2 days without internet at Lake Ballard

I read a lot and checked our solar and battery obsessively😀. We wondered what was happening with the news and were glad to hear today that Trump was disappointed with his Tulsa rally. Stephen had some podcasts downloaded and we listened to them. I wrote up my blog in Word and copied it over to WordPress this afternoon. We coped quite well, I think. It was good to know we didn’t need it as much as we thought.

Day 11: Lake Ballard to Leonora

This morning we said a sad goodbye to our camp to continue on our journey. It was cloudy, but too much, which meant we didn’t get a beautiful light on the lake and island. I still took lots of photos of the clouds directly above the sun, which at times were lit up brilliantly.

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We took a drive up to the Snake Hill Lookout on our way out. I didn’t take any photos, but we got some Gopro footage, which gives a panoramic view.

I took the 20kms or so of gravel road at about 60km/hr this time, and the little van does actually ride out the corrigations better at a higher speed. Still, we don’t want to risk wrecking the furniture by doing a lot of this sort of travel. We stopped in Menzies to dump our toilet cassette. Although there is a dump point at Lake Menzies the tank with water is quite a way from the dump point and I was worried that people might not be washing it down properly after using it. Much better to use a dump point with a water tap and hose.

We thought of having coffee at the cafe, but it was closed. Further down the road we stopped for a hot drink each, me coffee, Stephen a moccah. Then drove straight through to Leonora. We did some grocery shopping and then headed for the caravan park. We had lunch at about 2.30, rather late. Leonora is a mining town, so fairly basic. But there is an interesting museum for us to visit tomorrow.

Days 9 and 10: Lake Ballard

We didn’t hurry in the morning, but even so we were packed up and ready to go just after 10.00 a.m. I had a shower and washed my hair using the nice facilities at our caravan park. The sky was completely clear of clouds, again, and although I hoped for clouds later on, nothing eventuated.

The drive to Lake Ballard is mostly bitumen, with about 20 kms of gravel. It was quite a good road, lots of small corrugations, but we still took it very slowly, about 40 kms an hour. When you can hear every rattle of your gear it makes you very cautious, towing a caravan is different as all the rattling takes place well behind.

On arrival, there were a couple of caravans already parked up. We had no difficulty finding a nice level spot with a view over the lake. It’s all red earth and dull green bushland, but the colours look wonderful towards sunset.

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We had lunch, then rested until afternoon tea time. We set off to walk to the Gormley Statues at about 4.00 p.m. and came home after sunset. The lake is muddy near the edges, but when you get to the really salty part it is like walking on firm snow – crystals which crunch underfoot. There were lots of tracks to the statues, plus some car tire tracks. Of course, you are not allowed to drive on the lake, but someone always will.

We stayed out until slightly after sunset, Stephen taking lots of video on the Gopro and me taking photos. I’ve uploaded them to my ipad this morning and see that it is hard to get a bad photo of the scenery here, apart from some lopsided horizons which need fixing.

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The statues are a little smaller than you would imagine. Instead of doing 52 I would have done a smaller set and made the individual ones larger. Still, by squatting down for shots I was able to make them appear much bigger. Stephen posed as a statue for me, of course, but not naked – it was a bit too chilly.

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We had two caravans pull in close to us during the afternoon. There were also quite a few day visitors walking out to the statues, but no one later in the day when we went out. Overall, it is as magical an experience as I hoped it would be. The 21st is the Winter Solstice and sunset here was at about 5.10 p.m.

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detail of the island lit up by setting sun

 

We decided to stay two nights, hoping for a bit of cloud either at sunrise or sunset. We have plenty of water and enough food to last until our next town, Leonora.

Yesterday morning we walked up a hill to find a different view of the lake. It was very stoney and we had to watch our feet all of the time. It was another clear, cloudless day.

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In the evening we walked behind our camp over to another lake behind a small rise. Not very far.

We spent a lot of time during the day just gazing out at the lake and making out the many statues, very small in the distance. The large island near to us makes a special feature of this view.

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Again, I hoped for a few clouds at sunset, but it was not to be. We felt a bit tired in the evening and opted for an easy dinner of toasted cheese and tomato sandwiches, plus desert.