Back at Koramba

It was a strange feeling, coming back to Koramba cotton farm.
It was a little like a homecoming, even though we’d only been here for about seven weeks last time.

A lot of the crew that we had got to know last time have moved on. This was due to a prolonged period of rain which ground the farm’s operations to a halt for a few weeks meaning that there was no work. No work equals no pay so there was a bit of an exodus.

It wasn’t long before a new batch of workers arrived. The new lot are pretty much the same type of characters as the last, predominately young backpackers but with a few Aussies amongst them and there’s still a good smattering of Irishman. As we met the new bunch it was apparent that they were all easy going and friendly and we knew we would have no worries fitting back in.

Some of the old faces remain. Soong, the young Korean is still here as are Terry, and Steve, the truckies. They’re still driving the old Mack truck 24/7 hauling the harvested cotton bales from the paddocks, where they were left by the pickers, to the gin for processing. There are 10,000 bales to be moved and so far they have only moved 3,000. The truckies alternate between day and night shifts, a fortnight of each.
Sleepy is still here as are Peter and Cliff.

We’ve committed ourselves to at least three months here, primarily so that I can make a full on – all out attempt to get all our programs onto the cloud and finish the outstanding work I have. To accomplish this I need about three months of concentration and effort as well as mains power, a decent setup for the computer, internet, phone and quiet surroundings with few distractions.
Also Kerrie needs something so that she’s not sitting in the van sensitive to every noise that might distract my concentration. She needs to be active and to have conversations with people and to have projects that she can excel herself in.
This job fits the bill perfectly.

Kerrie works in the kitchen and around the camp for four days a week. This entails some food prep, cleaning, mowing and looking after the offices down at the weighbridge and “The Pad” where all the machinery is kept and where the daily meetings take place at 7:00am prior to work starting.
I’ll do the mowing and whipper snipping and cook for the camp on the 1 ½ days that the cook is off each week.
After the 3 months is up we will at least know for sure if I’m smart enough to master the complexity of designing internet based applications – thus fulfilling the original dream of being able to operate the business from anywhere, including the caravan.
If not we’ll know that we’ll need to look elsewhere for a future income.

The caravan is now set up perfectly.
It’s become a beautifully quiet and peaceful office with only the abundant birdlife and the occasional sound of a truck or tractor in the distance. We bought part of our desk back from Brisbane as well as the office chair, secondary monitor and lamps.
Since there is no one on the camp at all for most of the day I have this wonderful distraction free environment so there’ll be no excuse for not succeeding at this task. I’ll give it my very best shot.

The office is warm and cosy and has everything we need

The office is warm and cosy and has everything we need

The view from the office window

The view from the office window

The Aussie Wide nestled in at Koramba again

The Aussie Wide nestled in at Koramba again

The camp itself is clean and tidy and so is the kitchen and we slotted back into the routine easily.
We met all the new workers which caused Kerrie to have a blonde moment that would have made our precious blonde daughter in law, Lacey, proud.
At dinner, with everyone present, in walks a very pleasant, personable new chum that we’d not yet met. “‘Ello, mam’selle,” he says to Kerrie in his distinct continental accent, “I am René, but everyone calls me Frenchy”. Kerrie replies, “Hello Frenchy, I’m Kerrie, are you Italian?” This had the place in fits as some wit yells, “No he’s bloody Scandinavian.” My poor darling! She’s lost her credibility as the quick thinking smart one forever.

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Comment From Kerrie:

(I would just like to say that I had heard he spoke Italian to one of the boys who is from Italy so that is why I asked if he was Italian. I know – a classic “Blond moment”)

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Martyn, our boss came out and it was great to see him again. We’re so happy to be working with this man again and we hope we can contribute to ensure that, at least from our part, things will run free from worry for him.

We cooked our first meal on Tuesday evening (I’ll do the cooking Tuesday evenings and Wednesdays). The meal was Lamb Cutlets in Homemade BBQ sauce, Pasta Carbonara, Sautéed potatoes, Fresh Broccoli (which we used from the garden we planted before we left and is now producing), Sweet Potato and a dessert of Banana and Strawberry Matchsticks.
The power in the area went out about midday and was out for 10 hours meaning we had to finish preparing the meal and serving up in darkness with headlamps and torches. Even so the meal was incredibly well received and we got many great compliments. It was nice.

