Monday, 19 June 2017

A trip to South Australia - week I

When I can I try to keep up with writing my blogs, but on this trip I did all the driving and catering, so there wasn't much time to sit down to write up my blog posts, nor did I have proper Internet connection most of the time, hence my late posting of this latest trip.

For myself I like to have dates and places, as I use my blog as a kind of diary when away from home, so a summary won't work well.  Please bear with me if the listing gets boring, or else, there are the pictures for you to look at. :-)

I made this latest trip in my motorhome, together with Patricia and for a brief instance also with Dianne.  Of course we/I picked up geocaches here and there...

Monday, May 1, 2017

After packing the camper I left around noon and drove west. I stopped for lunch at Kilkoy and spent the night at Kumbarilla Rest Area (#576)* S27 19 28, E150 52 39.

Kumbarilla Rest Area

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

I left early and since I had forgotten to check the fuel level the day before I made my way to Tara, which would only be a slight detour and it also differed from the road to St. George which I had been on before when travelling with Frank. I stopped for morning tea at Westmar and arrived at St. George just after noon.  I met with Patricia, who had already arrived the day before, and also her friend Elizabeth, who runs a B&B.

In the afternoon we bought supplies at the local IGA and visited a carved emu eggs exposition at the Unique Egg.

The eggs are lit from the inside.  The more layers
of the egg shell are removed, the more light shines through

After that we had some time to spare and went in search for a few geocaches.  One had the short name of FGC, the meaning of which became clear when we visited the winery at which entrance the cache was hidden.  Besides a good selection of wines they also sell: (don't be shocked) Fucking Good Port.  So the name of the cache was not so strange after all.  It stood, of course, for Fucking Good Cache!  After we had found the cache and bought a bottle (or two!) of the port to sustain us on the trip we had afternoon tea in the winery grounds and then made our way back to Elizabeth's where I stayed the night in the camper.

FGC (cache #1616)

Wednesday, 3 May, 2017

We leave at 09.30h after picking up a forgotten item at IGA and stop for morning tea at Dirranbandi Rest Area before we make our way to Lightning Ridge where we will spend the night.

Dirranbandi sculptures
Approach to Lightning Ridge

Largely unsealed (and very corrugated) roads

Lightning Ridge is well-known for its opal mines and the famous black opal and we plan to have a good look around  We book into Lightning Ridge Holiday Park (#881) S29 25 42, E147 58 54. after we have visited the Chambers of the Black Hand.  This is an underground mine where artist Ron Canlin has carved over 400 figures into the walls of the old mine.  He started just after Tori and Stephen left neigbouring Walgett (which must be some 18 or so years ago), so that's why I had never seen this before.  The mine also has an underground opal shop, although I am not in the market for that kind of thing, therefore I only had a brief look...

A selection of the carvings

Know these people?

Back at the holiday park we were just in time to join friends of Patricia's and other holiday makers for happy hour.  We were lucky, because it was free pizza night as well and we dug in with gusto.

Lightning Ridge Holiday Park

Thursday, 4 May, 2017

We try to go on early morning walks as often as possible as a necessary exercise when sitting behind the wheel most of the time.  In Lightning Ridge this is not a chore as there is plenty to see:

The oldest surviving building in Lightning Ridge: Coopers Cottage (1916)

And more interesting items across the road

After our walk we get fuel and water and find a dump point for the toilet.  Next we leave Lightning Ridge, but not before we have visited the Artesian Bore Baths.  We have planned for this and brought our swim suits for the occasion.  The water is wonderfully warm (near hot) and stays that way, unlike ordinary bath water, which cools down after a while.  It's another place which I have never visited when we were staying in Walgett, but at least we can do it now.  Certainly worth another visit on the way back!

Lucky for us the artesian baths are also an earth cache, so we score a smiley as well.

Soak your troubles away...while you can.  (#1617)

When we are relaxed and have thoroughly enjoyed the baths we drive to Walgett where we stop for lunch and shop at the local IGA, which has grown enormously since I last visited Walgett.  We drive through the street where Stephen and Tori used to live, but I can't have a good look, because local council vehicles are busy.  Perhaps on the way back.

Various stations (farms) don't just have a sign with their name, but now put up huge sculptures.  These two we saw along the road after we left Lightning Ridge:

The night we spend at Wingadee Rest Area (#885) S30 28 05, E148 11 40.

The Australian landscape has its own charm, in particular in the setting sun

Friday, 5 May, 2017

In the morning we go for a walk and leave at 08.45h. Near Coonamble we find two more caches before we drive on to Warren where we have lunch.  Patricia fancied a pie, so why not.

Stop & Rest Awhile (#1618)

Keep it Kicking (#1619)

We have a short break at Sandy Creek Rest Area (#424) S31 44 56, E147 47 00 and spend the night near the Rabbit Trap Hotel (#913)  S32 21 25, E147 30 29.

Saturday, 6 May, 2017

On our morning walk I take the following pictures and then we leave at 08.00h.

Large signs seem to becoming the norm

We get fuel at Condobolin and have lunch at around midday.  We find a nice spot for the night on the side of Lake Cargelligo at Deadman's Point (#970) S33 16 46, E146 23 44 after we have bought groceries at the local Foodworks.

Another beautiful sunset

Sunday, 7 May, 2017

We leave at 09.00h, and since Patricia wants to sleep in on Sunday morning (on the road or not) we don't go for our regular walk.

A flock of galahs in the grass

We stop for morning tea at Rankin Springs.  A little bit earlier than planned, but I have cramps and can't sit properly while driving.  To ease the pain I have a lie down for half an hour and after that I feel a lot better.  We drive on to Goolgowi where we have lunch and I take the opportunity to ring Kevin. We also go out and search for a cache:

Goolgowi (#1620)

For some reason or other we are both a bit tired today and stop for a rest and a nap on the way to Hay (30km east of).

At Hay we stay at Sandy Point Reserve (#508) S34 30 55, E144 50 08 for the night.

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