Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Road Home

There is a small amount of relief when one makes the journey to and from the Red Centre relatively unscathed. Although the highway is in great condition,  the road is dotted with perilous reminders of how isolated things are.


About a dozen abandoned cars lay on the side of the road like this. It's not the sort of place you want to have a breakdown or run out of petrol.


You need to have a good sense of humour to live in these parts.


At least!


It's not everyday you see a "Camel Train" with about 100 Camels on board all destined for the export market.


And it is a bit disconcerting having to show identification before filling your car up with petrol. The Petrol stations in The Northern Territory only sell Opal Petrol - it's apparently less toxic when you sniff it (ahem!)


With Roadhouses/Petrol Stations 250km apart, I had to regularly pull over to the side of the road in the middle of nowhere to breastfeed baby Flynn. 


We did see some amazing wildlife - Emus, a Dingo, Kites and Wedge-tailed eagles feasting on the animals hit by the Roadtrains at night. It's extremely dangerous driving at night for fear of hitting cattle and other animals so ordinary cars are best driving during the daytime.


Needless to say, we were all thrilled to arrive back at the Coast. We stayed along the great Ocean Road  and the scenery was truly spectacular and a complete contrast to the hot and dusty conditions of the week before.



We fell in love with Port Fairy, the quaint and historic seaside town. There were walks on the beach in the morning with the rare colony of Shearwater who have travel here each year from Alaska.




There was an abundance of birdlife including this unusual bird that looked like a white owl. Does anyone know what it is?


We then moved on to Apollo Bay, stopping to see the "London Bridge" - that has unfortunately fallen down.


And "The 12 Apostles" although these too are no longer 12.


We arrived in Melbourne on Saturday just in time for the boys to see an Aussie Rules Football Game - Essendon vs Great Western Sydney while Eleanor and I (and Flynn) enjoyed a few hours of shopping and eating in the City. We finally boarded the Ferry for the overnight voyage back to "our Island" as the boys call it, and arrived back home on the most glorious Autumn day you could imagine. We picked up the Whippet and everyone was so excited to be home again after such a wonderful trip. We entered the gates of the farm and made our way up the windy driveway, when it suddenly became apparent that all was not as it should be on the home front...


But that is for a future less uplifting post!

21 comments :

  1. Oh no! Now you really have me wondering...sounds ominous.

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  2. It sounds like you had a wonderful holiday! I have really enjoyed "journeying along with you" through your photos. I'm a bit worried about that last sentence though. It doesn't sound promising.

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    1. Sorry for being so cryptic, everyone is fine, just some unpleasant things happened here while we were away and I just wanted to mention it in a separate post x

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  3. Hope everything and everyone's ok? xx

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  4. Oh dear. Life sometimes has such an annoying habit of bringing you back to earth with a thud.
    Your trip looks amazing! I remember crossing London Bridge and thinking I wouldn't like to be on it when it fell. I wonder if anyone saw it happen.

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  5. Oh Mel, I am so sorry to read that last line. Such a beautiful post though, I just love the photos... and the one of you feeding Flynn, with all the kids in shot, that's just gorgeous. The universe works in mysterious ways Mel, hope all sorts itself out for your little farm xoxo

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  6. Bet it was a joy to see the ocean after all the barrenness! The coastline looks stunning! :) x

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  7. Where do they export the camels to and what do they do to them I wonder.... Love that photo of you breastfeeding on the fallen down tree! Port Fairy is one of our favourite road trip destinations...we had a wonderful 10 days there last year however it was far too wet, windy and wild to walk on the beach...we spent most of our time in Rebecca's cafe! Rx

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    1. Romy, Port Fairy was just beautiful, loved every minute of it there.

      The Camels, sadly, were imported in the 1800's for transport purposes but numbers are now out of control and the herds of wild Camels are destroying the countryside so as an alternative to culling, they are primarily exported live to Saudi Arabia/Middle East for the meat market. I know!

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  8. I believe your white bird of prey is a grey goshawk, but of course I could be wrong. Fantastic pictures, and so my heart sunk reading your last line... I hope you've got it all sorted out. Bisous!

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  9. We have goshawks in the UK but that looks much bigger than ours! I love the pic of you feeding Flynn - I recently realised that I have barely any of me feeding my Sausages, and at 2 years 8 months I know he won't be feeding for much longer! Thanks for sharing, your vista is so different from my own.

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  10. I honey-mooned at Port Fairy :)

    My husband thinks the bird is either a black-shouldered kite or a grey goshawk - a bit hard to tell from that particular photo.

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  11. I've zoomed in as far as I can on this photo and fairly confident it's a black-shouldered kite. You can see some black on the shoulders but also the amount of black above the eye, the stocky body shape, the two tone grey/white from behind and the shade of grey all make me go for the kite over the goshawk. I've also only seen the white morph of the Grey Goshawk on the Great Ocean Road (the same type you could see at home in Tasmania). Apologies for the very bird nerdy answer.

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    1. Thank you! You are absolutely right - it is the Black-shouldered Kite. Stunning Bird! It's not the best photo for identification purposes. I have another photo here where it is flying off and you can clearly see the black on the wings exactly like the photos of a Black-Shouldered Kite I just googled. We have brown Goshawks here so I'm familiar with those and it does look similar to the Grey Goshawk pictures I just looked at too except the Goshawks beak is a lot pointier and sinister-looking. Many thanks to your Husband - it's very satisfying identifying birds :-)

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  12. Interesting pictures Mel. It sounds like a lovely holiday! I bet the Whippet was excited to see you all! xox

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  13. Looks like an amazing trip Mel, what great experience for your kids. Hope all is ok on the home front. mel x

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  15. Oh no....you're leaving us hanging!!! what happened when you got home? Well, besides that, you're trip does still look amazing. I did the road trip to Alice Springs when I was 15...and I remember how barren the country side is. Australia sure does have it's fair share of extremes from coast to dessert! Port Fairy looks wonderful. Kymmie (blogger at day in the life of us) is currently renovating her beach cottage in Port Fairy as her family fell in love with the place too...must put it on our "must visit" list! Have a wonderful week Mel xx

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  16. You have captured some beautiful photos of your trip. The landscape is amazing.
    Hope all has settled on the home front.

    x

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  17. Amazing photos, Mel, you've given us such a flavour of your magnificent country. I am now going straight to your next post to find out what happened next! xx

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