Travelling Thursday–Sellicks Beach

[In answer to today’s prompt, I have never been to Kangaroo Island. So close and yet, so expensive to get there. One day I hope to travel there. In the meantime, I’ll continue to enjoy the beautiful beaches of Adelaide and down the Fleurieu coast.]

Sensational Sellicks Beach at Sunset

[Part 2 of the K-Team’s adventure on the Fantastic Fleurieu.]

‘Let’s see Sellicks Beach at sunset,’ I said, ‘it’s a perfect day for a sunset on the cliffs.’

Photo 1: Perfect any time when the sun reflects off the cliffs in the afternoon © L.M. Kling 2015

This time, like sheep, the K-Team heeded my voice and followed Hubby and me out from Hallett Cove, and then by car, we made a convoy up Lonsdale Road to the expressway heading for Sellicks Beach.

Photo 2: Hills rising above Sellicks Beach dominate the skyline © L.M. Kling 2018

After the expressway, on South Road, we passed the turn-off to Victor Harbour. I looked back. ‘Um, I can see P1’s car, but where’s your other brother, M’s car?’

‘Behind P1, I think,’ Hubby said. ‘Can’t you see the car?’

I glimpsed something resembling M’s car. ‘I think so.’

Photo 3: Searching of a different kind a long time ago; T-Team and K-boys looking for crabs at Sellicks Beach © L.M. Kling 1995

We reached the road leading to Sellicks Beach and turned. P1’s car turned too. ‘I can’t see M’s car.’

‘Maybe he went to Victor Harbour,’ my husband said.

‘I hope not.’

Hubby sighed as we neared Sellicks Beach. ‘Now where do we go?’

Photos 4 & 5: Down the Ramp to the sand and what’s there? Rocks, shells and sea flora © L.M. Kling 2018

‘Down the ramp.’

‘What ramp? I don’t see a ramp.’

‘Right there.’ I pointed. ‘Turn right.’

He who argues with Sat Nav’s and ignores their instructions, didn’t turn where I told him to, but kept driving on the road above the cliffs. ‘Where do I turn?’ he bleated.

I indicated behind us, but not in a smooth-calm voice that the Sat Nav would have. ‘Back there!’

‘What? Why didn’t you say so?’

Huffing and puffing, Hubby manoeuvred the Ford around making a U-turn. Then he detected a car park on the same level as the road. ‘We should park there.’

Photo 6: View of Sellicks coastline looking north towards Aldinga © L.M. Kling 2018

The thought of trekking up the steep slope to our car after the descent to the beach didn’t appeal to me. ‘No, let’s go to the lower one.’

‘Fine then,’ Hubby muttered and then drove down the ramp to the lower car park. P1’s car followed.

Parked in the lower car park, we waited for M.

Photo 7: View of Sellicks Beach coast looking south. An earlier visit when low tide. © L.M. Kling 2009

‘I think he took the road to Victor Harbour,’ P1 said. ‘He seemed to disappear around the time of that turn-off.’

Hubby pursed his lips and shook his head. We waited and observed cars parked on the beach. Waves already lapped at the ramp leading to the beach. Seemed some drivers had left it a little too late to escape the beach and rising tide. Perhaps the owners planned to camp the night and fish. One four-wheel drive vehicle drove through the surf to climb the ramp back to the road.

Photo 8:  Fisherman at Sellicks Beach © L.M. Kling 2017

‘Let’s have some afternoon tea while we wait,’ I said and then opened up the back of the station wagon. Before I’d finished serving coffee and hot cross buns, M’s car rolled down the ramp and parked beside P1’s car. We gathered around as M and his Swiss passengers stepped out.

Photo 9: Looking south at Sellicks Beach, November of 2017 when the tide was lower. © L.M. Kling 2017

Photo 10: Fishing at Sellicks. That day, in April, the tide was higher, and so not safe to drive on the sand. You can see others with their 4×4 all-terrain vehicles thought differently © L.M. Kling 2017

‘I took the road to Victor Harbour and had to take the scenic route to get here,’ M said.

The K-Team watched the sunset on the Sellicks cliffs; a regular paparazzi of K-clickers with their cameras captured the sun sinking on the horizon.

Photo 11: Sunset K-Paparazzi © L.M. Kling 2017

Then, with the sun gone, the K-Team wound their way back to our place for a roast chicken dinner.

Photo 12: Sunset on Sellicks Waves © L.M. Kling 2017

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2017; updated 2019; 2023

Feature Photo: Black and White Sellicks Sunset © L.M. Kling (nee Trudinger) 1984

***

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Wandering Wednesday–Camping Hazards near Mt. Liebig

[I have been preparing The T-Team with Mr B: Central Australia 1977 to be ready for publication soon. So, below is an extract from the T-Team’s adventure.

