Days in the bush
Tuesday 3 December 2002
Path > Adelaide to Parachilna Gorge via Clare Spalding Hawker Wilpena Blinman in South Australia
For some reason I had been in Adelaide yesterday, but woke early this morning and returned to Clare to pack for the trip north.
Packing was fairly simple. Of course, my swag was already in the packed, so I just loaded my chair, a box of cooking stuff and went shopping for food before pointing the town car north towards the Flinders Ranges.
I was really looking forward to spending some time in Parachilna Gorge again ? listening to the birds playing in the trees, watching the sunset change the colours of the rock formations beside the creek bed and looking out for the kangaroos as they come down for a drink.
As usual, I chose the road less travelled and headed towards Spalding and Jamestown. The road is a bit bouncy, but there is hardly any traffic on it. The other hidden advantage is the road north of Carrieton to Hawker. This used to be dirt, but over the last few years they have completely sealed it with a smooth and quiet surface.
I found myself smiling as I cruised north. I had Triple J radio to listen to, the town car was singing its own song at about 110km/h and the sun was shining. Does it get any better?
Rejoining the main road at Hawker, I was amazed at the amount of traffic on the roads. There were people everywhere!
As a precaution, I filled up at Hawker. With the amount of people in the Flinders, I didn't want to rely on the fuel reserves further north.
With time on my side, I had planned to cruise through the Flinders Ranges to Blinman before heading west to Parachilna Gorge. The town car hadn't seen much in the way of dirt roads lately and it was time to reintroduce it...
I'd heard stories about the emus coming south because of the drought, but couldn't believe just how many were on the roads as I passed Wilpena. The hills were brown and bare and even the road was dustier than I have seen in all of my trips.
I stopped for a beer at Blinman to get out of the heat. I hadn't been here since the start of my travels a couple of years ago and it was all coming back to me.
The road to Parachilna Gorge showed signs of recent rains, with washouts on some of the hills.
Later, as I negotiated the twisty corners down to the creek crossings, I came across some water flowing. This increased the likelihood that I'd see some kangaroos around - hopefully not while I was driving!
I found the camp and caught up with everyone before settling in for the nice sunset through the gorge, relaxing with beers and entertaining the kids.
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