Thursday, August 21, 2008

Home Again

Well we have been home for about 1 week now and I'm still trying to sort out camping stuff and cloths, but I have a good reason for being so slack... we have both arrived home with a good dose of the flu...

On our arrival home to "Wandarrah", we drove in the front gate and we came face to face with this sign.... Well, we know we said quite often on our trip; "Oh, we could live here..." but we didn't think the neighbours would take us literally. We really have lovely friends for neighbours....Hmmmm!!!!!

Then after having recovered from that shock, we took a look across the front paddock and saw this BLACK sheet, then really started to wondered "What the Hell.....????"
Our lovely little friend next door, decided to burn off the road bank of dead grass, when it got away from her. I won't go into detail as to how she managed to do such a great job, just lets say it was a burn off gone wrong.....Aye Jan?
A lot of people have asked "What's the best thing about being home?" I would have to say -Sleeping in our own bed and using our own bathroom and shower... It really is good to be home, but I really must say we had a wonderful trip and saw some beautiful sights and met some lovely people. I would like to thank you all again for reading my stories, but please stay tuned as I will be putting up a lot more pictures for you all to have a look at, from time to time. I'll also give you a few stats on our ks and fuel etc.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Good Samaritan

Sunday 3rd August 2008
Well, I must tell you all... Ray’s ‘Good Samaritan’ deed has earned ME another little treasure yesterday. On our way along the road yesterday afternoon we passed someone broken down on the side of the road, so of course we stopped to see if we could help. He had a broken water shaft and had put the fan through the radiator and done a lot of damage. We offered whatever help we could, he just said “If you could take me to my home, so that I can come back with my car and tow the thing home again, that would be great.” So off we went, he started talking about what he does etc, as you do. When we got to his house which was at Mintabie, just west of Marla, Ray help him get some fuel from a 44gal drum to take with him. Then he said “just come inside for a moment, I’ll show you something.” So in we went, and he gave me a beautiful Opal Dubblet, it is really lovely, how lucky am I?
We are bushing camping tonight and have had a great fire going to keep warm... we’ll have to find our winter cloths soon, they are all packed away up on the roof rack at the moment.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Our Last Few Days...

Friday 1st August 2008
Wow, I still have service, so thought I’d jot down a bit of what we have been up to over the past few days. Arrived into Yalura on Wednesday and set up in the camping grounds at the Ayers Rock Resort. But firstly I’d like to wish my Dad a very Happy Birthday for today; I hope you have a great day Dad. On Wednesday when we arrived we went out to Ayers Rock (Uluru) for a look and investigate some of the walks that were available to do. Well, it was unbelievable the trouble it was to get into a park that is in our OWN country!!!!! Forms to fill out, photo ID to show, passes to have printed and laminated... then shown each time you want to go into visit the Rock or the Olgers (Kata Tju­ta). Anyway we had to get a pass for 3 days, which now entitles us to come anytime over the next 12 months. It expires 30-07-2009, bloody ridiculous. The Government to making a squillion out of this National Park, as it is leased back to the Federal Government to manage and run, with all proceeds going back to them NOT the Aboriginals. The Rangers get an amount to run it and one ranger told us that their budget had been cut severely. What do you know.....
Anyway all the politics aside, the Rock is certainly a very majestic piece of this planet that it would make anyone proud to say “It’s ours”. It really is amazing and somehow, there are no words to explain how it feels when you’re up close to it. You can feel how it would be sacred, but not only to the Aboriginals but to all fellow Australians. Yesterday, we went on a walk half way around, didn’t do all the way, it is 9.4kms, too much for this old dear. Then last night, we went back out to do one other walk up into the Gorge, before we
watched the sunset over the Rock. It was awesome to watch the colours change as the sun went down behind us.
Today we went out to the Olgers (Kata Tjuta).
They are just as wonderful, only they are a lot of smaller domes; one of them is about 250mt higher than the Rock. These look to be made up of a different rock texture to Ayers Rock though. Still they really are just as majestic and a MUST see, when you ever get the chance.
We will be heading towards home tomorrow, via Finley to see Mum & Dad and Heddy, Daryl and the girls, then Wagga to see the Bubby Girls (Mum & Dad too), Jan & John, then Sydney to see Siovhan then Woy Woy to see the little men (their Mum & Dad as well). So it will probably be a couple of weeks before we’re having coffee on the Nut House Coffee Shop Deck (next door). Also I may not have service over the next few days, when we’re stopped as we’ll be bushing camping most of the way home to Finley. So this could be the last entry from actually on the trip, we’ll see... Thanks for the interest in my Blog and I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Last weeks Adventures