Wednesday morning started at 4:30am with clearing up after the power blackout (power was restored about 11:00pm) and prepping breakfast. It was then on to creating dinner and baking fresh banana cake for dessert and for the Thursday lunches. We slotted back into the routine very easily and after serving the evening meal of Chicken in Plum Sauce, Homemade Cottage Pie, Dollar Potatoes, Cauliflower Au Gratin (again from our garden), Honey Carrots and freshly baked Banana Cake with Banana & Caramel Cream we settled down to an evening in the Aussie Wide – warm as toast and thoroughly content.

PS. The reason for so many Banana recipes was we were using up the bananas that their skins going black and you know NO ONE ever eats those, even though they are nice inside.

Bourke To Brisbane

The town of Bourke was bathed in brilliant early morning sunshine but was still quite cold as I went for a walk around the town. It’s great to obtain these little snapshots into the past and present of the thousands of little towns that dot small populations of people right across this huge country. Walking the town is a good way to do this as it allows us to see the information boards of historic places as well as get a “street view” of everyday life.
Many times I find myself wondering how some of the businesses in these towns survive but they do – and some of them very well.

This town used to be a major port. The Darling River runs through the town and a stream of paddle steamers would collect wool and grain from the farms that lined the river and ship it to Bourke from where it would be transported to Adelaide and Melbourne.

The river hasn't changed much over the years.

The river hasn't changed much over the years.

An interesting observation was a photograph of activity at the port in 1860 which shows the level of the river exactly the same as it is now – so much for all the propaganda about how we have destroyed the Murray Darling river systems and how we need multiple billions of dollars of taxpayer’s money to make it right.
It also seems that the farms that take irrigation from the river have not changed the level in over 100 years. The age old cycle of dry and wet that is the signature of this country still seems to confuse boffins and self styled “experts”.
There were once 3 wharves in the central area of town, each one with a steam crane to unload the produce from the river boats.

One of the old Jetty wharfs left.

One of the old Jetty wharfs left.

We commenced or journey about mid morning, again captivated by the ever changing landscape, and wound our way through Brewarrina and then Walgett.
We found it sad to see a lot of shops and businesses with boarded and barred windows and wondered what makes some inhabitants of these towns have so little respect for their surroundings.

Eventually we arrived in Lightning Ridge and after a quick drive around the town headed for the Opal Caravan Park where we would base ourselves for the next couple of days.
We then took a couple of self drive “Car Door” tours around the town.

Not hard to tell which "Car door tour" this one is.

Not hard to tell which "Car door tour" this one is.

These are routes marked by car doors, each one with a number denoting a place of interest. There’s a blue, green, red and yellow tour. One tour took us to The Big Opal where we descended deep into the shaft of a working opal mine. We were able to explore the many shafts and tunnels on our own and we could see the immense amount of work that went into digging opal out of the ground here.

Hard hats and a torch. Luckily he had some electric lights fitted down here as well. This is still a working mine, but I bet he makes more money from the tourists than from opal.

Hard hats and a torch. Luckily he had some electric lights fitted down here as well. This is still a working mine, but I bet he makes more money from the tourists than from opal.

It was fascinating to be 30 feet below the surface in a cacoon of ancient sediment that would have once been a sea bed alive with living creatures. Little cracks and voids formed in this sediment by natural faults or decomposing fossils after whatever cataclysmic disruption took place to bury it and remove the sea forever. These little pockets produced opal from a solution of silicon dioxide and water. The water ran down through the earth and picked up silica from sandstone, and then carried this silica-rich solution into the cracks and voids. As the water evaporated, it left behind a silica deposit which eventually formed the precious Black Opal that Lightning Ridge is famous for.

Depending on how soft the ceiling is it is supported by tree posts.

Depending on how soft the ceiling is it is supported by tree posts.

The fascinating “Lunatic Hill” was another stop we made and friendly local was happy to chat to us and give us the history of this place and huge hole that we were looking over.
In the late 1800’s this hill was not mined. Opal was being extracted from mines much nearer ground level and the locals knew that much more digging would need to be done to get from the top of the hill to where the pockets of opal lay. However in the 1930’s some miners tried and they were hence known as Bloody Lunatics. The hill did in fact reward many of those who mined it even though much more work was required. In the 1960’s the hill became unsafe for mines. There were three miners still holding leases at the time so they pooled their leases together and got the mines department to give them an open cut license. The license required a 5000 pound deposit from each miner for repatriation work after the mine was finished with.

