The 'Red Centre' ~ November 2016

Kindness is just love with its work boots on.

Tuesday 1st November 2016

We endured another long journey to get to Alice Springs. Once there we were impressed with the caravan park, sites, amenities and cabin.

Wednesday 2nd November 2016

We visited the ANZAC Hill lookout and memorial which was very interesting. Then we went on to the Telegraph Museum which has changed a lot since we were there in 2005. They now have a café and shop. We walked through the different buildings that made up the old telegraph complex. We could see into the Station Master’s house and kitchen and were amazed when we read that all the furniture including a piano were carted there 500kms by camel.

There was one particular information board that made me laugh. When the blacksmith’s forge was closed and the blacksmith of 33 years had to leave he is reported as saying, “If I had known this job was not permanent I wouldn’t have taken it”

After lunch we then went to the School of the Air. Again we watched a short movie explaining everything. The lady who did the tour gave a very good talk. We were then allowed to watch and listen to an actual lesson in progress. It was extremely good and interesting.

Thursday 3rd November 2016

We went to the Desert Park in the morning, we wanted to see as much of it as we could before it got too hot. It was really good and we attended a couple of the talks and saw kangaroos and emus. The nocturnal centre was amazing – really well presented. We attended a flying bird display which would have to be the best we have ever seen. The trainer introduced us to a Magpie which did everything he asked - even sang. A Bush Curlew joined us as did an Owl and a Kite. Everything was excellent.

We ate lunch at the café and were very glad to be out of the heat. Then we watched a movie about the outback.

Leaving the Desert Park we visited the Royal Flying Doctor Centre. The introductory movie was really good, explaining all about the service. The museum and staff, however, left a lot to be desired. We enjoyed a cool drink before heading to the Pioneer Women’s Museum which was in the old gaol. This was okay but to me they included polititians that didn’t deserve to be there and left other people out, such as Margaret Court, arguably Australia’s greatest ever female tennis player. Yvonne Goolagong was there as were Dawn Fraser and Cathy Freeman. We left there and went to do some shopping for supplies and wine. Happy hour and dinner took place at the cabin again.

Friday 4th November 2016

We travelled to Ayres Rock Resort. Boy, it was a long day, especially for the driver. We showed Angie and Dave 'Mount Connor' but didn’t trick them into thinking it was 'The Rock'. We stretched our legs and they took photos. We eventually arrived at the resort which is the same caravan park we stayed in last time but now has villas and a hotel. Angie and Dave are in a cabin not too far from us. Pete Mate and I took half an hour to get the caravan on the site, we were very tired and seemed to have forgotten how to do it. Happy hour was good followed by dinner cooked on my little gas stove as there does not seem to be a camp kitchen here. We were very glad to see our beds.

Saturday 5th November 2016

We had a rest day to catch up on journals, website and washing. At 6.00pm we were collected by a bus and taken to a viewing platform to see the sun set over The Rock. We enjoyed wine and nibbles whilst doing so. The sunset was not the best but the experience was enjoyable. We then walked down a track to a dining area with tables set ready for dinner. We were entertained by a digeridoo player whilst we ate dinner which was scrumptious and once more too much food. After the main course we were given a talk about the stars which was interesting as the girl had a laser and pointed at the star she was talking about. We then had dessert, coffees and port. Boy were we full! We then walked down another track to see the Field of Lights. There are 50,000 stems covering an area of 49,000 square metres. The stems (lights) are all solar powered and have different colours. Very clever and very pretty. We were then taken back to the campsite. Pete Mate unhitched the car from the caravan whilst I held the torch. Not really a good idea after a night out but we managed.

Sunday 6th November 2016

We were all up early to go and watch the sunrise over the rock. We were not disappointed the colours were beautiful. Afterwards we went in search of breakfast. We had a drive around the rock looking at it from different angles. The heat by now was scorching so any walking was out of the question. Most walks were closed due to the heat. We then took Angie and Dave to the place where you can walk the rock, they couldn’t believe that Pete Mate had walked it in 2005. We then had a drive out to the Olgas and I couldn’t believe we did the walks there in 2005! We then went home and we all had a long sleep. Late afternoon we headed back to the rock for the sunset. We took along some nibbles and wine. Plus, our chairs. We sat there watching the colours change on the rock as the sun set. Magic. It was then home for dinner once again cooked on my trusty little gas cooker.

