Saturday, July 24, 2010

Broken Hill to the Coast

Another day's driving full of nature's wonders. The roadside grasses were roughly a metre high, apple green at the base and wheaten at the top. As they swayed in the wind they gave the illusion of being lit from beneath. For 2 days my poor car was subjected to bombardment by huge grasshopper-like insects and I am still trying to get the mess off the front despite numerous washes by Richard and myself.

Suddenly the highway was flanked by a huge body of water and I know what camel drivers must feel like when they come to an oasis! There is was sparkling, clear, bird laden water in the middle of absolutely nowhere.

That night I stayed in a Nyngan motel and was treated to the most amazing sunset I've seen in a very long time.

Coonabarrabran, next day, was a lot larger than I remembered it and a good place for a break in the park and fuel. I'm finding more and more service stations in country towns have gone back to having personnel on the driveway to assist customers and there's nothing wrong with a touch of good old fashioned service.

In my opinion the countryside just out of Coonabarrabran was very picturesque and I made several photo stops endeavouring to capture it.

Hospitality In Broken HIll

Pam was everything I expected her to be and so was her ever supportive husband, Des. Warm hearted, generous, hospitable folk. I felt as though I was visiting with "old" friends.

On Saturday Pam picked me up and we "did" the town. After exploring the main street shops we drove out to Silverton where we had a delicious lunch of home-made sausage rolls in the house Des grew up in which is now an interesting "folksy" cafe.

Then a few klms further on we came to a lookout with a vista I will never forget - it was breathtaking and impossible to photograph.

Burra to Broken Hill

Bill and I drove this route when Richard and Tanya were still at primary school and my memory of that trip was one of boredom but that was well and truly quashed by this trip. As I got further and further north east I was fascinated by the amazing colours in the hills. There must have been recent rains because the rust red soil was flushed in many places with green and even the swaying grasses looked healthy and alive. I began to understand why so many artists choose to base themselves in Broken Hill - the light is definitely different out there. My photographs just don't capture what I felt .

The history and a bygone era was evident in places like this amazing stone built railway station at Manna Hill.

Adelaide to the Gold Coast

There is a wonderful woman called Pam living in Broken Hill who established, and continues to moderate, an on-line group of ladies who knit prolifically for those in need. I was keen to meet her so made the decision to take that route to my next housesit at the Gold Coast.

Expecting to find the countryside dry, dusty and boring, I headed north to Burra, getting off the main highway and taking a few back roads once I was out the other side of Gawler. My black Mazda 3 soon looked as though it belonged to a "country chick" but the scenery was well worth it. Rolling hills tinged with green and expansive vistas to the horizon with the added bonus of absolutely no traffic. I felt as though I was the only person on earth which I found liberating.

I kept thinking of the desert drive ahead of me and made the decision to stay in Burra that night, and be well rested for the next day. I found an extremely comfortable motel which turned out to have a very pleasant little creek running along the back of it. A very restul oasis.

Adelaide Activities

Richard had to fly back home but Tan, James and I explored Adelaide together. It's always fun showing somebody your birthplace. We took a trip aboard Popeye on the River Torrens, explored Rundle Mall and drove to Victor Harbor.

All too soon they had to leave. I went to housesit for the newly weds while they honeymooned in Europe. Nick's sister, Sarah, and I had some very pleasant time together. Lots of chatting, as well as riding the new tram through the City and down to Morphettville to "do" a craft show together.

Together At Last!

It had been a long time since we'd all been together and even though Tanya and James have been together 4 years, it was the first opportunity Richard has had to get to know him. Poor James, it was the first time he'd met a lot of people that weekend but he withstood the test and continued smiling.

The Power Of Positive Thinking

James enjoys the culinary arts so naturally we are happy to let him. What's more he's resourceful - when the supermarket didn't have fresh Rosemary he found some - that's what the power of positive thinking can do. The rest of us certainly had to eat humble pie!

The Bridgman Wedding

Nick and Kelly Bridgman signing up for the rest of their lives.

Since my last update I've driven to Adelaide for the wedding of Nick and Kelly. Well, actually, Richard drove from Brisbane with me in the passenger seat which made a pleasant change. Tanya and her partner James flew in and the 3 of us had a beachfront apartment at Glenelg. We used to live next door to the Bridgman family and both Tanya and Nick were born during that time so we have a long and close association. I stayed on to housesit for the newly weds.