Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Safari 2019 September 1st & 2nd

September 1st  2019

We had chosen a very peaceful spot to camp in last night. The day dawned ‘bright blue’ despite the fact that we had two light showers of rain during the dark time! I will refer to this free camping spot as ‘Pekina Free Camp’. We did not see the owner but the sign on the gate invited us to camp for free. That is what we did. The property is directly opposite the Pekina Creek Reservoir. Our morning walk took us along the tracks around the dam wall and empty dam. There was no water. It appeared to have been dry for a number of years. I did not find out where the township of Orroroo now sources its water from, but the drought is severe across these properties. It would be difficult if you were one of the sheep that live in the bush here!
Empty Pekina Creek Reservoir

 We travelled south through undulating hills, farmlands and crops. Gradually the crops began to appear much greener so presumably there has been more rain fall. Father’s Day lunch was enjoyed at Mount Brian which is a small township that has the notoriety of being amongst a large windmill farm. There is a single, huge blade from one of these windmills, on display, in the park in the centre of town.
Map of Heyson Trail
Burra is a town we have visited on many of our trips north. Originally it was a busy copper mining area. The miners cottages are still available for accommodation…from past experience we found them to be extremely cold. This visit we walked along the ‘much improved’ street of shops which were open for Father’s Day. All John scored was a chocolate coated icecream!
On reading the noticeboard on the creek bank we realised we were again traversing the Heyson Trail which, I think, I mentioned earlier is 1200 km long, beginning at Parachilna, of ‘Prairie Hotel’ fame and goes south to the tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula. 
Tonight we have settled in a delightful camping area which actually has running water. It's name is ‘Worlds End’ and is situated in the Burra Gorge on the Burra Creek. A number of family groups were celebrating Father’s Day with a picnic in the sun. It is a perfect setting. The park has an amazing collection of huge red gum trees (Camaldulensis Obtusa) Some would be at least 400 years old and maybe older. They are gnarled and bent, burnt out by fire and no doubt used by many creatures for nesting and shelter. 
NB later, John has discovered that some of these trees are the same type of red gum that we have at home ( Camaldulensis Camaldulensis)

 September 2nd 2019

Heyson Trail marker on a tree trunk

World’s End Camping Ground is a most attractive place to stay. We have decided to stay a second night. There were up to 10 other rigs here with us last night. Most continued their journey early this morning, but already by midday several new rigs have arrived, I presume in readiness for tonight.
Hooray, we have actually walked a tiny section of the Hans Heyson Trail which we found crossing this camp ground. Our mornings activity took us for a 4km walk along the Burra gorge and creek. The creek has a steady flow of water in it until it disappears underground. It was too wide to cross the water, each time we were tempted. The tracks (of which there are many) wander along the creek, sometimes across gravel and other times over the green grassy banks but always under the wonderful red gums that grow along the creek. These trees are healthy and large due to the permanent flow of water. Even if the water is underground the Red Gums would be able to access this with their huge roots. They have been living here for many years, so are well used to the seasonal changes from hot summers to cold winters.
A pair of wonderful old red gums

Wattle found in Burra Creek Gorge

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