Halley's Comet was found in one of those mines holes you can see.

Halley's Comet was found in one of those mines holes you can see.

These three characters ended up taking $100,000,000 dollars worth of opal from the open cut and into the bargain found the Halley’s Comet Opal, the largest uncut black opal in the world. It is so named because it was unearthed in 1986, a year when Halley’s Comet could be seen from Earth. It is the third largest gem grade black opal ever recorded, the largest one extant, and the largest specimen ever found in its region.

The Haleys Comet Opal

The Halleys Comet Opal

We took a 100 kilometre drive out to Glengarry where we heard we could fossick or “noodle” for opal. There are three pubs out here in the absolute middle of nowhere, the Glengarry Hilton, The Sheepyard and the Garwin Opal Miners Club.
We loved driving around the rough dirt roads that crisscross the area, and taking in the extraordinary collection of humpys and all manner of weird and wonderful structures built to house the hardy souls that were there for one reason – OPAL.

Their "Camps" can be anything from old caravans to tin houses, but you can tell their there by the mullock heaps around the camp.

Their "Camps" can be anything from old caravans to tin houses, but you can tell their there by the mullock heaps around the camp.

We spotted two large hills of the white clay sediment that seems to send out a message – “OPAL COULD BE HERE”!
These hills contain thousands of tonnes of the white clay, dumped here after being removed from the many mines hereabouts. Many people come here to fossick through this huge hill to find opal that still remains in the dumpings and there certainly IS opal here.

Don't worry about the closed sign, thats for the trucks.

Don't worry about the closed sign, thats for the trucks.

A Jeweler in town told us about a recent visitor to his shop that came in to get a piece of opal that he had found in this hill valued. The Jeweler valued it at $6000 but told the owner to get it cut as it would be worth a lot more. The owner did this, returning some days later to show the Jeweler. It now had a wholesale value of $20,000 but could retail for as much as $50,000.
It’s these stories that seem to intoxicate the noodler into spending hours, days, weeks or even years in the search for the precious opal.

We "noodled" but only got potch.

We "noodled" but only got potch.

We began to fossick with a few others amidst the white clay feeling that sense of handling the remains of an ancient seabed. Kerrie asked a couple of the others what exactly we should be looking for and as usual the people were friendly and helpful. They showed us the opal they had found just in the last hour and how it was imbedded in the black “Poch”, a substance that is technically opal but without the fiery colour of the silica molecules that makes it valuable. They even gave us some opal bearing clay with the tiny flecks of brilliant colour that were traces of opal.
I think if we’d have stayed much longer we would’ve caught the Opal Bug. It’s fascinating knowing that at any time, and in any piece of clay could lay a substantial fortune.

These people were much better at it and ended up giving us a piece with colour in it.

These people were much better at it and ended up giving us a piece with colour in it.

We went back and had a delightful lunch at the Glengarry Hilton before heading back the 100 km to Lightning Ridge.

The "Glengarry Hilton" you have to look up at night to see how this pub rates on stars.

The "Glengarry Hilton" you have to look up at night to see how this pub rates on stars.

Back at “The Ridge” we went into the John Murray’s art gallery.
This was a truly fascinating experience. John Murray is an artist who came to Lightning Ridge many years ago and stayed. His paintings are unique and they exquisitely capture the spirit of the outback using humour and whimsical characterisation.
There are a couple of paintings in this gallery that we would love to hang in our future home – wherever that may be.

John Murray's style is realistic with a touch of humour

John Murray's style is realistic with a touch of humour

How well he captures the outback road

How well he captures the outback road

We think he should do this same concept with a kangaroo!

We think he should do this same concept with a kangaroo!

Anyone travelling the outback in a van can relate to this one!

Anyone travelling the outback in a van can relate to this one!

Lightning Ridge had the same effect on us as Coober Pedy.
It epitomises the randomness and lack of organised order that comes with freedom. True freedom is seldom tidy and neat. The Ridge and Coober Pedy are probably one of the last vestiges of freedom left even though the ever extending hand of government is well entrenched here as well. You get the feeling that the locals distain the intervention into every aspect of life that signifies today’s governments.

We needed to get away from Lightning Ridge by 4:00am if we had any chance of getting to Brisbane to watch the second State Of Origin match with Jennie, Ashley, Lish, Riley and Emily, something we looked forward to immensely.
Leaving at this time of the morning means playing dodgems with kangaroos. There are multiplied thousands of them casually and unconcernedly dicing with death as they bounce across the road in front of the traffic. The second one we hit, a big bugger, actually bent the bull bar and the front guard.