Wednesday 23rd July 2008
Well, we set off this morning with the idea we would Bush Camp along the road at where ever we get to by about 4:30pm. We arrived at Mataranka about 10:30am and decided to stop at Bitter Springs for a dip in the thermal pools... it was wonderful!!! Swam there for about an hour and a half it was so good, we both felt so energised afterwards. Back into the wagon again and headed for “Fran’s Devonshire Tea House” at Larrimah, she had a freshly baked leg of lamb in the oven and home-made Damper Rolls... this was her special for the day, Roast Lamb on a Damper Roll with gravy.... Yummo!!!!! Then we had sweets, Oh Boy!!! Ray had a home-made “Fruit Spring Roll” with home-made Ice-cream. Of course he couldn’t eat the Ice-cream so I had to eat that... double Yummo!!! I also had a home-made butter-milk scone with jam & cream... Yummo-Bumbo. Then we rolled ourselves back into the wagon and continued on our journey to ’who knows where’. Arrived at Daley Waters about 3:30pm, thought we’d drive in for a look. Then remembered that this is where the ‘singing chook man’ is – Frank, so stayed the night here, along with another 500 travellers with their caravans, mobile-homes, campers and tents, but it was a great night with Burra & Salads for dinner and Bacon Eggs & Pancakes for breakfast. Yummo-Bumbo Again!!!!

Thursday 24th July 2008
Travelled from Daley Waters to Wauchope today, big drive, after all the food we have eaten over the past 24hours, it was a very lethargic drive as well.....

Friday 25th July 2008
Arrived in Alice for lunch today, did another small shop for a few supplies, got more fuel and continued on our journey to Stuart Wells, where we booked in for 2 nights. We met a couple from Coffs Harbour who are working at the Roadhouse for a few weeks. Small world aye!!! We also met “Dinky” the signing dingo... great act for an old dingo, obviously love the sound of the piano and just goes off with his ‘singing’ howling...

Sunday 27th July 2008
On the road again after a day of R&R. We arrived at the Kings Canyon Resort about 3:30pm, and the place was chock-a-block with caravans. There we were trying to park on a tiny squishing little corner site... and we were going to be there for 3 nights, I don’t think so.... Along came a lovely little lady scooting around on a Skoda, to help us. She immediately took us to a great spot on a grassy area away from the entire crowd, and it is lovely. We have settled in here for a few days to go for the Canyon walks.

Monday 28th July 2008
Up early this morning to get our BIG walk started before it gets too hot. We did the Kings Canyon Ridge walk!!! It began with a very very steep climb up the spur of the canyon to the top. Then we walked all around the rim of the canyon, some places it was along the cliff edge, which didn’t impress Ray very much. There were some very easy places as well; a lot of work has been put into making the walk as safe as possible, with steps, boardwalks and bridges across the actual canyon. Once around the main canyon part, we descended down the other side back to the car
It was a 6km loop walk and took us nearly 4 hours. About half way along the walk is the Garden of Eden, a delightful area of cool waterholes and riverine vegetation. Although I think it is dried up at the moment, as we didn’t see any waterholes. It was still very impressive just the same.
It never ceases to amaze me how this planet is put together. The land formations just across Australia along are unbelievable. After our walk this morning, we had a very lazy afternoon and an early night.

