Friday, 12 September 2014

On the road again! 8th September 2014

The house-sit we have just completed at Minbrie (near Cowell), SA has been an extremely enjoyable three months.  It's the longest we have stayed in one place since we hit the road 7 years ago, but the time passed incredibly quickly.  Kerry and Bill have a lovely property - typical of the area with lots of limestone rocks and local grasses, interspersed with little patches of wild wheat.  Bill normally uses a ride-on mower to keep it under control, but he killed it just before they left.  Rick decided not to let it grow wild, so he took the old hand mower and mowed and mowed and mowed.  By the time Bill and Kerry got back, it was in the same beautiful condition as when they left.

In between mowing, he worked on the van.  He managed to fix all the problems we had on the corner country trip as well as replace all the existing white cotton flyscreens (Kedron owners will know what I mean) with black fibreglass micro-mesh, designed to keep out all the little bugs.  That was a big job and the van windows now look great, and, even better, do the job of keeping out the bugs properly!  Yay!!

We left Minbrie on Monday 8 September after enjoying a couple of lovely meals with Bill and Kerry.  After a stop at Whyalla to stock up the fridge and pantry, we spent the night at Port Augusta.  The Shoreline Caravan Park is a Top Tourist park and is quite a reasonable spot.  At the time we arrived in Port Augusta, there was a crazy wind storm blowing, initially out of the north.  Dust, dust and more dust.  So we plugged into power, put a bucket under the sink outlet, turned on the A/C and retired into the van.  Got a reasonable nights sleep despite the rocking and rolling of the van (caused by the wind I might add!!).

After a leisurely breakfast on Tuesday, we left Port Augusta intending to stay at Melrose.  This is a lovely area, situated at the foot of Mount Remarkable and surrounded by wheat and canola paddocks.  We have stayed here many times since the late '70's camping in everything from a tent to a caravan and have some wonderful memories attached to the area.

This time we are staying in the Melrose Showgrounds, but there is also a caravan park which offers good powered camping as well as a great unpowered area on the other side of the creek.

Mount Remarkable viewed from Melrose Showgrounds



Wouldn't you know  it though, after we got ourselves nicely set up here for a few days, a cold front came through the area and nearly blew us off the mountain.  We ended up having to pack up the awning to prevent damage.  Blasted weather.  However, as of today, we have blue skies, green grass, yellow flowers, lots of birds and quiet surroundings.  What more could a person ask for?

Melrose is now part of a thriving network of walking and biking tracks which traverse from the tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula right up to the Flinders Ranges.  These tracks comprise the Heysen Trail and the Mawson Track.

The following photos of Melrose were taken from Joe's Monument, which is one of the local memorials, situated behind, and up the hill from the Melrose Caravan Park.