Being an early riser, I was up and ready to start the day at 6am – a characteristic that Ava seems to have inherited from me. Trying not to wake the rest of the caravan, I suggested to Ava that we head to the petrol station to fill up the car and check the air in the tyres. Caroline and I may have mentioned this in past posts, it seems that Ava and Audrey ‘need’ some alone time from each other. The only issue is that when Ava is doing something with daddy or mummy, Audrey wants to join in!
When trying to sneak out, Audrey stirred, sat upright in bed and said “I want to come too” – not knowing what was on the agenda. Ava wouldn’t have Audrey joining her on one on one time with daddy, so Ava decided to stay with Caroline while Audrey joined me.
On our return to the caravan park, we headed out for breakfast as a family to one of the best rated cafes in Broken Hill, according to the tried and tested BeanHunter App, The Silly Goat, a cafe that had been recommended by John and Sarah, whom we had dinner with the previous night, and Dave at the Solar Plant. Expectations were high. To save time, we left the van at the caravan park and headed into town.
We arrived at 7.30am, opening time for the cafe. There was already a hum of caffeine addicts, leaving the shop with biodegradable coffee cups in hand. Only one other table was taken in the joint – not always a good sign, but within 15-20 minutes the cafe was full. Ready to serve breakfast for approximately 40 patrons. Caroline and I thoroughly enjoyed our barista made coffees. Audrey smashed the salmon from her smoked salmon and eggs, Caroline consumed a fair portion of her eggs benedict with smoked salmon, Ava pushed her spoon around the toasted muesli with fruit, while I looked at the smallest dish that had been served on the table – a small but delectable bacon and egg roll. As the girls didn’t eat all of their meals, I ended up finishing off most of Ava and Audrey’s food! We all left the cafe totally satisfied with full bellies! We returned to the caravan park, picked up the van and commenced our trip to Rawnsley Park Station – a caravan park at the base of the Flinders Rangers.
As can be expected from my darling, meticulously planned wife (who is running an excel spreadsheet of petrol and wine consumption as I write this post) she was prepared for the fruit and vegetable quarantine for crossing in the form of snacks – carrot, celery and cucumber sticks, 5 bananas and a chopped up orange – all which had to be eaten in a two hour period. Did I mention that we all had an enormous breakfast!
We all performed extremely well in consuming the remainder of our fruit and vegetables. Audrey, who has already acclimatised to trailer park life, after munching a banana in a flash calls out to Caroline and says “Mummy, open the window – I want to chuck the skin out”! Shortly after this outburst, Audrey continued to entertain us all whilst eating a packet of popcorn. “I want a poo! I want a poo! But I want to finish my popcorn first!!” My dear parents and parents-in-law – I am eternally sorry! It seems the trailer park life is bringing out the inner bogan in Audrey! With any luck when she starts Arden next year, they may have to perform a ‘bogan exorcism’ and release the inner bogan devil!
Fruit and Vegetable goal smashed!! Unlike other drivers in front of us, whom handed over a bounty of fruit and vege to the Quarantine Officer, the only thing that we handed over were the banana skins. Triumphant, we continued on our trip to the Flinders Rangers.
Like most of our trips, believe it or not the journey is over in the blink of an eye. Passing through arid farming areas, spotting the ‘Bushy Bottoms’, seeing perfectly rolled ‘hay bail splifs’ dotting the horizon and passing through a myriad of small country towns seems to be our daily norm.
The only things that differentiate our days are spotting different animals, or playing our favourite daily game of “what is that roadkill?”. After five hours of continuous eye blinking, we arrived at camp, set up and explored the site.
Shortly after setting up, our neighbours returned from their adventure with two young boys and a three year old girl named Ruby. Ava and Audrey were in heaven. Another playmate to entertain them. Drawing, playing with babies/dollies and making a tent out of the outside table was on the cards. During this time it was obvious that due to the similarity in age of Ruby and Audrey, it was easier for them to play together – leaving Ava sitting patiently on the side line. Ava bravely made attempts to befriend the the other neighbouring family, walking over to their tent (after asking mummy for permission) and introducing herself – to no avail. We are still learning the etiquette in caravan parks. Some families/people are quite open to having conversations, while others want to remain within their family unit. Unfortunately for Ava, this upset her and the only way she could retaliate (and project her hurt) was by wanting some alone time from Audrey – the little sister whom absolutely ADORES and IDOLISES her bigger sister!
We headed for a swim in the pool within the grounds of the caravan park – in an attempt to lower our body temperatures. While the day hadn’t been as hot as what we experienced in Tibooburra, a scorching 37 degree day, the area is quite remote, the sun was beaming down on our backs and you definitely feel the heat. I am pleased to say that all four Beatties entered the pool and felt immediately refreshed.
Returning to the caravan to get changed and get ready for dinner, it was evident that Ava was still upset about not having people her own age to play with. Ava was adamant for some ‘alone time’ from Audrey – a sentiment that while I understand, it does also break my heart a little. After eating dinner, I took Audrey for a play on the swings and a walk around the property while Caroline gave Ava a moisturising session and pedicure in the van. Audrey and I returned from our walk and the air between the two had only settled slightly. Before putting the girls to bed, I promised Ava in the morning that I would take her with me for some special time with daddy – her smile was enough for me to know that while the girls love each other dearly, we need to make sure they have their time apart.
Sitting down now outside the van, three mozzie coils around me to provide me with a halo of protection while Caroline sits outside the camp kitchen approximately 30 metres from where I am sitting now – the only place here with reception. Fortunately for me I was left with the wine bottle while she took a glass. A lovely vineyard called Short Sheep, the wine, a 2013 Reserve Du Patron. A fantastic drop that is best described as a ‘couples’ wine. Caroline ideally loves Mornington Pinot’s while I love my Barossa Shiraz. This wine, is like a marriage. A compromise. A blend of both grapes, best shared with the one I love.Sorry for the soppy ending – must have been an after effect of the Supermoon!
The plan as it currently stands, is to stay here for two nights (which may extend to three). Enjoy the area, see Wilpena Pound and explore the remainder of the Flinders Rangers – at a leisurely pace!!