Saturday, 4 July 2015

Perth via Darwin Part 13

Day 57 September 13th 
Ceduna. At last a sleep in, can you believe it after two months I can sleep in right till 7AM. My goodness me and I actually got to 7AM and had to get out of bed. And so the day started with sorting out our caravan and then doing the washing and making cookies for morning tea and lunch as Dennis wanted to take a tour down the east side of Ceduna.

Once again we drove in and out of bays, Dacres Bay then onto Laura Bay where we saw a pod of
Dolphins and that was exciting. We drove onto Smokey Bay and walked onto their jetty. While on the jetty we were busy taking photos of birds and then excitement struck when two seals came out the water chasing one another around the jetty it looked like a baby seal and it’s mom having fun in the ocean. We watched them for a while but the photos we took are not very clear which is sad but our eye saw them and it was just lovely to watch. We sat on the jetty and had lunch too and quite peaceful.

We drove back to camp and the weather becoming increasingly hot so we had a change of clothing from a wintery to shorts and slops. I rested for the afternoon and around 4PM we went for a walk onto the Ceduna jetty and once again were graced with the presence of two dolphins in the bay.

During our travels around the sand roads we saw many Moby Shingleback Lizards, which are from the blue tongue lizard family. Interesting wee creatures they are.
We came back to camp and then the sun started to set leaving a wonderful glow across the bay and slowly the sun started to disappear and darkness fell on the ocean and our surroundings. By this time our eyes were heavy and time to retire after a most enjoyable day.


Day 58 September 14th 
Ceduna. Derek’s birthday today and so we phoned and sang “Happy Birthday” to him. We decided to venture out on the opposite side of the bay. We made a flask and packed a lunch and left about
9:30 AM. Just after the quarantine post we turned off to Denial Bay where they oyster farm then went back onto the main road and came to a turn off where it became a sand road to Mac Kenzie ruins. Here we drove into see the ruins and it touched my heart to see what is left of our pioneer’s home. It makes one realize the value of what they gave up and did for us to what we reap today from their hard works.

After being here on these open plains we carried on to the Davenport Creek. When we finally reached this destination to find it was a 4x4 beach track and Dennis’ face lit up as we drove onto the beach. There were signs there to respect the dunes and its habitat also telling us to let down our tyre pressure for the beach run.                    

 How can a wife say no to a face full of glee? So down went the pressure on the tyres and off we went. Up and down dunes which were beautifully white and with the wind blowing one could see the sand moving and replacing old track marks and slowly but surely the dunes were changing shape.

Most of these dunes were quite high and at times one could hear the engine turbocharger kick in  trying to get up to the next dune. Dennis had loads of fun and I must admit it was also enjoyable being able to see the beauty of the beach in another perspective. We were at times surrounded in sand mounts smooth with no marking on it and I'm pretty sure when we leave there will be no marking of our tyres to show we were there. 

Well the wind is increasing and becoming unpleasant and time to head back to camp and finding that the temperature is changing to and the white horses in the ocean increasing rapidly and becoming very rough. So Dennis and I rushed into the caravan to find shelter and enjoy the warmth of our abode and it’s also time to pack all the things lying around as we on our next leg of our journey tomorrow and I can assure you it will be quite early too.
Day 59 September 15th 
Well it’s hard to believe it’s the last week of our holiday and feeling rather sad at the thought as this trip has been absolutely wonderful and we have been so blessed to have done what we have done and been able to see so much in such a short time as this. We are on our last leg home from Ceduna to Melbourne via Broken Hill where my mother was born and all her ancestors lived and were buried here.
Yesterday afternoon the weather truly turned to wild gusty nasty winds, howling around the caravan with the temperatures dropping and all we did was close ourselves up in the caravan and enjoyed the warmth and cosiness there.

We left this morning with winds, overcast and cold and yet the temps said it was 18°C  but it definitely did not feel that way. We passed through the granite country where we saw a huge statue of granite commemorating the farmer and the people of the town in Wudinna.

Driving onto Kimba which is HALF WAY ACROSS AUSTRALIA and has the Big Galah and this is where we had morning tea but it was cold and it was a quick jump back into the car for warmth. 
We Arrived in Port Augusta and went into the town to look at shops and walk around and got some things for the caravan. We arrived at the caravan park and set up camp had dinner and retired for the night.

Day 60 September 16th 
We had breakfast packed up and left at 7.42 and the temp was 11.4. The weather was overcast and the sun struggling to beam through all the clouds and in the distant when we looked at the ranges it was misty and looked as if it was raining. We took some photos of the distant terrain and as we moved towards the mountains the mist was more evident and the roads became windy and the lights of the vehicles on the roads were put on for safety. 

It was an enjoyable journey crossing from South Australia to New South Wales stopping at the Big Gum tree which apparently is over 500 years old.Took a photo of me hugging it, gosh the circumference is huge.

 We then drove through Peterborough which use to be called Petersburg. They have a beautiful entrance to their town of a train and then tin sculptures of kangaroos and oxen. 
We stopped at Yunta to put in diesel and have a cuppa here. It was quite funny, as we were entering into this border village we had to drive behind an oversized vehicle and they pulled over in this town for a rest and of cause we hurried with our tea just in case they decided to pull off and then we would be in a pickle as one could not overtake this vehicle. So off we were to Broken Hill arriving in the afternoon, set up camp and then drove around the town looking for the miners Memorial but sadness is as we were unable to drive up there it was closed. Came back had dinner and retired.

