Posts Tagged With: australia

Across South Australia 

I’ve spent the last week camped on the beach near Streaky Bay.  South Australia has some really great free campsites.  This one was perfect! The beach was literally my yard. 

It was good to find such a lovely place to rest our feet. Leo thought so too, he spent a lot of time running up and down that beach and playing in the waves.  We won’t mention the maggoty fish head he had a good old roll in on one such adventure! 

Here he is, just about to be let off leash.  I snapped the pic first, because once that leash comes off, he’s ten miles up the beach! 

I came off the Nullabor just about broke. I had just enough to grab some food, petrol and gas for my van for the week.  One tank of fuel is not getting us far! So this place was perfect to wile away the days till I was a bit more financial. 

The beach inspired me.  I collected shells everyday and made them into jewelry, hair wraps and beach themed dream catchers.  They sold well when we spent a day in town, which was a nice surprise. 

Having restocked my funds, we hit the road again today, and made for Kimba, S.A.  I stayed here on my way through and really like this campground. We spent Christmas here and endured the insanely high temperatures. Thankfully, it’s a bit cooler on our return trip! 

Returning here feels a bit like coming home.  It’s nice to have access to unlimited water again and one of the big drawcards of this camp is that there is a shower here! This is absolute bliss for a dirty little gypsy that hasn’t had an actual shower in almost two weeks! I got into camp, got my washing done, washed my sheets (another luxury) and headed straight for the shower.  

So tonight, I feel like a queen.  Freshly washed and about to climb into a clean bed, minus the sand I gave up trying to get out of my sheets while living on the beach! Living in a van, on the beach, with a dog, sand gets everywhere! So that was another bit of housekeeping when I arrived in Kimba, sweep the beach out of my van! 

I’m planning on spending another day here, then we will keep on moving across South Australia.  

At this stage, I’m planning on making toward the N.S.W / Victorian border and following the Murray River, which is the actual physical border, along to my steady love, the Hume Highway.  This is the highway that runs through my homelands. I’ve a few friends and family to stop in on along the way, but I doubt I’ll last long over there. Talking to my daughter tonight, it’s actually autumn over there. Cold and wet! Eek! I’m still in summer out here! I’m seriously questioning the wisdom of heading back that way. 

Happy trails to you, my constant reader.  

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Esperance to Ceduna 

I’m slowly making my way back towards my homelands.  I spent a week or so in Esperance, it’s such a beautiful place. 

Having run into the devastation caused by the recent flooding in Western Australia, it was quite an adventure to get there.  I had to detour several hundred kilometres through the desert on dirt roads.  This was good though, as I usually stick to the tar, so it was something different. 

I was disappointed when I finally arrived though, to see those damn ‘free campers not welcome’ signs on the way into town.  It happens from time to time, mostly in the really touristy places.  It really is counterproductive to the town, as a ‘no free camping policy’ just tends to see my kind just drive on through.  If we’re welcome, we’ll stay and spend money in the town, not on the damn caravan parks.  I take umbrage at having to pay for a bit of ground and will avoid it at all costs, and I managed to do this in Esperance as well.  

But aside from this inconvenience, I really enjoyed spending some time here and making the most of the most beautiful beaches I’ve come across in my travels. 

Leo had a great time on the off leash dog beach.  He ran a muck! But damn, did he have fun.  The above picture is the naughtiest dog on West Beach, quite proud of himself.  
After we had soaked up the sun, sand and surf of Esperance, it was time to move on back up to Norseman and onto the Nullabor. My first crossing was an adventure and I looked forward to it.  This time though, I was kinda dreading that long, straight, lonely and endless stretch of highway.  

It wasn’t so bad though.  I had my gps set from Norseman to Ceduna and it was good to see the kilometers dropping down as I drove.  I did it pretty quick this time, only spending three nights out there.  

We had the necessary roadhouse stops to shower and refuel and I stopped for another look at the gorgeous views of the Bite. 

I even found this memorial for a man and his dog. 