Tuesday 29th July 2008
This morning, more walking... not quite as early start but we did do 2 walks. The first one was up the Kings Creek itself. This was at the bottom of the Canyon, opposed to where we were yesterday, at the top; along the dry creek bed of the Canyon. A very easy walk along a path, about 2km and it look us about an hour. Extremely interesting to see the amazing textures and formation in the rock walls, also the way nature creates her magnificent brick work. The second walk was into Katherine Springs, it was about 2.6kms and a very dry walk, but at the dead end of the path was a large pool of spring water, although it certainly was not swimmable or drinkable. We have some very friendly wild life in our camp site here. Lots of pigeons, pee-wees, crows and dingos, all come for a wander through the camp looking for whatever they can find to eat. There are lots of signs around, warning us of the dingos and NOT to feed them or encourage them into the park. They really don’t need any encouragement though; they just come right on in up close to where we are sitting. It’s off to Ayers Rock tomorrow, hope it’s all that I’m expecting....

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Holiday Stories Continue

Well we have had a wonderful week in Darwin. It really is a lovely city, very similar to Canberra in the way it’s laid out. We saw lots of tourist things; Ray was very keen to check out all the WW11 history that was in the museums, so we did the rounds of them. It really is quite frightening to really learn just how close we came to being owned by the Japanese. I don’t think our history books tell the full story, as to how many times Darwin and the top end were attacked. We had a walk through the Oil tunnels that were built towards the end of WW11, they are huge, but would you believe... they were never used. The Navy said at the end of the war – “We don’t need them now, you can do with them what you want.” We also had a sunset harbour cruise, nice but another ripe off for the tourists. We also met some lovely people that were camped near us in the Park.

Thursday 17th July 2008
Left Lee Point Caravan Park early this morning and headed towards Kakadu. Went to the Spectacular Jumping Crocodiles at Middle Point on the Adelaide River, not a bad show... The croc really is a mean looking creator though, especially the BIG ones. Had some lunch at Corroboree Park Inn, then went on to Aurora Resort – Kakadu and stayed for 2 nights.

Friday 18th July 2008
I must say, since being on this trip I have experienced a few new things, but the scariest one would have been this morning when I went to the shower block for a shower and came face to feet with a snake. I’m not sure who was the most frightened though. He just slithered past me and down the drain hole in the next shower cubicle, consequently I returned to the camper and had a 3F (some of you will know what that is) I wasn’t staying in the shower block for anything... Ray went to find someone that looked like they worked there, to report it. They just said “Yeah, it was probably a water python; we usually pull them out of the toilets... We went for a drive up to Jabiru, just to have a look about... not much there, Supermarket, Centre link, Medical Centre, heat and flies etc... Lovely bakery though, so we bought some nice fresh bread to keep us going. Went back to our camp and had a swim in the pool at the resort. Lovely!!!! Not having a shower tonight either...

Saturday 19th July 2008
On our way to our next port of call in Kakadu, which was a bush camp near “Yellow Waters”, we drove up to a beautiful spot called Ubirr (Oo-beer). We walked right up to the top of the Escarpment to check out the view... It was spectacular absolute breath-taking. One can only imagine what it would be like in the wet season. Had a burger at the Boarder Store, and then off to Calais Crossing. This is a crossing over the East Alligator River, and if you get there at the right time, when the tide is changing, there are lots of Barramundi, that get caught in the over flow. This is where the crocs get a real good feed. Lots of big crocs came sliding down from the muddy banks to start feasting. It was here we witnessed the stupidest act from a tourist I’ve even seen. This, I can only call him a twit, man walked out into the water that was running over the crossing, up to his knees. While he was doing this, we were watching a big croc swim up to about 4 metres from where he was standing. We set up another great bush camp... except for the MOZZIES!!! Boy!!! They just about picked us up and carried us out of there. We just had to cover ourselves with the good old RID and had lots of mossies coils burning around the camper.

Sunday 20th July 2008
Up very early this morning to catch the Sunrise Cruise on the Yellow Water River. This was really very nice, a bit cool and fresh at that time of the morning, but we soon warmed up when the sun came up. It was a lovely cruise with lots and lots of bird life, all different kinds. We also saw wild horses, dingos and more crocs. Back to Cooinda Resort for some brekkie or brunch, then we had a walk up to a look-out that was such a rough and steep walk, but I guess it was worth it, a 360 degree view of Kakadu. Then back to our mozzie filled camp for an early dinner so that we could get inside the camper before we needed to turn on the light. An early pack up in the morning to get out of this place...

