Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Port augusta to Coober Pedy

Hi everyone
I did stay another day in Port Augusta as the weather had improved and I decided to wash and clip the dogs, much to their disgust!! It was something that had to be done and I'm sure deep down they thanked me.
I drove to Woomera and boy is that a dead town, sorry Woomera. I know it was Sunday but gosh I managed to drive around the town, take photos, visit the information centre, all in 5 minutes. The park only cost me $15, including power, and now I know why, there's nothing here. They only had 4 T.V. stations, one was channel 7 the others ABC/SBS!!! I know they do have good programmes.
 I left the next morning for Coober Pedy, and if you thought the Hume Hwy to Melb. was boring, try the Stuart Hwy from Port Augusta to Coober Pedy. The land is so barren and thank god for CD's, not that the dogs got out as much pleasure listening to my singing as I did listening to the CDs!!
Arrived here safely, and I know I'm a winger(?spell.) but I'd forgotten about how bad flies can be. They are in abundance and sticky ones at that. The temperature is pleasant at 30 degrees, and I do have the air con going.
The next day (29th) I'd booked a tour from 1pm. I left the dogs in the home with air con going, of course, and hoped they behaved. In the mornings a lot of Parks empy out so a dog barking is not disturbing too many people.
The guide, Jimmy, is greek but has lived here for 47 years. It was well worth it ( $62.20) and there is so much I learnt. Opals are not find more than 30metres below ground, and once you have dug a deep hole looking for them, you don't have to fill in the hole once you've finished! Public are not allowed onto the "fields" where mines have been dug, because a tourist was killed when she fell in a hole when taking a photo.
The underground houses, motels and churches are amazing. The temp. is always between 21-25 but you have got to get used to having no natural light. I have no idea how much it costs to build underground, I forgot to ask!
We then went to a place called Breakaway which years ago ( and I mean  millions of years ago ) was the bottom of the ocean. I'm not sure how they work all this out but I'm not going to argue! The aborigines class it as sacred ground and so you are not allowed to take any stones etc from there. We were allowed to take photos, which I did and the landscape was quite spectacular, but you had to be there to appreciate it all
Next was the Dingo fence which is the longest fence in the world and runs through 3 states, Qld, NSW and SA. Of course there's nothing but a fence but you still have to take a photo.
There is a Plain called The Moon Plain but because of all the rain that fell last month everything is green, and instead of the appearance of the moon, which I assume is greyish/brown, it's not. Anyway worth a photo!
Now I know you are asking 'What about the dogs?' Well they stayed in the motorhome with the air con going so they, hopefully, were enjoying the comfort of camping!
Tomorrow I'm going back to Port Augusta, ( which is 530kms of nothing)  for 1 nite and then I'll go to the Eyre Penninsula, which is Port Lincoln and Coffin Bay
Hope everyone is well.

Road to Coober Pedy ( Stuart Hwy)

Main Street Coober Pedy

Part of Breakaway
Breakaway, another view

Well that's it. Hope everyone is well

Jo, Kaiser and Chardy

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mt Gambier to Port Augusta

Hi everyone
From Mt Gambier I headed west via the south coast. Went through Robe where I was hoping to but some nice fish or shellfish but the co-op shop was closed and I was to lazy to find another. I then travelled through Kingston where the Big Lobster is. The scenery is great along the coast but once you go inland it gets a bit boring.
I was planning on staying in a free parking area in a place called Coomandook and thought I'd get there at approx 5.00pm. I passed through Tintinara and had just gone through roadworks when I got a puncture. Now what do I do? I rang a tyre place in Tintinara who suggested I ring RACQ but before I left they RACQ told me that they do not cover Motorhomes so didn't give them the Rego. Anyway to cut a long story short RACQ did arrange to have the tyre changed and I was on my way. I arrived at planned destination at about 6pm. Stayed there the nite and in the morning rang a few tyre places to arrange to have a tyre fitted. Unfortunately the tyre is not a common size so went to Murray Bridge  a tyres were ordered fo me but won't be there till Monday.
Stayed in a lovely Caravan Park which is right on the Murray River. Saw the Murray Princess (which is the largest Paddle Steamer in Australia ) "sail" right past and apparently only does the trip on Saturdays. You can pay to stay on it for a number of days but it's not cheap.
Spent a relaxing couple of days there and had the tyre fitted on Monday. Tuesday I drove to Clare in the Clare Valley and it drizzled most of the way. Stayed at Leasingham Caravan Park which was a fair way out from Clare but planned to take the scooter out on Wednesday and do some sightseeing. Well Weds. cold, wet and windy and no way was I going out on the scooter, so stayed in the home all day.
Thursday drove to Port Augusta and it was lovely and sunny. In the booklet it said "Port Augusta has low rainfall" so I was rapt. Planned to sightsee tomorrow (Friday). Woke up this morning and you guessed it , it was drizzling on and off and quite overcast. I can't win!! I still took ther scooter out and did some shopping - got wet of course
Tomorrow I plan to head for Coober Pedy but if it's a nice day I might stay here another night.
Well best go and do nothing, I'm getting used to it now.


