--THE FINAL LEG OF THE ODYSSEY--
ALICE SPRINGS N.T. - HAWKER S.A.
Oh!, I nearly forgot to take a picture of this "signage" on Jeff's front door.. I thought that the cactus would have scared away anybody!
It is 8:30 am, time to head south. So I filled up the Hunter, the two Jerry cans, and say goodbye to the NSW people. I told them that I was driving straight "through" and going to my brothers place at Hawker, which is 103 km north of Port Augusta. Now, that is a total distance to travel of over 1300 Kms.. So I had better get on my way..9:30am sees me and my 660 leave "the Alice" and venture south. I decided that I would "put the boots" into the 660, and it responded accordingly.. I was doing 150Km p/h, and this guy in a Toyota 4wd "flew" past me!!
I sat up behind him for a while, and he was doing 96Mph at one time!! The distances between towns up here are certainly bought closer together when one can do what ever speed they wish.. It was excellent to give the 660 a "roost" I watched when I slowed down a bit, as the Toyota disappeared into the distance ahead of me!
AHHH .. I had a "pit stop" in the NT, then into SA I drove. I must remember that the maximum speed limit is now 110Km p/h, so no more "speeding".. Just as well, because about 20 km further south, a Police patrol was coming towards me.
Although it was early September, it was very warm.. ABC radio says "Coober Pedy 32c Today"... excellent with the window wound down as I approached the tell tale signs of opal mining..
I kept driving through Coober Pedy and snapped these pictures without stopping.
I just wondered why anyone would want to live out here in this absolutely barren, desolate, tree-less place.
It is that lure of becoming filthy rich if a piece of OPAL happens to land in your "lucky" lap................
Making VERY good progress, Hunter purring like a Kitten.. After 1,302 odd KM solid traveling, I arrive at my brothers house in Hawker at 10:35pm
Up early the next day, and off to see Wilpena Pound about 55km north of Hawker. I just love this place.. Rawnsley Bluff in the magnificent Flinders Ranges. I must have taken at least 50 pictures of this "little volcano" (Sugar Loaf Hill ) over my life time, and I just cannot recall it as being as green as it is now.
Saint Mary's Peak 1188m ASL
The dry creek bed of Morolana Creek.....Majestic ghost gums.....
Rawnsley Bluff, on the SE part of the Wilpena Pound............Morolana Creek again..
A few shots of one of the many dry creek beds.. Still cannot get over just how green it is.. Unbelievable really!
These two pictures are of the "ARKABA WOOLSHED", of which dates back to the earliest European settlement in this part of the Flinders Ranges
My Great-Great-Grandfather: John McRae worked here in 1857.He was a pioneer of this district. At the age of 14, he left Kintail in Scotland to emmigrate to Australia in 1836. Nice to see the "front gate" treatment. The Elder range features prominently in the back ground as the blue mountains in the LH pic. Mt Alek is the highest peak at 1122m ASL.
A very solid building standing the test of time.
And, what is more, There are some wildflowers in bloom.. Lots of wild hops, but not too much of the normally ubiquitous Salvation Jane.
The main highway from Hawker to Wilpena Pound, with the pound showing itself as fantastic blue mountains.
It was so enjoyable to see the Fantastic Flinders Ranges again.. I got a huge surprise to see it all nice and Green like this. Growing up here, I always remember it as hot, dry and Dusty. But never the less, A magical Beauty as anyone who has been here will testify. We are really blessed in Australia, as the country is so vast, dusty, snowy, green, windy, interesting, and just excellent.. HOW LUCKY WE ARE.
Whilst at Hawker, I continued on engraving this memorial stone in remembrance of my youngest brother, Unfortunately he passed away on the 3rd september 2002.
One year later, I was on this trip, and the other members of my family scattered his ashes as I climbed Ayres Rock.
I therefore dedicate the "odyssey" memories to my Brother, Andrew Stuart McRae- 23-4-68 >< 3-9-02
That is the End of my ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC holiday in my HUNTER 660 Royal.
I have traveled a total of 4,498 KM by the time I returned to my home at Kapunda.
In FEB. 2004, After procuring a blow out of the front RH tyre, I wrote this excellent car off. The chassis was bent about 75mm.
The damage looks superficial, but because of the bent n' twisted chassis, it was way to uneconomical to repair.
Waste of a great car.. I am lucky in several ways.. I am the proud owner of 2 more 660 Royals.
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Story, pictures and Webpages compiled by John F. McRae --GOODWOOD-- South Australia July 2005