Best Western – part 4

I dig out the fire pit, as their is still a stiff breeze coming off the ocean. Hopefully this will give the fire a chance to get going and not burn too quickly once set.

Watching nesting seagulls giving the local sea eagle a hell of a hard time, as it tries to find its dinner.

 

So there I am, adding hats and layers. Sat on a cold bit of coast nursing a fire ready to cook tonight’s dinner, and I think I’m finally in the groove. Two weeks away from home and looking to head back that way in the next couple of days and I finally get a feeling like I could stay out here and just keep doing this. Maybe that’s what it takes to divorce you from ‘normal life’. Anyway, I am glad and I embrace it. This won’t be the last time I go through this.

I have been saving my last copy of Evo magazine for this trip. So I sit reading that while waiting for the fire to burn down to coals. Getting close now, time to redeem myself with the dutch oven.

Happy with that. Finished off with ‘Hunter Sauce’ (an old army favourite. Hunt around, see what you can find…).

Onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, white wine, pinch of curry powder, creme fraiche and parsley. Good hunter!

A fitting finish to our last night in the wilds.


 

 

Our last morning of bush camping and we are treated to the most vividly colourful sunrise I have seen in a mighty long time.

 

Interesting how in in a matter of maybe one or two minutes, the intensity of the colours dim.

 

Native orchid. Found in the bush near our camp.

This seems an appropriate send off, having mostly endured overcast skies, windy blustery conditions and grey ‘English’ weather for a lot of this trip. Complaining I am not, it just reinforces how lucky we are with the weather in South Australia the vast majority of the time. In fact, for maybe the first time I seriously doubt I could go back to a cold climate. I’ve always quite liked the idea of living in a cold climate again for a while, just using the excuse that N wouldn’t enjoy it. Now I am not so sure, I think I’ve been spoilt by too many years in Australia. Or maybe I should just stop taking all the great things about my life for granted, it is easy to do that if you don’t wake yourself up to it every now and then…

Anyway, who am I to complain about a few dull days, when friends in other parts of the world are having proper problems with the weather.
We break camp quickly, just a quick coffee and then pack up. I double check the truck, tyres especially after yesterday’s shenanigans, and we will be doing some k’s today. Again we’ve lost track of what day it is and curse our city mentality vs country reality that very little is open at the weekend and especially on a Sunday, somehow we manage to survive…
Taking the drive out easy and stopping at a few places we have just blasted past before. Cowell, nice quaint little town, make a good stay for a couple of nights another time. Then into the ‘rust belt’ of SA, more mines visible from the highway, appropriately macho names like Iron Baron and Iron Duke. Into the steel producing town of Whyalla, not much for tourists on a Sunday it would seem, but we’ve never stopped before, so now we know.

Onto Port Augusta, we detour to check out the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden. Worth stopping on your way back from a trip, as then you can identify all the cool things you’ve spied while being out there.

 

Creme brûlée?

 

 

We fuel up for the final time, but we can’t quite bring ourselves to head home quite yet.

 

We hang a right (east) off the highway, through the Flinders Ranges and pop out at Wilmington then onto Melrose for a couple of nights. Definitely my favourite town in the Flinders Ranges. Although, I haven’t actually spent much time there. Normally either hiking Mt Remarkable NP or stopping off on my way somewhere else. The sun is back out again so it seems a choice opportunity to spend a couple of nights here as a civilised wind down, before heading home. Dinner at the pub, a story on the news about a car falling off the cliffs near Streaky Bay, where we were just a few days ago. Promoted a chat with a chap in the pub on his way out to help ‘his lads’ with that situation, and a general discussion about staying well away from cliff edges, especially with a 3 ton vehicle (“If you fly along that coast in a chopper you can see not only are the cliffs badly undercut but many have really big cracks in them too” having driven many coastal trails this I had already figured for myself, but good to know one wasn’t being overly cautious) ‘his lads’ were the police as it turns out.

A final day spent slumming around the campsite. Hiking a few local trails, reading and writing. Having a few drinks and cooking up a weird concoction of what is left in the fridge.

 

Spelling, punctuation and shit matters…

 

Melrose is a mountain biking destination. A lot of the trails look a bit too much for me, but this looks like single track heaven.

Again, England?

 


Eventually the time came to turn the truck back towards home, only a short three hour drive this morning. Funny thing happened when we got home, as we are emptying the fridge and a few other bits and bobs out of the truck. The dogs keep running back towards it. Normally there are pretty pleased to get home, but this time it seems they were fully adapted to living on the road, and actively campaign for the next couple of days to just get in the truck and go again. If only it was that simple…

Thanks for reading, I appreciate everyone who takes the time to share in these (lengthy!) adventures.
Till next time.

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