Daily Prompt: Grainy

via Daily Prompt: Grainy

IMG_0024

Sandstone layers at Ormiston Gorge in the West McDonnells, grainy, and also each individual piece of sandstone is grainy, as sandstone characteristically is. Wonderful to run your hands along and to feel the grainy nature of the sand and know that it is ancient. Something about how we are so young and fresh, and this grainy rock is so wise and ancient, ever present, unwaivering and strong, silent yet speaking.

pvcann.com

 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Days on the Road 20

We arrived home on Sunday, August 13. We had a lay day on Monday as we unpacked, washed and generally reaquainted ourselves with what we call home. But today, Tuesday 15 we had to get the camper van back to Apollo in Perth. If any of you watch Top Gear, you might well remember the Hilux named “unbreakable” which survived dropping, blowing up and the ocean among many things. Ours, being an Apollo with the number plate 130VTS, became the “Indestructable Apollo 13” Hilux. Great vehicle, great drive and a wonderful home for three weeks of our lives. Yes – we’d do it all again, and with our friends Geoof and Su. In fact looking forward already to the next venture.

pvcann.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Days on the Road 19

We left Narrogin on Sunday morning. raining again,  and went back up the road to Wickepin to see a woman about a dog – yes indeed, a breeder Lyn wanted to meet and discuss dogs with. It was a great time meeting Esther and her dogs. It has been over 12 mths now since our beloved Dalmation Sasha died and we are feeling ever ready to renengage with a new dog. Slowly, slowly the discussion begins. Grief is a tricky thing. After morning tea with Esther we set off for the south-west. Lunch in Williams was the best, and one of the best coffees of the whole trip.

We zipped through the Collie region and down to Burrecup, and on a whim, we hived off to the Ferguson  Valley and St. Aiden’s Winery for a tasting. Several bottles were purchased and a great tasting was had, place was humming in spite of the bad weather. This was a nice way to formally finish the road trip. We then headed on into Bunbury and our home in Carey Park. I half expected the Hilux to sigh and slowly fall apart as we pulled to a stop in the driveway.

pvcann.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Days on the Road 18

We left Norseman after a drive round the town for old times sake, been a while since we've been through here. We went down past the sports facility and on towards the Norseman East Hyden Road, a journey of 285 kms – 250 kms on gravel. The safety recommendation sign said open for all vehicles and so off we went. The road was perfect, just sticky round Lake Cowan, which is to be expected in winter.

Lake Cowan was beautiful even without much water, this is only one part of the vast lake, there was more water further up:

The flora was fabulous, the road was perfect for a gravel road.

I've been here before (even metaphorically speaking), and it always amuses me they gave this title (for those who know the satire show Little Britain – it is an added source of mirth).

Lyn drove us up the rock entry and we enjoyed the simple site, I guess others must have expected more in years gone by hence the name, there was water, and an established creek line that we crossed to get in, so it wasn't a shortage of water that disappointed (unless you went there in summer).

The person who organised this sign had this one job, and spelled it wrong, round the corner the viewing site said, correctly Lake Johnston – there's always that one person 🙂 there was some water in the distance on the other side of the road.

We had morning tea at a place called The Breakaways:

Clouds were rolling across us, and the weather forecast had been for rain further on in the wheatbelt, but now it was rapidly approaching. We Set off again and barely ten kms down the road the rain came. Which was fine, the Road got sticky, but it was fine. Then we encountered about 40 kms of roadworks which had softened up the road, and with the rain the road became a quagmire. 4×4 was better, and safer as we nearly came to grief a couple of times. I don't mind 4×4 in sand but I'm not a fan of mud at all. It reduced us to 50 – 60 kms, occasionally getting up to 70. We slogged through it for well over an hour, and came onto prime gravel again. 50 kms onwards we hit the bitumen.

Photos rarely do justice to live events, but the mud was shovel fulls on the treads and typically smeared all over the sides and rear as you'd expect, all part of the fun:

We had lunch in Hyden, an old stomping ground for both of us, then headed on towards, Kondinin, Kulin, Wikepin, and finally Narrogin for the night. We sadly missed visiting friends on the way by the route we have travelled from the Swans on the Eyre Highway, to Janine in Salmon Gums, friends in Esperance, Merredin, Kellerberrin, Koora Retreat, Kulin and more. Next time. Tomorrow is the last leg of the main journey.
pvcann.com

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Days on the Road 17

We left Nuytsland Conservation Park and some of the first visible kangaroos since leaving Menzies, and passed through Cocklebiddy, and then stopped at Caiguna for fuel, at another time we'd love to stay and look around, each place has some natural site worth seeing. Lyn noticed some Australian Bustards in the low scrub, so we pulled up and tried to take a photo, but they are incredibly shy birds and flew off immediately.