The above is my feet, not fifteen minutes after I’d had a shower and scrubbed the Nullabor dust from them.  It was after this I gave up and decided to embrace my dirty feet.  I’ve grown to like having dirty feet.  I look at them and know the day has been well spent. Dirty feet are a product of adventure, of walking the earth, gaining experiences and actually living life.  I had clean feet for much too long.  Seems the dirtier my feet, the happier I am.  

I’m currently camped just outside of Ceduna, South Australia, having made my second successful journey across the Nullabor.  We’re still riding the Eyre Highway, but will soon reach its end.  This is one highway I’ll never forget, though they all hold a special place in my heart, once I’ve lived, breathed and rode the length of them.  Not my first love affair with a highway and it won’t be my last.  

This trip has been very expensive and crossing the Nullabor has left me broke for the week.  You wouldn’t believe the fuel prices out there, especially on the W.A side.  It downright hurts at times! But all good, we just get to make camp for the week.  I want to have a better look around Ceduna over the weekend and then we’ll look for a nearby campground to spend the week.  It’s a good chance to get a bit of maintenance work and simple repairs done on my car and van and I’ve already fixed a few little problems.  But on the whole, everything is running fairly well.  

Till next time, safe travels.  

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Geraldton 

Geraldton was really good to me. I parked my van in an old mates driveway and spent a few weeks in this beautiful part of the world.  

With a big inground pool in the backyard, the beach only a block away and good people to crack a cold beer with of an evening, I spent a couple of weeks in paradise. Even Leo had a little buddy, Patch, to play with and he loved the pool and having the run of the place. 

It’s always great to catch up with old friends.  Having not seen Jason in nearly ten years, it was really good to hang out again.  I also loved meeting his partner Corinne, we hit it off really well. Thanks for having me guys, it was awesome to stay with you. You all made me feel so at home and I’ll definitely be back over this way again some time soon. (And I’m still having Ark withdrawals!)

Geraldton was a great place to spend Australia Day.  We all had a really enjoyable day around the pool and barbecue, cold drinks in hand.  Good way to meet some locals too. It was a very hot day, but that’s always a good thing for Australia Day and we all utilized the pool throughout the heat of the day and beat the heat. 

A highlight of Geraldton was a day out with the girls, on a little roadtrip up the coast to Kalbarri. What a beautiful place!

We also had a look at the cliffs around Kalbarri. A bit reminiscent of my Great Ocean Road adventure. 

On our way up the coast, we dropped in to check out the Pink Lake.  Sadly, it was a bit overcast, so the lake wasn’t as pink as it can be, but it was still good to have a look.  I’ve seen the Blue Lake in Mt Gambier and now the Pink Lake.  I’ve also heard whispers of a Black Lake further down south, so I’ll keep an eye out for that. 

It was a good day out.  Thanks Cassie, Corinne and Taylah for showing me the sights. 

So thanks again Geraldton.  You’re all so friendly and welcoming.  Until next time, stay cool. 

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Across The Nullabor 

I’ve spent the past two and a bit days driving the iconic stretch of road known as the Nullabor.  The Eyre Highway runs 1675 kilometers from Port Augusta to Norseman. It runs across some of the most remote country in Australia. 

The Eyre is a highway of contrasting landscapes.  From the desert of the outback to the ocean of the Great Australian Bite.  It’s been a hell of an adventure and a lot of long haul driving. 

The distances and isolation of the Eyre can be a little overwhelming and intimidating at first, but it didn’t take long for the Eyre to start to feel like home.  I love nothing better than to drive a highway such as this from beginning to end. 

The only thing to break the monotony of the Eyre are the roadhouses. These function as fuel stops, bars, restaurants and a place to shower and rest.  They’re often a welcome relief from the heat and dust of the Nullabor, especially the showers! 

There is a surprising variety of wildlife out here in the desert, but so far I’ve only seen a few big goannas, lots of crows and quite a few wedge tailed eagles. These are some very impressive birds! I was really hoping to see some camels, I’ve never seem them in the wild, but no sightings so far.  

