), and Scarlett enjoyed watching more movies in the back - when not playing video games!

We arrived at Darlington Point Caravan Park just after sunset, and did the quickest set-up in recorded history. It was wet and cold, and I must admit that I'm already missing the warm sunny weather of the tropical north - now that I have returned to the south of Australia. (And to think I'll be stuck in NSW for the next three years as its been confirmed that we are heading to RAAF Base Richmond in 2012).

I know I've pretty much said the same thing in every blog for the last few days, but Scarlett is a little champion! Today we spent almost 10 hours travelling in the car, and Scarlett behaved herself very, very, well. Of course she got restless and wanted to get out, but in general, she has been great. Thanks Scarlett! xxx

PS: I just want to apologise for the lack of photo's in today's blog. A big day on the road tends to leave very little time for photo's - especially interesting photos. Sorry!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Day 198. Wilmington to Broken Hill

Hello again NSW my friend

The excitement of getting closer to family and friends back home has woken us early. We eat breakfast and hit the road quicker than ever. We were driving out of the caravan park at 7:30am this morning, and it's a pity we are in such a hurry as Wilimington is a lovely little country town, begging for a lazy stroll down it's quaint little streets, exploring all it's nooks and cranny's.

We passed a million wild goats and emu's today, they were everywhere along the sides of the road. We even passed another wild camel running along side our van. There is road kill everywhere and it's a good sign we are moving into more fertile areas. The grass is looking greener, we are still experiencing intermittent drizzles of rain, and there are more trees and hills.

Wild horses roaming free through the streets of Silverton

We barely stooped at all today, a quick lunch on the side of the road, fuel up, and toilet stop was it. Just after lunch we arrived in Silverton, Shane's much anticipated destination for quite some time being home of the 'Mad Max' museum. Silverton is 30km's out of Broken Hill, and was established in 1880. It was the area's largest township as it offered a central, flat position and a water supply. In its heyday Silverton boasted every convenience, including a newspaper, Masonic Lodge, gaol, gymnasium, hospital, jockey club, football team and Methodist Church. 

Mad Max Museum

Shane with replica Interceptor
Ironically, the region's rich mineral deposits that Silverton was built upon were also the cause of its eventual decline, as larger mines sprung up in nearby Broken Hill. The Municipal Council was taken off the NSW state register in 1899, leaving the State Government in control of the town, and many of its buildings were transported into Broken Hill by teams of donkeys, camels or bullocks.

Although less than 60 people live in Silverton today, the town has enjoyed a new life. The unique land and light has led to Silverton being immortalised on both television and the movie screen. Some of the more famous movies filmed in Silverton are; Dirty Deeds - 2001, Mission Impossible II - 1999, Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert - 1993, Razorback - 1983, Hostage - 1982, A Town Like Alice (mini-series) 1981, and of course Max Max II - 1981.

Origional Dune Buggy's from Mad Max II
The town is a collection of galleries, small shops, museums and hotel. The streets are dusty and empty with the odd donkey, and wild horses walking around freely. We had a great time at the Mad Max museum, where Shane was stoked with all the original buggies and other props from the Mad Max II movie filmed here back in 1981.

We moved onto the Silverton Hotel just down the road next to check out their 'Interceptor' replica outside the pub. Inside was more movie memorabilia and the usual interesting eclectic collection of country paraphernalia. Scarlett pulled up a bar stool in front of the fire, where there were a heap of puzzles that kept her interested for ages. It gave Shane and I a chance to read the walls, and have a nice quite drink.

Me with the replica Interceptor outside the Silverton Hotel

This is what happens when you cross an Interceptor with a VW Beetle

Scarlett at the Silverton Hotel

The only thing I wanted to see in this area was back in Broken Hill, the 'Pro Hart' gallery. So Shane and Scarlett dropped me off for some quiet time; reflecting over one of Australia's most iconic artists. I love his art, is it so Australian. I remember the ads on T.V. when I was a kid of Pro Hart rubbing food into the carpet to recreate his most famous image of the dragonfly. There is even a recreation of the dragonfly on a carpet canvas here, it is by far my most favourite piece.

