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Road Trips, Vets and WaWa Walks

I still miss that little face

I still miss that little face

It is two years  since The Man died and I still miss him. Oh,  I love my Benji; he and I go  off on our own as often as we can and I wouldn’t part with him for the world. Still,  I miss The Man and he is never very far from my thoughts. And before it is suggested, Benji is not a substitute, he is his own, with his own quirks and his own character. They are two very different dogs.

I drove out to Iron Baron yesterday with the Benji.   The road out to the Baron is in much better condition than the Iron Knob road. Of course, much of the road  is along the Lincoln Highway before the Kimba / Iron Baron  turn-off, But then Kimba is an important  farming town so the road is kept in good condition. As I said the other day, there is nothing left of the Baron – almost no trace that it ever existed. I did some presentations and training sessions at the Community Hall many years ago and I couldn’t even find where the Hall used to be.

Today was the day (Tuesday) that we had to take the WaWa to the vet. Ok – First catch WaWa / second, clean up blood and bandage fingers. —  Well, actually no :o)  I was given medication by the

Benji and the WaWa Walk around the block

Benji and the WaWa
Walk around the block

Vet last week and half a tablet calmed her down and  we were able to get her into the carrier and up to the Vet. Her nails were clipped and she had her booster injections. She was really very good. We came back home and I decided to chance my luck and got a leash on her. It was a struggle and even although medicated, she resisted, but I got Benji and between us we got her out the door. A lesser struggle and out to the driveway and from there it was slow, but then she was walking quite the thing alongside Benji.  It was a short walk but fun and at times she took the lead.  I was overjoyed and I hope we can do this again. I would like the three of us to be able to go out on a road trip. Annabell, like me, likes the WaWa, and we would not be too unhappy if the owner does not return and the  dog becomes ours.  BUT she would have to be socialised  and we would have to stop her  attacking Benji. At the moment we have been reluctant to do anything because she is not our dog, but that could change.  The ideal thing would be for her real owner to return but considering the  problems with unemployment, large companies moving out of South Australia and the uncertainty  with Arrium, I really do not see this happening for some time – if at all.   On the other hand, there is a South Korean tender in to buy Arrium, so that might have a bit of a bearing.  Got a leash on the WaWa again tonight and took her for a longer walk  this time. She again was very good, so perhaps this is what she has been needing and I may have to cut down on the distance I take Benji to accommodate the WaWa. The Vet  has a partner and his name now appears on the outside Wall Shingle. He’s very good and it was this new Vet that saw to the WaWa – he was really good with her. I held her  while he cut her nails and gave her injections. He is a younger man, much younger than Mustafa and it may well be that this is what the practice needs to recover from being closed down for the best part of three months. I think most of them went to the lady Vet, as I did for two consults and I can confirm that she is very nice and was really good with Benji. But our own Vet is back and that’s where we need to be.

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Wednesday

Sorry, could you repeat that??

Sorry, could you repeat that??

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Casablanca, Benji and a Road Trip.

The temperature over the last few days has started to climb a little and today (Wednesday) was 38c However it is not expected to get too hot for the next few days and  over the weekend. That being so, we might actually be able to get out.  Wherever we go out of town it is a long drive. I had thought of going to Quorn in the Flinders Ranges, which is about 120klm from here. In the other direction there is a drive to Cowell  which is about 110 klm and a direct road. The disadvantage  of Cowell is that there is really nothing to see on the drive down there, whereas the drive to Quorn means going through the Pichi Richi Pass and Woolshed Flats which are both interesting. However, we will not be going anywhere until this weather calms down.

The Royal Palace at Casablanca

The Royal Palace at Casablanca

My top three movies are: – 3. A man for All Seasons.  2. The Man who would be King. 1. Casablanca. As John was growing up he would sit on the couch with me and we would watch Casablanca together. Of course, as he got older he understood that Rick’s Cafe was  simply a studio set in Hollywood. However, in Casablanca, Morocco there is a Rick’s Cafe – opened in 2004 and based on the movie fame – and he was quite excited when the tour of Morocco included lunch at Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca. However, when they got there it was Ramadan, so no Rick’s. However the King of Morocco had decreed that during Ramadan all Muslim owned businesses must close but non-Muslim owned businesses may remain open with limited hours – so his tour group had lunch – at McDonalds. Fourteen thousand miles to have a Big Mac!!  He was not impressed, but we (Annabell
and I) unkindly thought it was hilarious.  They didn’t even go to Rick’s so there are no photographs. To say he was disappointed is an understatement but, he got over it and really enjoyed the tour of Morocco and the Tea Ceremony they went to. He also sent me a photograph which I showed to

Oh! is that Gibraltar?

