Day 177 of retirement

December 10, 2017

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Hi All

Tuesday 5th December:

Quick trip into Adelaide to gather some info on Wilpena Pound and Broken Hill, our next stops.

Called into Chinatown as Guy was looking for her chili crab dish. But alas the restaurant that served it only opens at 5:00pm. So had to settle for Peking duck instead. Still very nice since no chili crab.

Called in to see Sandy (Sister) and Brian (Brolaw) for a quick catch-up before we hit the road on Thursday. Back to Port Willunga in time for an afternoon siesta and some clothes washing.

Wednesday 6th December:

Last day of rest before we hit the road tomorrow. Gave the mighty Mazda a wash and vacuum today. Might be the last one for a while.

Both Guy and I repacked our bags. After 5 months on the road we have been able to cull a little more stuff that we thought we would use but haven’t. Basically we both are living out of a standard suitcase each that holds all our clothes, shoes and toiletries.

It is rather nice living a very simple life out of the car.

Thursday 7th December:

Left Port Willunga for Wilpena Pound (500km). It rained all the way to Port Augusta (350km) then cleared up in the Pound. I was here 42 years ago but don’t remember much. Staying in the resort this time. Camped out last time I was here with a group on motorbikes.

Friday 8th December:

Off wandering round Wilpena Pound today which consisted of a 4×4 tour, visited the Cazneaux tree and hiked into the Arkaroo Rock art site.

Jimmy our local guide on the 4×4 tour was a wealth of information on the history of the area and its people. We learnt why the Emu has three toes and how the Crow and Magpie were created.

After a very yummy lunch we hopped into the car and made our way to the Cazneaux tree (300 years plus old).

Photographer Harold Cazneaux photographed this tree back in 1937 and it is one of his most famous images. A very majestic tree with such character.

Next stop was the Arkaroo Rock paintings. Bit of hike in but well worth it. The paintings are different to the ones at Cooktown (QLD) which are different to the ones at Kakadu (NT) which are different to the ones at Arkaroo (SA). All very unique and beautiful.

Home to a hot shower and rest up for tomorrow’s activities.

Saturday 9th December:

Hiking day today. After a hearty breakfast we hiked to the old Hills Homestead then up to the Wangara Lookout before it got too hot. About 8km / 3 hours all up.

The old Hills Homestead was originally built in 1888 when the area was opened up as a sheep farm. The original structure was wooden. In the early 1900’s the stone house was constructed. It is currently being restored.

The Wangara lookout climb was 600m vertical and in the sun. We got a little bit warm going up but the view was well worth it.

After lunch we had a siesta and then planned to head to Stokes Lookout to watch the sunset, but decided that tomorrow might be a better day for it.

Sunday 10th December:

After another hearty breakfast we headed north on a road trip to Blinman. Had a few stops along the way to view local attractions and wild life. Confirmed that the Stokes lookout will be a great spot to watch the sunset tonight.

Blinman is an old copper mining town that in its heyday had 2,000 people in it. Today there are 17 residents. They have a very active progress association that with help from outsiders has opened up part of the mine for tours to show the hard life of a miner in the early 1900s.

Cornish miners were imported to operate the mine because of their mining skills. They worked in atrocious conditions. Boys entered the mine at age 14 and worked alongside brothers, fathers, grand fathers and other family relations.

Each family worked a vein of ore bearing material and were paid on how much copper ore they extracted.

Finished off the day at one of the lookouts watching a beautiful sunset over the pound.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 171 of retirement

December 4, 2017

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Hi All

Wednesday 29th November:

Time to pull out all our gear and load up the mighty Mazda once again for living on the road. Gave the Mazda a wash and vacuum as not sure when the next one will be.

We hit the local Victory Heritage Hotel for lunch and enjoyed the views over Aldinga Beach.

Kind of excited that we’re back on the road again. Getting itchy feet.

Thursday 30th November:

Up early (6:00am) to head down for Cape Jervis to catch the Sealink Ferry to Kangaroo Island. And of course we were early.

After a nice smooth 45 minutes ferry crossing we arrived at 10:15am on KI. As it was too early to check into our cabin, we went for a leisurely drive west to the Flinders Chase NP (200km round trip). But wouldn’t you know it, just as we arrived the heavens opened up big time (pouring rain) so we abandoned the visit and headed back to Kingscote.

Stopped for lunch at the Seal Bay Café on the main road and had some very nice local King George Whiting for lunch. Back to Kingscote for a few supplies from the supermarket and checked into our cabin.

Friday 1st December:

Drizzled most of the day but we still went out exploring anyway and managed to dodge most of the rain.

We visited Emu Bay, Stokes Bay and Cape Borda Lighthouse (300km round trip) plus a few lookouts. Got to drive on good old corrugated gravel roads once again. Haven’t had that pleasure for many years, but all good.

Kangaroo Island is a beautiful place with its many different rugged coastlines and some isolated attractions as well.

We had an awesome lunch at The Rockpool Café in Stokes Bay. The Garfish and local prawns were outstanding. The prawns were that good we ordered a dozen more with salad.

Saturday 2nd December:

It rained off and on all night. Still showery this morning till 11:00am ish. After a quick trip into town to get some new windscreen wipers for the mighty Mazda (had a wiper blowout) we headed east to Admirals Arch and Remarkable Rocks (280km round trip). A light shower along the way but at both venues no rain while we were exploring.

Admirals Arch is a very impressive huge arch in the limestone rock. Seals live all round it as well and we watched them frolic in the wild seas, squabble with each other and then slumming it on the warm rocks. It was very entertaining.

Remarkable Rocks is equally impressive. A mini version of Ayers Rock (Uluru) with huge rocks on top. We wandered round them in the howling winds. At times almost getting blown off our feet.

On the way back to the cabin we called into Seal Bay and had a chat to the NP staff re guided tours amongst the seals. We booked in for the 9:00am tour tomorrow morning.

Sunday 3rd December:

Weather looking a little better today. The sun is trying to come out from behind the clouds so with crossed fingers, we’re going to see what we can see.

First stop today was at Seal Bay. We did the 9:00am tour and as we were the only ones on the tour we got the full story of the life and love of sea lions from Suzanna, our great guide.

Next stop was the Kelly Hill caves. A small complex of caves but nonetheless very spectacular.

Then it was off to American River to The Oyster Farm Shop for an awesome seafood lunch consisting of 12 Oysters Kilpatrick, 6 Whiting bites and 12 mini abalone. Very yummy.

Last stop was Penneshaw (we arrived here) where we fueled up and after a drive round the township went for a walk along the white sandy beach. Back to the cabin after a 325km round trip.

Monday 4th December:

Goodbye Kangaroo Island. We will miss your tree-lined roads, corrugations, gravel corners, sandy tracks and the one-finger wave (Country thing) to passing motorists.

We left Kingscote for Penneshaw to catch the 11:30am ferry back to the mainland. We arrived an hour early just as the 10:30am ferry was loading. As it turned out there was a single car space available on the 10:30am ferry so we were loaded. Made it back to the mainland an hour earlier, which was nice.

Stopped at the good old Victory Hotel for a nice big steak lunch as it is just up the road from Port Willunga.

Guy had an issue with her iPhone 6 Plus this morning whereby it would give a black screen and exit to the login screen every minute or so. Tried the usual reboot procedures but to no avail. Once we were back at Port Willunga (with good NBN internet) I was able to Google it and discovered it was a known issue and the fix was to download 11.2 being the latest update.

After half an hour of tense waiting the iPhone was back good as new. No more issues.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Day 164 of retirement

November 28, 2017

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Hi All

Monday 20th November:

Off on a Macau tour today, which turned out to be the weirdest tour we have done so far. Firstly we had to get across town to another hotel to meet the tour bus (Wouldn’t pickup at our hotel. There we were met but a Chinese man that spoke very quickly in broken English.

He informed us that he would drop us off at the ferry terminal (like an airport terminal) and we would have to find our own way through immigration and customs and get to gate 12 for the Turbo Cat fast ferry to Macau.

Luckily Guy understood enough of his instructions that we made it to the fast cat on time.

Once we hit Macau and cleared immigration we were told that our guide would meet us at the exit. Well there were half a dozen other tours arriving at the same time so it was chaos trying to sort us all out. Luckily our guide Patrick (AKA Jackie Chan – looked like, acted like and spoke like) herded us all up and onto the bus.

At one of our morning stops he asked us all to be at the meeting place by 12:05pm and NOT to be late. Well two Indonesian ladies didn’t turn up at the allotted time. “Jackie” gave them 10 minutes then we left without the ladies.

Luckily they were able to join another group who dropped them off at the lunch stop so they could rejoin us. Needless to say NOBODY was late at any check point for the rest of the day.

Guy and I tried our luck at the Lisboa casino but lost the lot ($50 Hong Kong ($9 AUS)).

Then on the way back to Hong Kong we had to find our way through immigration and customs on our own once again. All good and they at least dropped us off at our hotel. “Jackie Chan” was very amusing I must say.

Tuesday 21st November:

Off on a Hong Kong Island tour today. Little challenge at the start whereby luckily Guy rang them 10 minutes after pick up time only to discover they had us booked in for tomorrow (we definitely booked today). So they had a van pick us up and drop us off at the tour bus.

We visited The Aberdeen fishing village (or once was) that has almost been swallowed by “progress”. Bit sad really to see what was a quaint fishing village disappear.

Next stops were:

~ A jewellery factory / outlet. Interesting but no sale to the cheap Aussies.

~ Stanley market.

~ Victoria Peak for a panoramic view of Hong Kong and its 7 million people.

After the tour, the bus dropped us off at the “Ladies Market” as Guy was wanting to have a look see. We had lunch there and then back to the Hotel.

I am still suffering from the Delhi belly so got to be careful what I eat and when. Back at the hotel mid afternoon and we crashed for an afternoon siesta. Hard work this sightseeing.

Wednesday 22nd November:

With the sun finally coming out this morning, we ventured out to the Star Ferry terminal to cross to Hong Kong Island by boat, HK$3 (upper deck seating, $2 for lower deck) and 7 minutes later, we’re across to HK Central. Over a century old, this way of crossing is still the most picturesque and relaxed way to cross Victoria harbour.

Then it was off to The Gobo Restaurant (thanks Rob Kuijsters for the tip) for Guy’s Chili Crab that she has been hanging out for. And she wasn’t disappointed.

Back to the room for our afternoon siesta after being all crabbed out. Early evening we wandered to the shopping complex just down from our hotel. Found a very nice local noodles with pork dish for dinner.

Thursday 23rd November:

Last day in Hong Kong as we leave tonight 7:00pm. Checkout was 12:00 noon, which was nice and enabled us to sleep-in.

Checked out at our Harbour Club Lounge and left our bags with them. Back to Gobo once again so Guy could try the Ginger & spring onion crab. She wasn’t disappointed again. Awesome crab meal.

Back to the Harbour Club Lounge where we chilled out till our ride to the airport arrived at 4:00pm.

A 1-hour flight delay held us sitting on the tarmac. Finally we got airborne and on the way to AUS.

Friday 24th November:

Guy had a bit of an incident in the early hours of the morning. She felt very unwell and had a fainting incident in her seat followed by vomiting.

The crew were great in checking on her and making sure she was okay. We were also informed that Australia has strict quarantine procedures for sick passengers. Luckily she recovered enough to avoid being quarantined on arrival.

We arrived at 7:00am and retrieved the mighty Mazda for the trip back to Port Willunga with a quick stop for a few groceries. After a quick shower we hit the sack and slept for 4 hours straight.

We both felt much better after our siesta. Guy is still a little woozy but is on the road to recovery. Time to relax for a few days before we hit the road again.

Saturday 25th November:

Spent a leisurely day at Port Willunga. Guy helped (broadest sense) Sandy with some gardening and Brian and I did some plumbing (unblocking a partially blocked drain.

And for dinner we had the Loffler traditional offering of fish and chips from Jimmie’s round the corner.

Sunday 26th November:

Off to the city to do lunch with Rik, Jas and Mike. After a great lunch we made our way to the Adelaide Central Market. Now the market was closed but we parked in its car park, as it is right next door to Chinatown. At 5:00pm we meet up with Doug, Bec and their two kids for some Chinese for dinner. Had a great catch up with them before heading back to Port Willunga.

Monday 27th November:

Bit of a sleep in as we had our first meeting with our super fund at 1:30pm. All went well with the super lady and we managed to get all our business completed in 30 minutes.

Then off to the Apple Store as I am finally upgrading my old iPhone 4S to the 8 Plus. Also switching from Vodafone to Telstra on my new phone as Telstra gives much better coverage in remote areas.

It took them a while (2 hours) but all done and my new phone and provider all working tonight.

The Apple Store in Rundle mall did the whole job for me (swapped carriers, setup new phone from my backup and gave me a run through). Awesome service. Back to square one once again with learning the new gestures.

Tuesday 28th November:

Back into the city again to catch up with Pam, an old friend who visited us in the Philippines when we lived there.

Quick call into our super provider as Guy had to sign one more form to transfer her super.

Last relaxing day as tomorrow we pack up and leave on Thursday for the continuation of our road trip.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Day 155 of retirement

November 20, 2017

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Hi All

Thursday 9th November:

After 19 hours of planes and Manila traffic we have arrived safe and sound with our entire luggage. Bedtime after a nice HOT shower.

Friday 10th November

Both feeling a bit shabby this morning after yesterday’s travel with the flu. But had a good sleep in as Manila is 2.5 hours behind Adelaide.
First stop was the beauty parlour for a pedicure / foot spa and manicure / hand spa. 2.3 hours each and our hands and feet feel like new. Pity the poor lady that did my old crusty feet but she was amazing. New feet.
Then after lunch I had a haircut / head & back massage. Haven’t had it cut for 5 months so it was a bit messy. Loved the massages with the cut.
Feeling very pampered and like new again.

Saturday 11th November

Both feeling much better this morning.

Guy off for a facial and hair cut this morning while I wonder round the Greenbelt shopping complex in Makati.

Midday we meet up with Guy’s old batch mates (school friends) for lunch just round the corner from the hotel.

Sunday 12th November:

Guy off to the beauty salon in the am to get pampered with having her makeup done for her mum’s 85th birthday party at midday.

We caught a cab from the city heading across town and the traffic wasn’t too bad.

Had a great party with lots of relatives there along with some awesome good old Pilipino food. After the party, a vanload of us went to the cemetery and visited Guy’s dad.

Back at Guy’s mum’s place and we caught a cab to get back to Makati. Now the cab driver warned us that certain parts of the city are restricted traffic due to the Donald Trump visit and all the government meetings hence causing gridlock.

So on his advice, he dropped us of at the LRT station that dropped us off two blocks from our hotel. Home within an hour.

Time to pack once again as we head to Marinduque tomorrow.

Monday 13th November:

After 11 hours of taxi, RORO (Rollon roll off Ferry) & Jeepney (local “bus”) rides we arrived in Marinduque, our adopted home (here till Friday).

First person we saw was my good friend Gil (owns the hotel we are in) who very kindly loaned us a car for our stay.

Then we saw the local beggar we “sponsored” each Tuesday at the town market. We offered him the usual 5 pesos but he now wants 20. Begging has gone up over the last few years. He’s a very polite nice guy.

Next stop was Guy’s mahjong house to see the gang and Guy let them know she is “available” for a game. Final stop was the local restaurant for some yummy local food. Jeremy the waiter was still there and excited to see us. Time for shower and bed.

Guy and I have succumbed to a bit of local Delhi Belly. Nothing too serious (yet) just need to watch what we eat and when we eat it.

We are eating the local food and drink the local water so not surprising. But all good.

Tuesday 14th November:

Bit of a sleep in then off to the Gasan market as it is market day today. The normal market swells 3 fold as vendors from all over the island come along with their wares.

We caught up with our old fruit lady who used to supply us with great fresh fruit when we lived here for 3 years. Hopefully she will still be here when we get back in a year or so.

Next stop was our block of land. It has become very overgrown (which is good as it keeps the squatters out) so going to be a bit of work required before our house goes up. A daunting project in itself.

There is a new house going up on our northern boundary so checked they were on “their” land which they are, so all good.

After the block we called in to see Gerald (expat Pom) my old hiking partner. He has slowed down a bit just like us all but still very active breeding Labrador puppies and pigs. Keeps him busy. Great to see him again.

Late lunch and rest up in the heat of the day. Guy played mah-jong last night till midnight and is playing again tonight.

Guy managed to track down our masseuse Ailyn so we are both booked in for a massage on Thursday, our last day in town.

Caught up with Gil later in the afternoon for a 2-hour chat to discus life, love, the universe, religion, politics and world peace and we are still great mates.

Wednesday 15th November:

Off to see Ron (the Yank) today who is 82 years young. When we arrived here in Marinduque (7 years ago) Ron and Vicky (his wife) were great in helping us get a start. And from those of you who visited us you know what a mischievous great guy he is.

He is doing well. He can’t drive any more but he hasn’t lost his spark. It was great to see them both and catch up on island news (Gossip).

Thursday 16th November:

Last day on our “home” island today (going to miss this place). After dropping of Gil’s car and catching up with him for a chat it was back to the room for Guy’s massage and both our manicures and pedicures.

After the pampering, it was off to see John the Pom. It was his wife’s (deceased) beach house we rented for the three years we were here. John had a very nasty fall four weeks ago so good to see him up and about.

Found another old friend today. This guy lives about 2.5 km out of town and gets round in an old beat up wheelchair. When we lived here I used to walk past him on the way into town and he always had a beaming smile and a hello for me. I would give him 20 Pesos and he always had a thank you by way of a nod and smile.

Friday 17th November:

Gil has very kindly lent us his driver and vehicle to take us to the Balanacan Port to catch the RoRo. So with a 6:00am pickup and then an hour’s drive, we made the port to catch the 8:00am RoRo to the mainland (3 hour crossing).

Saturday 18th November:

Up at 6:15am and off to Manila airport for our trip to Hong Kong. Nice smooth flight and arrived at 2:00pm. Our driver was ready for us and delivered us to the Harbour Grand Hotel in Kowloon.

We have lashed out on this leg and are staying on the 20th floor with a stunning view of Hong Kong harbour. This gives us access to the Harbour Club Lounge (19th floor) with free breakfast, afternoon tea and evening refreshments (Guy had a wine and I had a Coke with lemon). The food is awesome so this became our “free” meal for the evening.

Feeling a bit bushed so a stroll along the promenade finished off the day nicely.

Sunday 19th November:

Off exploring on our own today. Braving the underground railway system of Hong Kong (aka MTR) we made our way to Lantau and took the scenic cable car to see the big Buddha. Everybody and their dogs have the same idea though as it took us 45 minutes to get on the cable car. It was very foggy and eerie as there were times when we cannot see anything as we’re enveloped by mist. What a triumphant day.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Day 144 of retirement

November 8, 2017

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Hi All

Monday 30nd October:

Guy is very excited today as Jordan, Jo, Dave, Zali and Aria all arrive from interstate. We headed to the airport at 5:00pm ready to meet them all at Adelaide airport.

All people and luggage arrived safely so we made our way back to Port Willunga as they are staying for several weeks.

Tuesday 31st October:

Leisurely day hanging at the beach even though it was a little cold and windy. Two trips to the shops to cater for all seven of us. Not sure where all the food goes as it just disappears right before your eyes.

Wednesday 1st November:

Off to Hahndorf (German town) for our day visit. We had toasted sauerkraut sandwiches for lunch (Yum) and also found the FruChocs shop. (Bought & ate lots….). Mmmmmmm FruChocs.

On the way home we took the long way past the Adelaide Central Market for some Asian supplies to make “sticky rice” a real Pilipino delicacy. And it was worth it.

Thursday 2nd November:

Went for a drive back to Victor Harbor today with the gang. We all piled onto the horse drawn carriage for the trip to Granite Island. After a light lunch on the island it was back on the carriage for the trip to the mainland.

Jo, Dave and the kids stayed on while Jordan, Guy and I headed back to Port Willunga as we three have come down with a case of the flu. A stop at the Chemist to stock up on Codral and back to the house to rest up. Guy had a rough time and eventually threw up her dinner. But she did feel MUCH better afterwards.

Friday 3rd November:

Up “early” (7:00am) and off to Adelaide airport to drop Jordan off for his return to Sydney as he has to work this weekend. Sad to see him go but had a great time with us all at Port Willunga.

On the way home we stopped over at the Central Market to get supplies for tomorrow’s feast. We are doing a Filipino food day for everybody (17 of us all). A busy afternoon spent preparing most of the food.

Of course an afternoon siesta was snuck in for good measure.

Saturday 4th November:

Another family gathering today. It was great to have Dave, Jo, Zali and Aria here along with the Kloeden clan. An afternoon of food, drink and chat was had by all.

Sunday 5th November:

A plumbing blockage greeted us this morning. After Brian and I tracked down the blockage we managed to get the system flowing once again, saving a weekend plumbing callout.

A quiet day as Guy has the flu and has lost her voice. Sandy and Brian took Zali to the beach while Jo, Dave and Aria went for a drive to the city. Guy and I managed to get our afternoon siesta (my flu is on the mend).

Monday 6th November:

Quiet day hanging round the beachhouse as we all recover from the flu. A walk to the beach with Aria in the pram was the order of the day. It was windy and cold at the beach so didn’t stay long.

Good old fish and chips from Jimmies for dinner.

Tuesday 7th November:

Off to Rundle Mall in downtown Adelaide for lunch and look round.

The flu is still slowing us all down but we are on the mend. A nice leisurely afternoon was had by all.

Wednesday 8th November:

The kids have left us today to go sightseeing round Adelaide.

Guy and I are sorting and repacking as we are off to the Philippines and Hong Kong for 15 days leaving tomorrow morning. We are leaving our travelling gear at the beach house and will pick it all up on our return. Leaving the car in the Adelaide Airport Long Term Car Park.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Day 134 of retirement

October 29, 2017

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Hi All

Sunday 22nd October:

Checked out of the Big4 mansion and made our way across town to The Lookout Cave Underground Motel. A couple of stops along the way looking at local attractions including Crocodile Harry’s grave site on Boot Hill.

Now this is an underground motel so once you walk in the door the temperature is a constant 24C ish. No aircon or heating required all year round. Very energy efficient.

When we went into the bedroom and closed the door it was pitch black. Going to be interesting sleeping in the dark tonight.

Did a last drive round the township. We were lucky enough to find Crocodile Harry’s garve site on Boot Hill

Monday 23rd October:

Survived our night in the “Cave”. Guy slept fine, me not so much. Kept waking up in the dark. When the alarm went off it felt like midnight.
~ It is VERY dark (Can’t see your hand in front of you face).
~ It is VERY quiet (No outside sounds at all).
~ The temp is VERY consistent (24C) no matter what.
I could get used to it….

Left Coober Pedy for Port Augusta (540km & 6 hour drive). Staying the night then down to Adelaide / Port Willunga tomorrow to see my family.

Will be there for a bit of a travel break before off to the Philippines and Hong Kong for a holiday. Back in late November (24th) to resume our road trip.

Tuesday 24th October:

Left Port Augusta for Port Willunga (360km) under threatening stormy skies. The rain held off till we hit Adelaide then we got a sprinkle.

Quick stopover in Adelaide to see Sandy & Brian (Sister and brolaw). We are staying at their beach house for the next few weeks. Also a visit to the Adelaide Central Market for some essential supplies.

Made it to Port WIllunga and settled in.

We are feeling the cold after all the heat from central Australia. Had to break out the jumpers and socks.

Wednesday 25th October:

Very nice sleep-in this morning with no wake up alarms to vacate the premises by 10:00am or getting up early to go on a tour.

After a slow breakfast it was time to pamper the Mighty Mazda. She was pretty dirty inside and out so after a wash and wipe down along with a thorough vacuum she is like new again.

A trip to Noarlunga for a bit of a drive and some supplies along with a siesta filled the afternoon.

Thursday 26th October:

Another nice sleep in. Once we had risen we went for a drive to Victor Harbor (65km away) for lunch. Victor Harbor is down south and is a beautiful seaside town.

They have a large island (Granite Island) in the bay, which is accessed by a long jetty. As it is a bit of a walk they operate a horse drawn carriage to and fro. We didn’t do the trip but will bring the kids back here next week and do the carriage trip.

Friday 27th October:

Off to the supermarket for some supplies this morning. My sister Sandy and brolaw Brian arrived early afternoon for the weekend. A very lazy afternoon was had by all.

Saturday 28th October:

Spent the day with family eating too much, talking too much and not drinking enough.

Sunday 29th October:

Had a gathering of the Kloeden clan today. All present except Adric (Son) who is in Sydney on holidays and Lyn (Sister) who is in WA where she lives.

A great day was had by all with too much food, drink and talking.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Day 127 of retirement

October 22, 2017

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Hi All

Monday 16th October:

This morning we got up at 4:00am (yes 4:00am) to go and see the “Field of Lights”. Now this is a display made up of 50,000 coloured lights (Solar charged and connected by optical fibre cable) that are placed in a depression out in the desert amongst the natural vegetation. It took 5 weeks and 14 people (Volunteers and technical people) to construct.

In the dark of night you are able to walk amongst the lights (on a set path) and take in all the patterns and colours. Then you finish back on the top of a sand dune over looking the lights and the sun rising over Uluru.

As the sun rises Uluru and the Olgas light up and the field of lights dim. Awesome man made and natural light display all merging into one outstanding display.

Back to the resort and back in bed by 8:00am. We slept till midday so wasn’t too bad. At 2:00pm we were picked up for another tour to the Curtin Springs cattle station (85km out of Yulara) to see Mount Conner and the salt flats.

Lachie, our guide was awesome. He filled us in on life on a 4,000 square km cattle station including the flora and creatures large and small. We finished off the day at Curtin Springs homestead for a three-course steak dinner. The food was excellent. Back to the resort at 10:00pm. A big day was had by all.

Tuesday 17th October:

Left Yuluru for Curtin Springs with a side trip to the Olgas and a final drive round Uluru (220km).

The Olgas are so different from Uluru yet so close to them. We did a short walk up to one of the lookouts and stopped a few time on the way out to get some pics. Very unique place.

We did a lap of Uluru and said our goodbyes to the rock. Back into Yulara and the “Shopping Mall” for a very nice pizza lunch. Caught up on WiFi as we are going to be off air for a few days once again.

Mid afternoon we made our way to Curtin Springs (85km) for an overnight stay. It has a very nice feel about it. It is the homestead for the station so serves a duel purpose.

We settled in under the “pergola” for a drink or two and enjoyed another awesome steak meal. No TV here and the WiFi is very spasmodic but still an enjoyable evening.

When I was at the bar ordering a drink I got talking to Peter the owner of the station. He has been here (On the station) for 62 years. Over some stories of the early years we got onto where I was from. As I told him I was from the Eyre Peninsula in SA he asked where. I said near Port Lincoln from a country town called Cummins. He then told me he has been to Cummins with the Masonic Lodge many years ago. Small world.

Wednesday 18th October:

Had a leisurely drive from Curtin Springs (After a stockman’s breakfast which we shared) to Kulgera (320km). Kulgera is pretty much a roadhouse with a dozen cabins. Cabin was fine just the poor old aircon had trouble keeping up in the heat of the day.

Turned out we were the only occupied cabin for the night. Felt a bit “Wolf Creek” ish.

Just an overnight stop on our way to Coober Pedy tomorrow.

Thursday 19th October:

Left Kulgera and made our way to Coober Pedy (410km and 4 hours later). Have to remember that SA is on daylight saving time so clocks to be turned ahead by an hour.

Booked our first tour for tomorrow at 1:00pm till 6:00pm. Works for us as we get to sleep in then do the tour. Initially we are only booked in for two nights (Big4 Park) but will definitely extend. The “apartment” we are in is five star. Even has a dishwasher, washing machine, aircon that works and “FAST” WiFi. We may never leave.

Friday 20th October:

Went exploring today. First stop was Crocodile Harry’s.

Crocodile Harry was originally from Latvia. He spent 13 years up north of Australia hunting crocs and then arrived in Coober Pedy to try his luck at Opal mining. It is said he was the original Crocodile Dundee.

His underground cave is adorned with his own unique artworks. He was also known for the “wild” backpacker parties he used to throw. Harry loved women and Opal.

Sadly he passed away several years ago.

Explored the rest of the town with our final stop at the Kangaroo sanctuary. Here they rehabilitate roo’s that have been injured or lost their mum’s. They fed a very cute very young Joey (5 months old) while we were there. The rehabilitated roo’s are sent to sanctuaries when ready, as they are not allowed to set them free back into the wild.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy