Sherwood Diary: Storms and washing don’t mix at Mallala

There’s a sheep grazier’s warning at the moment in our area. And we’ve had rain, wind and small hail since we got here in the early afternoon yesterday. And enough sunshine in between to replenish our batteries.

On to the washing. We are camping at an RV park in the small town of Mallala, which is part of the Adelaide Plains. The rural area just north of Adelaide is a farming, wine producing and grazing area that is important for food production here in South Australia. The camping area we are in is mundane enough, but in the evening light the surrounding fields are beautiful.

The campground includes sites with a water tap, but no power. There is a well resourced camp kitchen, public toilets, and one shower and a small laundry that have coded entry. When we paid our fee of $12 per night ($24 for two nights) we were sent the code. It provides everything you need, without actually being a caravan park.

But, we have one more parkup before we go to the Adelaide Showgrands Caravan Park and I’ve chosen another Plains campsite, very like this one, but in a beachside village and our site will have power and water, for a massive $15 per night. With shower, toilets and a camp kitchen as well.

We don’t mind paying these sorts of fees. But, the facilities rely on local volunteers to maintain and that’s where they save money. We’ve spent money at the local IGA and had takeaway for lunch yesterday.

There are three or four rigs parked here which appear to be permanents. I’m glad that people who might otherwise be homeless can have a place to stay.

Yesterday evening.
The waterfall. This was inside the van the first time it rained after we arrived only much worse when the rain was very heavy. We realised our mistake. We were on level ground. We introduced a lean by using a riser on the rear passenger wheel and all was well. Inside the bed was still damp with Marie’s quilt taking most of the wetness. As we were getting into position a lot of water went onto the bed in the corner at the end of the bed making that area particularly soggy.

It was hard to get the quilt dry last night and in the end I took it over to the laundry and put it in the dryer. It worked and we could use the quilt as extra cover on the bed for a chilly night. But, this meant we used up four of our $1 coins. Stephen had been to the Post Office here to get lots of coins, but a mix of $1 and $2 coins. The washing machine and dryer only take $1 coins, but we didn’t know in advance.

I did all of our washing this morning and one go in the dryer wasn’t enough. But, I only had two $1 coins left. So, we put out the awning and put the washing on the clothes airer. That worked for about 10 minutes until a mini storm came in. The airer tipped over onto the muddy mat. I was over at the camp kitchen warming up my coffee and saw it happen. I rushed over, righted the airer and hung onto the awning with my other hand to keep it in place. Although I was under the awning I still got very wet and cold. But at least I was out of range of the hailstones.

When it passed Stephen went out to the sportsfield where children were playing football and asked adults in cars who were watching if they could exchange $2 coins for $1 coins. He was sucessful, and we put the washing and my wet clothes into the dryer for two full rounds and ended up with getting most of our clothes dry. We had chosen to leave some things hanging in the van and they are still a bit damp.

I planned to have a cooked meal at lunchtime and despite all of the drama I went ahead with the cooking and we found it comforting to have a very simple hot meal. We plan to snack this evening as we watch the Coronation.

The field behind the camping area.
The camp kitchen.

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