So long between blogs I didn’t realise. I have been putting bits & pieces on my Facebook site but neglecting here. Will amend!
We have been on a friends farm again north of Clare, SA after working in Mintaro for the winter. It’s been great to see the changes in the weather over the past couple of months – being from a humid Queensland background B loves the heat whereas I’m more happy with the cooler days, but at least it’s a dry heat. The garden on the farm is beautiful (have posted some pics) and is a credit to ‘C’ who has done a magnificent job over many years to produce such a joy to walk around. The serpents that live in the area in the summer do make it a hazardous duty to weed but that’s to be expected.
B has been in charge of artwork installations around the garden, welding & cementing in farm/artsy fartsy structures that ‘C’ has created. We also have an orphan calf who needs feeding twice a day as her Mumma went to Cow Heaven due to a brain disease.
Grain harvest has just finished here with not many dramas thank goodness (e.g fires – see drone pic) B & I had a day in the ‘Big Smoke’ and went to the Adelaide 4×4 Show to check out the latest in caravans and everything in relation to 4×4’s. It’s been 13 years since we’ve checked out vans and equipment – haven’t times & features changed! I thought it was quite ‘flash’ to have a little washing machine built in to the front of the van, now it’s a standard fitting!!
Christmas Day came & went. We enjoyed the company of friends for a big day of food, wine and snore-fest in the early evening!
In between we found ourselves a piece of land not far out of Clare! We do love this area of the Valley and had been looking for a long time and a block with a shed became available. It will be a place to ‘change over’ for trips as we still intend to travel as long as we’re able (especially in the cold winters) We have a few things lined up for 2018 which I’ll share in my next post…. hint – BRB!!!!
Have a safe & Happy New Year – bring on 2018!!
Day trip to Kadina market so had a drive on to Wallaroo Jetty
4×4 show – Mal Leyland
4×4 show – Love these Patriot Campers
Big C doing Bugger Dog
‘We can’t show you his face….’
Couple of Mummas having a dust up
Masses of cactus flowers
More cactus flowers…
Close up cactus flower
Foggy morning with a couple of calves
B feeding calf
Me feeding calf
Yes, more cactus flowers!
First Artichoke flower
Aerial of headers in paddock
Jeda keeping an eye on calves
Little orphan calf
Jeda…not sure what she’s thinking!
Mumma & calf in paddock behind our van
This Mumma not real happy about something
Visitors at gate near homestead
Baby orphan calf
Our new washing machine (our old one lasted 10yrs!)
Due to some things not working correctly we headed back to Geraldton for a week and stopped in a van park near town. Then we left and re-visited Cliff Head as we like this campsite. The weather beat us again so we left and went inland towards Eneabba again but camped at Lake Indoon. Found a lovely sheltered spot away from the day picnic area.
We spent our time taking walks around the lake and photographing heaps of orchids. We enjoyed cooking up feasts on our fire pig and I practiced my scone making. We only had a short time left on our ‘Sun Journey’ so we headed to the Wildflower areas we missed last year. Coorow Van Park was our next stay for a couple of nights. We took a drive to Carnamah, Three Springs and Perenjori. We headed towards the Rabbit Proof Fence Road to view more everlastings and they were magnificent. We went to a Talc Mine Lookout, Camel Soak (rock) and back via Latham to view more orchids and wreath flowers at a gravel pit nearby.
We had the Ford booked in for a repair in Perth so we headed to Bindoon again – did I mention they have a great Bakehaus!! After a couple of days we did a final run out to Wongan Hills (where we had a problem with van springs) then to Cadoux, Koorda & Bencubbin. We visited the Pergandes Sheep Yards (all made from granite slabs), Mt Marshall, Trayning, Kellerberin to Shackleton. It boasts the smallest bank in WA and Steves Sculptures. For the night we stopped at Kwolyin Camp, another new camp area with new amenities in a now obsolete town.
Then it was back to the wheatbelt farm to prepare for doing hay harvest and grain at end of September. Due to wet weather it has been delayed for a week, hence me catching up on our travels!
We arrived back in Clare early November and it felt like we’d never left. Jeda remembered the Kelpie Boys and the Lab and they were like old friends. It was straight into harvest – ‘B’ drove the ‘Chaser’ – collecting the grain from the Harvester as they go then depositing in silos in the paddocks. I did Domestic Diva type stuff as before, but the majority of the cooking was left up to the ‘Farmerette’ thank goodness. Whilst we were there friends visited who enjoy metal detecting as they travel so I had a go around the farm. Quite addictive once you find something! The thrill of finding an old relic, coin or piece of history is a bit of fun. I know a good number of Grey Nomads do gold detecting – that gold coin can help pay for your trip!
We house sat whilst the farm owners had Christmas with their family. We had a quiet festive day but didn’t forget to indulge in the prawns! We progressed to checking stock and water troughs so had fun on the quad bikes! Whilst there I was lavished with South Australian hospitality when I turned 50. Very spoilt with a flash dinner in the good dining room! NYE was a bust as ‘B’ came down with a man cold…need I say more!?
I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last blog! Time just flies when you’re enjoying the road. Haven’t been doing a lot of photography this year (must be having a block) just ‘happy snapping’ our travels.
I left off when we were in Whyalla SA getting repairs done after doing ‘the tracks’ and Birdsville. We then went to Arno Bay on the Eyre Peninsula for a week of fishing. Met up with some friends and enjoyed a week of squiding and fishing off the jetty. Then on to a free camp we’ve been to before, Cowley’s Beach with our friends. Only October but it got so cold, happy hour started early and finished late in front of a warming fire. Enjoyed Calamari in panko crumbs for lunch a few days (life can be tough!) and too soon it was time for us to return to Whyalla as ‘B’ was to have an op at the local hospital. I must say South Australia has brilliant medical services compared to Queensland. Within 2 weeks of fronting up to Whyalla Hospital ‘B’ had seen a specialist and was booked in for a non-major operation. In Queensland he’s still on the waiting list!!
After two weeks of recovery in Whyalla we were chomping at the bit to head off. We decided to meet same friends for a week at Haslam, on the west coast of Eyre Peninsula. We had already agreed to return to Clare Valley for ‘B’ to work Harvest for the same farm as he did seeding, so we had time to fill in. Only took 5 hours drive straight across and we arrived, set up and ready for Happy Hour!
We enjoyed big seafood cook ups in that week. Our friends had some Redclaw they shared, then we had calamari in garlic butter then flathead crumbed. Whilst at Haslam we heard from a lead for a house sitting job near Ceduna and because we weren’t that far away we decided to drive up to meet the prospective home owners. They live at Laura Bay, 20klms south of Ceduna. We met and loved the place as soon as we drove up the dirt track. It is in a Conservation Park, which was my only hesitation. But this will test our training with our Bluey, to keep her from wandering or eating baits.
Melbourne Cup fell whilst we were in Haslam and we had a BIG day. We invited surrounding caravanner’s for a BYO beverage and snacks lunch whilst watching the big race. The days got hot so we found the best place to cool off was under the jetty with a bev and good friends! Too soon it was time to head east back to the Clare Valley for that four letter word…. ‘work’!