Thursday, 8 September 2011

Lake Eyre adventure

Last weekend I was looking down on Lake Eyre, in flood for the third year after many years of drought, last filled to capacity in 1974. Covering an area of nearly 10,000 square kilometres, about the size of Holland, it is Australia's largest salt lake and the 13th largest in the world. Set in South Australia, our driest state, it was a thrill to see the dry land tinged with green, and the beautiful Flinders Ranges a misty mauve in the background. My photos of the Lake and surrounds are not brilliant - will I never grow out of being airsick? - but you'll get some idea I hope of how huge the lake and rivers are.
For really great photos of Lake Eyre go here.

Absolutely stunning was the country we drove through - in a very comfortable bus with the perfect guides - and we stopped at many small towns for refreshment. One of these was the Parachilna Prairie Hotel where lunch consisted of kangaroo salami, emu pate, goat pastrami - crocodile was off the menu that day. Fortunately for me there was a huge salad and lots of grilled vegetables.
At Beltana Station I made two new friends. First a Shingleback Lizard that was being harassed by the farm dogs. I reached in and snatched it away from them, only considering later that taking prey from strange dogs was a bit foolhardy. However the dogs befriended me, probably just in case I decided to give the lizard back, and I was able to get it to safety while others held the dogs at bay. The Shingleback looks rather the same coming and going as the head and tail are the same shape. Here is a really lovely video (read down a bit) of David Attenborough (my hero!) showing Shinglebacks, including the female giving birth to two huge baby lizards. Here is my Shingleback.
Another friend was this very cute little Alpaca, name of Chocolate for obvious reasons. Beltana Station is a restored homestead and worksheds, now having a new lease on life as tourist accommodation.  There is even a  modern day cameleer with a herd of camels for trekking.
 
What else do I have to show you? The most wonderful Flinders Ranges, the softness of the colours being truly amazing when one considers that this is virtually a desert. I'm still mulling over this trip, which was 6 days in Adelaide (capital city of South Australia) and 6 days on the road visiting the outback. So much to see and think about, and more than ever, I realise what a beautiful country Australia is.
More about South Australia next time.

My next major excitement will be next March when I go to a four day workshop in Sydney, at Bondi Beach. This will be run by Art is...You and I will be doing three assemblage art works shops with Keith Lo Bue and a two day book structure workshop with Judy Wilkenfeld. Here is the list of the faculty for this Art is... You event. Check it out because there are some great teachers here and I just wish I could double up on some. However, I've been promising myself to do classes with Keith and Judy for ages, and this time I'm taking the plunge.
Thanks to all the BookArtObject team who have sent me their Paper Wrestling books so far. This will need a special post to show what people are making.

9 comments:

  1. wow what a wonderful trip! my folks have been serious trekkers for many years (yowza - I remember being reluctantly dragged over the nullabor to WA as a teenager... in a not-really-converted school bus.... we visited the flinders on the way - I remember that time VERY well and your pics could have been mine - from 30 yrs ago!)

    here's a link to my parents latest journey... http://cobargochronicle.blogspot.com/

    (nice to hear from you again... and thanks for the very kind words of my little book...)

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  2. Wow..I can never get my head around the enormity of your country, even though I've flown for hours over it! A lake the size of holland....sheesh.....

    Beautiful photos, thank you so much for taking me with you over that beautiful landscape.

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  3. Your aerial pics, especially the last one? Suminagashi!
    And what a cute lil llama. Damn! Now I've got that earworm again!

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  4. Your photographs are beautiful. Yes indeed, what a lovely country Australia is! I do need to come and visit.
    I had never heard of the Shingleback lizard. Weren't you afraid to pick it up - that it might bite you? The Attenborough clip was terrific (he is one of our heroes too!), but the ending was so very sad!

    I'm glad you had a great trip. Looks like you have lots to keep you busy now, and something to look forward to in March.

    xo

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  5. Lake Eyre really is one of Australia's best kept secrets. It is a truly magical place, up there with Uluru and Kakadu in my opinion.

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  6. What incredible views, Carol! To me, this is like a bit of a Disneyland ride! (And I do love the plate with an explanation of where all they came from!)

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  7. Amazing to see the country from that angle - it nearly always takes my breath away; and makes me feel so calm. A few fun adventures with the local wildlife as well - what more could you want in a holiday hey? Glad you enjoyed your time away, go well.

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  8. C- lucky you - always thought I would like to see the lakes from the air - all those beautiful winding waterways and sweeping lake fringes - captured well in your shots. The plans for March sound great - now you will be able to do things with those rusty bits. Go well, enjoy the journey and create what makes you smile. B

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  9. It sounds as if you had an amazing trip! Thanks for the photos - I went and had a look at the link you posted too and was gawping at those photos too! Now when can I go and see Lake Eyre...?

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