Another sleep in. Bruce and Linda took the Van into the town – it was eventually repaired (sort of) and cost over $300. This is proving to be a most expensive trip for them. Unfortunately, it is not a complete repair as it turned out some axle work was also required (although not absolutely necessary) so they just had the main work done. While Bruce went back into town to return with the Van, Ian and Linda and I drove out to a Desert Park. In the garden at the entry there was a beautiful Sturt’s desert pea growing so I took a photo. In the next garden was another Sturt’s desert pea and this one was so unusual – a red centre instead of the usual black, so I took a photo of that too. One of the Rangers stopped and talked to us and he said it is believed there are over 136 variant colors of the Desert Pea! How amazing is that.
This was a very well set out complex of desert plants and flowers on display through the various walks, bird aviaries, a large nocturnal house with lots of animals on display in a darkened room to make it look like night, an area with kangaroos, a huge reception/cafe/souvenir shop as well as an ampitheatre where various talks etc. take place. It was quite warm while we were there which is a pleasant change from the cold windy days when we have previously visited various tourist sights on the way.
The aviaries were amazing. Birds of all kinds were grouped together in seven aviaries scattered throughout the Park. The bird song was so lovely. In some of the aviaries the birds were within ‘reach’ and were lovely to just sit and watch as they flew around or walked by. Other aviaries were caged. There were posters with photos of each bird, describing their habitat etc. Some of them were just so lovely. The red topped robin was beautiful. Linda saw a fairy blue wren which is almost all blue, but was unable to get a photo. I have a Bird Book which has travelled with us for many years and have always enjoyed trying to identify birds, so this was a very interesting part of our visit to the Desert Park.
While we were doing that, Bruce had arrived back, re-parked his van and then took the opportunity to visit the National Road Transport Museum which Ian and I saw yesterday. He enjoyed it.
For the first time for a long time we have been in a place long enough to put up the awning so Ian and I and Linda had a nice lunch sitting in the shade, just enjoying the peaceful atmosphere. The Drouin people behind us left this morning and 2 new caravans moved in. We were able to have a good chat with them. Meeting new people all the time is one of the delights of travelling like this. Most people are very friendly and more than willing to share their experiences.
Ian and Janice Baulch are parked a bit away from us (there are over 100 sites) and they received a terrible fright last night. Someone tried to enter their van but fortunately they both woke up and the would-be thief ran away. It was reported to the police who came and checked things out. Seems one other couple had their lap-top stolen and another man had $400 taken. Scary!!! We believe they had all failed to lock their Vans when they went to bed. Also, earlier in the evening Janice noticed a pair of her jeans was stolen from the clothes line. So she had a bad night indeed. There were signs not to leave clothes on the line, but this was 8.30 at night so she thought it would be okay until then. Seems she was wrong!
Tonight’s Park Entertainment was a STAR TALK where an amateur astronomer met with us and talked about the night sky. He had a large telescope which everyone was supposed to take turns and see the quarter crescent moon, but although his talk was interesting we could see by the time every child and adult there had a turn it would be midnight before we might get a turn so we just headed back to the Van to organise tomorrow’s trip to the McDonnell Ranges. The night wasn’t wasted though because while we were at the STAR TALK we were able to see many satellites and meteors ‘flying by’ which was interesting.
Love to all, Janese and Ian