Oh! is that Gibraltar?

Annabell. She said it was a good photograph of John. A few minutes later I showed her the photograph and she said it was a good photograph of John. A few minutes later I showed her the photograph and she was slightly irritated and said that she had said twice already that it was a good photograph of John. So I very gently asked “I wonder what that is over his right shoulder?”  “Oh – is that Gibraltar? ” “Yes dear, that’s Gibraltar”

We didn’t go for a picnic but we did go for a drive around the  area. We were away a couple of hours and I thought what’s not to like – Lovely (tad warm) day,  the car, me, my dog and Sinatra.

The weather forecast for next week looks interesting so we should be able to get out somewhere. This morning ( Saturday) I took the dog out for his morning walk and just about froze — gollleee – it was cold and the summer jacket I had on was a waste of time as the wind cut right through it –  one and three-quarter mile and  every foot of had me thinking  “I should have gone back to bed this morning”  I mean,  I get up and get dressed and out we go at 5:40am and the only time we don’t go out is if it’s raining. I look forward to coffee when I get back from our walk – he gets his treat I gets me coffee!

Iron Knob Mine

Iron Knob Mine

Being a nice afternoon I  decided to take Benji out for a bit of a drive. We drove out to Iron Knob a mining area about 55klm, north-west of here.  Once upon a time it was a thriving community of 3000 people  but those days are  gone and it has a population of less than 200.  The town – what’s left of it – is very run down. Most of the shops are closed, the school is closed, the pub is gone and the only Petrol (Gas) Station  is closed and overgrown with weeds. Its sister town – not too far away – Iron Baron – again a once thriving mining community has completely gone; there’s nothing left of that. Beyond Iron Knob there were several pastoral  areas, but our government seized them in compulsory purchase and made them  part of the extended army play-pen. When we set out I foolishly  thought that there would at least be one shop still open. The Inter-state Highway – National Highway 1 – passes across the top of the Eyre Peninsula and it passes the far end of Iron Knob and right on the corner, where the Iron Knob Road joins the National Highway, is a  Petrol (Gas) Station. It is a  service station,with  food and drinks and I always  thought was ideally placed to pick up trade from tourists, locals and trucks traveling the Inter-State.  I thought that at least would survive, but I was wrong and it’s an overgrown junk heap. I thought this was quite sad.

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Wednesday

Heatwave Australia

Heatwave Australia

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Salt Lakes and Camels

The Foreshore Cafe and the Umbrella

The Foreshore Cafe and the Umbrella

After the week out and about with Benji it rained most of the day Sunday and almost all day Monday. Today (Tuesday) wasn’t too bad and we were able to get out to the beach this afternoon. I love  this since it’s a school day and the  beach is  empty – not a soul – well a few teenagers in cars but no one walking along the beach and I discovered that the Benji doesn’t like the sand – He Loves It ! He loves running on it and he loves exploring the seaweed. Once we got away to the very far end of the area where there are never any people, because it’s too far away from children play areas, I took him off lead (leash) and let him romp around on his own for a little while. Playtime over we made our way back to the main area again and went to the

Not the best because he was pulling

Not the best because he was pulling

Foreshore Cafe for  some Ice -Cream.  After the cafe we drove to the Wetlands and had a short wander mainly to get to the cold water fountains – the Boy had a drink and I had a drink from the peeps fountain. By then I felt that it was  starting to get a bit warm so we cut over the bridge and back to the car and home. I did notice on the bridge that some people have started this French thing about  locking padlocks on the  bridge  sides. I wonder how long that will be allowed before the Council get out the Bolt Cutters. I also took some photographs of the Black Swans and what I thought was a baby swan. However, when I looked at the photograph later you can clearly see the markings that it is a small black duck who just happened to be close to the black swans.

Little black duck

Little black duck

The next week is not going to be a great week and I don’t think the Boy and I will be doing a lot of wandering and I think the picnic is out for the moment:

Wednesday  43   / Thursday  44  / Friday / 43 / Saturday 41 / Sunday 39 (Subject to change)- that being so I don’t think we will be out much. In the morning I will bring all the pot plants under the  extended carport and at least give them some shade and make sure that have water as soon as we get back from our 5:40am walk.

I did just that, gave the plants some water and carried them  to a spot under the  pergola. At least I have tried to keep them from  being burned by direct sunlight. Friday and I have to drive to Adelaide. Tomorrow (Thursday) I will check oil and water and make sure I have extra water with me for the car – and for me. At the moment the Benji is unhappy because we had to go out and we left him at home. I had to go to the optician for my new glasses and  to leave Benji in the car in this heat (42c) would have been a death sentence – but of course, he doesn’t understand that – he just knows that I am going out without him.

