Sep 28, 2011

Quorn - BOG Muster - 29th Sept 2011

We have been camped at the Quorn Race Track with 60 other Bushtracker Owners for the past week attending the annual muster, each year it is held in a different part of Australia. We went to Jeparit in 2009 and just made the end of the Muster held at Herberton last year. This year Quorn and the Flinders Rangers was to be the site and an excellent choice it is.

We have caught up with many people we have met before and made many new acquaintances, most day's something has been organized but we all have plenty of time to do our own thing and explore the area surrounding Quorn. A few days ago G and V and ourselves drove to Hawker stopping along the way at Kanyacka Ruins. We had visited here previously but completely forgot that we had until arriving at the turn off, it certainly made us feel foolish but as things turn out there was the 'old shearing yards' that we didn't see last time which we did now, it also proves that we often explore over 'old' ground and always find something new.

Kanyacka Ruins

We drove on to Hawker where had lunch in the park and then headed back stopping in at a small old cemetery that was overgrown but still interesting. Back at Quorn Base the weather has been a mix of very cold days to stinking hot, two nights ago many were entertained by a Thunder & Lightening show, i missed it after putting in a late night and when the head hit the pillow i heard and saw nothing. One day G&V and ourselves drove to Dutchmans Stern which is on the road to Warren Gorge, it is renowned for having a great walk trail and spectacular views from the top. Vickie gave it her best effort and managed 2klms up the trail but her hay fever and difficulty breathing forced her to stop and rest and she decided to take her time and walk back down. G&V and myself continued on and effort was rewarded with the beautiful view. Of course going up meant coming back down so it was another 5klm walk back to the cars, my hip & body in general has been paying for the exercise since.

Dutchmans Stern

Yesterday the winds have picked up, a severe wind warning was put out with winds around 100kph expected so it was batten down the camp's. It was also the day for the demonstrations and Geoff & my Window screen replacement demo being last for the day was forgotten as BOG members ran around helping take down awnings. Unfortunately a large willy willy ripped through the camp damaging a few awnings and even blew one member over who was slightly hurt. Happy hour last night was held in the hall with entertainment provided by Nadine a local publican who gave us an insight into a person with split personalities, she needed an assistant and her eyes locked on me, i was quite relieved when someone called out Richards name who was sitting next to me and he foolishly got up ........ what happened after that was very funny as Richard was subjected to a cake making exercise with sexual overtones and the sticky flour eggs and liquid mixed up plastered over his thinning hair.

Storm Approaching

We awoke this morning after a windy blustery night, we are faced away from the direction of the wind and still have our awning out but tightly secured with many ropes. Laying in bed last night it sounded like everything was coming adrift but checking a few times all was secure and undamaged. With the Camp Oven Cook Off Day cancelled we went for a drive to Wilmington where we found the only cafe in town and had a coffee and morning tea, from there we visited an interesting shop that specialized in puppets and the more unusual of toys and gifts. A couple of small purchases for our Granddaughters later we drove onto Alligator Gorge which is part of the Mt Remarkable National Park, we chose to do two of the shorter walks one to the valley of the gorge which consisted of 227 steep steeps down and 227 back up plus a shorter walk to the look out. Both were interesting but to be honest we have seen far nicer.

Alligator Gorge

Sep 21, 2011

Adelaide - Quorn - 21st Sept 2011

With Vickie's eye operation over we have a Month of freedom before the next follow up appointment. Our 1st night after leaving Adelaide we spent at Port Parham, a place we had stayed at 6 years previously. Nothing much had changed except there were a few more campers this time, because we stopped early we were able to take a long walk along the beach and watch the 'locals' putting their boats in by using jinkers. These were a strange motorised contraption that towed the boat and trailer out into the deeper water, there they were left until the fishermen returned and did the same thing in reverse, towing the boats back to shore.

We had already organised to attend the Bushtracker Muster at Quorn on the 22nd of September and we had just over a week to fill in, our mates Geoff & Vickie were also coming to the muster and we arranged over the phone to meet at Fitzgerald Bay and spend a week camping before arriving at the Muster.

