The face of

Face 2

.. Lake Eyre (from the air), the great salt lake in outback South Australia. To me it looks like the fossil of a primeval beast with its face pointing upwards in the upper right corner

As old as time itself

Endure

Central Australia, Ayers Rock at sunrise. This scene has been seen by humans for more than 10 millennia and before that it’s existed since the dawn of time. An enduring scene if there ever was one.

For this week’s WP challenge, endurace.

tee at 4th

The texture of fairway and tee is a bit different on an outback golf course in comparison to the well groomed courses most golfers use.

Darke Peak golf course, tee off

This course is located in the middle of the wheat belt on Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.

The Challenge of Challenges

Sometimes it’s convenient to rely on the various challenges to get direction for a new post. As I do not really have a coherent theme for my blog, weekly challenges are very convenient. This week there’s wordpress weekly challenge: zigzag. Then we’ve got Ailsa’s travel theme: simplify. Sue’s word a week challenge is transport. See if I can get all this together in one post. To do so, lets go back to Cook in South Australia:

The Indian Pacific from Perth to Adelaide refuelling stop at Cook, SA

Hmm – difficult to pass as zigzag. In particular as the stretch of rail passing Cook is the longest straight stretch of rail in the world – 478 kilometers. I’m sure the railway engineers had ‘simplify’ in mind when they constructed this stretch. Transport any one?

The Indian Pacific from Perth to Adelaide refuelling stop at Cook, SA

But hey – there’s a bit of a zig here (alas no zag) in what looks as preparation for a new subdivision in Cook? Seriously, how many subdivisions do 5 people need??

The Indian Pacific from Perth to Adelaide refuelling stop at Cook, SA

 

I suppose that rail is merely the prerequisite for transport, so here it is, the Indian Pacific on the stop in Cook.

The Indian Pacific from Perth to Adelaide

Not only transport, but superior transport. Ever so nice to walk to the Outback Explorer Lounge to get a glass of one’s favorite tipple

The Indian Pacific from Perth to Adelaide

and then while away some time in congenial company.

The Indian Pacific from Perth to Adelaide

Ah, the zigzag, well here it is. As well as being documentary evidence that it was not over indulgence in the Lounge that made passing this car feel a bit wobbly. Ha!

Between Perth and Adelaide

Cook

The small railway settlement of Cook round abouts mid way between Perth and Adelaide, in the middle of the Nullarbor plain. ‘In the middle of nowhere’ is not an adequate description of the location of this place. The Indian Pacific makes a refuelling stop here and the passengers are let loose to explore the delights of this thriving community, the population of which is 5. On a good day. Once upon a time there were 200 here, a township complete with hospital, school and recreational facilities.

Cook sports ground

Cook sports ground

Passengers anxiously hovering around the train. Not a good place to be stranded.

Passengers anxiously hovering around the train. Not a good place to be stranded.

Room with a view

From Cowell to Darke Peak

Room with a view to rural South Australia, somewhere between Cowell and Cleve on Eyre Peninsula.

From Cowell to Darke Peak

The window is in the one and only room in the former Crossville school. It was operating from 1909 to 1946. Nearby is a ruin which I presume was the teacher’s house but it could also have been a farm house. It was, as I understand, common for the rural teachers to be lodged with a family on a local farm nearby the school house.

WordPress photo challenge: Room

A word a week challenge – Track

I’ve not done many ‘weekly challenges’ since I’ve been busy with life in general (and my own in particular). However, the evening is a bit slow, it’s December so it’s cold and dark outside. Blogger A Word In Your Ear has weekly challenges I follow now and then – without contributing myself. Until now. The weekly word is ‘track’ and after digging in the archives a bit I settled for an image of the railroad between Port Augusta and Leigh Creek in South Australia. I shot this photo in Parachilna, a now defunct pit stop for the railroad. As far as I know, it’s now only used to transport coal from the coal mine at Leigh Creek to the power station at Port Augusta.

tracks

 

Down Barrier Hwy

Time to get a bit closer to Adelaide, my point of departure from Australia. I took off from Broken Hill on the Barrier Highway (not much of a choice there). It’s a long drive. Sort of.

Barrier Highway close to Broken Hill

Barrier Highway close to Broken Hill

It’s quite interesting though. Although it is desert or semi desert for 300 odd km, it is certainly not without beauty. Some parts are simply outstanding in my humble opinion.

Landscape off Barrier Hwy

Landscape off Barrier Why

To connect to my project: since I took off pretty late from Broken Hill, I did not get that far before dusk and decided to stay overnight at Yunta, a township that was created when the railway used steam trains and needed to fill up with water every so often. The change to diesel took place some 30 – 40 years ago and at that time road transport had taken over the role of rail transport except for real heavy stuff going point to point, like ore. The townships survive for some, for me, inexplicable reason. But then, it provided me with accommodation. As the one and only guest one might add.

Yunta Hotel

Yunta Hotel

The First Smart Car (?) and more

I’m taking a few days off from my project and, symbolically, I’ve driven out of South Australia. I landed in Mildura, Victoria. Not a big hit, a blob of suburbia and motels. Sorry Mildura. Nicely situated on the Murray though. I proceeded post haste to NSW and Broken Hill. There I found what must surely be one of the first prototypes of the Smart for 2 car!

Smart car prototype?

Smart car prototype?

A bit away from Broken Hill, in Silverton, I found this fine museum! Alas, I cannot divulge the secrets of this fine museum since I could not bring myself to part with 7.5 dollars to peek inside.

Mad Max 2 Museum

Mad Max 2 Museum

On the way back to Broken Hill I found this. In spite of a fairly serious investigation I never figured out the benefit of a ticket purchase. Nor, I could add, where the elusive ticket was sold. Nope, the hut is not it. It’s a long time since the hut was anything actually, it sits on top of a railway siding. No train has passed for the last 40 odd years.

The Ticket Office

The Ticket Office

Just for the record: I do enjoy Broken Hill; it’s well worth a couple of days of one’s time.

The Amazing Unicyclist Heading Into The Outback

So I’ve left Eyre Peninsula and I’m now spending some days in Flinders Ranges and the Mid North of South Australia. I still live with my project and it’s just not possible to pack the camera away. I’ve used the Prairie Hotel in Parachilna as a base for a few days to explore the surrounding area. A nice base, and what’s more, the Prairie Hotel serves food that is divine! It’s a far cry from the usual uninspired PUB grub.

Last night, the Amazing Unicyclist and his team rocked up at the hotel and during a pleasant evening sitting in front of the hotel I got the story.

The Prairie Hotel

The Prairie Hotel

Samuel’s sister is dying from breast cancer. He is now riding around Australia on a unicycle, supported by his mates Nathan and Johnno to raise awareness and money for research. He’ll do 15000 km over one year! On a unicycle!

Samuel on the road on his unicycle

Samuel on the road on his unicycle

What a fantastic cause! I totally admire Samuel and his mates Nathan and Johnno in this quest. Follow them on their web site http://loveyoursister.org

They’ve got a facebook page too, search for loveyoursister, A few hits will come up, choose the non profit organization.

Unicyclist Support Vehicle

Unicyclist Support Vehicle

They travel through sparsely populated country with pretty harsh climate, so of course a decent support vehicle is needed.