Monday 7th November 2016

Another long driving day this time to Kulgera Roadhouse. We received a warm welcome from Rob. The place is rather quirky but adequate for the night. The food in the pub was yummy and plentiful.

Tuesday 8th November 2016

We were on the road yet again, this time to Coober Pedy. We stopped at a roadhouse for lunch and for Pete Mate to have a rest. This is when we noticed the door of the caravan was broken. It had to be tied and taped up before we could continue.

Approaching Coober Pedy you see all these mounds of dirt which have been dug out of mine shafts. It has been known for people to disappear down these shafts by accident or foul play. We arrived at the caravan park and were pleasantly surprised. The place has a bar, restaurant and bottle shop. All very nice. There isn’t a water supply to connect to here so we had to stop and fill the tanks from a dispenser at the rate of $1 for 40 litres. Whilst filling the tanks Pete Mate noticed that one of the caravan tyres was shredding. It had not been the best of travelling days. Once set up we had happy hour and dinner under the stars. Not fine dining this time but from Pam’s café.

Wednesday 9th November 2016

We had a rest morning and then in the afternoon we were collected by a tour bus and taken on an amazing journey in and around Coober Pedy. We saw an underground church, hotel, house and mine. We were given a tour of the town and the mining fields where some people did some fossicking. We also visited the Breakaways which was a beautiful area with some wonderful scenery. We arrived back at the caravan park at 6.30pm in need of wine and dinner. We ate in the restaurant and the food was very yummy.

Thursday 10th November 2016

Not the best day of the trip. We had to take the car and caravan into the tyre depot for new tyres. We were told it would all be done by 2.00pm. We had a walk around the town in the scorching heat, found a coffee shop, had drinks made them last until lunchtime. We then ate lunch slowly. We wandered back just before 2.00pm only to find they had only done one tyre. We waited about the place in all the heat and finally it was done. We arrived back at the caravan park at 5.00pm. We were a little fed up but after a visit to the bar and the restaurant we felt a whole lot better.

Friday 11th November 2016

We all attended the Remembrance Day Service at the RSL in Coober Pedy. It was the strangest service Pete Mate and I have ever been to but it was also the friendliest. When we arrived we noticed the code of dress was different; no smartly dressed men in their pristine suits, no uniforms, just shorts and tops were the order of the day. The first we all did was have a drink at the bar, we were just following how the locals did it. After a little while we were told to all go outside where a chap gave a short spiel about why we were there. A minute’s silence was then observed shortly followed by the raising of the flag. Then there was a presentation to an RSL member that was leaving, plus a cheque given to the RSL from the Motor Club. With all that out of the way it was back to the bar and a sausage sizzle. We didn’t even get to sing the national anthem!

Afterwards, whilst Pete Mate and I went off to get some fuel, Angie and Dave went to see some kangaroos. We got the fuel and then had to wait for them ... if we had known they were going to be so long we would have gone back to the RSL for a drink. We then went to look at Faye’s Underground House. Pete Mate and I had seen it before and it was so good we wanted to show Angie and Dave. They enjoyed it very much. Then we did some shopping, had some lunch and returned home to have a rest and get ready for tomorrow.

Saturday 12th November 2016

When we were organised and about ready to leave, I went to tell Angie and Dave to bring their things over. I took another tumble, this time really hurting my knees. The pain was terrible. Pete Mate told me to sit in the car which I did but the pain never ceased for the whole journey. We arrived in Woomera in plenty of time for happy hour. I retrieved my walking stick from under the bed, took some pain killers and once I had a glass of wine in my hand, life was good. Happy hour was in the bar which was inside the caravan park. It was small and the people were very friendly, a very enjoyable happy hour. Luckily I had cooked the dinner yesterday so our meal was easy.

Sunday 13th November 2016

We were back on the road by 10.00am for the shortish hop to Port Augusta. I am walking much better today but still using the stick. We arrived just after lunch at the caravan park. We set up camp for the night had a nap and then Pete Mate and I walked to the bottle shop as we were short of wine. If we had known how far the shop was we would have enjoyed an AFD!

Monday 14th November 2016

Final leg of the big trip. We arrived in Adelaide early afternoon and received a lovely welcome from friends Dawn and Phil. We are so blessed to have such good friends. We set up camp and then we were straight into happy hour. Dawn and Phil cooked a beautiful dinner for us all. It was a lovely evening.

Tuesday 15th November 2016

It was a lay day catching up with washing, shopping and other things. In the evening we six went to the Watermark Hotel for happy hour and dinner. It was a buffet style restaurant – big mistake, we all ate too much. It was a very pleasant evening.

Wednesday 16th November 2016

we had a short trip out to Glenelg. Pete Mate had an appointment with a doctor and we wanted to show Angie and Dave the place. The doctor’s appointment was over pretty fast. We took a drive down Jetty Road and parked the car. We enjoyed a good walk around as Glenelg was full of activities, one being wheel chair Aussie Rules football. Glenelg has changed a lot since we were last here, it is much busier. We found a quirky little café for lunch which was very nice. The place was decorated in the retro theme. We then returned to the caravan as I had a lot of preparing to do for the barbecue tonight. When we got home we found we had new neighbours - our lovely friends Jo and Gavin had arrived. One again we are blessed with good friends. We enjoyed a good happy hour followed by the barbecue which Gav and Phil cooked. Everything went well and a good time was had by all.

Thursday 17th November 2016

We had to say goodbye to Dawn and Phil, but I am sure we will see them again sometime next year. Pete Mate, Angie and Dave and myself all went into the city, again we wanted them to see Adelaide. I had an appointment for an eye check-up. Angie and Dave went off and did their Christmas shopping. We all met up for lunch and then had a wander around before heading back to the car and home. No sooner were we home and it was time for happy hour and dinner. Jo cooked a beautiful meal for us and once again it was a very pleasant evening.

Friday 18th November 2016

We six enjoyed a lovely day out. Firstly, we went to Mt Lofty lookout, the day was a little murky so we couldn’t see very much in the distance. We left there for Hahndorf, a very pretty German town in the hills. We found a nice little café for lunch and then we all split up so we could wander at our own pace. I thoroughly enjoyed wandering on my own and made one or two purchases. We all met up again at the pub and had a drink before heading home with a diversion to Glenelg for dinner. Our timing was a little out so we didn’t have enough time to go home first. We went to the Watermark again but this time it was noisy and busy; not such a pleasant experience. The food was good and once more we all ate too much. Halfway through dinner we were asked to change tables as they had mixed up the bookings. We did as asked and we all got a free drink.

Saturday 19th November 2016

Jo, Angie and I went to Harbour Town which is close by. Once we had enough of retail therapy we enjoyed a nice lunch before heading home. Angie cooked dinner tonight for all of us in the camp kitchen. For dessert she made her famous yummy vanilla slices. Another enjoyable evening.

Sunday 20th November 2016

We said our goodbyes to Jo and Gavin and then spent the rest of the day getting ready for our trip to Victor Harbor.

Monday 21st November 2016

We set off for Victor Harbor around ten o'clock. Our first stop was Aldinga Beach which had been recommended by the information centre. The beaches were not anything special but we found a nice little café for coffee. We then continued to the Nan Hai Pu Tuo Temple at Sellicks Hill. We saw the amazing giant statue of the Goddess of Mercy. It was a wonderful place to visit, so peaceful inside the temple. Outside a lot of building work was in progress. When it is all finished the temple and surrounds will cover a huge amount of ground. We called in at Yankalilla for lunch and a walk around. We then continued to Victor Harbor to our motel. On arrival we were given a room upgrade free of charge. The rooms were lovely and well furnished. We got ourselves organised and then went for a walk. Peter wanted to revisit the Anchorage Inn – probably because he liked the barmaid in 2005! We had a couple of drinks and then ate dinner there. When we left the pub we had to get a move on as it was raining. We dashed from shelter to shelter.

Victor Harbor brought up 5,000 kilometres covered since leaving Emu Park on 22nd October.

Tuesday 22nd November 2016

After breakfast Pete Mate took Billy for an oil change at a local garage. When he returned to the motel we walked to the information centre to check out a few things and make some bookings. We found out the boat trip was not until tomorrow as was the train to Goolwa. We decided to have a think have a think about those two things and just booked for the penguin tour tonight. The lady in the information centre was very helpful but chatted on and on so much so we missed the horse drawn tram. We went off to find coffees until the next tram. Meanwhile Pete Mate received a call to say that Billy was ready. As we had a little time before the tram left he went off to collect it. Angie and Dave went off to do some shopping and I had a wander around. Pete Mate cut it so fine he missed the tram by seconds and had to walk over. It was so funny watching his hat bob along alongside the tram.

Once over at the island I looked at the million steps leading to the walk and decided to give it a miss. I was quite prepared to sit and wait for the others. We had done this walk before so Pete Mate said he would wait with me. Dave then suggested we go our separate ways and meet up back at the motel. Wonderful idea as it was freezing cold. Pete and I caught the tram back over to the mainland, we made the bookings for tomorrow, had some lunch and then went back to the motel for a rest.

Later we all went to the Victor Hotel for drinks and dinner before heading over the causeway to Granite Island to see the penguins. It was freezing. We spent an hour and a half listening to the guide and watching penguins. They are so cute, we didn’t realise the noise they made, very loud. Once the tour was over the lovely guide offered me a lift back in his ute; he had picked up the fact I was having trouble walking. Bliss, the others had to walk back. Only vehicles with permits are allowed over the causeway. Once back at the car I sat in the warm and waited for the others. They didn’t take long as they could walk much faster without me. It was a good night but we were all very glad to be back at the motel in our warm beds.

Wednesday 23rd November 2016

We all went to the Victor Hotel for a lovely but big breakfast which kept us going all day. We were early at the train station because we wanted to see the steam engine turn around on the turntable. Sadly, it was not a steam train and didn’t have to turn around as there was a driving cab at both ends. It was a lovely trip into Goolwa but we only had a short time to have a look around before catching the next train back to V.H.

Once back at Victor Harbor we had enough time to grab a coffee before walking down the causeway to the boat ramp for a trip out on the water. I had in my mind that it would be a nice boat and we would have a gentle sail around the islands. Wrong! It was a rubber dinghy which I found difficult to get on and off plus we got wet and were cold. When the boat was speeding along the bow was out of the water and would hit the waves with such a force we shot out of our seats. Not the best idea I have ever had and I have banned myself from having any other similar ideas. I was terrified the whole time and did not enjoy one minute of it. Dave and Pete Mate were okay about it but Angie loved it. By the time we got off the thing I vowed I was finished with boats forever and we went in search of a warm drink. The café we went to was closing up so we decided the best option was to go back to the motel to get dry and warm. In the evening we once again visited the Victor Hotel, we really enjoyed the food there plus the atmosphere was friendly and relaxed.

Thursday 24th November 2016

We travelled back to Adelaide today via McLaren Vale. Before we left Victor Harbor area we were to find a lookout from where we could see the Murray River and the ocean meet. We didn’t find it. The Information Centre had given me a couple of ‘really good wineries’ at which to have lunch, neither of which appealed to us. We ended up at the Salopian Inn, which turned out to be very nice indeed. The food was yummy the wine nice and Dave and Angie picked up the tab. The point of call before home was a specialised cheese shop. I had missed out on the Alexandrina Cheese place because they didn’t open until midday. I bought plenty of cheeses and then we continued home. Happy hour was pleasant and as we had all eaten a large lunch I didn’t have to cook tonight.

Friday 25th November 2016

We all had a few things to catch up on plus I had to do some grocery shopping. We went to Harbour Town and after coffees Angie and I went off to do the shopping whist Dave and Pete Mate watched the planes. We all met up for lunch before doing a couple more shopping type things and heading home. Once everything was put away and happy hour and dinner food prepared, I sat down with a wine before starting to cook.

Saturday 26th November 2016

Our new baby girl arrived today – our great granddaughter Poppy Stacey Ranson made her early appearance. Mother and baby are doing well.

It was a day of catching up on things and having a rest. When I went over to the cabin Angie had all their clothes everywhere trying to work out what to pack where. We met up for happy hour at the caravan and then I cooked dinner which we ate in the cabin. The weather here is still very mixed and very often we have a chilly wind.

Sunday 27th November 2016

Today was pretty much the same as yesterday doing things we needed to, followed by happy hour at the caravan and after cooking dinner we ate in the cabin.

Monday 28th November 2016

I cooked brunch for us all over at the barbecue area. It all went well and I think everyone enjoyed it. Once everything was cleared away it was afternoon. Where did that day go? We enjoyed happy hour and I cooked dinner for us all.

Tuesday 29th November 2016

We took Angie and Dave to the airport for their flight to New Zealand. We decided to just drop them off as prolonged goodbyes are never good for anyone. Once home I started on the bookwork for Bell Park as it had been sadly neglected. I worked until happy hour time when I felt I deserved a wine or two. It felt quite strange just being the two of us again after six weeks.

Wednesday 30th November 2016

I worked on the accounts again in the morning and was finished by lunchtime. I spent the afternoon knitting whilst Pete Mate slept and read. While he's still asleep let's segue into December by clicking Next Page below.

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