Murray Princess
A Native!!
Port Augusta

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Now in South Australia - only just!!

Hi Everyone

I'm in Mount Gambier, South Australia, but only just ( I mean just over the boarder). Arrived here yesterday after spending a couple of days in Port Fairy. I stayed in Wongarra (near Apollo Bay ) until Monday as it was a public holiday in Victoria and there was a music festival on in Port Fairy, so accomadation would have been difficult.
I had a great time in Wongarra with my friend, Steve. He spoilt me rotten and it was fantastic seeing him after quite some time.
Port Fairy is a lovely little town and quite pituresque. I decided to stay there 2 nights as I really wanted the get the motor home organised as I had been just chucking things in. The dogs got plenty of exercise and I think Kaiser is suffering from 'sore paw syndrome' as he isn't so keen to walk on gravel - either that or he is just plain lazy!!
Drove through Portland to get to Mt Gambier. Portland, is a seaport and  unfortunately there were a large number of ship wrecks there in the 1800's.
Next was Mt Gambier, which is part of the Limestone Coast even tho it's not on the coast.
It is known as the "Blue Lake City" and is built on the slopes of a dormant volcano. The Blue Lake is the city's water supply and it's colour changes from  a steel grey in winter to a torquoise blue in summer.
Today I ventured off on the scooter and left the dogs in the Home. They obviously behaved as there were no complaints from the staff here at the caravan park, which was a relief
Tomorrow I head for the Clare Valley ( wine of course ) but will need to camp somewhere in between.

 The Twelve Apostles or what's left of them!
 Port Fairy looking towards the Wharf
The Blue Lake at Mount Gambier SA

Until my next blog

Jo, Kaiser, Chardy and Shiraz

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Now at Apollo Bay

Hi everyone

To-day is a beautiful one, sun shining and quite warm. My friend's house is opposite the beach, which is not a great for swimming as there are a lot of flat rocks that go out a long way. There is one little area where there is sand underfoot when you are in the water.

Before arriving here I had spent 3 days with another friend, Libby. Libby and I did nursing together and she is the one who introduced Brendan and I. Anyway she lives in a place called Jan Juc which is near Torquay, which is near the start of the Great Ocean Road. We walked on the beach, twice a day, but the weather wasn't the best. I had a great time catching up and they were great hosts. I spent my actual birthday with them and I was spoilt rotten.

On the 5th March Jennie and I had a family party at my older sister's place. Our niece did the catering and we had a great night. Yes I drank my Blue Label Whiskey and it was magnificent.

Jennie took the Monday off, as it was my last day with her,  and I clipped her dogs

On the Tuesday I went to Jan Juc and now I'm here at Wongarra which is near Apollo Bay. I'll be staying here till Monday then I'll go further along the Great Ocean Road and then head to South Australia. To day we had lunch on the beach and had some white wine all very civilised!!!

No there are not 60 candles!
SHIRAZ another travelling companion
The terrible tribe  Chardy, Kaiser, Mr Darcy and Jackson
Near Jan Juc, taken from Torquay
Jan Juc

Sunrise at Wongarra

The Great Ocean Road, well part there of

Well that's about it for now hope everyone is well. Until next time stay safe


Jo, Kaiser, Chardy and Shiraz
xxx   woof woof woof

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Not long now before I head West

I know I've been slack again and my only excuse is I've been busy, socialising!!

Visited a friend in Mt Eliza and caught up on a lot of news. I did Midwifery with Denise and have kept in touch. Mt Eliza is near Frankston down on the Penninsula, south east of Melb. It was pretty cold, but thats Melb. for you hot one day cold the next. We, including Kaiser and Chardy, went for a walk along the boardwalk in Frankston and watched some Dolphins play in the ocean, all very civilised and calming.

Have been socilaising quite a bit in the last 2 weeks. Went to Gisborne, old stomping ground, for the week end. This place is colder than Melbourne. Caught up with quite a few friends and had one or two drinks!! Saw Brendan's sister and another friend who I met on the ship when I went to England in 1973. Judi married an Englishman and stayed in England for nearly 30 years before returning to Australia. Judi lives in Bendigo which is about an hour north west of Gisborne.

My elder sister's husband has put in my CB radio and I was listening to some truckies (females included) and boy it was entertaining. Language is unbelievable but listening to them is better than the radio. I've now got to work out how to use it for my benefit!! Not sure whether I have to have a call name but my sister thinks ' Whiskey a Jo Jo ' would be appropriate, not sure what she means!!

This Saturday is, Jennie's and my Birthday dinner, and am really looking forward to it. Monday I plan to head West and hopefully will then have something interesting to write about.

 Just going for a walk. Sorry the photo is up the wrong way!!

Frankston Pier Until next time

Jo, Kaiser and Chardy