Sunday, April 25, 2021

Out & Back from the Outback

The studio has been quiet for the past two weeks while Adrian & I went on a driving trip to the bush, so there is nothing 'stitchy' in this post.

The original plan had been a trip to Perth but because the summer season has been mild, the grape harvest was late, so we didn't get away early enough. Just as well, since we would have got caught up in a snap lock-down. 
Instead we went to some truly remote places in South Australia. 

We travel 'lightly' with the work ute getting converted to a camper with a rooftop tent. It may not be everyone's 'cup of tea' but I like it (as long as it is not too cold). 
We started off in the Gawler Ranges, easing ourselves into camping mode by staying in a visitor cabin on a friends sheep station for a couple of nights. The distances and space out there will never stop to amaze me. Kolendo station where we stayed covers a little more than 870km/square (approx 540 miles/square) south east of Lake Gairdner - a large salt lake. 

We spent a good day, exploring the station, climbing Mount Kolendo before heading out to the lake. 
We were so lucky with the weather that day. It had been cool and overcast all morning and the moment we got to the lake the sun came out and the lake looked like a blanket of ice in the middle of the bush.

It is massive! The little person to the right is me. Walking on this stuff is an odd feeling. It crunches like when you walk on ice, but at the same time is a little spongy and of course not slippery at all. 

We then headed into the Gawler Ranges National Park for a couple of days. More beautiful vastness, more walking, more spectacular views and incredible rocks. 

We seem to always climb up on everything LOL. Even when we go for a walk along a gorge we somehow end up on the top of the mountain - but those views... It makes it so worth it. 

It was basic living out there. The weather was stunning but even though the days are warm(ish) as soon as the sun sets it gets chilly so it was a good excuse to get a fire going in the evenings.

The weather was still sunny and mild so after nearly a week in the bush we decided a few days on the coast might be nice. 

The Southern Ocean was on its best behavior - strange to think next stop south of here is Antarctica...

The wind off the water was pretty icy so we found a sheltered bay to camp, fish and relax for a bit. 

We really had not planned a great deal before leaving. The only thing that we (Adrian) really wanted to do was to drive Goog's Track. I didn't know anything about this track, other than it is a 4WD track through the desert. A somewhat challenging and bumpy ride, you might say. 

Now I know, Goog's Track is 154km (96 miles) of sand track, through an arid semi desert landscape, crossing 360 sand dunes on the way. It is a pretty special place, empty and full of life at the same time (if that makes sense). 

Along the way are some rather incredible landmarks. Goog's Lake, another salt lake, where we saw plenty of bird life but were surprised by the number of different animal prints in the sand and on the lake. And in one spot a large slab of flat granite rises out of the sand in the middle of nowhere and forms a watering hole for native wildlife. 

No, I did not do any of the driving - only posing for the photographer LOL.

We have seen some incredible places in the last few weeks and been to places not many people get to go. I am so grateful to have experienced it and spent time in this vast wilderness.

Now it is 'back to normal' (whatever that means).
I was meant to fly to Perth on Tuesday. I was so excited to be heading out to teach, but sadly we have had to cancel the trip due to lock-down. It will be rescheduled but right now, I am just really disappointed. 

So what's next? I have a few ideas floating around, so hopefully I will have some embroidery to share with you all shortly.
Until then, stay well, stay safe and look after yourselves and each other.

Best Stitches,
Anna X