This morning was a quite a cool one and was only just over 0 degrees at about 8:am. We chose not to venture out of the caravan until then and kept the reverse cycle heater going on full power. 'One of Us' then did a load of washing in the very clean and well equipped laundry of the caravan park whilst the 'Other One' caught up with a little more work in the caravan.
Once we oganised ourselves, we departed the caravan park just after 10am and headed south towards the little town of Terowie. Not far out of Peterborough we stopped on the side of the road to take a photograph of one of the many derelict old farm buildings that are scattered around the countryside.
Then we continued on to Terowie, which at one stage was an important part of the northern railway system in the 1880's and also a supply centre for the grazing country to the north east and to the Broken Hill/Silvertown mining communities of the era. With the demise of the railways in 1970, Terowie was destined to become a ghost town, however some residents remained and have kept it going and restored some of the buildings until the tourist visits have improved their economy. It also has a paddock full of tin people at the approach to the town and a good number of houses that look like they would be available for purchase at pretty reasonable rates....
We then returned to Peterborough where we watched the Indian Pacific train rumble through the town without stopping, it appears it only stops if there is someone to get off or on the train. It is the only train that ever stops at anytime in Peterborough, all others, even the freight trains don't stop here.
At this time 'One of Us' was feeling rather hungry, so our next move was to the Railway Hotel where we were able to enjoy a meal of fish, chips and salad (Pam) and a real beef burger and chips (Wayne) for a total of $6.95 each. Obviously 'One of Us' ordered a glass of riesling to go with it as well.
From here we drove to the top of 'Tank Hill' lookout and took a photo or two of the town before heading to the 'Steamtown' railway display/museum.
Steamtown was once known as the Railway Workshops and has now become a collection of steam and diesel locomotives and numerous passenger carriages. It also includes the only three gauge turntable in the world. Due to liability risk, all visitors must be shown around the displays and we were fortunate enough to be escorted around by a woman who seemed to have an endless knowledge of the history of rail transport in the Northern area of South Australia. At $5 per head, this tour is well worth taking if you are in this area.
It was then time to return to the caravan and prepare for 'Happy Hour' and a meal of marinated porterhouse steak salad before a good night sleep. Tomorrow we head off from Peterborough and hope to spend a few days in Broken Hill exploring the sights and sounds of that area.
A much warmer start to this morning with the temperature showing at about 6 degrees around 7:45 am and the fact that there was no breeze to increase the chill factor. Not that we actually saw how cold it was any earlier than that.
We were all organised and packed up and were on the way out of the caravan park by 9:am. We turned east and headed out the Barrier Highway, at first traveling through farming country that looked a little parched for this time of the year. Between Oodla Wirra and Yunta the farming community gave away to pastoral leases and some rolling hills.
Only a very short distance after passing through Yunta we come across a number of trucks and vehicles stopped on the side of the road and as we came closer, we discovered there had been an accident and it appeared there were still two people in the vehicle that had obviously rolled over several times. As there was plenty of assistance at the scene already, we did not stop as we would have only become a nuisance and were certainly not needed at that time.
The country flattened out and we drove through kilometres where there were less trees than on the Nullabor Plain. This took us through Olary and on to Cockburn where we stopped briefly at the SA/NSW border for a couple of photographs to ensure we etch this event into posterity (or at least onto the computer hard drive).
Back on the road again we continued along flat featureless countryside for a good distance before climbing into the Thackarings Hills and watched the fuel gauge accelerate faster than the Patrol for a while until just before we arrived at Broken Hill.
We pulled into the Broken Hill Caravan Park at about 12:30pm and booked in on a grassed powered site for $22.50 per night. We booked for four nights with the option of an additional 2 nights if we feel it is necessary, and after looking at the booklet provided, we will need all of those days and maybe more to see all there is to see around the area.
After setting up the caravan, including the satellite TV in time for 'One of Us' to watch 'Fresh' on WIN television (Then Ready Steady Cook on local TV), we took a short drive into Broken Hill just to see what there was in the town before settling down for the rest of the day. Whilst in the town centre we pulled in to the Woolworths Service Station and filled up the Patrol, along with two 20 litre containers of diesel. This was at 140.9 cpl after the 4 cents of for a Woolworths docket. This sounds like a good discount, however after taking on 150 litres of diesel, we really only saved $6:00, still that is better in our pocket than theirs, particularly as we had already paid for the groceries that the docket referred to.
It was then time to head back to the caravan park for the afternoon to prepare the website and more importantly (according to 'One of Us') make sure we were ready for Happy Hour before 5pm.
|Thursady 3rd August 2006
We woke to a dilemma this morning, where would we start our sight seeing around the Broken Hill area. This was mulled over whilst we prepared for the day and eventually the decision was made to visit the Broken Hill Sculptures at the Living Desert.
We departed the caravan park at about 10am and drove our to the Living Desert which is a 24,000 hectare reserve that has a Flora and Fauna Sanctuary and the Sculpture Symposium on the top of the highest hill near Broken Hill. This required a drive of about nine or ten kilometres to get to the reserve and the payment of an entry fee of $10 per vehicle.
Although it is possible to obtain a key from the Information Centre that allows people to open a gate and drive to the top of the hill on which the sculpture Symposium is found, we chose to take the walk from the Living Desert car park. This sounded like a good idea at the time.....
We loaded up with the cameras and set off up the hill on foot and although it was about a twenty minute walk up a track that was fairly steep at times, it was well worth the walk as there were many photographic opportunities along the way.
Once at the top, we found ourselves with 360 degree views over the surrounding countryside, including Broken Hill in the distance. Standing up there with us were 12 stone sculptures that had been hand carved out of some very hard Wilcannia sandstone by seven sculptors from around the world. This was an undertaking made possible by the involvement of the Broken Hill Town Council and many local residents who donated the use of equipment for the project, particularly the old miners who gave the use of tungsten tipped tools when it was discovered that the rock was so hard that ordinary cold chisels made no impression on the rock at all. All the sculptures were hand carved by the artists over a six week period (well seven actually as it was so hard they took an extra week to do them.) in 1993.
After spending a while on top of the hill with the sculptures and the view over the countryside, it was time to return to the Patrol at the bottom of the hill, so off we went on the twenty minute return journey, arriving back there at about 12:15pm.
At this point in time 'One of Us' realised she had not eaten for a while and we didn't have any fresh bread, so the 'Other One' set course for the local Centro Shopping Centre where a loaf of bread cost us almost $100.00. Well it did by the time all the other things were put in the shopping basket and a visit to the bottle shop for a cask of white wine was completed!!! (alright there was a cask of red as well...) We then returned to the caravan park, arriving at about 1:30pm where we settled down for lunch and an afternoon of less strenuous activities, including 'One of Us' washing the floor of the caravan whilst the 'Other One' held his feet up off the floor and entered accounts into the MYOB accounting package and several other similar tasks. By the time this was all completed, it was a little too late to venture out sightseeing again,
Tomorrow we have to go through it all again, making a decision on what to see etc. but at this stage the favorite in these stakes is a visit to Silverton, but we feel we have taxed our legs and our brains enough for one day so it is time to relax even more until Happy Hour arrives.