The wind was howling as we left and our original idea of heading to Whyalla started to look like it may not be a good idea being camped near the ocean. We instead headed inland towards Snowtown and the road to Quorn stopping at Stone Hut Bakery for a couple of the best wood fire cooked pie's in Australia. With lunch out of the way and the wind debating we changed minds again and phoned G&V telling them we were heading to Fitzgerald Bay after all.

We both arrived within 30 minutes of each other and after some initial confusion on my part working out just where they were, we hooked up and let the good times begin. The first day & night came and went with the usual lots of laughs we have when we get together, the 2nd night i wasn't feeling great with persistant pain in my back/hip/shoulder and we had a relatively early night. I was awoken by Vickie at 1.30 am who was in extreme pain with her stomach, after an hour of her in agony and being sick i decided to wake up Geoff and Vick and let them know i was taking her to Hospital.

The drive in at 2.30 am wasn't fun with the winds blowing ferociously and Vick moaning and groaning in the passenger seat. Arriving at Whyalla Hospital she was quickly taken in and given a bed in the emergency ward where she was given an examination and 3 injections. This settled her down and after an hour she fell fast asleep leaving me sitting in an uncomfortable chair awake for the rest of the night. At 8am we were told because the pain had subsided it was best for her to go to the Dr surgery herself. So an appointment for 9.15 was made and which we attended, the Dr and his assistant took over an hour in asking questions and an examination before determining she had a bladder infection or possible gall stone. She was given some antibiotics and pain relief and we returned to our friends at Fitzgerald Bay.

With the wind continuing to blow we decided to break camp and head to Warren Gorge 20klms north of Quorn, a place where many Bushtracker Owners had mentioned they were going to stay prior to the Muster. When we got there we were by ourselves and made claim to a lovely camp site overlooking the beautiful hills of the gorge.

The next day G and V and myself walked the scenic route around the gorge which was very nice, Vickie stayed back at camp and while we were away some BT friends called in telling her to come on into Quorn as the race course was starting to fill up already with 2 days still to go before the 'official' starting date. Hearing that when we arrived back from our walk we broke camp and heading into Quorn.

We are into our 2nd night here and we have just arrived back to the Van after having an enjoyable time around one of the many camp fires. It is lovely catching up with many of the people we have met before either out on the 'roads' or at previous musters. With the 1st day really starting tomorrow we have the next 10 days to look forward to enjoying ourselves providing Vickie doesn't come down with any other mystery illness.

Sep 9, 2011

Adelaide Update - 9th August 2011

Finally the day came around for Vickie to have her eye surgery, she wasn't scheduled in until 4pm and the day dragged. A week prior she had another injection into the eye to stabilise and shrink the blood vessels, the Op was to hopefully fix the problem once and for all.

Vickie was very brave and kept her nerves under control, the Op was performed under local anaesthetic and she was aware of all what was happening around her. Within 30 minutes or so it was all over and her Dr is confident that it will be a success, he has told her to expect to need cataract surgery within 6 - 18 months though, one of the side effects of the operation.

She followed up with an appointment the next day and has to be seen again in one week and then a months time, by then we are hoping that she has regained some vision in her eye.

Other than that we have been kept busy house hunting with our youngest daughter Erin and her partner Scott, we must have looked at dozens of property's and hundreds more on the Internet. Finally they found one that ticked all the boxes, a very nicely renovated older style home close to the CBD of Adelaide. With finance pre approved all should proceed along without any hiccups for the settlement in early October. We haven't missed out either with room for the Caravan when we visit.

Today i went and visited the Birdwood Motor Museum, i was very pleasantly surprised in just how interesting it was, a reasonable admission fee of $9 per adult and many displays of motor vehicles & motor bikes from all era's. With hardly anyone else about i spent a relaxing 4 hours checking out all the displays. One thing i didn't find out and that was the total value, I'd imagine it would be many millions of dollars.

One warning to all our followers, make sure you wear your safety Belts whilst driving, i witnessed a vehicle coming to a sudden stop with both occupants being thrown out, luckily neither were injured .... well if they did they didn't complain :-)