Monday 21st July 2008
Down to Katherine today, booked into the Knots Crossing Resort/Caravan Park. We have booked on the Gorge Cruise for the morning trip. Hope this one is worth it...

Tuesday 22nd July 2008
Well, we have been out to the “Katherine Gorges” this morning. Three flat bottom boats lined up, each holding up to 60 people. We were doing the 3 Gorge Cruise, there were also other ones going at the same time. They do at least 3 of these cruises during the day, so that’s 9 x 60.... We paid $69 for our 3 Gorge cruise; this was a middle of the range cruise. Now, do the math... 9 x 60 x 69 x 365days = ???? And all this is owned by our native brothers that have been here for 50,000 years... Hmmmmm!!!! Don’t tell me they’re hard done by!!!!! But we did enjoy seeing the gorges and the amazing formation of the walls of the gorge.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Our Visit to Licthfield National Park NT

These are the Florence Falls, by far they largest ones in the park. We didn't do the 1/2k walk (or climb) down to the plunge pool for a swim...
These are the Buley Rockpools just below the Florence Falls. When for a swim here.

Wangi Falls, went for a swim here... although there were Groc signs around, but apparently they trap them before they get into this part...hmmm!!!

These are the Tjaynera Falls, went swimming here as well, very cold but very refreshing.

Another water crossing for Ray... this one was .75cm deep. Ray crossed a few times hence the photo...

Some more Holiday Photos

Well as promised, here are some holiday pics for you to have a look at...
This is one of the Pentacost River Crossings we had to cross coming into Kununurra. This is not us but one of the cars that crossed after us obviously...

Have a look at the reflections in this pool of water called the "Grotto" We had to walk down 152 steps that had been carved or manipulated into the rock face. Just amazing!!!

Now for some Boab trees....

Left, we have a tree that is reported to be over 2000 years old.

The one the right we have a Boab Prison Tree used in the 1800 to house prisoners overnight when transferring them to somewhere else.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Arrived in Darwin today

I will add pics soon.....
Wednesday 2nd July 2008
Another lazy day today, Ray was a bit off. We went for a bit of a drive around the town, had a look in the Argyle Diamond Shop. A pair of drop earrings with a Cognac coloured diamond as big as your little finger nail was priced at $1,847,000... it did have a couple of small diamonds at the top of it though and it was set on gold... My favourite one was (again) $87,000 a lovely little number of a darkish pink. Oh well, dream on Faye!!!
Thursday 3rd July 2008
Today will be washing and packing up the wagon, getting ready to head out tomorrow. We haven’t been out to Kelly’s Knob yet or the Hoochery (the rum distillery), so we’ll probable to that today.
Friday 4th July 2008
Had to say hoo-roo to lovely friends this morning when we left Hidden Valley Caravan Park. We have had a lovely stay in Kununurra, lots to do and had some time with Leonie and Leon from Macksville. Met another nice couple there as well; they are from Tassie and are travelling for a few months. They might call in on us when they come across to the east coast. We camped about 100ks from Katherine on a road side stop along with other caravans, about 8 all up.
Saturday 5th July 2008
Arrived in Katherine about 9:30am and had a bit of a look about, before we headed out to Hayes Creek to camp a couple of nights.
Sunday 6th July 2008
We went for a drive out to Douglas Hot Springs this morning. What a wonderful little Oasis that is... There is a National Park Camp grounds and easy access to the river and the warm water that is flowing from the hot springs up river.
Monday 7th July 2008
We headed for the Litchfield National Park for a few days there before we make our way up to Darwin. We’ll stay here until Thursday to have a look at some falls and gorges etc.
Wednesday 9th July2008
Well, we have had two great days wondering around this great National Park. Boy, there are some wonderful spots here, well worth the couple of days... I have some great pics to add but will do that when I have more Internet time, I have used well over my 10 hrs this month already. The first falls we had a look at on the way in to find a camping spot, were the Florence Falls, then yesterday we had a big day and did some climbing to have a swim at the Tjaynera Falls (Sandy Creek Falls). No croc signs around, so we felt safe (???). We also checked out the “Blyth Homestead” ruins, where the Sergeant family lived for some time while their father along with the oldest children mined for ‘tin’. We had some creek crossings to do on the way in and out of these places, fairly deep and rough. Then we went to the Wangi Falls, which we had another swim there as well. Apparently they remove the crocs from there with traps...hmmmm!!!! But there were lots of other people there before us so we thought it safe enough. We had afternoon tea at the Monsoon Cafe, a lovely little place in the middle of the scrub and bush with all this wonderful homemade cooking, and great coffee. Today we went to the Buley Rockhole just below the Florence Falls, and they were just wonderful... had a great wallow in the pools and under the small falls. Well, we are just all tuckered out tonight so will say good night for now... will post this as soon as I get to Darwin and some service...
Thursday 10th July 2008
As some of you already know we arrived in Darwin about 2:30pm today, setup our camp in the Lee Point Caravan Park. Nice shady park, we have been to a live concert already... LOL, they have a concert every week here in the park. They weren’t too bad, good entertainment for a few hours. Different anyway... well off to bed now, gotta get some sleep for a big day tomorrow of exploring Darwin and all its sights...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