While three of the T-Team faced the perils of climbing Mt. Liebig, a drama of a different, yet equally challenging kind unfolded for Mr. B and his son, Matt as they stayed back at camp.

Extract from The T-Team with Mr B: Central Australia 1977, a prequel to Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari 1981.]

Bull Meets Mr. B

Mr. B and his son, Matt napped under the shade of a bean tree. A southerly breeze ferried through the dry creek bed, spiriting away the father’s snorts. Matt tossed and turned on his inflatable mattress that was exhausted of air resulting from a small, elusive puncture. He imagined the three others of the T-Team, beating a path through the sweltering heat and stinging spinifex in their quest to the summit of Mt. Liebig. Matt chuckled to himself. “Suckers!”

[Photo 1: Mt Liebig at sunrise with bean tree © C.D. Trudinger 1977]

In a nearby tributary, a bull spied the T-Team’s father, son and daughter trekking in the distance, and stamped its massive hooves in the loose dry sand. Once the family had vanished, the bull trotted towards his stamping ground which possessed a gigantic bean tree as a feature in an otherwise dull bed of dust. His quest was to reclaim his territory that the humans had invaded.

“Matt, ma boy, do be careful. Don’t go too far from camp. A bull might get you.” Mr. B squinted in the direction of distant thumping, then rolled over and resumed snoring.

A monstrous brown hulk loomed through a cloud of dust.

[Photo 2: Resident cattle © L.M. Kling 2013]

Matt bolted upright “Dad! Dad! Th-there’s a big- ugly- brown – ugly- big – brown – ugly – b-b-bull!”

“Aw, Matt, stop kidding me.” Mr. B blinked and rubbed his eyes. “That’s enough of the jokes.” A short rumble from behind sent him scrambling to his feet. He flailed his arms while galloping. “Quick! Into the Rover. Now!”

“But Dad!” In the sweltering heat and moment, the boy froze, glued to his air mattress under the bean tree. Terrified, he witnessed his Dad bound over the dirt and fly into the empty Rover parking space and onto a thicket of spinifex. Matt winced. The massif of angry brown trod closer. It paused, pawing the ground, taunting its human prey.

[Photo 3: Cattle Yard © S.O. Gross circa 1950]

After rubbing his punctured behind, Mr. B scrambled for the tarpaulin and rummaged through the baggage. “Er, d-don’t worry Matt. I-I’ll charge this bull before it s-sh-shoots — er — us.”

“But, Dad, the bull doesn’t have a gun.”

“Well, neither do we, we’ll just have to be satisfied with this boomerang and spear, till I find the damn gun.”

The bull stalked, narrowing the gap. The son clambered up the tree and gasped as his father fought with a rucksack that had entangled his legs, while he waved the pathetic weapons above his head.

[Photo 4: Mr. B wishing his nemesis “subdu-a-bull” © S.O. Gross circa 1945]

“But Dad, they’re only souvenirs.”

“Why Matt, how can you say such a thing? Where do you think these genuine Australian artefacts are made?” With all his effort, Mr. B thrust the spear at the beast.

“Yes, Dad, sold in Australia, but made in China.” Matt watched as the menacing bulk of fury stomped the ground, dust billowing into a cloud around it. “Too bad the bull doesn’t know the difference.”

“Don’t be sarcastic at a time of crisis, son.” Mr. B flung the boomerang at the charging bull and ducked behind the tucker box. The projectile bounced off the bull’s hide, provoking it into a tumult of frenzy. Grunting like an eight-cylinder engine, he stormed towards its human attacker, screeching to a halt at the edge of the tarpaulin. As the bull glared down at him, Mr. B could smell its leathery breath.

[Photo 5: Meanwhile, Mt. Liebig in afternoon and more generous ghost gum © S.O. Gross circa 1946]

With a nervous smile fixed on his face, the father edged his way to the bean tree and climbed aboard. The bull stomped and snorted around the sacred bean tree while its victims trembled in the lofty branches amongst the beans.

From this vantage point, Mr. B spotted the rifle leaning up against the tucker box. Unfortunately, the bull sat between him in the tree and the tucker box.

Hours passed.

Father and son sat in the tree.

“Dad my bottom hurts,” Matt whined.

Mr. B sighed, “The others’ll be back soon. They have a rifle.”

“But Dad! I have to go!”

“Hold on,” Mr. B snapped.

The sun edged to the horizon.

Mr. B bit his lip wondering if he’d be stuck up this tree forever.

“Dad! I really have to!”

Mr. B turned to his son who was now rocking.

The distant hum rang through the golden landscape. Mr. B adjusted his grip on the branch.

The hum became louder. An engine.

The bull rose and sauntered out of the campsite, then disappeared into the bush.

“Just wait, Matt,” Mr. B said. He scrambled down the tree and grabbed the rifle.