We saw the sun rise as we stopped for fuel in St George before heading the 120 km to Koramba Farm. We made the farm at about 8:30am. It was good to see the farm again; in fact it was a bit like coming home in some ways. We parked and unhooked the Aussie Wide where we would leave it for four days while we travelled the 5 – 6 hours to Brisbane to catch up with precious family and friends. We would return here Sunday to take up work for the next couple of months or so while I try to get this backlog of work completed.

 

To Broken Hill and Bourke

After fuelling up at Dublin, just a few kilometres up the road from Parham, we were heading off in the frosty cold of the early morning.

As the heater warmed up the car we settled back into enjoying the surroundings as we meandered through the South Australian countryside turning east at Port Wakefield towards Balaklava. As usual there’s an always fascinating new landscape to ensure that each kilometre is packed with interest.

As we passed Auburn and the beautiful little town of Saddleworth the scenery changed to lush rolling hills lined with vineyards, in which the countless acres of grape vines had been neatly pruned for winter.

Saddleworth - South Australia

Saddleworth – South Australia

At Burra we turned on to the Barrier Highway which would take us the next 812 kilometres to Cobar in New South Wales.

The little town of Mount Bryan was our stop for morning tea, we had stayed the night here last time amid the many windmills of the wind farm that seemed to overpower and pollute the vision of the surrounding beautiful rolling hills.

We again marvelled at the beautiful farms most of which still had the ruins of the old stone homesteads on them.

Vast plains spread to the horizon in every direction

Vast plains spread to the horizon in every direction

The landscape changed gradually to vast, sparsely populated outback country again as the miles rolled by and we progressed closer towards Broken Hill.

Red dirt, scrub, blue sky and seemingly endless space was interrupted only by the dead straight Barrier Highway reaching so far into the distance that it disappeared as it became one with the far off horizon.

Ribbon of highway to the future?

Ribbon of highway to the future?

There’s not much on the way to Broken Hill but we did stop for lunch at a tiny store in Manna Hill where there was a welcoming roaring log fire to keep out the chill that still hung in the air.

On making Broken Hill we decided to treat ourselves to a night in a van park where could turn on the electric heater and the electric blankets. This was to be a real treat after not being able to do this while free camping. Our solar power is wonderful and generally gives us all our electricity needs but alas it doesn’t extend to heaters and electric blankets.

So we spent a wonderfully comfortable night, warm and snug and felling like no one on earth could have been happier than us cuddled up and thoroughly content.

We got away from Broken Hill fairly smartly as it would be another 620 kilometre day to get to Bourke.

Stopping at Wilcannia for a “driver reviver” coffee and fuel we met a couple travelling to Bowen in a Aussie Wide. They’ve had there’s for 5 years and couldn’t be happier with it. They will try and sell it in Bowen though as they want a smaller one (theirs is 25 foot and they want one a similar size to ours), but they will only buy an Aussie Wide.

On we drove through the constantly changing outback scenery marvelling at the roadside signs pointing down tracks that led to homesteads 50 80 or 100 kilometres into the bush.

Feral Goats line both sides of the highway in their thousands.

Feral goats are responsible for an estimated loss of $25 million per year. These are derived from a calculated $17.8 million net loss due to reduced stock production, $6 million contingency loss due to the threat of exotic disease and $1.2 million spent by the government agencies on goat control operations. This estimate does not include the costs associated with the impact of feral goats on the environment, of soil erosion, or pastoral degradation.

On the positive side, commercial exploitation of feral goats is an industry worth about $29 million annually. Many pastoralists in Australia now consider the capture and sale of feral goats to be an essential part of their business. Meat for export is the main product from feral goats. Some live feral goats are also exported. Goat skin is a by-product. Recently, feral goats have been crossed with the South African Boer goat to produce a heavier animal for export.

Feral goats are also used as a biological method of controlling weeds such as blackberry, briar serrated tussock, St John’s wort and thistles. They are particularly useful for controlling heavy weed infestations in difficult terrain. The Goats have a preference for such weeds over pasture plants. Control of these weeds is usually expensive and herbicides are not appropriate in some environments.