More of our Traveling Adventures

Monday 23rd June
Today hasn’t been a good day, with one thing and another... We have made it to Derby and had the back window fixed after lunch. Then Ray decided to stay the night here and get an early start onto the Gibb River Road in the morning. He was told about a great bush camp spot about 300ks out, so we’ll get at least that far tomorrow.
Tuesday 24th June
Got a very early start this morning... was good driving on the first part of the Gibb River Road. Lots of road work being done on the first 200ks, out to where the mines are being developed, (gold & iron ore) and then we hit the rough stuff. We didn’t find the campsite that Ray was told about so we kept driving to get to Silent Grove camp grounds. Pulled in there and decided to stay a couple of nights, as it is a great place to stay... Bell Gorge is also there about another 19ks further north. While we were setting up our camper, a fellow camper come over to our camp to ‘have-a-chat’, Ray got talking to him and asked where it was from (as you do). He said he was from Deni, and then Ray said “I bet you’re Bob Fisher?” He said with a very startled look on his face, “How do you know that?” After that, Nell was called over as well and intros went all round. Had a few drinks that night before tea, then the next night we had damper and beer for entre. Ray made a great Herb damper, and it turned out really good. Nellie wanted the recipe, but I told her she would have to get it out of his head... he just throw a bit of this and that into the pot and put it in the coals. On the Wednesday we went for a drive up to Bells Gorge, had to walk quite a way and it was pretty hard is some places, but it was well worth it. The falls were wonderful, we had a swim and the water was freezing, but so exhilarating and a ‘must’ when you have walked over rocky mountains to get there.
Thursday 26th June
Packed and off again, saying good bye to Bob & Nellie. They were going west and we were going east. More of the same, very bumpy, stony, corrugation, driving, as the previous day, but we are still enjoying it very much. Called into Mt. Barnett, to top up our fuel... $2.38 we only top up a bit to be certain we had plenty... We stayed at Ellenbrae station, it was bushing camping and they still wanted $10 pp, so we didn’t stay there any longer than the one night.
Friday 27th June
Arrived into Kununurra about 2.30pm, found this lovely caravan park called “Hidden Valley” and have booked in for a week. We have also caught up with Leonie and Leon Welsh, friends of mine from home, as some of you will know. They are staying here as well, we all went out to Lake Argyle yesterday and had a picnic lunch by the lower part of the dam.
Off to Wyndham today and did the tourist thing, had lunch at the Wyndham Hotel, (another feed of Burra) went up to the Five Rivers lookout, probably the best lookout we had ever seen, absolutely fantastic. We couldn’t get out to the wharf, as they have blocked it off from traffic, couldn’t get to where the old meat works were either as they are about to pull them down. It’s a real shame as it is one of the last of the frontier towns, lot of history. We saw a Boab tree this is supposed to be the largest still standing and it is over 2000 years old, we also saw the Boab Prison Tree, where they used to put up to 17 aboriginals in it over night, when they were taking them to be imprisoned somewhere else. All in all had a great day and good company, with Leonie & Leon. Off to bed now for us as we are very tired, after all our site seeing. So good night, hope all is well....