Crossing the border into Western Australia felt like a real achievement after coming all this way.  I’ve never been in the state of W.A before.  I’m happy to add another border crossing selfie to my collection.  Only states left unexplored now are Tasmania and Northern Territory.  

The 90 Mile Straight was arduous! Driving such a long distance in a entirely straight line is harder than it sounds. I found I fatigued a lot faster and needed more regular rest breaks.  But that’s the advantage of towing your home, I can always pull over for a feed and a comfy nap.  

Once I crossed the W.A border, the roadtrains got bigger, from two trailers to three.  They are a little intimidating, but you soon get used to them.  They need a lot of room and you don’t ever stop suddenly, because these large trucks take a long time to stop.  If I’m turning off into a rest area, I start indicating a kilometer up the road.  But you do hear them roaring up behind you. Being a slower car towing a van, I generally pull over at the first opportunity and just let them go.  You don’t hold these guys up! 

Time has been strange for me out here.  I’m traveling into the sun, so I’m going back in time.  Having had no mobile phone service since leaving Ceduna, I haven’t known the time in days.  I crossed into Western time today, but knowing my clocks were already out, that wasn’t much help.  Not that it matters, as on the road the only time that really matters is nature’s time.  I live by the sun, rising at dawn, sleeping at sunset. 

As I write this, I’m just under 200 kilometers from the end of the Eyre.  Still a bit of a drive to Perth, but the Nullabor will be behind me.  And to think, I’ve got to cross it again to get back! 


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Outback South Australia

What an adventure! 

I’ve now clocked up 1372km, from Young NSW to Kimba S.A.  Kimba’s claim to fame is ‘Halfway Across Australia’. Not quite halfway for me though, it’s a long way to Perth!  It’s taken me a week of straight driving to get this far.  

South Australia is new territory for me.  I’ve dipped my toe across the border on a previous trip, but it’s been really good to drive clean across the state.  I’m also quite fond of the outback.  I love the solitude and isolation.  The desert also has a real beauty of its own. 

My favorite thing about the outback though, the night sky.  You have not seen the stars until you’ve seen them from the outback.  

I’ve spent Christmas out here at Kimba. I’ve grown a little fond of this town.  The local free camp is even equipped with a shower! That is total luxury for this life and a real blessing in the extreme heat.  Today has been a welcome relief as it has cooled off significantly, after the high temperatures of the previous week.  Poor Leo struggles with the heat and I’ve spent a lot of time trying to keep him cool. 

I’ve found wrapping him in wet towels helps him a lot, between wet downs under the tap.  

It’s been nice to stop and relax for the couple of days over Christmas.  We explored a walking trail today and came across a shingleback lizard. 

They lay very still and just hope you don’t see them.  It works, Leo walked straight past him and I almost did too.  

We’ll be back out on the road tomorrow. Coming up on the Great Australian Bite, which I’m really looking forward to.  Then it’s on to Ceduna, our last stop before we head out across the Nullabor and on into Western Australia.  

 

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Riverlands and Outback NSW

I’m making good progress on my epic journey to Western Australia.  Today has been a long day of driving.  I was making for a campground tonight, but with only 30km to go, I just could not drive any further and found a handy gravel pit to park up in for the night.  

I crossed two borders today.  I cut through the north west corner of Victoria and then on into South Australia.  

The Riverlands are quite beautiful, there is so much water down here.  It’s been nice to follow the Murray River for a ways.  

I’ve still got a long way to go and the Nullabor is ahead of me, I’m looking forward to that.  The Great Australian Bite is also a highlight I’ll be very happy to see.  

I enjoyed passing through the bottom of the New South Wales outback.  I fell in love with the outback when I went out to Lightning Ridge and on into the depths of NSW and a little of Queensland.  There’s something very healing about the desert.   

I’m definitely keen to see more of it.  

I’ve been following the Sturt Highway for several days, only turning off from it this afternoon.  I tend to get quite attached to a highway when I ride it for any length of time.  Different highways have different characters and it can be almost like leaving an old friend when you turn off of them, or they come to an end. 