Pro Hart's famous dragonfly painted in a canvas of carpet

Pro Hart's beloved hand painted Rolls
Due to Scarlett being such a little champion on the long days of driving, we promised her MacDonald's for dinner. So we grabbed her take away, then found a van park for the night. We aren't unhitching the van tonight so we can make another quick get away tomorrow morning. We don't have a destination in mind yet, so we'll just see how far we get.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Day 197. Coober Pedy to Wilmington

What is this thing called rain?

This morning we bid farewell to Coober Pedy. We found this quirky little town in the middle of nowhere to actually be quite interesting. Other than the dingos walking the streets, 250,000+ holes in the surrounding landscape, and the fact that you have to pay for water (There's even a bowser where you pay to fill up your van - 20c for every 30ltrs), the place is very 70's!

wide open spaces...

We were on the road at just after 8am this morning; heading south and back towards the coast once again. What we left behind were the wide open plains of central Australia, with deep red soils and hardly any vegetation. However, we were soon blown away by the bright colours of the wild flowers in such a stark landscape. There were vivid reds of the Sturts Desert Pea, as well as mauve's, pinks, whites, yellows and oranges creating a carpet of blossoming wild flowers. Both Bec and Scarlett loved it - so much so that I was forced to stop the car so they could walk the road/desert fringes to take a million photo's and pick the odd flower to place in Scarlett's flower press. I must admit it was a wonderful contrast to the plain colourless vegetation we have been experiencing further north.

Funny South Australian road signs...
We stopped at Glendambo Roadhouse where we devoured some of the best 'Burgers' we have had in a long time. Yummy! We then continued our journey further south, and eventually came to Port Augusta where we fuelled up the Pajero. Diesel was only $1.46 per litre; a price we haven't seen for over 6 months. It was a nice change from the prices we have experienced in some of the more remote places - like $2.19 per litre back at Kings Canyon.

A lush carpet of Sturt Desert Pea's

More funny South Australian road signs...
Upon leaving Port Augusta, we turned east and headed up into the hills where we ended up stopping at Wilmington, a small town located approx 50km south east of Port Augusta. Here we set up camp for the night, and Scarlett immediately disappeared to pat the pony and feed the local Brush-Tailed Possums. At one stage, there must of been at least 8 of the furry little critters jostling for the food that the caravan manager and Scarlett were handing out!

Winding roads through South Australian hills...

Today held the biggest contrasts we have experienced since leaving Sydney back in January. This morning was open plains -where you could see for miles and miles, while this afternoon was crawling through the winding ranges east of the Spencer Gulf, through lush green fields of grass and farming produce. We were all mesmerized, not only the landscape; but also the weather. This morning there was a clear cloudless sky, but the further south we headed the clouds continued to build until we were finally getting spits of rain about 100kms north of Port Augusta. Tonight, here at Wilmington, the heavens have finally opened up and the rain is falling. What is this thing called rain?

Believe it or not, but its been 70 days to the day that we last experienced rain! That's two and a half months of bright blue skies and cloudless horizons. We should of guessed that heading south would lead to rain! (At least the grass is greener).

PS: We travelled in excess of 580kms today! The days are long, but Scarlett is still doing great. Her focus and goal is getting back to nana and grumpy's house! She is counting down the days, as she misses them terribly!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Day 196. Coober Pedy

She's got Opal fever

We have booked on a 'Town and Mine Tour' today, that is run through the caravan park. We needed to be out at the bus by 8:30am, a stretch for us, but we made it ok. Our driver was 'Rudy', and he has been a miner in Coober Pedy since 1975 coming out from Austria.

Underground Church
 We started the tour of Coober Pedy (also known as the Opal Capital of the world) by driving down the main street and into the backstreets full of housing. Rudy was so funny - he was very informative about the town, but felt he needed to keep talking and was saying things like 'Here is a lovely house, and here is another lovely house'. Shane and I were cracking up, he did have heaps of interesting stories about the men in town and how his claims had gone too.

It all started in Jan 1915, when Jim Hutchison and his 14 year old son William, had unsuccessfully been searching for gold south of the site of what is now Coober Pedy. The men had set up camp and were searching for water when young Willie; after defying his father by leaving the camp, found pieces of opal on the surface of the ground, and water one evening. Both of which William's father and his party had been searching high and low for for days.

