It was a whirlwind few weeks before we left Tasmania to head off on a three month road trip to the north of the country.
My mother had her 90th birthday celebrations the week before we left and both our daughters, sons-in-law and grandsons came to celebrate this special occasion. We had a busy day washing and visiting the laundromat to dry stuff after they all left.
Our trip on the Spirit of Tasmania was the calmest I have ever experienced. There was almost no movement the whole night. Even so, I did not sleep well - I never do on the boat.
We headed to Greensborough to look after our little grandson Zachary as he had not been well when he visited us only days before. We were happy to spend the day with him and get lots of cuddles and help by keeping away from daycare for a few extra days.
Our day of departure we called in to see our other daughter Katie, to return a misplaced IPad from last week. It was great to have some last minute cuddles from little Otto.
Then we were off! We decided to go up the Calder Freeway towards Mildura and then across to Port Augusta to get us on the Stuart Highway. I saw my first solar farm on the way - big fans of solar panels that could swivel to catch the sun. We had a stop at Charlton for brunch and a swap of drivers, then off again to Mildura for a fill up of petrol. On the way there were so many wheat fields as far as the eye could see, and closer to Mildura there were so many vineyards all around.
Randall and I played our usual game of Spotto. We were looking for pods on top of cars, Tasmanian number plates, wind socks, emus, a motor home like ours, and Nova and New Age and Kimberly Caravans. Randall of course, being quite the smarty pants always wins - he’s the only man I know who can multitask! When I’m driving I’m only concentrating on the road!
Our first stop was 100 kilometres west of Mildura at a roadside stop. We had driven 650 kilometres so we were both glad of the break.We crossed the border into South Australia without too much hassle about fruit and vegetables. The girl that greeted us only took a few things. We told her most of the stuff was from Tassie, which has a fruit fly free status! From there we kept driving past heaps of fruit farms and vineyards as far as the eye could see! Renmark looked like such a lovely place - it is one for a return visit when we have more time. We put in another solid days driving, and arrived at Pimba near Woomera for our overnight stop. There weren't as many campers this time as we are a month later travelling. We watched a couple set up their camper trailer. There had obviously been a tiff as things were quite cool setting up, but in the morning the lady got a warm cuddle so things must have improved!
The sunrises and sunsets are amazing in the outback.
We headed up the highway towards Coober Pedy. We called in to the Information Centre to see what the road was like in to a place called The Breakaways. The was an old bloke standing outside asking for money - Randall the softie gave him a few dollars. We decided not to do the Breakaways in the end.
We went straight for the cheap fuel at the back of the town and filled up. It was significantly cheaper than the fuel outlets in the tourist part of town. We filled up with water - $1 for thirty litres! It had gone up a lot since 2015.
We drove on to a place called Marla for a rest break. Randall disappeared and then I found him chatting up a young police woman. He said he was checking the price of fuel! (He had a silly look on his face!)
From Marla we ended up at a place called Agnes Creek, where we stayed on June 2nd 2015. Then I'd woken up to my birthday. We were so glad we had our fly screen fixed for this trip - the flies made their first appearance here!
The sunrise here didn't disappoint.