Week One of the Adventure
Trip Start Jun 27, 2010
13Trip End Oct 01, 2010
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Where I stayed
Day 1 – packing, packing and more packing. A rainy Saturday had set us behind, but eventually we set off at 4.30 (after a brilliant 1-1 draw by the Strikers ...Go Strikers ... keep the scores coming). Luckily we only had to trip up to Bendigo to find a welcome 3 course dinner and electric blankets at the world renowned Flood (the Elder) B&B.
Day 2 – Conor and I rug up and go for an early walk in the crisp Bendigo morning (good training for what was to come). Then we set off for Mildura (late lunch), a quick cross of the Murray to say we'd been in NSW, then a fruit fly inspection at the SA border. Why we’d have contraband in a miniscule glove box I don’t know! First set up of the trailer at Renmark Big 4 overlooking the Murray (shower rating 9/10 - sheer luxury in retrospect)
Day 3 – Early morning stop at Jimmy’s Fruit Barn to stock up on fruit and veg, then Banrock Station to grab just a couple of bottles of our favourite drop, crossed the Murray on a vehicle ferry at Cadell and then up to Burra for lunch. Arrived Wilpena Pound after sunset and kept warm by setting up. Conor and Keir thrilled to meet a kanga on the way to the toilet block – they promptly christened him Frank.
Day 4 – Declan, Keir and I head off on a walk to Hills Homestead and up to Wangarra Lookout for a brilliant view across the Pound – 7.8 km – pretty good stroll. Keir’s boots are rubbing so when we return to camp I go to get his other shoes from the Landcruiser ... no luck ... check the tent ... no luck. Turns out somehow manage to leave an entire bag of kids shoes between Renmark and Wilpena – somewhere on the side of the road sits a St John of God bag filled with boys shoes #$@^!!! (Okay Mum stop tutting now)
Day 5 – Trek back to Port Augusta to restock with shoes and to buy 2 subzero sleeping bags for youngest boys. Visited great ruins at Kanyaka dating back to 1850s
Day 6 – Chris, Keir and Conor tackle the Homestead/Wangarra walk, Declan takes a solo bike ride up part of the Mawson Trail and I tackle the laundry. In the afternoon we 4WD out to Sacred Canyon where we climb into the canyon to see aboriginal carvings. On the way and way back we see a couple of emus and masses of kangaroos. We have our first campfire that evening.
Day 7 – It’s 1 degree Celsius in the tent when we have to get up to pack up. 3 hours later (we’ll get quicker I’m sure) we’re off through the Bunyeroo Valley, fording lots of beautiful dry creeks, with amazing views of the bluffs and escarpments of the Flinders Ranges. We get to Blinman (apparently SA’s highest town) for lunchtime, then onto Arkaroola and our bush camp. It’s all feeling incredibly remote.
For the dedicated readers only, this week’s story is titled "the tale of marsupial ratty":
We fell fast asleep relatively early
I awake –it’s pitch black.
The surrounding trees were way to allow a branch to scrape the canvas.
Scratch, scratch, scratch.
It’s definitely hard claws on canvass I decide – not big, but tiny. A marsupial mouse is trying to get in just above my head.
Ignore it – it’ll go away.
I bang the canvas and for a moment it ceases..
“Chris! Chris! Are you awake”
“I am now”
I explain about the marsupial mouse.
“No it’s just a tree branch in the wind” he says dismissively”
“No, it can’t be ...can you go check?”
Very reluctantly my defender rises and torch in hand goes to survey the exterior of Chez Flood
Next week – the magnificent Arkaroola and more.
Suzanne's Bush Camping Beauty Tip No.1 - A woollen hat worn 24/7 hides all sorts of hair disasters.
PS. Desperate for news of Masterchef and Julia’s cabinet (probably in that order), please post comments.