The loungeroom of the dugout house we visited

Coober Pedy was originally known as the Stuart Range Opal Field, named after John McDouall Stuart, who in 1858 was the first European explorer in the area. In 1920 it was re-named Coober Pedy, an anglicised version of Aboriginal words "kupa piti", commonly assumed to mean "white man in a hole".

Scarlett trying on hard hats
 Miners, with a Mining Permit, can peg a claim either 50m x 5Om or 5Om x IOOm to mine for opal. We were show examples of the earlier forms of mining by sinking or digging a shaft with a pick and shovel.  These holes litter the ground surrounding the town, and make it one of the most dangerous places to visit. They never cover or back fill any holes due to mining law. After a shaft was done they tunneled along at a set level with picks and shovels. When traces of opal were found, a handpick or screwdriver was then used.

Nowadays most if not all prospecting shafts are made by using a Calweld-type drill which excavate holes about one metre in diameter using an auger bucket. The drills can dig down to a maximum depth of about 28 to30 metres, where the inland sea many years ago evaporated leaving these precious gems.

Scarlett Noodling

We visited the town dump site for waste material (mullock), from the shafts and drives. This was originally lifted to the surface by a hand windlass, but later replaced by power winches (Yorke hoists) or automatic bucket tippers. Today truck-mounted blowers, which operate like vacuum cleaners, are the more commonly way mullock is brought to the surface. We noodled (fossicked) in the piles for about 20min, when Rudy called us back to the bus. The only way we could get Scarlett back on board, was to promise to bring her back here later in the day.

Throughout the tour; we visited a underground church, underground home (also know as a dugout), and an old mine now turned museum with an Opal jewelery shop. It is absolutely amazing how these people live underground, escaping the scorching heat of summer and freezing colds of winter. Living underground, they keep a constant 24 deg temperature all year around.

After we returned from our tour and downed a quick lunch, we went to a gallery in town that also serves as a Kangaroo Orphanage/Sanctuary. We joined them for their lunch time feed, where Scarlett got to watch and have a pat of the orphaned kangaroo's.

As promised, we took Scarlett back to the mullock site for some more noodling. After about an hour of crawling around on our hands and knees in the dust, we were rewarded with about 6 small pieces of Opal. Scarlett was so excited, she didn't want to leave, but the day was getting on and Shane was booked in for another tour later that evening so we talked her into returning to the park.

Opal seam in the old mine

Movie relic left from the movie 'Pitch Black'

Scarlett at the Kangaroo sanctuary

Shane at the Breakaways

Shane's sunset tour consisted of: We boarded a bus and were immediately taken out to the 'Crocodiles Nest'. This mine site was used as the 'Bartertown' in the movie Mad Max 3; Beyond Thunderdome. We then took a detour through some working mining leases, before heading out to the 'Breakaways'. This area gets its name as looking down from the air, the "Breakaways" appear to be a range of hills that have 'broken away' from the nearby Stuart Ranges. It is in this location that many movies have been filmed, including; Mad max 3; Beyond Thunderdome, Pricsilla; Queen of the Desert, Red Planet, and Pitch Black. After having a look around the "Breakaways", we headed out to the infamous Dog Fence. I took a few photo's of this fence, as it is the longest man made structure ever built. it is even longer than the great Wall of China. After the fence, we moved to another site where we saw the remains of a huge ancient rainforest - estimated to be over 10,000,000 million years old. This is even older than the inland sea that used to be here when dinosaurs roamed the world! We finished the day by watching the sunset over the "Breakaways" - before returning to the caravan park. It was a really great experience, where the photo's just don't do it justice. Sorry! (Shane) 

The Breakaways

Dog Fence


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Day 195. Kings Canyon to Coober Pedy

On the road again...

Unbelievable! Up early again. And here I am thinking we were suppose to be on holidays....

But yes, it was another early morning. We had good reason too, as we were leaving the Northern Territory today and heading into South Australia. Our destination - well we weren't quite sure, but if Scarlett travelled well we were going to try go all the way to Coober Pedy.

Two dead camels
We were on the road by 7:30am, and headed out as the sun came up over the horizon. I'm a little wary these days of travelling so early or late, as we have seen some serious road kill in our travels. For example; On the way out to Ayers Rock we saw two dead camels on the side of the road, and the story goes that the car that hit them was a write off and the people in the car were air lifted to hospital in critical conditions! Not nice!

