Outback: Rawnsley Station to Farina

Trip Start Mar 30, 2013
Trip End Apr 13, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , South Australia,
Friday, April 5, 2013

Each day is framed by bird song. At Rawnsley station it is Australian Ringnecks swimming in a bird bath. We drive West for a short while and then North. Outback country. Coffee at the Hotel at Parachilna. They must sell a LOT of head fly nets, as it is impossible to look at the fossil outside without waving both hands. Anna, John and I invest in a fly net (at $12 worth every cent)!

The landscape changed to flat, dry and salty. Not many signs of life around - like Namibia. Leigh Creek is a planned mining town (much like Sishen) - the town relocated to the current site in 1982. Beautiful gimlet trees and good facilities - swimming pool, tennis courts, an oval, shops and school.

Lunch at the oval on kukuyu grass. Walter is sad - his bike has been damaged after a rock hit the gears. He tries to buy some parts, but it won't help. It will have to wait for Canberra - more than 2,400 km away.

At Lyndhurst we visit Talc Alf (born in the Netherlands as Cornelis Johan Alferink and came to Australia in 1960), a very interesting sculptor who starts talking about the Boer war. There isn't a topic he is not well informed about. He gives us a copy of an article he compiled about Breaker Morant. How the movie about Breaker Morant did not tell the truth and both the school principle and pastor were shot by Morant (well known in Australia as a bigamous and a thief). Alf's sculptures are interesting - full of symbolism.

We sleep at Farina (from the latin word for flour) - the governor of the state who thought nothing of the surveyor (Goyder). He was going to start a town and plant wheat out here in the Outback. Unfortunately, Goyder was right. Wherever you see the salt bush grow - forget about planting wheat. It is too dry and the soil not suited for wheat. The town which at its peak had a a population of 300 was established in 1885 and died in 1980.

I have never experienced such insistant flies. I count 50 on Anna's back. Thank goodness for the head net. Walter is tough. No net for him. We wait till after sunset to eat our dinner - a beautiful chicken stew made by Anna. Walter supplies a cold German Riesling and the camp fire. I am very greatful for the tent - to keep flies, mosquitos and other insects out. We sleep with 2 sides open - a cool breeze flowing through the net. I feel very guilty after hearing the Clarkes did not sleep that well with an ant trail crossing their swags and other insects disturbing a good night's rest.

The bush toilet has a resident frog, which I fortunately do nit meet. Johnathan has a soft spot for cats - we spot two during our stay.
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