Monday, June 23, 2008

Good Weekend at Broome

Friday 20th June
We drove back to Broome today, to have a few days there with Helen & Daryl, before we go our separate ways. Helen & I had a great day on Saturday, wondered around “China Town” and checked out all the wonderful Pearl Shops. Picked out my favourite pearl; a beautiful 1cm golden pearl – guess how much? Just a little $15,000. But it was great to have a look at all the beautiful strands of pearls and the designer jewellery.
Saturday night we went out for dinner, decided to have Chinese for a change. You wouldn’t believe how much we paid for each dish... $30 – dearest Chinese I’ve ever had. After dinner we went out to the water edge of the town beach to see the “Stairway to the Moon”. Apparently this phenomenon happens each month, for only a few nights when the full moon rises and the tide goes out over the mud-flats and the reflection of the moon, just glistens. It only lasts for no more than about 15 minutes.
Sunday was another relaxing day for us all. Will be moving on tomorrow again, we are heading back to Derby to have the back window fixed. Ray got them to order it from Perth when we were there last week, so they will put it in while we wait. Helen & Daryl will be going south down to Port Headland, they are going to have a good look around the Pilbara area, and then go down south to Esperance then home across the Nullarbor.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Flying over The Horizontal Falls

The boys went fishing again this morning, they nearly got blown off the rocks though. It is very windy here today, so we really are having another very lazy day, I don't think I'll even go snorkeling, still hot though. Going back to Broome tomorrow for the weekend.
These pictures are of the Horizontal Falls, an amazing phenomena. The water ways and great ridges of rocks, are incredible. We also flew over Cockatoo Island, and the minning work going on there is huge.

Fishing At Cape Leveque

Helen caught a small Spotted Rock Cod, Daryl is helping her off the rocks with it. She was very disappointed that it had to go back... too small.

Ray's catch of the day was a small Blue Tusk fish, very pretty fish but he too had to go back... Daryl also caught one of these.
There were hundreds of these little creators on the beach, when Helen & I got sick of not catching fish we went rock walking, to see what we could find.
Such cute little Hermie crabs!!!

Windjana Gorge

Fresh Water Crocs at Windjana Gorge....

Some amazing colours is the cliffs of this gorge. Just take a look at the rock formation on top of this one... Great thumbs up, aye!!!
Here we have Helen Daryl & Ray walking out through the tunnel where we entered the gorge.

Cape Leveque

We have had a great day yesterday, Helen Ray & I went for a flight around the Buccaneer Archipelagos, over the Horizontal Falls, Cockatoo Island. It was just amazing... Then we went for a lovely walk around the rocks at low tide, I think I’ll have a go at snorkeling today.
Daryl, Helen & Ray have been fishing , they each caught some, but not big enough to keep for the frying pan unfortunately. They have a spectacular display of sunset here as well. The western cliff wall is all a glow of goldden/orange colour just before sunset...
This is the sunset...
This one is the sunrise the morning we went fishing of the rocks on the eastern side of the peninsula...
Will add more pictures after breakkie, please leave a comment when you're here, would love to know when you visit...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Wild Flowers on the Tanami Track

This a really small Ant Mound, there are thounds of them all around. These are some of the wild flowers on the Tanami...

Hello from Derby

Well, I have finally found some time and service to add to my Blog... We are now in Derby W.A. and stopped for a couple of days while we catch up on some washing and car maintenance, etc. Have written everything for the past 10 or so days, so I hope you don’t get bored with what I write....

