Day 7:

4 July 2010

Today, we got a good head start from the McLaren Vale wine region and headed for the closest winery, d'Arenberg, at "the cracka" (9:00).  Unfortunately, the wineries don't open until 10:00 and we needed to make big strides today, so we settled for taking some breathtaking photos and watching pink cockatoos play for a while before hitting the road.

Wine barrels at d'Arenberg Winery                        A Rainbow Lorikeet at d'Arenberg

Have I mentioned that I love technology?  Here I am checking my gmail account on the iPad while Rob clicks away with the camera. (That's right, Mom, I was e-mailing you at the time).  :-)  xo

Liz checking e-mail on the iPad at d'Arenberg Winery          A Rainbow Lorikeet and a Pink Cockatoo battle for territory

After we left McLaren Vale, we thought the driving would be boring today because the roads started to look even more like Kansas and there were fewer bends in the road.  But, boy, were we wrong!  We drove by wind farms, a giant sculpture of a pink cockatoo, an oversized tin-man metal sculpture, evaporative salt lakes (that looked purple) and much more.

A wind farm along the Flinders Ranges area                        An evaporative salt lake (brine pool) that looked purple

Lunch was diner food at the Ampol Redhill Caltex in Redhill, SA - tyre pressure and oil check plus more diesel and we were all fueled up for more hours on the road.

The Redhill Caltex/diner where we ate lunch today - yummy burgers with beetroot and egg in true Aussie style!

Home schooling today involved reading (the kids read an hour every day - Devon's already on page 200 of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire !) and multiplication and subtraction flash card practice as well as some handwriting and diary writing.  Jenna received her *pen license* the last week of school at Mosman Public School, so she has been having fun writing in INK! Whoohoo!

More encouraging messages from the road safety board          A stretch of Highway 1 with a much different landscape

We continued on after lunch to drive 500Kms, so we are nearly caught up to where we are supposed to be!  We stopped at about 5:30 for dinner at the Kimba Roadhouse/Mobile station.  They had a proper restaurant eating area, so we enjoyed Hawaiian pizza for the kids and garfish fish and chips and salad.  Kimba is the "halfway" point across the lower part of the country.

Kimba - the Halfway Point across the bottom of Australia

Flinders Ranges - could easily be in Colorado, though

Then, we continued on in the dark to a rest area 14Kms west of Koongawa, SA.  We are free camping again, but it's so worth it because we looked up tonight to see more stars than Rob and I have seen since we went to Namibia in Africa in 1998.  It was incredible!  An astronomy lesson for the kids - Milky Way was obvious and we saw several satellites passing overhead.  Interestingly, there is a campfire ring next to where we have parked - which was still warm when we arrived from the previous "tenants".

More tomorrow!

Flinders Highway