Matt’s voice floated down. “Dad, it’s too late.”

As the sun disappeared below the horizon, the rest of the T-Team returned to find Mr. B clutching a rifle and pacing the clearing. Matt remained lodged high up in the bean tree.

“As you can see, while you’ve been climbing your mountain, we’ve had a not-so-welcome visitor,” Mr. B remarked.

[Photo 6: Mt. Liebig at sunset © C.D. Trudinger 1981]

“Somehow, I think the B-family will be taking a guided bus tour next time they go for a holiday,” I muttered to Rick.

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2019; updated 2023

Feature Painting: Mt. Liebig in watercolour © L.M. Kling 2017

***

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Wandering Wednesday–Brachina Gorge, Flinders Ranges

T-Team: Young and Restless in Brachina Gorge

It could’ve been Good Friday; most probably was. One thing was for certain, it was the Easter long weekend, when throngs of city folk in South Australia head for the outback to camp. My brother and I joined our youth group friends on a camping trip to Brachina Gorge, Flinders Ranges. Ah, those were the days!

[Photo 1: Road to Brachina © L.M. Kling 1983]

Another thing was for sure. We had reached Brachina Gorge after a long day of driving and everyone was, let’s just say, less than civil with each other. At least no kangaroos had been slaughtered by car, no copious amounts of beer had been drunk in the car, and thus no unfortunate accidents causing us to escape the car had happened either. Not like some Easter in the future when the T-Team explored Chambers Gorge.

[Photo 2: Approaching Brachina Gorge © L.M. Kling circa 1983]

So, late Good Friday afternoon, we stopped in Brachina Gorge just before the track became too suspension-crunching rough.

B Calm sautéed his dehydrated rice on his personal gas cooker. He wasn’t grumpy.

I peered at the sizzling stubs of rice and deliciously smelling onion. ‘What are you doing?’ I asked.

‘Cooking,’ B Calm replied.

‘Looks good.’ I mused how B Calm could settle down and cook his dinner. The rest of the crew bumbled about the narrow sandy rise above the riverbed, searching for a decent-sized patch to plant their tents.

[Photo 3: In search of a tent site in Brachina Gorge © L.M. Kling 1983]

Storm bowled past B Calm. ‘This place is rubbish! Can’t we move on?’

B Calm ignored Storm and continued frying. The cliffs of the gorge shimmered salmon-pink in the late afternoon sun.

[Photo 4: Brachina Cliffs late afternoon © L.M. Kling 1983]

Storm paced in front of B Calm. He moaned, ‘There’s nowhere to put a tent up! Who chose this place?’

The culprit, my brother, also ignored this feedback. He hovered over the rock pool, searching for his tucker tonight. Yabbies.

[Photo 5: Tributary Creek in Brachina © L.M. Kling 1999

]

‘Any luck?’ B Calm called.

‘Nup,’ Rick replied. ‘But I just caught a tadpole.’ He then tipped back his head, opened wide his mouth and popped the tadpole in.

[Photo 6: Rock Pools in Brachina where yabbies and tadpoles thrive © L.M. Kling 1999]

‘Ew! Yuk!’ the girls, Summer and Autumn screamed. ‘That’s disgusting!’

Triv sniggered.

After a gulp, Rick shuddered. ‘A bit too salty.’

Storm stumbled past. ‘This place stinks!’

‘Find us a better place then,’ Rick replied.

[Photo 7: In search of Camping Paradise © L.M. Kling 1983]

Storm stomped down the road that led further into the gorge and disappeared around the bend. The sun, by this time had slunk below the horizon to light up other parts of the Earth. Twilight lingered, dusting wisps of cloud in shades of crimson.

[Photo 8: Sundown in Brachina © L.M. Kling 1999]

B Calm glanced in the direction of Storm’s venture. ‘He’ll be back.’

Sure enough, as the twisted bushes on the neighbouring ridge turned to ink against the fading sunset, Storm returned. ‘Still reckon this place is a dump,’ he muttered.

[Photo 9: Silhouettes of sunset in Brachina © L.M. Kling 1999]

For the rest of us, the ancient mystery of the Brachina cliffs had convinced us to stay put. Tents lined the banks of the creek. And our small group of friends gathered around the roaring fire, sausages sizzling in frypans and billies boiling for a cup of tea. Brachina, and the campsite Rick had chosen, was more than good enough for us.

[Photo 10: Campfire of content © L.M. Kling 1983]

‘Maybe we’ll move on in the morning,’ Rick promised; more to allay any remaining discontent, than a firm promise.

