Last night was freezing, the sun was out until around 830 and it didn’t get dark until 10pm, but the wind was so cold it was actually quite funny. I was wearing my hoodie and a picnic rug wrapped over my legs – I did make a comment to Lach that he should have packed a travel rug for our legs at night, but he quickly reminded me that he was the one that wanted to pack warmer clothes and I made him put them back away saying it wouldn’t be cold – how wrong was I?
We were going to only have a 350km drive today, to Kimba – which is half way across Australia. Lach did most of the packing up today, for some reason i was a bit slow getting up and having my tea in bed. The girls were in a great mood and singing and jumping around most of the morning before we left. Lach drove, whilst I was asked politely by Lach to do some research on which wineries we wanted to visit in Clare. I picked up the Clare brochure and started reading as well as using Google for the short period we would have reception. I noted which ones we wanted to see, using Audreys notepad, and then waited for the intermittent signal to call them to see whether the cellar doors, restaurants and tourist attractions would be open on New years eve, new years day or 2nd Jan. Some were and some weren’t. I also booked in our lunch on New Years Day at Skillogalee (which i went to for a work dinner in 2009 and i remember it to be beautiful setting, food and wine). Having managed to make all of the phone calls I wanted to make, I then planned out the wineries and sightseeing agenda for the following 3 days. Lach made a comment that he loves having me as co-pilot as i get everything organised.
About 15mins after i finished the agenda, we pulled into Kimba just before midday, paid for our site, drove into the site, took one look at each other, I picked up my phone did a quick calculation, we both agreed through silence, that we would push through to Burra – an additional 350km drive. The site was functional, more like a roadhouse on the Nullarbor, but not what we needed for a 6hour afternoon of entertainment. So whilst i made lunch, Lach sweet talked the girls about the additional toilet spent in the car would be a benefit to them, as there was absolutely nothing to do in Kimba, and that if we drove further, we would be able to stay in the same place for 3 nights and there would be a playground. There was also a well known Lach bribe included – chocolate after lunch.
We ate our lunch in the van, and then were back on the road within 30mins. We drove past the Big Galah as well as the signpost which marks the half-way point across Australia to take the tourist photos (however I didn’t check the camera settings or check the photo after I took it – so wrong setting and over exposed – so i needed to turn them into b/w so at least you get the jist), then we headed back on track to compete the final leg of the Eyre Highway towards Port Augusta.
The girls had some snacks and Fairy Tales and were happy. Coming into Port Augusta we came across our first traffic lights in probably over 3500km – was a weird feeling luckily they were green so we didn’t need to stop. Once through Augusta we actually saw a sign to Sydney. That was once again odd. There was also traffic and geriatric drivers. Lach has commented a few times that its weird being back in civilisation. We called up Burra to make sure they could fit us in for an additional night. As soon as we had that locked in, we immediately called the local famous Pizza place (which I had heard of from AGL people in Burra) called La Pechora Nera to book a table for tonight but to no avail – they are fully booked. They are closed the rest of our stay, so we will have to see if we can sweet talk our way in when we get there for an early sitting, or we will likely have a pub meal at one of the three pubs.
For the second leg of the journey today, after my organisational skills, I managed to start my new book which I now cant put down, but thought i should at least start the blog so there is less to complete tonight after a couple of wines. I hope we can walk into town from the caravan park, else Lach will be drinking and i will be designated, as he has done an awesome job of driving – massive day. 700km in total and nearly 7 hours of driving.
Driving into Burra along the Goyder Highway, Lach points out the windfarm in the distance to which my response is “that’s Hallett 2 windfarm, one of the ones I sold for AGL”. I hadn’t seen it from this angle before, it literally ran along the whole horizon. Beautiful. We then turned onto the RM Williams Highway – this surely needs some googling to find out why one of the most famous Australian outback clothing ranges has a highway named after him in SA. Just before arriving in Burra we drove literally alongside Hallett 2, where both Ava and Audrey loved looking at them so close. Ava’s two comments were “Wow that’s a lot of turbines” and “they look like people walking along and waving their arms”.
We arrived at the Burra Caravan Park, which was situated alongside the Burra Creek, and we have a beautiful view of the creek and nice and quiet – I think we have been put down this end of the park away from the rest as we have children…the girls had a play on their scooters whilst we set up the van, and then we headed into town for a pub dinner at the Royal Exchange Hotel where they have a children’s playground – not sure who had more fun on the equipment the girls or Lach. When the meals arrived, Audreys $8 spag bol was enough to feed an army. As Lach said “all of Audreys meals for the day in one”. The bowl was bigger than her head, but she loved it and did a good job of putting a great dent in the contents – didn’t finish it, but I don’t think i could either.
Back to the van at 730pm, a load of washing on, and the girls are asleep. Ready for a fantastic day tomorrow.