Hamish and Annie Say:

Show great respect for your fellow beings.
Give assistance and kindness wherever needed.

     

      Pam's Journal For March 2008

     
  Saturday 1st March 2008.  
  We didn't do a lot other than washing and shopping. Peter took Billy to the carwash. It was another beautiful day here and people were out on the water in their boats; some were water skiing.    
  Sunday 2nd March 2008.  
  We walked into town, as today we are going on a paddle steamer. We arrived in plenty of time, which in itself is a feat for us. We boarded and that, dear friends, was more or less the last I saw of Pete Mate until we disembarked. I sat watching the scenery, he glanced at it but spent most of the time looking at smelly hot 'blue' stuff. There must be a pink credit in there for me somewhere. The fireman stoked up the fire and threw on more logs. Black smoke belched from the chimney along with hot ash. Guess who was sitting directly underneath? Yep, me. I thought this would be a romantic journey, a trip back in time to the days of paddle steamers on the Murray River, the sound of the rotating paddles hitting the water, the toot of the whistle . . . but, alas it wasn't. It was an enjoyable trip up and down the Murray but methinks Pete Mate enjoyed it more than I did.

Once back on dry land we ventured into the Renmark Club for a drink or two. We watched the paddle steamer go out for the next trip of the day and we were still there when she returned. It was a beautiful place to be sitting, on a balcony overlooking the Murray, sipping wine and watching people enjoy the water. We then walked home, fell asleep, and before we knew it, it was dinner time.
 
  Monday 3rd March 2008.  
  On awaking this morning I drew back the curtains and saw the most glorious sight, a tranquil pink river. The reflection of the pink sky in the water made the water look pink. I feel the photo doesn't do it justice but it is still pretty good. The rest of the day was get ready day. Usual stuff – washing, cleaning and packing everything away. Another glorious sunset; we watched as the colours of the sky changed and reflected on the water. When a boat went past the ripples in water shimmered with the colours, absolute magic. Sorry no photo as it would never have done it justice.
 
  Tuesday 4th March 2008.  
  We were ready to leave around 9.30am; we called in at the carwash to wash the caravan before heading towards Adelaide. We took it easy and made good time until we hit the traffic; even so we arrived around 3.30pm. We set up camp; I went off for a shower, when I returned Peter informs me our friends from Mildura had phoned so I phoned them back. Dawn said she didn’t want to talk to me and put the phone down; next thing is we hear a car and they were here. They had come to Adelaide for a week. What a wonderful surprise, so Happy Hour was long which led to dinner and again the lovely Dawn fed us. We had a lovely evening, not only was the company good but we are in a lovely spot in Adelaide.

 

Before sun-up the water was still, reflecting the pink of the sky.

  Wednesday 5th March 2008.  
  We have a few things to arrange whilst here in Adelaide so we did a little organising and planned the next leg of our journey to Alice Springs. We then did some shopping and cooked up a chicken curry for dinner. We were joined for Happy Hour by our friends Marilyn and Greg and of course Dawn and Phil. We had a really good time and some laughs, then we ate the curry followed by dessert, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves I know we did.
 
