Sunday, November 9, 2008

Flinders Festival of the Dice...and other fun stuff

Last time I posted, only a few days ago, I was having some fluster and technology issues. So sorry for my haphazard blog folks. Things seem calmer and the reception much better here in Wilpena in the Flinders Ranges NP in S.A. As you all know we've been touring ( a new favourite word) for about a week spending some time in the northern Flinders a.k.a Gammon Ranges and Arkaroola and we are know in the stunning Flinders Ranges NP.

Geologically as well as visually awesome, we have driven through gorges with exposed rock 600 million years old. I got especially excited about some fossilised worm burrows that you obviously need to be a specialist to find (we did not see them). Spent a night bush camping last night, but now in the privately owned Wilpena Resort which is the starting point for a lot of the walks/hikes available. It's a lot cooler here especially at night - back to long duds in the evenings.

*Some snaps of our walk. A 6.4km walk, baby stuff really, but it was fairly well straight up and straight down with views into the pound and across the ranges. We lucked out with the weather (again) as it was perfectly clear and we could see forever.
We've been very lucky with the weather. Checked the road status reports y'day and it would appear we've left a wake of wet wet wet behind us. Almost all of the desert tracks we took in the first few weeks are closed due to rain and the Simpson is closed until March 09!

* A campground neighbour. This little joey was taking a load off in te shade with his/her mum. Seemed to have a very scritchy nose, or maybe just a little roo game?

*Good morning, good morning. This is early morning at camp. I wondered how our days would go and thought perhaps some of you might be interested in some of the day to day stuff. If not, switch off.

The birds or sun generally wake me in the morning. This morning it was crows, although often it's squawky gahlahs, corellas or the magical song of the magpie. There's usually a small discussion about who's turn it is to get up and make the joe (Nescafe Blend43). I hop up and boil the billy, making enough for the thermos too. Andy likes his joe "drive-through", he gets it through the tent window most mornings. I have bit of quiet time in the morning, read or do some little chores. This is also one of the best times for my new hobby - birdwatching (nerd burger I hear you say!).I also pack our lunch for the day - little variation on the ham, cheese and tomato theme (depending on availability). Yum!

The next part of the day is dependent on so many variables, e.g heat, flies, destination, walks etc. We generally pack up camp and get moving sometime between 9-11. .This doesn't take as long as it used to and we don't seem to have the same volume of stuff that we used to at the beginning - I suppose we're getting accustomed to it.Before driving away we do the troopy checklist - oil, coolant, tyres blablablabla. So far so good if you don't count 1 flat tyre and 1 flat battery.
Now we tour. We take our time and stop in at the various points of interest (POI) marked on the maps, stop for morning tea and lunch if viable, as well driver revivers. We try to arrive at our chosen destination for the day early-mid afternoon giving us time for setting up and enjoying the surrounds. This is not always the case as it sometimes takes a lot longer to go from A-B than it would appear on the map.
Depending on location there are some chores to be done; washing (us and clothes), cleaning out esky, fridge rotation (beer of course) and the all important water fills and stocktake. Drinking water has probably been one of my biggest concerns so far as it just isn't available. I really took for granted being able to turn on the tap and fill the jug, or just drink it. Most of the water we've come across is hard and no good to drink (or even wash in - had shower at Farina Ruins that was the temperature and flavour of blood....mmmmmm), you might even have to buy it from the town resoirvoir like the locals at Coober Pedy. We have a 75L bladder that sits behind the seats and is a wicked piece of equipment but with the heat it doesn't take long for a bit of plastic taint, or other flavours, to develop. Enter Cottees Coolah cordigal.
Now the best part of the day descends upon us. We play games, bocce and yahtzee, chat about the day that's been, check out the maps for the day to come, blog, read, walk and watch the sun go down, have dinner or go to the pub if we're in town. We have our dinner....and then it's usually my bed time. I retire to the cubby with my head torch and book and think about how lucky we are.

Hope you all had good one at Newtown Festival? Did you have that corn on the cob for me?

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