I became very attached to the Great Ocean Road when I drove it.  I’d wanted to drive that road since my teenage years and the day I finally drove onto it was quite emotional for me.  I had a great time on that road and it was my initiation into the gypsy life.  I was quite sad when it came to an end.  There have been a lot of highways since then, but I’ll always have a special place in my heart for the Great Ocean Road and the lessons it taught me.  

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On The Road Again

After spending a week with my daughter and son-in-law, camping in their backyard, I’m now back out on the road.  I’ve had time to recoup, stock up on supplies and make some repairs to my setup, but it’s always good to hit the asphalt again.  

This trip is a big adventure, even for me.  From Young, NSW to Perth in Western Australia. 

3602km. That will take me through the Nullabor, the longest straight stretch of road in Australia, possibly the world.  My route through the Nullabor runs for 1199km of desert.  It will also take me past the Great Australian Bite.  So stay tuned for some spectacular photography to come.  

My first day back out on the roads has been a good one.  Not far into my journey, I came across a brother riding his thumb on the side of the road.  Yes, I pick up hitchhikers, and have met some of the most interesting and inspiring people in this way.  Today’s ride was no exception. 

This is Keith, a self proclaimed ‘old hippie’. He is 68 and rides his thumb around the country.  He is a free spirit and an artist.  

His turn off was only a couple of km’s further up the road, but when he told me he’d waited five hours for this ride, in the heat too, I decided to do a good deed and take him to his next destination.  It was a 120km detour for me, but meh, what’s that compared to the many miles I have ahead of me! I really enjoyed his company to, so it was a good deal.  

But this is why I gave up on making travel plans after my first ever trip, driving the Great Ocean Road.  Stuff happens, people and attractions pop up.  I prefer to just let the road take me where and when it will.  I find being spontaneous opens the way for a lot more adventure and some pretty amazing finds along the way. 

Tonight sees me camped in the tiny little town of Weethalle.  Not much here, but the locals are very friendly and the stars are so bright and clear. 

But tomorrow, onwards and westwards we go.  

Happy trails. 

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A Week By The Water

I spent last week by Wyangala Dam.

This was my first trip away in my new caravan and I couldn’t be happier with it.

I’ve always loved to camp, but I’ve gotten to old for the basic tent set up.

Actually, I think I just got tired of my bed deflating in the middle of the night!

Not fun, believe me!

 

So, keen to give my caravan a try out, I hitched up and headed to the dam, with my faithful dog for company.

We had a great time.

I met some great people, spent a lot of time in and by the water and walked a lot of the trails.

I have been to this park many times, but I discovered a lot of treasures while out exploring.

Leo at Elliots Lookout. He was a bit hot.

Leo at Elliot’s Lookout. He was a bit hot.

 

The amazing view from Elliots Lookout.

The amazing view from Elliot’s Lookout.

 

Wyangala Dam has a larger capacity than Sydney Harbour. I hadn't realized how big it actually is until I saw it from this vantage point.

Wyangala Dam has a larger capacity than Sydney Harbour. I hadn’t realized how big it actually is until I saw it from this vantage point.

 

This was our favorite place to be during the heat of the day, in the shade of the willow tree

This was our favorite place to be during the heat of the day, in the shade of the willow tree

 

Looking out over the dam from our willow tree

Looking out over the dam from our willow tree

 

Leo and I spent a lot of time in the water too. No better way to cool off.

Leo and I spent a lot of time in the water too. No better way to cool off.

 

I found this old hut on a drive up the mountain

I found this old hut on a drive up the mountain

 

We done a lot of exploring, though the constant walking uphill killed my legs!

We done a lot of exploring, though the constant walking uphill killed my legs!

 

There are Kangaroos everywhere in the park. Many of the females had joeys too

There are Kangaroos everywhere in the park. Many of the females had joeys too

 

The female kangaroos have the prettiest little faces

The female kangaroos have the prettiest little faces

 

The big buck presiding over his ladies. I keep my distance from these big guys, they're a little intimidating.