Well, Hi there Stranger!!

Well, Hi there Stranger!!

The drive to Adelaide was interesting in that I took a couple of photographs of some unlikely visitors to this part of the world. Yes, they are common  the further north  you go but not so much in this corner of the planet. It was interesting that so many people – me included – pulled up and got out of the car to take photographs. There was quite a herd of them scattered across the paddock. But that wasn’t the only interesting things this weekend. The highway passes through the small town of Lochiel then continues on to Port Wakefield. The industry of Lochiel is the salt lake. Normally these are covered in water but this time, perhaps because of the extreme heat, as I passed through there were people walking out on what was lake but now was dry land. The remainder of the lake was a bright pink – which does not show up too well. Some of the

Bumbunga Salt Lake

Bumbunga Salt Lake

photographs are not so good because a cool change was starting  to push through and the wind was fairly high. I tried to steady myself against a tree so some of them were not too bad. The lake, incidentally,is called Bumbunga and was part of the Micronation  “Province of Bumbunga” – which is a long story of recent South Australian History.

When the meetings are over I am always happy to get back in the car and head from home. After this meeting I couldn’t wait to get back in the car and get the A/C on full – the A/C in the church wasn’t working and it was pretty hot and sticky. By the time I reached Lochiel and Lake Bumbunga, the cold change was sweeping in and there was a fair wind.  The temperature crashed from 40 – 21 and it will stay down for most of this week.

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Wednesday

walking

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Driving with Benji.

The other side of the hilols is where we are bound.

The other side of the distant  hills is where we are bound.

Ok! Let's go.

Ok! Let’s go.

Tuesday of this week was not such a bad day with regard to the weather – warm, humid and overcast at times, but nice for a drive with the Benji. Trying to think of someplace new around here is difficult, but I realised that we had not been out to the lighthouse – about 23 miles away, so that’s where we headed. When we came to Australia my brother in law took me fishing and we drove along this road in his   Jeep. Mind you, this wasn’t a road then, merely a dirt and gravel track that only an SUV could negotiate. A lot has changed since then – as you can see. The reason for the change is  that the road is the main highway out to the Santos Processing plant ( should have taken a photograph!!) at Point Lowly. It is the end of a 660 kilometer pipeline from the Moomba Gas Fields and from here is is shipped to places  across the Asia-Pacific region as well as supplying the gas requirements for South Australia. An important plant, so it requires a good quality road – and it is!!  However, it is like most roads in and around this area, flat land;  not a lot to see. Anything that was worth driving out to is now out of bounds and part of the restricted army playpen.  An access road was constructed during the building stage and then rebuilt when the plant came on line. We drove past the processing plant out to Point Lowly and the Lowly Lighthouse. By then the boy was anxious to get out and do his business – then we went wandering. It was quiet and peaceful and there were no flies around, which was a bonus. I did see three

Point Lowly Lighthouse

Point Lowly Lighthouse

people – a family out for the same reasons I was, but no dog, thankfully. We spent  quite a while just wandering about the place. The lighthouse is, of course,

securely locked up. However wandering around the area I had a thought and it was that I could put the camp two burner stove in the boot, pack some food for

Benji by the Sea

Benji by the Sea

him and me, a small metal kettle, a container of water, coffee – and we could have ourselves a little picnic. Ransacked the garage  – when I got home – and found that we had an old metal kettle from years ago that we never use. It’s a heat on the stove kettle, not an electric one. I also found a small pot and a small frying pan, so, in essence, we are ready to

Still at Sea

Still at Sea

go whenever the mood takes us. Probably go back to the lighthouse   so we are still within striking distance of home  in case of any mishap.  My next meeting is in Adelaide next week so  we will see what we will do after I get back from Adelaide.

It was a reasonable day today so I decided to make up for Sunday and take Benji and I back down to the beach to wander along the sand – and have the Ice-Cream that we missed. It was a bit on the windy side so there were a few wind surfers out on the water. We walked for a fair bit along the beach then came back and had our ice-cream, sitting under the cafe umbrella.

Benji at the Beach

Benji at the Beach

The Wetlands main pond

The Wetlands main pond

The Black Swans

The Black Swans

That was Thursday,-today Friday we went  back to the wetlands and had a good wander around there. However it was starting to get a bit on the warm side and the Boy was panting a bit – even after a drink of cool water, so I decided not  to go back to the beach but to go home. I was going to take him over the new bridge but after I put my hand, palm down, on the  metal base of the bridge I decided that it was too hot for dog paws, and went around the pond to the car and then home with the A/C on full. At the moment he is curled up beside my chair. TeeHee, it’s been a busy few days for the boy.