Feral goats line the highway in their thousands

Feral goats line the highway in their thousands

We’re noticing a bit of a new phenomenon. The truckies along this road all wave. Usually this doesn’t happen but here almost every one waves. It’s a good, friendly feeling. It’s as if by sharing this road, where there are precious few vehicles, we are somehow bound by our common location and therefore momentary kindred spirits.

Cobar for fuel is the next stop before finally leaving the Barrier Highway to enter the Kidman Way which took us the final 160 kilometres for the day into Bourke.

We decided on another night of luxury in the only van park in Bourke and after making friends with a really nice couple from Buddina, just a hop skip and jump from Wurtulla, we shut the door of the Aussie Wide against the cold night and settled in with the heater on again. Ahhhhhh – bliss!

East – NOT West (again)!

We’re heading east again.

We’ve been to this part of Australia twice in four months and each time the plan has been to proceed around the Ayre Peninsular and then over to Western Australia.

Last time we were confronted with a “Defining Moment” which resulted in us changing direction and heading east to work at Koramba Cotton Farm.

This time the plan was similar to last time – circumnavigate the Ayre Peninsular, eventually ending up at Ceduna and then crossing the Nullarbor Plain to Kalgoorlie, Perth and looping around the bottom of WA to Esperance.

We’d only driven down this far south (Port Parham) because we needed to take my computer into Adelaide to be repaired – the mother board failed on it – thankfully leaving all my data intact on the hard drive.

Port Parham was very convenient because it’s reasonably close to Adelaide, has water, good toilets, is by the bay and, best of all, is free with no time limits.

It took a week to get the new motherboard shipped in and make good the repair so we had little to do but walk along the beach and try to fill in the days as best we could. It was really difficult to be in a place so long and not be able to work. We met two lovely couples, both from Queensland, and one of the ladies turned out to be absolutely hilarious. She had us in fits for two days and two nights as she reiterated the escapades of her life on the road with hubby.

She told us how on the second night at Port Parham she decided to cook a roast dinner. Hubby was nowhere to be found to assist so she did it all herself. Using all the pots and plates she asked hubby to help with the dishes but he says he’s too tired and promptly lies down on the bed and turns on the TV. Of course she’s so angry she starts bashing the pots and pans as she’s cleaning up which prompts hubby to tell her to keep it quiet as he can’t hear the TV! She had me in tears of laughter at the way she told the story.

The one draw back with this spot is that it was so cold!

The nights were especially cold. Thankfully we had flannelette sheets on the bed, a warm rug and the doona and so we were quite snug and cosy until we got out of bed. In the mornings the windows of the car were covered in thick ice, just as I remember in Christchurch in the winter.

Pouring cold water over the wind screen to remove the ice.

Pouring cold water over the wind screen to remove the ice.

 

It's after 8am in the morning and the ice is rock hard and not melting yet. No wonder they move north for winter.

It’s after 8am in the morning and the ice is rock hard and not melting yet. No wonder they move north for winter.

So it was in this very pleasant but cold spot that we reassessed our situation once again.

I’m a long way behind in producing two computer programs and starting to get behind in a third. I’m finding life on the road is still as enjoyable as ever and I don’t think we could easily stop but the downside is that it’s very difficult to do computer work. The work is such that you can’t just turn it on and off for 3 or 4 hours a day and it requires a level of concentration that is nigh on impossible in the van.

Maintaining the whole thing is not so bad it’s just the stage we’re at right now with the redevelopment of the programs that’s hard as it’s above my current level of knowledge and requires a very steep learning curve if I’m ever to succeed.

In addition, it’s hard for Kerrie to creep around the van in silence so as not to disturb me.

Chris has been cooking veggie damper to keep occupied. Add the homemade soup for a very warming dinner.

Chris has been cooking veggie damper to keep occupied. Add the homemade soup for a very warming dinner.

We decided that if we were ever to complete these programs and fulfil this long held dream we had to find a place where we could sit for 3 months in peace and quiet to enable me to get this thing done.

It would need to be a place preferably where we didn’t have to pay caravan park fees and somewhere that Kerrie could work, at least part time, so she doesn’t go mad sitting in one place in silence.

Martyn Morrissey, our boss at the Koramba cotton farm, had offered us a position back at the farm before we left for Trephina Gorge, so we phoned him to see if he still had anything going. As a result we’ve been offered a free van site, food and power and a job for Kerrie working around the Koramba camp and the farm. There’s work there for me as well if I want it.

This is a perfect solution and so we made a commitment to take up the offer for the next 3 months.