The big buck presiding over his ladies. I keep my distance from these big guys, they’re a little intimidating.

 

The beautiful view on one of our evening walks.

The beautiful view on one of our evening walks.

As you can see, Wyangala is a beautiful spot for a holiday.

 

I did have an agenda for my trip though.

I wanted to catch up on some writing and churn out some publishable material.

This I did and I have a lot in store for you guys.

 

I also began my summer working Aphrodite’s magick.

I love working with Aphrodite, her energy is so full of life and confidence,

I always come away, after working with her, feeling great about myself.

This is another extended working, the balance to my Descent work over winter.

I began the first section of this work while in Wyangala, and it was the perfect place to begin.

I associate Aphrodite so closely with the summer sun, water and relaxation, so beginning my work with her while on holiday made it that much more special.

It was easy to tap into her energy while immersed in and surrounded by such natural beauty.

My little altar to Aphrodite

My little altar to Aphrodite

I enjoyed the luxury of my caravan during my stay.

Camping in a van is rather luxurious, with all the comforts of home and, best of all, a comfy double bed!

I also enjoyed travelling by myself for the first time.

My dog is a great little travel companion and you get the chance to meet people more than when you are with a partner or family.

My greatest dream is to travel the Great Ocean Road, something I have long wanted to do.

I’m planning to do it during early Autumn, when it’s not so hot and hopefully not as many tourists about.

This little trip has me keener than ever to hit the road.

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Shades Of Samhain

This is my Samhain:

Life held in death

Life held in death

The beautiful cloak of Autumn

The beautiful cloak of Autumn

Food is a big part of Samhain, and pumpkin pie is delicious

Food is a big part of Samhain, and pumpkin pie is delicious

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Samhain is sacred to Hecate.

Samhain is sacred to Hecate.

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Traditional turnip Jack O lantern

Traditional turnip Jack O lantern

Categories: The Sabbats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Samhain ~ Summers End

Samhain is both an ending and a beginning.

It is truly Summers End, as Samhain was known by the Celts, as the shorter days and colder temperatures will attest.
The end of the sun, which has now retreated North of the equator, the end of the long light-filled days of summer, the end of heat and warmth.
It is the end of the fertile growing and harvest season of the Great Mother.
Samhain is Winter, the Dark Goddess drawing her black cloak down over the land.

Dark Cloak Of The Goddess

Dark Cloak Of The Goddess

Samhain is also a beginning, as well as an end.
Samhain is the ‘Witches New year’.
The year ends, and begins, in the womb of the Dark Goddess.
Her womb which is the tomb, death, slumber and solitude.
The great cauldron where all life begins and ends.
We begin in darkness and we return to darkness.

Samhain is great beauty.
Before the arrival of winter, we experience the earth cloaked in the splendor of her Autumn robes, gold, red, orange and brown.
Leaves, resplendent in colour, fall from the trees that have nurtured them throughout the year, carpeting the ground in a rich tapestry of autumnal colour.

Autumn Splendor

Autumn Splendor

The magic of Samhain floats on the chilly breeze, the smoke of many burn-off and home woodfires, the horizon a hazy fugue.
There is also the homey smell of winter stews and comfort foods, greeting us as we return home.
The welcoming warmth of home contrasting with the chilled Samhain winds.

Samhain is relief and reprieve, as the Autumn rains begin to fall, replenishing the parched and dessiccated land.
Land that has not seen rain in many moons, is once again, finally, flushed with green.
In Australia, even in the midst of death, there is new life.
The green shoots of fresh sprung blades of grass, a testament to the resilience of nature.

Samhain is the last of the three harvest Sabbats.
This is the season of apples, pumpkins and potatoes.
Growers rush to bring in these final harvests before the ground freezes, under a layer of the seasons first frost.