This the only shot that came out, the Bustard in flight (there were 14 in all).

Later we stopped at the front gate of Virginia Station where our old friends Russell and Judy Swann hold the pastoral lease. Then we pressed on, stopping for a quick lunch at a rest stop – Afghan Rocks. We passed Balladonia Station, and went on to Balladonia Roadhouse (which has a small museum, including fragments and pieces of Skylab) for fuel. We then headed to Norseman- the landscape ever changing. This is now old and familiar territory for me. We decided to cut some slack and have a night at the Great Western motel, get a good shower, do some washing and power up all the devices. Have done all of that and enjoyed a great meal too. Nice place to stay.

The courtyard at the motel replete with the pink and greys.

pvcann.com

13 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Days on the Road 16

Above is the preserved old Roadhouse as it was up to the 60s with gravel roads and basic cars, no aircon, and unreliable mechanical functioning in the main. Those were the days.

We left Nullarbor Roadhouse and backtracked 19 kms to the Whale-watch site. This is owned and managed by a local indigenous community, and it is exceptional. I took some movie footage but I can't download that till I get home. There were some breathtaking cliff views and wonderful coastline at the head of the Bight, and 9 whales with calves, 2 white calves, all playing, surging, diving, spouting and making their incredible sounds. All in all, a special experience of these wonderful creatures.

The Nullarbor is a special biosphere, though not for driving per se, given that it is not visually exciting. At the Nullarbor Roadhouse we noticed the Murdoch University caravan, and its logo proclaiming ocean research, so we assumed they were Phd students engaged with the whale research centre.

We left the Nullarbor and passed through the quarantine checkpoint at Border Village, which these days seems redundant, but somehow about ancient rights. I worked in agriculture and horticulture and you learn that none of the old fears of the 1800s are even relevant, let alone that we import from New Zealand, Fiji, Israel, the EEC and so on with the same risks. If you buy bananas in W.A. that come from Queensland that's okay, but if you buy bananas from Queensland from a supermarket in the N.T. or in S.A. you can't take them over, etc. Given the amount of chemical and the post 1830s genetical construction, it really is a bit of a joke.

We passed the border at Eucla, and went round the town for old times sake and then moved on through Mundrabilla and Madura Pass, fuelled at the Roadhouse in Madura which was tempting for a nights camp, but instead we moved on to a bush camp near to the turn off for the Eyre Telegraph Station/Bird Sanctuary. All part of the Nuytsland Conservation Park. So quiet and peaceful.

Sunset as we prepare dinner.

And daylight as we prepare to leave.

pvcann.com

8 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Days on the Road 15

We left Kimba after an obligatory tour of the town, much needed shopping and some bolts. We went to a gem and stone shop, and saw the 'Big Galah before heading on westward.

Morning tea beckoned and instead of doing our own we stopped in a Wudinna and they had a wonderful coffee shop with alternative foods and a a great attitude to recyclable coffee cups. We always take our "keep cups" but they also had biodegradable cups which was great to see. We saw the granite statue which was a tribute to the men and women farmers of Australia:

After Wudinna we passed through some smaller centres and then back to the wonderful flora before needing to stop for fuel at Ceduna:

With the exception of the inlet at Port Augusta, this was the first glimpse of ocean we'd had since Bunbury on July 22. It was windy, but you expect that in the Bight. Town is friendly and it is substantial, quite a number of businesses and an urban sprawl. We didn't stay long as we didn't want to be in suburbia too long.

We headed off through more wonderful bush land, ever changing as we moved through one biosphere to another. Then came the wombat mounds, saw a dead one on the side of the road, but even as the day drew to a close we saw no activity of wombats.

We arrived safely at the Nullarbor Roadhouse and decided to camp there as we wanted to go whale watching in the morning, and which was down the road. It wasn't our preference, the place is pretty good as roadhouses and caravan parks go, but we wanted more solitude.

This photo shows the old service station, an era of gravel road, open camping, no real facilities.

pvcann.com

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized