Port Augusta Northwards September 21 - 23 2018
  Its always sad when we decide to head home.

But then again, its also time to be home.

I guess that's what's called mixed feelings.

Fowlers Bay Jetty, and we leave the coast.

  Through the coastal scrub.
  And then through farmland. Mostly wheat we think.
  Then the Eyre Highway.

We stop for fish and chips in Ceduna, and camp again at Wittelbee Conservation Park. Its been three weeks since we were last there.

I use the internet to finalise an order for flexible solar panels from China. One can never have enough solar. The flexible panels now have significantly more efficient cells than we currently have in our glassed panels and are laminated with more durable film than early flexible panels. A little heavier than some flexible panels and specs that are consistent with the Sunpower cell specs.

  Off again the next morning. We won't quite reach Port Augusta.
  We remain on the Eyre Highway. Around the south of the Gawler Ranges. Though tempted to find the road round the north that rejoins at Iron Knob we really do have our sights set on home. Sad at the sense of something ending, this trip has been longer than planned, and more energetic.
  Lake Gilles Conservation Park.

We stop around lunch time after about 340 km for the day. Drive down one of the tracks in the park and stop to camp.

A bit surprised to have internet. We do some "housekeeping" corespondence and bring the blog up to date.

to be continued ....

  Having chased parrots over at least half of the Australian continent a short walk along the track from our campsite, to an old, waterless but a bit green, dam, and I was rewarded with sight of a couple of Mulga Parrots.

They flew in front of me to land on a nearby tree.

An easy identification with the bird book.

  All I had to do was stand reasonably still and watch.

The male hopped around on the ground for a bit, investigating the vegetation.

  The female waited patiently in the tree. Presenting her best angle.

I'm told patience is a virtue. But I really didn't expect what little patience I have to result in this chance encounter.

  Beautifully camouflaged, I struggled to find them in the camera viewfinder.

They joined each other in the tree.

They'd hung around for about 5 minutes, then did what parrots always do.

They flew off.

  A nice end to another day as we retreat into the truck for dinner and sleep.

Tomorrow we will stock up with food in Port Augusta then head north to the Flinders National Park.

  Another day, another 300 km. Overcast when we start. But that's nice as traveling north east is into the sun.

We cleaned the windscreen yesterday, we aren't very regular at that, and tending to rely on the windscreen washer and wipers, but gave inside and out of all the cab windows a thorough clean. The side windows suffered a bit from dust between seal and window that has marked the window when open.

  A different sort of scrub near Iron Knob. Dry became dryer.
  Port Augusta, for fuel and food. Enough food to get us home. Enough fuel to reach Thargomindah with lots to spare.
  We expected it to be taller. At least if its what we think it is.

Probably explains why we didn't see the one in Spain when we looked.

Its a solar thermal electricity generator. Lots of mirrors reflect sun onto the top of the tower to produce steam for generation. The energy is used in growing tomatoes.

We don't know if the tomatoes we bought were from here.

  We turn northwards. Through the Flinders.
  Past the old Quorn Railway Station. Now the home of Pitchi Ritchi Heritage Rail.
  Past a former, 19th century, attempt at farming.
  We take a small detour to Arkaroo Rock.
  The rock is beside a dry creek. The creek would flow from a lowish saddle above the rock.

The drawings apparently depict the creation story of Wilpena Pound and surrounds.

Of course they are a very different style to any rock art we have seen previously on this trip. All the areas we have visited are distinctive.

Here the rock surface is suitable for ochre. Within 50 km are petroglyphs.

  Given its location, and the dreamtime story that has characters leaving in three directions, I can perhaps be forgiven for thinking of a signpost on a frequently traveled route.

We had a bit of difficulty knowing what were original drawings and what were later grafiti. The overhung rock is heavily protected by a sturdy full height fence.

We'll have to save Sacred Gorge and Chambers Gorge, which have petroglyphs, for a future time.

While undecided about the age of the white drawings I happen to be reading a New Scientist collection of articles on Civilisation which includes an article on cave paintings. It describes a set of basic symbols and similarities across the world, including Australia. It suggests writing evolved slowly before emerging as hieroglyphics and similar. Rather than a sudden great leap. Early days in the research so far.

  At last. A shingleback not crossing the road.
  The path to the rock stops at the rock. Any path further up the creek is obscure.

We decide to persevere and hope to see into Wilpena Pound. As we climb higher we look back across the valley. The main road is on the far side.

  Alas .......... the saddle is wide enough to put us off. The vegetation has changed, the gum trees and cypress pines are no longer, but the scrub is a bit scratchy.

Lots of excuses, including its getting late in the day and we are a bit hot.

But we can well imagine this low saddle being a well trodden Aboriginal route into the pound.


All we learned about military dragons and western bearded dragons and bicycle dragons are only a little help in identifying this dragon. The markings are different to those of dragons a few hundred km away.

The "let's stand still until they aren't looking then run and hide" behaviour seems to be universal.

  We stop and camp at Youngoon campsite in Brechina Gorge. About 320 km for the day.
  "Typical" Flinders. A magnificent river gum in the evening sun with mountains beyond.
  The campsite is on limestone. But only a thin layer. With shale below.

Brechina Gorge is either a geologist's delight or nemesis. If we had time we would explore and read all the nice signs that describe the geology .... we would have no chance of interpreting it otherwise.

But home calls ....... tomorrow we head north towards the Strzelecki Track. A junction conveniently about 300 km away.

Flinders Ranges and Cameron Corner to Brisbane September 24 - 28 2018

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