Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ron's 'blog'

I got to spend some quality time with my Nan earlier this year around the time of my brothers wedding. She spent a night on my couch before and after our flights up to Noosa and back, which gave us a bit of extra time together outside of the business of the wedding celebrations.

My Nan did a lot of traveling with her late husband, Ron (to us grand-kids, they weren't two individuals, but one entity known as "Nan'n'Ron" -it took me years to realise it was just their names!), He was one of those guys who had an amazing life which you could write a hundred books out of. He actually ran away to join the circus when he was a kid, he spent time as a traveling bore-digger, with his wife and children in tow in a converted bus and caravan. He was a speedway champ, a horse broker... you name it...

In his later years, when he met and married Nan, he just loved to get in their Kombi and hit the road. They went some amazing places and saw some incredible things, again, contents for another book (or two... or three...). What I was surprised to learn, through some of the deep conversations with Nan, was that he kept a journal. I was surprised because Ron never struck me as the journalling kind of guy, but I wasn't too surprised by his approach. Ron was never a long winded bloke, and his travels diaries reflected this, eg: "March 3rd, Thursday, Saw a fox."

You might laugh (I did!) but Nan said that those little jotted notes served as great reminders when they went back through them and reminisced. It kind of makes me a bit embarrassed about just how waffley I often get... maybe I should take a lesson from Ron... next trip you might get a lot of "Friday, it's hot, cooked potatoes"

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Amazing what one night away can do!

I'm just on my way home from Moonta Bay and about to get back to work on repairs to Mums house. For some reason, the thought of overnight trips make me feel a lot more anxious than the thought of a longer journey. Maybe that's because for some reason I feel I have to fit a weeks worth of holiday into one night! This little getaway was a real eye opener for me.

I left Mums late morning yesterday, took my time sauntering up the coast and across York Peninsula to stop in on my Aunt Necia for an afternoon coffee. My goal for the night away was simple: catch up with Necia, give her a copy of some photo's from my brothers wedding she was unable to attend, find somewhere near the beach to spend the night, shoot off at the very least one roll of film (in 6x12 format, that's only six photo's, not a big ask really). After I'd had a good catchup with Necia and passed on the photos from my brothers wedding, I politely declined a bed for the night and headed down to the Jetty at Port Hughes... promising I'd be back for a morning coffee before heading off, of course!

In the end, the trip turned out to be everything I needed, and nothing more, which is fantastic. A good nights sleep, an early rise, burning of a roll of panoramic film and half a dozen or so sheets of 4x5 before sunrise, another catchup with Necia, and a leisurely trip home. I also managed to squeeze in finding a good number of caches along the way, which is just a bonus.

Right now I'm about half an hour from Mums, I've stopped to photograph a ruin of a beautiful old farm house... and make a cuppa while I'm at it. I feel refreshed and revived, even though I've only been away for a little over 24 hours. It's a good lesson for me I think, I've learned that my need to get away isn't necesarilly a need for a month in the outback, at least not every time. I've learned that heading off just for a night away can do just as much good as a longer trip, as long as I don't put the expectations of a long trip on it. Have one or two core objectives, one destination. Anthing more is a bonus, but not an expectation. Hopefully this will help me to get out more often, knowing that I don't have to make an epic journey of it.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Time for a break!

I've been working hard here at Mum's for the past week and a half, I'm pretty happy with the work I've managed to get done so far, so I think I deserve a little break. Surprisingly, here in the beautiful Barossa Valley, I only pulled my camera out for the first time this afternoon when I took a quick drive down to a nearby river crossing that has a nice, 'outback-ey' feel to it. I only shot one sheet, but at the very least, it started to get me feeling a little artistic again.

So, after I mould-proof the half of the deck that I've pressure cleaned (yes, 'half', it's a big deck!) I'm going to leave my right hand man here with his Grandma and head to Moonta Bay. I've got an Aunt living up there, so I'll pop in and say G'day to her then head off to find a good spot on the beach to camp. I just hope I can manage to get up before dawn to catch some of the nice light. I'm pretty stuffed, and I always seem to sleep so well in Red, much better than in a 'real' bed, so hopefully I'll manage to get up early!

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Taking the Coorong Road

Dang... I wrote a great post here, but it all disappeared when I uploaded it! Ok, I'll just sum up:

After leaving Alvie I trundled down towards Warrnambool then to Mt Gambier. Used some free Maccas Wi-Fi to Skype home, then went off in search of a quiet place to spend the night. Melbourne to Adelaide is really only a one day trip, but I like to take it slow and have a sleep along the way. Zeke & I ended up finding a neat roadside rest spot just past Mt Gambier, plenty of space to get off the road and park in one of a few little cutaways in the scrub.

This morning we got up a little after sunrise and pushed on. We stopped at the surf beach just outside of Beachport for Zeke to have a good old run around. As much as he loves chilling out and watching the scenery go by, we loves to get out and stretch his legs whenever there's an open space.

The rest of the trip was fairly uneventful, we stopped at Kingston to make breakfast and uncover another couple of caches. The Coorong road is good fun, if not a little strange. it's lined with odd looking trees with one side completely flat, like someone's driven along with a hedge cutter... except they're a good couple meters back from the road. We had good fun driving along, trying to spot Mr Percible and imagining filming our own version of Alby Mangles adventures in there!

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Alvie - Home of the volcano

I actually only found out about this little town a few weeks ago when visiting our friends up in Landsborough. Chris told me about this cute little town with an amazing lookout that overlooked little water-holes which are, in fact, old volcanic craters! Wow! I (like probably every other kid) have had a fascination with volcanoes since primary school science, so a 12Km detour off the main road was absolutely nothing to go check this out. Sadly though, I was a bit disappointed. It's my own fault, I let my imagination run away and picture an amazing landscape with pock-marked paddocks for as far as the eye can see... when in reality, there was only a couple craters. Don't get me wrong, they still make for a very interesting site, and if you sit there and use your imagination, you can really get a feel for what the place was once like.

It's still a cool place to visit, up there on Red Rock Lookout, just not what my overactive imagination had built it up to be! Oh well, back to the road...

ps, We indulge ourselves in a little Geocaching now and then, and we've been having a bit of a run of bad luck lately. One good thing I can say about Alvie, that dry spell is over!

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