  Thursday 6th March 2008.  
  Another lovely warm day here in Adelaide. Pete Mate played computers whilst did some mundane but necessary chores. I then did some knitting before we were invited to an early Happy Hour to meet Dawn and Phil’s friend Krissie. We all then went to the airport to see her off as she was on her way back to Port Lincoln. Then Happy Hour continued which then led to dinner. We then all piled into Phil’s car and went for a drive top the top of Mount Lofty to see the lights of the city. It was quite spectacular.  
  Friday 7th March 2008.  
  We awoke to another glorious day. It was quite hot early as the night had been really warm. Dawn and Phil had to move sites and now they are opposite us. We all had morning tea together before going off to do our own thing. For us it was pretty much the same as yesterday with a visit to the shops thrown in. When we arrived home from the shops we found a note in an empty red wine bottle on the step. Some people had arrived and on finding us out left a note inviting us to enjoy a red. My first thought was someone had read the web site and had looked us up. Then we decided it was Jo and Gavin whom we knew to be travelling home from Ardrossan. We went over to their site and they were out but after spying their van we knew it was them. We were in the throes of Happy Hour with Dawn and Phil when they turned up. We then had a Happy Hour with them too. Dawn, Phil, Pete Mate and I then went out for dinner. This place was smorgasbord and boasted to have a huge variety of food, and they weren’t wrong. It was very nice too and I for one ate far too much. It was then home for a nice long sleep.  
  Saturday 8th March 2008.  
  Another scorcher of a day dawned, so I got the washing done early. We didn’t venture far away from the air conditioner. By evening it had cooled down enough to have Happy Hour outside. We enjoyed an hour or so with Dawn and Phil and then Gavin and Joanne arrived so it was an extended Happy Hour with lots of laughs, wine and food. Phil and Dawn went home for dinner and much later we others all had pizza. What fun we have until we stand on the scales in the morning then you can here our groans in Perth. We did have a lovely time with lovely people.  
  Sunday 9th March 2008.  
  The forecast for today is 40c and it was hot very early in the day. We spent the day much the same as the previous days before we met up for a short Happy Hour in Phil and Dawn’s caravan. Then Pete Mate and I went out for dinner with friends Ann and Lyndon. We first met them in Tumby Bay in 2004. We had a lovely time catching up with all their news, plus the meal was really good.  
  Monday 10th March 2008  
  Is there no end to this heat, it was such a hot night last night we had the air conditioner on all night. Dawn and Phil came over to our van for morning tea and Pete Mate gave them a demonstration on how to use the internet as they don’t have a computer. Later Pete Mate and I went out to friends we knew before we started travelling, Don and Lois. We had a lovely evening with their family plus Don’s sister, Jan. Again we are so blessed to have such lovely friends, wine and food.  
  Tuesday 11th March 2008  
  Another scorching day, it is now official that this hot spell in Adelaide has broken all records as the most consecutive days being over 35c. Our first chore of the day was to say goodbye to Dawn and Phil and a chore it was. It is always sad to say goodbye to nice people. We had some shopping to do, mainly Spotlight but we managed a Gloria Jean’s in there as well just to keep Pete Mate happy. Then it was back to the caravan to do our usual reading, knitting and computer stuff. We gave Happy Hour a miss tonight and were both alcohol free for a night.  
  Wednesday 12th March 2008  
  We felt the temperature today was a lot cooler than had been forecast, that was until we started our journey to Hope Valley to see Marilyn and Greg. As we travelled into the city and then further inland to Hope Valley the thermometer in the car rose to 41c. Despite the heat we had a very pleasant time with Greg and Marilyn; again we enjoyed good food, good wine and of course excellent company.  
  Thursday 13th March 2008  
  We did a huge shop this morning as on Sunday we travel up through the centre to Alice Springs. Now I have to vacuum pack everything to keep it all fresh; a mammoth job. In the afternoon I had to go and have an in grown toenail cut out. This wasn’t as bad as everyone predicted. So then it was back to the caravan to continue vacuum packing the food. Just for the record we had another alcohol free day. The wine industry must be by now in recession.  
  Friday 14th March 2008  
  I had a busy day packing the rest of the food away. Then there was the washing and the ironing. I have so much fun I can hardly contain myself. It was another hot day and now Adelaide has broken the record for the only city in Australia to have had so many consecutive days of hot, hot weather. I would have thought Perth would have beaten that but ‘they’ who know best have declared Adelaide the winner.  
  Saturday 15th March 2008  
  We got a move on this morning and packed away most of our things ready for tomorrow. Pete Mate washed the awning and I did the inside of the van. Ann and Lyndon called by in the afternoon for an early Happy Hour, and very pleasant it was too. Time flew by and before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye to another nice couple of friends. We then finished our preparations for tomorrow.  
  Sunday 16th March 2008  
  We were on the road by 7.10am, not too bad for us. We had a good run through to Woomera travelling through very dry terrain. Time and again we would see a sign for a lake or lagoon and only see white dry salt. It was heartbreaking to see. We arrived around 3.00pm and set up camp, this didn’t take long as we are only staying overnight. We soon retreated inside the air conditioned van to escape the 40c heat. Happy Hour was cancelled due to the Nomad Ransons having an alcohol free night.  
  Monday 17th March 2008  
  We had another early start but not as early as yesterday, even so 7.40am is pretty good for us. We again travelled through similar terrain as yesterday. The road was straight and for the most part empty. We arrived at Coober Pedy around 12.45pm, again we didn’t have much to do to set up camp so after lunch we just relaxed and recovered from the journey as tomorrow we have anther long day.  
  Tuesday 18th March 2008  
  Another early start even before the sun was up. We had such a good run through to Erldunda Roadhouse that the driver decided to keep going to Alice. It was late when we arrived and I was extremely tired so I don’t know what Pete Mate was. We set up camp and then had dinner, watched a little television before having an early night.  
  Wednesday 19th March 2008  
  We were both awake and up at 6.00am as our bodies think it is 7.00am. We have had another time change and in a few weeks we will be changing again. I did some washing and ironing, the clothes here dry very quickly. Pete Mate worked on the web page – I wasn’t allowed to talk or interrupt him as he was having a creative moment or two. So now I have renamed him, he is not Pete Mate anymore he is Leo after Leonardo De Vinci; it is allowed as he renamed me sometime ago.
We have a problem with our fridge not working properly, we went to three different places to see if they would look at it but no one is interested. Luckily there is a good fridge freezer in the camp kitchen which I am using. We shopped for some fresh fruit and veggies, filled up Billy with some expensive diesel and then went home for a quiet Happy Hour. I say quiet because Leo has not had any alcohol for six days now. I had a couple of glasses of wine tonight after three A.F.D.’s.
 
  Thursday 20th March 2008  
  It was one of those days where it seemed to take all day to do very little. Leo had a play with the fridge and after a consultation with our neighbour seems to think that there is nothing wrong with it. It was overloaded with food when it was extremely hot. It seems we are not alone with a warm fridge. Another A.F.D for both of us, this is becoming a habit.  
  Friday 21st March 2008 (Good Friday)  
  Good Friday. A day for reflecting, well for some of us. Leo and I have found a new hobby; it is called fridge watching. We have a thermometer inside the fridge with the read out outside so every ten minutes or so the cry went out “what temperature is it?”
Leo also rigged a fan up blowing air into the back of it to see if it has any effect before going to the trouble and expense of fitting a fan. It didn’t do any good at all.
Leo also had a play with the satellite dish; it must have been a technical day.
 
  Saturday 22nd March 2008  
  Today was pretty much the same as yesterday; we did some more fridge watching and played with the satellite dish. I did some reading and Leo played on the computer.  
  Sunday 23rd March 2008 (Easter Sunday)  
  Every Sunday the caravan park cooks pancakes for everyone staying in the park. So not to miss out on anything free we dutifully too our plates and cups over to the camp kitchen for our share. They were very good too. We all wear a name label and the idea is to meet new people. We sat with a lady on holiday from Canada; she was very pleasant to talk to. Apart from breakfast our day was pretty much the same as yesterday. The fridge watching took a turn for the worse when the power in the whole of the camp went out for a while. By evening it was telling us we may have to have a new fridge.  
  Monday 24th March 2008  
  A day pretty much the same as yesterday.  
  Tuesday 25rd March 2008  
  We went into town for a wander around. Nothing has changed much since we were last here; there is a new shopping complex and the town is now a ‘dry’ area. Therefore we didn’t see any drunks but plenty of cartons being purchased for home consumption. Everywhere you go there are security guards, mainly to keep our natives on the straight and narrow. I was a little appalled by one guard telling a group of natives that if they had been drinking they would not be allowed in the shopping centre. He didn’t say the same to us. I guess I should remember I don’t live here and know the town’s problems first hand. Some of the natives look quite pitiful, yet others have pride in themselves and it shows. Our checkout chick at Woolworth’s was part Aboriginal and a more pleasant girl you couldn’t meet. We found Gloria’s and had lunch there. Not one native came in whilst we were there so we now know they do not like G.J’s coffee. By the time we got home Leo was feeling under the weather with flu-like symptoms and promptly went to bed. We both had another AFD.  
  Wednesday 26th March 2008  
  Leo wasn’t feeling well so we didn’t really do much. We had a quick trip into town then we both did quite a bit of reading. The weather has changed and it is positively cool. We discovered that the art gallery, 'Panorama Guth', had burnt down two years ago. We were quite shocked as it was an amazing place. Following is an extract from my journal of May 2005:
We visited the Panorama Guth which is an art gallery extraordinaire. We had heard about this place and people had said it is a definite 'must see'. Peter baulked a little at the price of $6.50 each but when he left he remarked: "Worth every cent". The main painting was of the scenery around Alice but it was a 360º display; wherever you looked you could see this beautiful scenery. One particular tree . . . you felt that if you reached out you could touch an actual tree. The rest of the paintings in the gallery were also impressive but the main attraction was magnificent.
  Thursday 27th March 2008  
  It was quite a cool night and we slept with our covers on for the first time in ages. Again we didn't do very much; at least Leo was feeling better today. He is still fridge watching. Me, I have moved on.  
  Friday 28th March 2008  
 

We went to the Olive Pink Botanical Gardens today. Olive Pink was a local identity who, with her Aboriginal gardener, created these gardens. Well we saw more scrub than gardens but the coffee was good from the café.

After that we went in search of a photographic shop to have a photo printed which was easier said than done. We walked all over town looking for a shop that could do it. The first place we tried wasn't able to read our memory stick. Eventually we had it done in a camera shop. The chap said it would be ten minutes so Pete Mate declared he would look at cameras. I don’t think so!!!!!! Pete Mate mentioned to the chap a problem he was having with his Canon and as the camera was in the car he toddled off to get it. I whiled away the time looking in the jeweller’s window next door. The camera problem was dust and we were sold a gadget that will solve this problem in the future.

From there we did a couple more errands before retiring to Gloria Jean’s for lunch. Twice, after being at G.J’s, Pete Mate has felt unwell; a bit of a worry.

The weather has definitely changed and it is now positively cold at night.

 
  Saturday 29th March 2008  
  It was a day of cleaning, washing and ironing. Pete Mate changed the oil in Billy. The park provides an area where you can do any car repairs plus they provide containers for the old oil. As Billy was due soon we thought it was a good opportunity, little did we know then that the sand Pete Mate had to lie on had been used and any spilt oil was concealed many times over. So when he returned home he was covered in oil, two showers later he still had some oil showing. Never mind, a beer soon soothed his troubled brow.  
  Sunday 30th March 2008  
  Pancakes for breakfast; we wandered over to the camp kitchen for our share. We met a very nice family from Melbourne who were on holiday for five weeks. Just before we left I noticed a chap I was sure I knew. The more I looked, the more convinced I was that he was someone we had met in Cairns in 2005. As we left we wandered past their table and, sure enough, it was Kevin and his wife, Raelene. They had been working in Cairns when we were there, then went back to Bunbury, W.A., for two years. They are now on a travelling holiday again. Yep, it is a small world. So we had a very long Happy Hour that evening catching up with their news. And, of course, Pete Mate had to tell them about his encounter with the Gin in Normanton.
 
  Monday 31st March 2008  
  It is get-ready day so I started to pack things away. As the morning dragged on I felt worse and worse with a streaming cold, so we decided to stay another couple of days. We will now leave on Thursday. Pete Mate is also feeling a little unwell and as we are not in a hurry we made the right choice. It meant I could lie down which was all I wanted to do.