Day 84 – 26 Sep 2012 – at Waikerie (S.A.)

Whoops, just noticed I forgot to ‘publish’ last night’s blog so did it just then.

On to today – Lovely quiet night. A very nice little town and from the brochure we got from the reception there were quite a few things we could have done which would justify staying for more than one night, but we have already seen some of them on previous trips through this area. However, as we feel we are on the home stretch now we will leave these ‘touristy’ things until another trip. Couldn’t resist taking a photo of a ‘horse sculpture’ right in the main street. It has been made completely out of corrugated iron. If you enlarge the photo you will see just how well made this ‘horse’ is. Very clever.

Tin sculpture of a horse

The morning started off calm and lovely and cool, but not long after leaving Oororoo we noticed the wind really pick up – sometimes quite gusty. Fortunately, it was behind us so the tail wind was good, but it certainly was very strong. It is the last thing this part of the country needs which has been dry for so long. In no time at all we noticed the outside temperature was 30C and we found out later that with the high temperatures and the very strong winds, a total fire ban had been declared for some of the areas for today and tomorrow.

Our first stop for today was a little town called Terowie – this a town time forgot.

Main street of Treowie

Every building and house in the town is as it was many, many years ago. Some of the places were derelict, but some of the shops were open and in use. There was a small food store and the others were art galleries and things like that. We had driven through Terowie many, many years ago so we did not call in to there just to have a look as we knew what the town looked like – there is a business there which sells a ‘tyre repair kit’ which Ian had purchased at Kyabram 4WD but one of the fittings was for 16″ tyres whereas our tyres on the Landcruiser are 18″ so we needed the extra part. The business is located here in Terowie so we were  able to pull in and buy the extra part straight from the supplier. Ian had a long talk with the young chap who runs this business. He originally ran a 4WD business in Adelaide, employing 16 men, but 20 odd years ago he realised he was on to a winner with this contraption so closed the Adelaide business and opened up shop in this little town. The remoteness is no bother as he does most of his business by having 4WD businesses throughout Australia sell it, but he also goes to the Agricultural Shows  as well as caravan/campng shows in most States and does great business that way. Good luck to him. We hope we never have need to use this but it is handy to have. It is called the R&R Beadbreaker/Repair Kit

We then drove to the town of Burra. This is an historic town – once was a mining area with a large copper mine underground started in the 1850,s and then later on became an open cut mine. The open cut area is still able to be viewed from a lookout, although 100m of it now sits underwater. We drove up to this lookout – the wind was unbelievable. I found it very hard to open my car door against it. Fortunately, although very, very, very windy, it was a warm wind so it was not unpleasant.

Disused Open cut mine at Burra

We then drove to another lookout and then drove down closer to where the mine operations took place. Many of the buildings are gone, but some stand in disrepair but are still able to be distinguished as to what function they had when the mine was in operation. There were many information signs to read and the whole area was well maintained as an interestiing site for tourists.

We then drove into the town itself to find a place to park and have lunch, where we found our ‘neighbours’ from last night already parked. They advised us to go into the town and have a cornish pastie at the local bakery. As we were heading into FFEZ (Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone) for the Riverland we had planned on eating up all our fruit for lunch, but decided we could fit both in. So we walked to the bakery and did enjoy our pastie. We then went for a walk along the main street when, in a side street, Ian noticed Bruce and Linda’s Van. We have not met up since Geraldton (although had kept touch via email and they have been about a day in front of us for a week or so) so it was good to see them again. They were going to stay in Burra tonight and were slowly making their way back to Victoria by early next week, so now we are about a day in front of them. We had a good long chat and then walked back to our Van and ate our fruit. Some few blogs ago we commented on the road kill on a certain section of the Nullabor and that there was also a dead camel and we hoped it had been hit by a truck,but Bruce & Linda told us that it was a car and it had happened not long before they came along.The driver was O.K. but shaken, but the car was a write off.

We then drove on the road to Waikerie – a town situated on the Murray River.  Just 25 kms short of Waikerie is a small town called Cadell which has a ferry for crossing the Murray. We drove down and were surprised that the small ferry fitted not only our large car and van, but a smaller car and pop-top van, and a car behind that van. The crossing only takes less than 5 minutes and much to our surprise, it is a free service. The Murray River was really flowing. There were signs on a tree right at the end of our trip which had details of all the flood levels which have been in that area. The 1956 level marker was so high up the tree it is hard to imagine that much water flowing down.

Ferry Crossing the Murray River at Cadell

We re-fuelled at Ramco just before entering Waikerie. The Van Park at Waikerie is right on the Murray River. The wind was still blowing, but nowhere near as much as it had all day. By the time I am typing this (5.53pm S.A. time), it is now as calm as a mill pond, but still quite warm 28C.

Love to all, Janese and Ian

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