Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day 8 Thursday

Great excitement started the day today my baby turned 15.  We made her wait until today to give her a portable DVD player yes we made her wait until we had already driven 3361.02KM I have always be against my kids having DVD players in the car I prefer mine look out the window and see a bit of this beautiful country that we live in.  Lucy survived. She also got some vouchers from Grandma, Grandpa and Nanny.   We were going to visit the Alice Springs Desert Park it’s a fantastic park I put it equal with Australia Zoo.  You can go on walks through Woodland Habitat, Desert Rivers and sand country.  There is so much to see even in winter, all the lovely plants and the spectacular wildlife.  Someone once said to me they thought the desert landscape was boring, you have got to be joking.

despark

This photo was taken in 2007 but I forgot to take a photo of the entrance so I'm using this one, look at the gorgeous blue sky.

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bird

I hope to name these birds correctly I had to buy a bird book called Birds of the Red Centre by Malcolm Arnold.  This little guy above is a Rainbow Bee Eater

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I don't know either of these but the bird below sings the most beautiful song,  I will have to go and find my other bird book.

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Black Winged Stilt

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A cute little fairy wren, sorry I'm to lazy to find out the name of the others.

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lucy

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Mum and bub a big bub at that.

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duck

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After spending hours at the park we had to go and pick up Lucy’s birthday cake.  I was fortunate to have a friend that lived in Alice Springs and his wife was able to tell me the best place for cake was Cakes for You.  Just lovely was so pleased with this cake and it tasted delicious .

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This photo just doesn't do this cake justice.  We went out to dinner to celebrate Lucy’s birthday I hope she had a good day.

Days 6 & 7 Tuesday and Wednesday

We decided to push on to Alice Springs and arrive there on Wednesday so that would give us time for Tony  to have a look around as usually he’s too busy.  Lucy wanted to see Coober Pedy, it’s a fascinating place but I can take it or leave it, on the other hand Tony really likes it.  I didn't take any photo’s of the mounds driving into Coober Pedy as I have been there before and thought I would take them on the way  back home.    Coober Pedy is interesting, 80 percent of the town is underground.  Last time we didn't get time to go on many underground tours that’s one of the reasons I wanted to go back.

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A glance up the main street, there was a TAFE college to the right of the photo, two supermarkets, plenty of takeaways places and the pub and a large Caltex servo that could make a decent coffee.

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Plenty of room to park, we were parked in front of a underground motel , where you can see the mound that’s a lookout and in the hill was an opal shop and another motel.  I loved the underground bookshop but his books were so expensive and it was a shame  as I really wanted to buy a few of the books all about the Coober Pedy region.  We also went to look at the underground catholic church.  What I like is that all the underground buildings were so warm, this was a really chilly day and the temperature is a constant 24 degrees, it’s really comfortable.

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We wanted to visit Faye’s underground Home,  Faye was the first female to live in Coober Pedy.  Her home was originally a one room garage for the mail truck It was converted by Faye and two other women, using only picks and shovels, into a kitchen and bedroom. Later five other rooms were added including a wine cellar and a swimming pool. Unlike a number of display homes in town, Faye's Underground Home is actually lived in and the owners are happy to show you through the house.  Faye moved to Chelmer in Brisbane.

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The cream building is the games room which has a full size pool table and a good sized swimming pool.  The moment you go into the house you step down into the kitchen

stove

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Despite what my camera shows they had crystal clear reception this was two levels down they had a fire place but it has never been lit.

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Note the dressing table if a piece of furniture doesn't fit you just dig out some more until it does.  This bedroom leads down another level to the main bedroom.

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This bedroom had a huge walk in wardrobe, the small doors that you can see in the wall are now storage space but when Faye live there she was sick of her large dogs trying to sleep on her bed so she dug a space for them to sleep in, the dogs could see her they were happy and stayed off the bed.  Having slept in an underground campground, you really do sleep well as it is so dark and quiet and not to mention really warm and cosy.  Faye built this room around the pool as she discovered when she built the pool she was losing too much water in evaporation.

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I wish I could remember the couples name who live in this house now, they were lovely.  Tony and Lucy did the mine tour that is on the property as well.

After leaving Coober Pedy we travelled to the other side of Marla and pulled over for the night at a busy truck stop lots of trucks and caravans.  It rained through the night and when we got up we were surrounded by a foot of water.  Luckily we were able to get out and not get bogged.  We travelled onto Alice Springs getting there just after lunch.  We had booked it at the Macdonnell Range Holiday Park  we have stayed here several times and always happy with it.  That afternoon we went into town for another decent coffee and to do some grocery shopping, it was nice to know we were staying in the one spot for the next five nights.  That night we had dinner at the Todd Tavern which was much nicer this time around. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day 5 Monday

Big driving day today, we wanted to get as close to Coober Pedy as we could.  Started off a lovely day sunny but very cool.  After we crossed into South Australia we spotted what looked to be cloud but was actually fog

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I’m loving all the different colours it’s amazing, all we get at home is green so I'm not used to all these gorgeous creams, tinged with green and red.  We passed through many a small town with not much more than a railway station, most were being restored, a pub and a servo.  I love small towns and I love looking at old buildings so we ended up spending ages walking around Peterborough.  It used to be a railway town, it’s a bit sad a lot of empty buildings and a lot up for sale, if you are looking for a change some of the properties for sale were an absolute bargain.

Peterborough is famous for Bob the Railway Dog now ironically I had never heard of Bob until a few months ago when I heard an interview about him on the 612ABC.  It’s a rather delightful story.  In Adelaide in 1883 Bob was rounded up with other stray dogs to be sent north to deal with the rabbit plague.  William Seth Ferry saw Bob and offered the rabbiter money to buy him, the rabbiter refused, he would only do a swap, one dog for another.  William went to Port Augusta found a stray dog at the Police Station, returned and made the swap.

William then transferred to Peterborough, during this time Bob would travel everywhere with his owner then he decided he could travel by himself.  So Bob continued on his merry way and travelled widely to Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. At the completion of every trip he always followed the engineer home and was an important visitor. When back in Adelaide he always went for a feed at the Eagle Hotel and the girls always gave him the best. Every traveller knew Bob and the children adored him. Some drivers would put him off, and he knew them and never got on their engine.

Bob loved travelling on trains.  and he loved the men that worked on them. When he heard the whistle of a train he was off!  For a time he went missing, he was stolen by a sheep farmer. Unfortunately for him he had Bob herding sheep near a railway line. Bob heard the whistle of a train and ran to the engine where the crew recognized him and claimed him. The farmer was told that Bob was the property of the SAR and that he would be prosecuted for theft if he did not give him up. (from the time that William Ferry rescued him in Terowie the railway men had always kept his licence current) After this incident one of his friends, a commercial traveller, had a special collar made with the legendary inscription on it of “stop me not but let me jog for I am Bob the Drivers’ dog.

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main st

Give me an old fashioned main street with it’s mixture of shops over a shopping centre any day.

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In this photo you can see the YMCA on the left, the Town Hall in the middle, and the original town hall at the end.  The original town hall is now a private residence, would that be nice.

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courthouse

This is the court house which is attached to the Police Station.  Below is the original printing office and bank.

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info centre

The cute information centre, it was the warmest place in town.  We spent most of the morning there and by late afternoon had arrived at Port Augusta.  This was the first view we had of the Spencer Gulf it was breathtaking although the photos don’t do it justice.

Spencer Gulf

power stations