Off the air – in the air – Outback

Despite having been on a rampage of posting over the last couple of days, I have been very post deficient this year, and last year. In fact, as I’ve talked about before, I’ve lost my blogging mojo since we moved – and to a lesser extent, my knitting mojo. Maybe it’s because I seem to be so busy – being retired!! A common complaint. But I’ve been retired much longer than I’ve lived here, so that really doesn’t wash. Whatever the reason, I’m pleased that it has returned for at least a little while.

Over the last three years we have been away a lot, but it never seems to make the blog. But this time, it has – I’ve been off the air because I’ve been outback – and to a much lesser extent in the air. We set out with some adventurous members of the local PROBUS club to visit lake Eyre and the Corner Country. First, the 14 hour train trip to Broken Hill which was surprisingly comfortable although the food bore an uncanny resemblance to airline food – but what the heck – that’s what the joys and memories of holidays are all about – the unexpected. And we had the unexpected!

We travelled with a company called Fringe of the Desert Tours and they used another company called Outback Experience Tours. On our first day out of Broken Hill we spent most of the day bogged up to the axles in mud – shades of my childhood. We used to travel in outback NSW with my father and I well remember dad getting rather excited because Mum revved the engine too much, splattering him with mud or sand, while he was trying to get a plank under the bogged wheel. In those days there were no mobile phones, satellite phones or two-way radios, no car fridges. We had a canvas bag of water hanging off the bumper bar at the front and that was the coolest you got. If you couldn’t get out of trouble, you just had to wait for someone to come along and offer to help – which everyone did. But it might be hours before that happened.

Ooops! The ground's a bit soft ....

Ooops! from the outside.

Deeper. ever deeper ...

I’m pleased to say that this bog was slightly different. After many efforts to tow the big 4 wheel drive bus out by the smaller 4 wheel drive bus, much digging ensued, which only seemed to drop the bus deeper into the bog. Fortunately a friendly farmer, called Nick, came to the rescue – but to no avail. After many hours of breaking any number of snatch straps, chains, ropes and whatever else could be found in the neighbouring farms,the bus was freed at last and arrived at our next destination, Blinman, at about 12 midnight.

Typical of country communities, the hotel owners had stayed up until the bus arrived to provide meals. Fortunately, for everyone, only a snack was needed.

In one of the waiting periods between getting fresh supplies of chains, Jingo, Dick and Simon, our drivers/guides had built a fire and produced a barbecue meal which they ate while the sun set.


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