Travels with the Winnie: Day 81

Cockburn to Peterborough

Today has been memorable for interesting scenery as we approached mountain ranges, crossing the border into South Australia from New South Wales and stuffing ourselves with fruit and vegetables at lunchtime because we would be going through a quarantine station late in the day. The station was closed, of course. I was hoping they would somehow know from our faces that we had been eating so much fruit and veg!

We didn’t just eat, I made a vegetable curry soup in our largest saucepan, which used up almost everything. As well as eating some fresh fruit I also cooked apples, pears, mandarin and strawberries in honey. From past experience we assumed that cooked vegetables and fruit would be OK. The good thing about that is that we have plenty left over for our tea tonight. Just need to add protein.

The featured image above shows the sign over the camper’s kitchen at Cockburn. We did indeed feel welcome in the tiny village.

Crossing the border from New South Wales to South Australia, as we were leaving Cockburn this morning.

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A house in Cockburn, also showing the flat land around from the slight elevation we were on.
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The Winnie at Cockburn. Other caravans had left.

We really love the wide open spaces we have been driving through. As we got closer to Peterborough we started going through passes in ranges of hills. In front of us are the Flinders Ranges, and we will be going through them on our way to Port Augusta tomorrow.

Something I forgot from the post this morning is that yesterday in Silverton we were able to get our gas bottle filled. Today in Peterborough there was a dump station and potable water tap in town. We refilled our tank and water containers with what we hope will be better tasting water than we had at Broken Hill.

Peterborough is an RV friendly town and we are staying with about four other vans in a free camping spot, fairly close to the train museum we saw two years ago. There are no hookups and no toilets within close walking distance, this site is purely for fully self contained vans, which I guess is what we are. We can’t get TV in our spot, but it is perfectly level and a bit away from the road, so we don’t want to move. We should get good morning sun.

Travels with the Winnie: Day 80

Broken Hill to Cockburn via Silverton

Yesterday morning was one of those times when we needed to get a lot done. We had the tyres checked at Bridgestone in Broken Hill, and were charged $10, the first time we have been charged for getting our tyres checked. Still, it was worth it for the peace of mind, and they checked all of the tyres, including the spare underneath. It is quite difficult for us to do.

We did some shopping and got petrol nearby. Then we drove out to Silverton, a small town with a big reason to be, it has been used in numerous Australian films, including ‘A Town Like Alice’, and most recently in Mad Max II. So, here is our photo of the Silverton Hotel, which has had so many names in films over the years. The barmaid said that there is a new film yet to come out featuring the hotel.

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Silverton Hotel

There were some donkeys hanging around and I’ve used that photo for the featured image.

We drove back along the extremely bumpy bitumen road to Broken Hill, then set off along the Barrier Highway to the little village of Cockburn. The ‘caravan park’ here is fairly informal, but there is power if you want it, flushing toilets and one working hot shower.

We succumbed to the lure of a fireplace and home cooked meals and had our tea at the pub. There we found out some of the history of the place and met the cook, who is about Stephen’s age, but a long term resident and supporter of the community’s wish to keep the village open. It is just over the border in SA, and the government is trying to force people to move to a bigger town by cutting off the water and threatening to cut off the power. Of course, residents could use generators, as they do in a nearby village, but they prefer to keep the campground/caravan park going and have streetlights. Already they have to truck in the water.

We felt quite virtuous about supporting them by having power at our site and the meal and a cider at the pub. The meals were delicious and healthy, though apple crumble is by definition not included in the healthy part.

We had a very good night’s sleep. It was very cold when we got back to the van and we had both heaters (diesel and electric) going for a while until we were toasty warm.

Our site last night doesn’t count as free camping, but at $20 for the night is a lot cheaper than a caravan park.

Time for breakfast.