Lord Hades and Cerberus ~ Artist Unknown

Lord Hades and Cerberus ~ Artist Unknown

The Horned God has made his descent, he is Hades, Lord of The Underworld.
His Queen, the dreadful and dark Persephone, at his side.
They rule over the shades of the dead and their subterranean kingdom.
The bright Sun God is now the Dark Shadow Lord, returned to the womb of The Goddess to await his renewal.

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The Goddess is also in her shadow aspect.
She is Hekate.
She is Dark Persephone.
She stirs her bubbling cauldron, brewing atop her Samhain fire.
She is old and soon to be barren, but yet, she holds that seed of life within her belly.
The seed she was given at Beltane, as she lay with her lover.
Life within death, light within shadow.
She prepares to rest before she begins the eternal cycle once again.

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As Samhain is a Sabbat of shadow, we can also use this time to remember those that have gone before us.
Samhain is a time to honor our departed loved ones and our ancestors, whose blood flows through our veins.
It is traditional to place a candle on the windowsill for those we have lost, a light to guide them home.
If I have lost a loved one throughout the year, I will set them a place at our feast and extend the invitiation for them to join us.

As the veil between the worlds is thin at Samhain, all forms of divination have a great power on this night.
Tarot readings are especially insightful, scrying is more effective than usual.
It becomes easier to contact the other side, to tap into our intuition.
This can work both ways though, so take care when interacting with the spirit world on Samhain night, as it is not only benevolent spirits that have easier access to our world.
This is where the traditional jack-o-lantern comes in, as it’s frightful face is said to scare away those mischievious spirits.

Samhain altar, guarded by turnip Jack~O~Lantern

Samhain altar, guarded by turnip Jack~O~Lantern

In Australia, we don’t have access to easy to carve pumpkins, not at this time of year anyway.
Unless you fancy trying to carve into a tough old Queensland Blue (which is possible, but very difficult), a good alternative is to use turnips.
Turnips are much easier to hollow out and carve a face into.
They are also where the jack-o-lantern tradition began, before it reached America.

Samhain is a time of winding down, the earth preparing for her barren slumber.
This extends to people too, as nights in front of the tv and fire take the place of social activity.
We exercise less, we eat more, we sleep later in the mornings (or wish we could).

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Samhain is year’s end, time to take stock of what we have achieved throughout the growing season.
What goals and plans have come to fruition?
What do we need to put aside to work on again in the coming year?
This is a time for self-evaluation, celebration of the year that has been and exploring the darker parts of ourselves.
A time for meditation, trance work and scrying by the fire.
It is a time for pause and rest, to take stock and be still before the year begins anew.

Samhain Incense-

  • 3pt Frankincense
  • 2pt Myrrh
  • 1pt Rosemary
  • 1pt Sandalwood
  • 1pt Juniper

ER-Skull-and-Pomegranates

Colours-

  • Orange
  • Black
  • Purple
  • Deep Red
  • Brown

Deities-

  • Hecate
  • Persephone
  • Hades
  • Ceridwen
  • Ereshkigal
  • Herne
  • Psyche
  • Lilith
  • Anubis
  • Cernunnos
  • Demeter
  • The Morrigan
  • Nephthys

Symbols-

  • Pumpkins
  • Apples
  • Besoms
  • Autumn Leaves
  • Waning Moon
  • Acorns
  • Black Cats
  • Skeletons
  • Snakes
  • Bats
  • Spiders
  • Crows
  • Pomegranates
  • Bones
  • Divination Tools
  • Oak Leaves
  • Scarecrows
  • Scythes

Stones & Gems-

  • Jet
  • Obsidian
  • Hematite
  • All black and dark stones

Scents-

  • Sandalwood
  • Myrrh
  • Patchouli
  • Benzoin
  • Sage
  • Wormwood
  • Heliotrope

Herbs-

  • Rosemary
  • Deadly nightshade
  • Mandrake
  • Oak Leaves
  • Apple
  • Bay Leaves
  • Cinnamon
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Pine Cones and Needles
  • Mugwort
  • Nettle

 

Categories: The Sabbats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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