A herd of feral camels in the middle of the road!
And they are off and running!
And it goes to show that I had good reason to be wary. This morning we sawlots od dead animals, including; a dead eagle, a dead owl, a dead dingo, and another dead camel. But wait! There's more. What should we find as we came over a crest? A herd of feral camels sunning themselves in the middle of the road. We practically had to come to a dead stop before they decided to get a move on, and Scarlett loved seeing the little babies!

Poor Scarlett. Forced to watch movie after movie today...
 About three hours later, we finally reached the Stuart Hwy. We took a quick break, filled up with diesel, grabbed a bite to eat, and hit the road again. This time Bec was behind the wheel and she was going to do a two hour stint; allowing me to take a break in the back with Scarlett and watch a movie.

About two hours later, and we were pulling over at a rest area for another break, and we took the opportunity to grab some lunch. Bec pre-cooked a pasta salad for lunch, and it was Divine! Just wonderful! It certainly pepped us up ready for our next leg. I again jumped behind the wheel, while both Bec and Scarlett settled in and had a sleep for a couple of hours. ZZzzzz......

And Bec's in the hot seat as we cross the border into South Australia

Again we pulled over for a driver swap, and I ended up putting an extra jerry of diesel in the Pajero just to be safe. By this time we were only 130km out of Coober Pedy, but we were all starting to get a little tired. We ended up asking Scarlett if she wanted to continue on to the caravan park at Coober Pedy, or to stop for the day and camp in the rest area that we were in. She wanted to find more kids to play with, and said lets keep going; so that's what we did!

The Opal mine moonscape that surrounds Coober Pedy

We arrived at the Big 4 Oasis Caravan Park in Coober Pedy right on 5pm. It ended up taking us 9.5hrs to travel the 780kms from Kings Canyon in the Northern Territory. This would definitely have to be the biggest day we have ever had on the road to date, and we were all feeling it by the time we got here.

Finally! Coober Pedy

To be truthful, Scarlett was a little champion today. It was a very long day, and she behaved extremely well. Tonight however she was still 'wired' and wanted to continue playing, but Bec and I were exhausted. We let her stay up and watch 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory', but she went straight to bed after it.

Tomorrow, Bec has us booked in to do a half day tour of Coober Pedy and the Opal Mines. Scarlett is really looking fwd to finding an Opal to add to her rock collection, so hopefully we find one or two!

You just never know what you might find...

PS: Very tired tonight! Sorry if my blurb is boring, but I'm struggling and having fun just trying to process anything at the moment, and that includes doing this blog...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Day 194. Kings Canyon

Good bye to good friends….again

Scarlett was dressed, finished breakfast, and was out the door early to make the most of the last couple of hours playing with Grace and Kayle before they left this morning. They played in the park and that was where Greg and Karen picked them up with van packed and in tow at 10am. I’m feeling for Scarlett; as she has made many good friends on this trip and sooner or later we all part ways and she is back to being on her own again.

We did some washing and hung around the van until lunch time; when we decided we should get out and make the most of our last day here at Kings Canyon. There was a great 2.6km creek walk that lead right into the heart of the canyon we were keen to take a look at. The track was easy compared to yesterdays mountain climb, as it meandered it’s way along the creek bed filled with beautiful river gums.

Today’s temperature was a little cold for us, with it only getting up to about 22 deg. But the walk in the sunshine was lovely. The towering walls of the canyon were a vivid pallet of reds and oranges; making it a really amazing place to visit, and well worth the detour out to here. Scarlett even convinced Shane to give her a piggy back ride close to the end of the walk, and I was surprised he had the energy left.

The afternoon was spent cooking and packing ready for an early get away tomorrow morning. With the Nixon’s leaving us today, I’m more home sick than ever. We have decided to try and make it all the way to Cooper Pedy tomorrow making up a full days travelling. Scarlett again made more friends late this afternoon; like she always does, and they played till after dark. Then she and Shane spent the evening watching ‘Narnia: Prince Caspian’ in bed, while I worked on my photo slideshow. We’re hoping if Scarlett stays up a little later this evening she might sleep in the car tomorrow; or it will be a total disaster and she will be unbearable.

Fingers crossed!