Tuesday 3rd June
Wow, what a night we had last night.... Dingos howling all night!!!! When we arrived at Beresford Siding we saw a couple of them while we were setting up camp. Then as the night wore on, we could hear them calling each other out in the bush; their howls seemed to be getting closer and closer. We thought at one stage they were even in our camp... In the morning while having bacon & eggs, there were three just off the edge of our camp, having a squabble. We thought it was a Mum with 2 young pups; they were very close just the same.
Beresford Siding was one of the main siding for the Old Ghan Railway in the 1800s. The ruins of the station building is still there as well as the water tank for filling the steam engines, also a huge water desalination tank for mixing water softener chemicals to the Bore water to eliminate some of the minerals, because the water was putting a crust inside the boilers, therefore making them less efficient to run.

Wednesday 6th June
After leaving this camp site we headed toward William Creek. On the way we called into yet another lot of ruins. This time is was the Strangways Station; this little community was set up with everything and the promise of great fortunes being made. They bought in 3000 ewes 300 rams and 40 head of cattle to set, and because the seasons were so good they imported another 3500 sheep. Then guess what happened? They lost over 2/3 of their stock due to the ‘fickle’ weather (drought)!!! The stone work and the quality of the buildings, was really something to see. There was a 30,000gal stone and buttress tank construction, and is as good today, as it was when they built it.
The stockyards were all built out of stones stacked on top of each other so neatly; they are still standing in position today. Daryl and Ray walked out to find the cemetery where there was a 32yrs old female and a 41yr old male, buried in 1901 and 1903. There is lots of broken relics just laying about, specially broken glass bottles. Rum and Whisky bottles; it was amazing how think the class was and all the different colours of it. There was more of the ‘mound springs’ around this area as well.
William Creek Pub was where we had lunch, Ray tried a “Lamb Rivermint Pie” also on the menu was Roo Kurry Pie and Emu Kurry Pie. Daryl and I decided to just have a plain meat pie and Helen had a bowl of wedges with sour cream and chilli sauce. It was a great pub though with a great publican who was also the man that changes the tyres and ran the garage beside the pub.
We made camp at Peake Hill Ruins; this lot were 19 ks off the main road (Oodnadatta Track). This used to be an old telegraph station. Ray has had some 4WD driving today; getting in and out of there. Another good camp was set up with Daryl’s help and guidance. Was a bit windy at first which made the fire smoky for a start, bit in the evening was pretty good. We had another lot of campers come in as well, who came over to share our fire and a bit of a chat.

Thursday 5th June
The next morning we travelled along the Oodnadatta Track to the “Pink Roadhouse”. And was it PINK!!! Everything was pink. We called in to have a look at the “Algebuckina” Bridge see photo, good camping spot here. On the way after lunch and we saw the “Painted Desert”; this is just an amazing piece of landscape. Photos do not do it justice... We hit the Stuart Highway about 5pm, fuelled up at Marla and pulled off the road to camp the night approximately 120ks from NT boarder.

Friday 6th June
Packed up camp and were on the road by 9.25am – overcast and cold. Stopped at Kulgera and got fuel, coffee, water; had some lunch at Stuart Wells. Camped out at Rainbow Valley, would have been an amazing sight had it not been for the clouds in the sky. Oh well, can’t win them all. It was supposed to rain over night, but held off until we were packing up when it started to sprinkle, by the time we got to Alice Springs it was really raining...

Saturday 7th June
Did some shopping in Alice and stocked up on supplies etc. Had some lunch, fuelled up AGAIN, and headed out of town towards the Tanami Track. Stayed 2 nights at the Tilmouth Wells Station/Roadhouse. We weren’t sure if we’d be able to get onto the Tanami Track as they had had a bit of rain. At one stage the road was going to be closed. Had dinner in the restaurant, quite a few people in there for dinner, lots of miners staying there, drilling for Uranium...

Sunday 8th June
Lazy day at the Roadhouse did some washing, watched the local folk come and go into the ‘takeaway’ shop – played computer games – lunch in the BBQ area, very pleasant. Dinner again at the restaurant, the word is that the Track was ‘OK’ but a bit slippery in some places at the other end. So we will be leaving in the morning...hhmmm.