Day 61 September 17th 
Woke up at about 7am enjoyed the sleep in, Got ready and went to Maco’s for breakfast then off to the Desert Sculptures. 
Another day of the freezer door being left open my goodness the wind was icy and froze up the bones. It was an interesting insight to see what sculptures see in and feels in their hearts and minds and how they hammer at the stone to get what they want others to see. 

Some you could see and others it leaves you looking and wondering what you looking at but that is me, the view from up there over the terrain and its surroundings was spectacular. I looked at Broken Hill and the mines and thought of my ancestors and their hardships and tried to imagine their life in the late 1800’s I could see them bustling around the main street and working in various shops. Maria Downs was a seamstress in one of the shops and Aunt Sarah use to look after all the nieces and nephews and bake and sell cookies and pies. Yesterday we went and took photos of their homes no 1 Argent street and of cause my G. G Grandmother Jane who lived in 3 Argent Street and this too was where my mother was born in the 1911.

When we left the Living Desert we decided to take the back road to Silverton which of cause ended up being a 4x4 drive through the outback. It was a lovely experience seeing kangaroos, sheep and goats in this vast arid piece of land. 

Driving through dry river beds and opening and shutting farm gates. It was a lovely experience being in the true outback of Australia. We hit a snag when reaching the main road the farmer had locked the gate and of cause we had to back track to another road which we found was the Kelly’s farm which had an open gate leading onto the Dreamers mine road. Whew, we were so grateful for that as we had been on the road at least 2 hours 4x4ing. 
So off we went to Silverton and had lunch there and a cuppa, a well-deserved one at that. We came back to camp and rested the afternoon and now it’s time for the smell of a homemade meal and then to retire for the night.

Day 62 September 18th 
Today is a day of catch up with the chores of our wee home on wheels and do the washing. There was a waiting line for the machines this morning but we managed to get a machine and do 2 loads, so now we have clean clothes till we reach our home in Melbourne. Dennis and I are feeling rather sad as our holiday is coming to an end. We truly enjoy the beauty of Australia and what it has to offer. Each town we have been to is unique in its own way with their strange quirks of doing things and the set-up which we have enjoyed along the way. Broken Hill is not exception with its vast arid terrains surrounding this remote town/city with loads of history to its name in regards to the silver mines. Having my family in the late 1800’s working on the mines and in the shops and hotels, a story each in its own way.
We went to my G Grandparents, Grandfather’s and his brother Joes grave today and placed wee flowers and my heart was with gratitude in what they did for this country way back then. Oh how they must have struggled but at the same time lived a life I’m sure of happiness too. The Armstrong and Downs family all united together coming from Ireland to a land here in Australia which they now could call home. 

We decided to go to the lakes at Menundee and this is where Joe Armstrong had drowned. It was over 100k’s to this lake and when we arrived there it was lunch time so we stopped off at the Maidens Hotel and had an Outback hamburger with the lot.

It was tasty and not too bad. Just outside the hotel is a memorial to the men Burkes and Wills expedition and the history there when it was their last post before leaving civilization and heading out to the vast and treacherous outback way back then. I find it ironic that Dennis would end up at this place as our last outback experience was all about these two men and where they had died in Innamincka so here we are taking photos of these memories to their lives and their exhibition. We left there for the lakes and drove around there and discovered Burkes and Wills last camp site on the edge of the lake so we were rather elated in our find today and a wonderful ending to this trip in Broken Hill and Darling district. We drove back to Broken Hill and went to the shops then back to camp and packed up a few of our things, had dinner and then retired as it’s an early start tomorrow for out long stretch home.

Up to now we have driven 18,166k’s


Day 63 September 19th 
Up early today and decided to have our famous Makco’s for breakfast. We felt quite refreshed for our journey back to Melbourne. After having breakfast we said our farewells to Broken Hill and the town of my ancestors with a sadness in my heart and yet it was just wonderful being here to look around and be at peace with knowing something of their past. 
The sun was shining and the flowers were starting to open along the roads giving it a ray of beauty in its own way varying in colours from yellow white purple and sometimes red and pink and blue. The terrain changed from arid to forestry back to arid and the soil changed colours too and at times looking very salty. We had to stop to eat our fruit we had in the car for quarantine purposes then drove on going through wee towns all having their own symbol announcing their town and what they stand for, and at time very interesting art work.We stopped for morning tea and a wee stretch then at lunch time at Sea Lake where we were going to stop over for the night but decided to drive through to Melbourne.

Crossing over the border into Victoria made us realize that our journey was coming to an end and feeling quite emotional as we wanted to continue with this wonderful adventure.
HOME AFTER 19,013 Km
God has been our strength and our shield throughout this journey He watched over Dennis and myself and looked after our car and caravan and provided us with shelter each night protecting us and allowing us to experience and see His creation. We give Him all the glory and praise. Thank You Jesus! Amen.

And so our journey came to an end, Kathleen and I both often reflect on the great time we had and have many times wished that we were still 'on the road' but all good things must end. We will once again venture out to the North West coast of WA but that will only be in about two years time when hopefully I can retire.  
I have made a 90 min. video for family and friends, I then taught myself to book bind and printed and bound a 140 page book for each of our children.

 It has taken some time for all the posts to be uploaded, as a matter of fact in about two weeks it will be a year since we left on this journey. I hope you enjoyed it and thank you for being patient.

Until next patient, relax and enjoy

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