Day 35 to 37 of our Big Trip of the Simpson and now the Flinders Ranges

Friday, Jul 31, 2015 at 10:22

Member - Matwil

DAY 35 Tuesday

Spent most of the morning with the truck and the people who were going to fix it at Port Augusta. The supplier of the bull bar had directed us to Auto Pro Port Augusta and they are fantastic. They went over the vehicle and detailed everything that had to be fixed, and then made the suggestions of what needed to be done now and what could wait till we got back home. The whole idea was to get us back on the road ASAP so we could continue our trip. This sounded fine with us. They immediately ordered all the parts they needed and arranged for express freight. By lunchtime all was agreed so we took off to see some of the sights of Port Augusta. We still had Clive as they couldn't start any work until the parts arrived. We booked our room at the caravan park till Friday morning and went back and unloaded all the stuff we needed. Tenting was out so we got a bunkroom with two bunks and moved in there. Really not more to report

DAY 36 Wednesday

We did some more exploring of Port and went out to the Arid Wild life park. It was very overcaste and blowing a gale, but we got to see interesting plants in the park. We also went and looked at all the lookouts (two) and a walk through the town. At midday we delivered Clive to the workshop and picked up a rent a car, so we would still be mobile.

DAY 37 Thursday
As we have now seen everything in Port Augusta we decided to do a round tour to Peterborough and the towns in between. We set off and went up St Germain Gorge. It is a steep windy road that takes you up to the top of the hills. A big bush fire went through here in January 2014 and the extent of the damage is still evident. It must have been a very hot fire as many old trees are dead and not showing any sign of life. Also many of the hills are covered grass trees that had been burnt to the ground. However, there are signs of them coming back. While it is a picture of black stumps now it will be a picture in a year or two.
Once we reach the top of the mountain the hills opened up to vaste expanses of farming land. They have had good rain in the area over the last couple of months and the country side is as green as it could be. Coupled with the wheat crops it is hard to believe you are in Australia as it is so green.
We passed through many small and dying country towns. But at least one pub in every one of them. What strikes you when you drive through these towns is the extent of Victorian Italianate stone houses dotted every where, many of them substantial in size. In previous generations this must have been a very rich area with a thriving rural economy.
We arrived in Peterborough a little after lunch, and it still is a major centre for the area. If you are a lover of steam there is a lot to see (if you are prepared to pay). We did a walk around the town and then set off to take some landscape photos. We passed through Orroroo, discussing how you would pronounce it. There is a huge Red Gum there that is 10.7 metres around its girth.

We then set off to find Hancock’s Lookout which looks over the Port Augusta area. A fabulous view. After the photos we set off back to the caravan park, to get a call from the repairers to say that Clive was almost ready, just waiting on a wheel alignment which would most probably be done in the morning.

I am sitting here on Friday morning writing this and waiting for the call. As soon as it comes we will pick up Clive, pack up and head off to Wilpenna Pound in the Flinders ranges where we will spend a week or so exploring. We may even now be able to get back to Innaminca, so fingers crossed.
Wanting to explore our vast wide land
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