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  • Day39

    Into the Flinders Range

    November 28, 2017, Philippine Sea ⋅ 🌙 81 °F

    Sadly, our time in Barossa has come to an end and we moved on this morning from the lovely Louise. We knew this was to be a long drive and it certainly was, around 6hours with stops. There was little on the road and driving was easy. The temperature outside was over 90 by midday. Thank goodness for air conditioned cars! Initially we were in Grape country and this continued through the Clare Valley, famous for its Reisling. Here the climate is slightly cooler (not today) and the terroir more suited to the production of white white. We called into the town of Clare for a coffee and found a nice cafe. It was busy and not only with coffee drinkers, the two ladies on the next table ordered a chilled bottle of white and proceeded to get stuck in. It was only 11.30! We are clearly lightweights!!
    As we drove further north the landscape opened out and became gently undulating and agricultural. Mainly cereals are grown here and as it is harvest time down under, the Combine Harvesters were out in force. This is a breadbasket area. At one point the countryside was gold as far as the eye could see, which was many miles. Occasionally we would come across a small settlement or homestead, but by and large there was no one to be seen. Slightly eerie for people who struggle to find a quiet patch of road anywhere at home. The road began to climb almost imperceptibly and the landscape began to change. Trees came into view and gradually the predominance of agriculture started to wane. The soil took on a redder hue and sections of scrub started to appear amongst the fields. We had a late lunch stop at a place called Quorn, (no resemblance to Leicestershire whatsoever) which looked of a reasonable size on the map, but was smaller in actuality. We enquired at the Tourist office and were told there were two cafes down the road, so we set off in almost 100 degrees of heat to investigate. There they were on opposite street corners and there was no contest as to which to visit - Emily's Bistro won hands down! As we approached, we did begin to wonder what sort of establishment this was, as the windows were decked out like an old fashioned emporium and on entering, that is exactly what we found. It was extraordinary, a real time warp. The building was clearly of some importance when it was in its heyday in the 1920s and little has changed since. 'Emily' has furnished and decorated in a vintage and quirky manner, all the food was home made on the premises and I think you could say it was the find of the day. I have included some photos to give you an idea.
    The Flinders Range started to appear on the horizon and the ground became ever rougher and mountainous. We espied Kangaroos and Emus under the bushes and small trees, resting in the afternoon heat, apart from the one that decided to jump across the road, thankfully a little way ahead of us. It was then my job to keep my eyes peeled and warn the wary driver of any further incident possibilities! At last came the sign board for Rawnsley Park Station and we ventured down the track some couple of kilometres to our accommodation. We are again in an Eco Villa, made from straw bales coated on the exterior with a red earth coloured render. Minimal clearing of vegetation around the villas allows for clever blending in with the environment and the views of the Flinders Range are spectacular. Ceilings are high and the style is that of the old homesteads of the early settlers. The ceiling in the bedroom is glass and you can draw back the blinds to reveal the night sky, which is something we will try, when I'm not tapping away. Dinner tonight was taken in the Woolshed restaurant and was excellent. The driver had to run the gauntlet of multiple bands of Kangaroos. They were completely unphased, but I can't say that of my chauffeur! Our waiter was a young lad from Corby working his way around Australia, with his girlfriend. It could not be more different here to the steel town of the Midlands, or the flats of Norfolk come to that. We'll see what tomorrow brings.
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