PT AUGUSTA-CROSSROADS OF AUSTRALIA
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
322Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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Where I stayed
JOURNEY: Wilpena, Hawker, Quorn, Port Augusta
WEATHER: 5 degrees @ 8am; 12 degrees @ 10am
MILEAGE @ Wilpena: 16626km
It was an easy drive to this town of 14,000 people. The town was not that exciting but we found a newly made bike path that crossed the water, the tip of the Spencer Gulf and made its way along a newly refurbished "waterfront".
the excellent "Australia Arid Lands Botanic Gardens" was our first stop and we made coffee and enjoyed the thin warming rays of the midday sun in their picnic area. The stunning location overlooking the Spencer Gulf and framed by the Southern Flinders Ranges is set on red clay and sand dunes.
But the arid zone plants are the stars and we were happy to find the quondong tree there and some interesting plants suitable for home gardens. Of course, the plants have been selected because of their ability to survive in areas where rainfall is erratic. Sheila was ecstatic to spot a parrot not seen by us before; it was the Mulga Parrot and oh so gorgeous
Wow this is a special place.
We selected the Big 4 Holiday Park -$28 pn, and were given a powered site by the camp kitchen but lo and behold, we could not get the power to engage with the van. After a call to Ballina Campers in NSW, and with some good instructions from Ken, Sheila sorted out the problem and we had power. We had been dreading the thought of driving back 300kms to Adelaide to fix the fault!!
We treated ourselves that night to a fine Indian Curry from the nearby Best Western Standpipe Motel, with a history dating back to the days of the drovers! This "Lonely Planet" recommendation was spot on and we would not have found the place as tourists without our trusty guide book.
We met a lot of interesting travellers here; some heading south, many on their way north like us, a few going west across the Nullabor and one couple heading east to Melbourne. The lady of the couple was very gregarious and funny, and had crossed the Nullabor Plain from Perth to Melbourne 38 times. We met our first hitch hikers, a very brave pair thumbing their way around Australia.
We found "beestings" in the French Hot Bread bakery unexpectedly, and we were happy with the quality! We also bought a thermometer to check on the freezing over night temperatures we were encountering. Some witty person volunteered "no shorts until Katherine" and that is a long way north.
After 2 nights in PA it was time to get going north into the Outback