Monday 9th June
Hit the Tanami about 9am, parts of it was sealed or graded, but wet in some places, not as bad as expected. Had lunch on the road and then arvo tea at Rabbit Flats – Ray has always wanted to come to this place, now he’s been there, he’s happy... Made camp about 5ks out of Rabbit Flats on the side of the road. We were all pretty tired and hot by the time we set up camp. Cooked silverside for tea, it was beautiful, not bad for “bush camping”!!!!

Tuesday 10th June
On the road again about 10am after a nice camping – Tanami was very rough especially after we crossed the border (W.A.) had lunch between the border and Billuluna Creek. Called into Wolf Creek, we walked up the side of the crater, well worth the effort of getting up to the top. Starting to heat up now, got into Halls Creek about 3pm. Then headed out to Old Halls Creek to camp. It used to be the town until they relocated it to where it is now. All that is there now are a few ruins and the camping ground of course.

Wednesday 11th June
Travelled the rest of the Tanami Track today, very rough and wet in places. Arrived at Fitzroy Crossing, had some lunch at the Shell servo, visited the info centre. Then we went on a boat ride up through the “Geike Gorge”. It was lovely and very pleasant in the hot afternoon. We went back to Fitzroy Crossing to stay at the caravan park; it was getting dark by now. We paid for powered site but it was far to packed out and couldn’t find a spot at all. Decided to camp on the grass on unpowered, then get refund in the morning, which we did with a bit of an argument.

Thursday 12th June
Ray has had another good day doing some rough 4W driving. We took the track from Fitzroy Crossing to the Gibb River Road, had a couple of gorges to have a look at. Tunnel Creek Gorge and Windjana Gorge. Ray walked right into the Tunnel Creek one and said it was magnificent. The Windjana Gorge was spectacular though. We were able to walk into it as well, but only had to walk along the side of the river. Saw plenty of fresh water grocs on the edge of the water, but the sides of the gorge was a wonderful display of colours. We then travelled into Derby, where we have booked into a lovely caravan park for a couple of nights. Moving onto Broome on Saturday 14th so will add more in a day or two. Going out to Cape Leveque Monday for the week...
Bye for now hope all is well...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Ruins of "Farina"

Had a quite day catching our breath, Helen & Daryl arrived from Burra about 3pm. I cooked a beef stew in the camp oven, in the communal kitchen in the park. After tea we had coffee around the camp fire and a young couple, Mitch and Ashlee came and sat with us to have a chat. They are travelling until they find somewhere they both would like to live.
We have just left Leigh Creek, driving north towards Marree, when we came across these ruins of this old town, called “Farina”. All across the South Australian desert area there are hundreds of these types of ruins. Where people have come out here to settle and do farming with either crops sheep or some cattle, and with the ‘fickle’ weather, even back then (1800s) found it all just too hard and they had to walk off their properties and go elsewhere. These once lovely old stone homes just left to erode away in the elements. “Farina” on the other hand was a small town; this is the "Underground Bakery" that is still standing...

On our travels along the Oodnadatta Track, we found a paddock of Metal Sculptured Art (ART???). They have been made of scrap metal of all kinds. An artist, Robin Cook from Melbourne comes out here nearly every year to make more pieces and/or fix up the broken pieces. He has used bits of metal from the railway and old cars, machinery etc. Quite amazing, and is right at home in this barrens landscape. We had some lunch there... cold silverside sandwiches and a cup of tea.

At Mound Springs Conservation Park, we stopped to have a look at the “Blanche Cup” and the “Bubbler” springs. The “Bubbler” was a bit scary, because it just looked like it was bubbling mud from the underground. This is where the aboriginal pulled a huge snake out of the ground, cooked the bloody big fella in the Blanche Cup, eat the snake and the throw its head away, and where it landed became another spring; – so the legend goes. The area all around the Bubbler spring is covered with these active mounds, which have huge area of crusted mineral salt deposits from the water bubbling up from the Artesian Basin.