It means I’ll have the time and the quiet environment to get this job done while Kerrie is employed and earning as well. It also means we’ll be able to drive to Brisbane every two weeks and catch up with family and friends.

We’re extremely happy with this as it solves a problem that was starting to become quite difficult and we can head off west again in spring or early summer – by far the best time to do the Ayre Peninsular and WA.

This means turning east again from almost the same location as last time we were here and again putting on hold travelling to the Ayre Peninsular and Western Australia.

So it was with a great deal of peace and joy that we once again packed up the Aussie Wide and headed the Nissan away from Port Parham towards Queensland.

We’ll head for Broken Hill first and then from there to Bourke and then Lightning Ridge to see if we can find our fortune in Black Opal. This is something we wanted to do last time but the floods had cut the road to Bourke and we were unable to. This time the roads are all open.

From there we’ll head to St George and then down to Talwood and the farm. We’ll leave the caravan at the farm and drive to Brisbane where we’ll stay for about 4 days allowing us to see the State of Origin in Queensland – YEAHHHH!

We’ll then head back to the farm and start work.

Life does have its wonderful twists and turns does it not?

Port Parham:

Here we are at Port Parham – 70km North of Adelaide. We wrote about this spot last time we were in Adelaide, (remember Mr Condom). This time there were only 5 other campers. We parked the van near the toilets and hooked up to water.

Near the toilets and hooked up to water. What else do you need?

Near the toilets and hooked up to water. What else do you need?

This was a treat as it’s been a while since we’ve had the luxury of water on tap, apart from one night at the caravan park at Alice Springs.

It didn’t take long to meet up with the other campers, all Queenslanders from Mackay and The Gold Coast. Why are we all down here when the best winter weather is at home? The only answer I can give is, the crowds are up there.

Parham is a fishing village and the locals have a neat way of getting their boats across the sand to the low water mark. The tide goes out about 1km and apart from tiny Pipi shells and an abundance of sea grass not much else is here. But they say the fishing is great.

Because the water goes out so far they use these homemade towing vehicle's to take out their boats and bring them home.

Because the water goes out so far they use these homemade towing vehicle’s, called  Giraffes or Jinkas, to take out their boats and bring them home.

 

So after fishing they run their boats on to the trailer climb over to the vehicle and tow the boat to their garages.

So after fishing they run their boats on to the trailer climb over to the vehicle and tow the boat to their garages.

Chris has yet to “Throw in a line” but we have watched others pull in 35cm whiting at high tide.

The first couple of days were lovely. The sun had warmth if you could get out of the breeze but then it started to rain and got down to just plain cold. We drop down to 3 deg at night and the highest temp we have had through the day is 15 deg. But inside the van is cosy and warm. Turn on the gas stove for a few minutes and it warms the whole place up.

We are sitting here because Chris’s computer won’t start up. This happened after our 11km drive into the breakaways outside of Coober Pedy on the dirt track and he believes it might have affected his computer. So we’ve had to get close to Adelaide so we could take in in for repair. It’s now at the same place I had mine a couple of months ago. It’s still under warranty and hopefully the hard drive hasn’t gone. The techs thinks it is the mother board so we are keeping our fingers crossed it is. Of course Chris is totally lost without his computer. Here we are with time on our hands and Chris can’t do any of the programs because his computer isn’t here. Not a happy camper. So long walks, well rugged up, are the order of the day.

We did have a day in Adelaide when we dropped off the computer and even though it was a Monday driving around the city was a pleasant experience. With the autumn colours of red and orange on all the trees and the abundance of parks it is a very pretty city.

One of the tasks we had to do was visit a locksmith and get another set of keys cut for the van. We were directed to a locksmith in the city of Burnside. Man could that bloke talk. A 10 minute job turned into an hour, after which we went across the road a nice but expensive shopping centre – Burnside Village. The link will take you to the list of shops it has. No Big W, Target or Kmart here. Even the toilet’s were glamorous. So the only things we bought were a few items from Coles (even rich people have to eat).

So we are here for at least a week waiting on the computer. Have got most of the red dirt out of the van and car. We’ll need to flush out the water tanks from the salty, hard and dusty water from the centre, and I have to catch up on the end of year book work, (can’t believe this year is going so fast). Then the plan is to head over to the Eyre Peninsular and then across the Nullarbor to Perth.  But as you know with us we are never quite sure where will end up.

Parham with the tide nearly in.

Parham with the tide nearly in.