[Photo 11: Ancient mystery of Brachina Gorge © L.M. Kling 1999]

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2020; update 2023

Feature Photo: Sunset on Brachina © L.M. Kling 1999

***

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Thumm Christmas (part 2)

The Ants Pants of Christmas

When the backyard was clear of interfering adults, Wally’s harassment of the girls, particularly Minna, intensified. It began with vicious name calling, progressed to pinching and poking, and then escalated into soda warfare. Wally collected an arsenal of soda bottles which had come courtesy of Dad’s Christmas present soda machine, and after shaking vigorously, he assaulted the girls with the sticky fluid that spewed forth. No matter where Minna and Holly ran to escape, there lurked Wally, and the spray of soda. Not even freshly laid eggs from the hen house collected by Holly, and catapulted so accurately at Wally, deterred him from his soda campaign. It only stopped when the soda ran out. Grandma was not amused. ‘Them was good eggs,’ she lamented. She didn’t care about the soda.

Then came the stoning with pebbles from Grandma’s driveway. Wally rounded up the troops, all male, and barely pubescent. They scraped up the gravel by the tee-shirt full and set about pelting their female victims with the stones. The war of the Thumms had commenced; boys against girls. Holly and Minna cowered behind the corrugated iron bins and used the lids as shields. Grandma’s garbage was no match for gravel.

As the girls weathered another stone shower in the warmth of the Christmas Day twilight, Holly looked over at Minna. ‘Are you thinking what I am thinking?’ Holly had an uncanny knack for reading thoughts, especially Minna’s.

‘Yep, I think you are, Holly,’ Minna replied, smirking.

‘Well, then, what are we waiting for. Let’s dack him!’

‘Good thinking, Holly. There’s just the technical details to work out. Right?’ Minna ducked as a hail of pellets descended on them. ‘So how?’

‘Well, we could…’ Holly was full of brilliant ideas, but had trouble executing them.

‘I know, John, I’ll get my brother, John on our side. He’s an expert at dacking.’

‘Yes!’

Moving together, Holly and Minna held onto bin lids and side-stepped across the lawn to where John was fielding in another eternal game of French cricket. A spray of stones followed. Annoyed John hollered at the culprit, Wally, ‘Hey! Would you cut it out!’

‘Do you want revenge, John?’ Minna asked.

‘I’m playing cricket.’ John snapped.

Holly batted the tennis ball with her shield. ‘Won’t take long.’

‘Hey, I could have caught that.’ John sniffed and rubbed a pimple on the side of his nose.

‘See that over-sized baby, over there. That excuse of a boy called Wally?’ Minna pointed towards Wally as he gathered up more of the driveway in his tee-shirt. ‘Doesn’t he remind you of your worst enemy? Here’s your chance. You could dack him for us.’

‘Dack him yourself! I’m playing cricket.’ John replied while Holly batted another ball away with her shield. ‘Hey stop doing that!’

‘Only when you’ve dacked the Wally,’ Holly said. ‘I mean, look what he’s done to the drive way! And think about when you next mow Grandma’s lawn.’

John rolled his eyes. ‘Alright! But you owe me, cousin!’

Minna spotted Wally, again lurking, this time in the shadows, by the side of the house. She whispered to her big brother, ‘He’s just behind you, John.’

As Wally raised his hand to hurl stones on their unprotected bodies, John swung around and with one graceful and swift movement, drew Wally’s trousers, ants pants underpants revealed. Simultaneously in that split second, a flash lit up and interrupted the cricket match.

‘Yes! Good one!’ Minna congratulated John on his skill.

‘Thanks boys, that will make an excellent photo.’ Aunt Sophie announced, oblivious to the R-rated nature of her snap.

‘Yes!’ Holly sang. ‘Revenge is sweet!’

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2018; updated 2023

Feature Photo: Christmas in Australia means cricket and beach © L.M. Kling 2007

***

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***

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The Hitch-hiker

Tis the Season–Hurry Last Few Hours

Christmas, Thumm-style Down Under

[A Christmas special as a spin-off from my novels The Hitch-hiker and

Mission of the Unwilling.]

Christmas was encumbered with a monumental family gathering. Every family member imaginable plus a few ring-ins congregated at Grandma Thumm’s for the occasion. What was a logistical nightmare for Minna’s parents, aunts and uncles, was joy for Minna as her favourite cousin Holly visited from Switzerland. But she cringed on spotting Wally. (Grandma had felt sorry for his mum and her older teen charges Wally and Monica). That sense of pity didn’t extend to Minna as that dreaded ring-in, and one time school bully, scowled at Minna. Monica had escaped the Thumm Christmas. Home with a migraine. So, without Monica to protect her, Minna avoided Wally, and concentrated her attention on Holly.

Aunt Sophie, Holly’s mother, rounded the Thumm troops for the traditional family photo in the back garden in front of the grapevine. 

The camera got Minna thinking. I wonder…She became quiet and gazed up at the cobalt cloudless sky.

‘Is something wrong?’ Holly snapped her out of sky-gazing, then chuckled. ‘Oh, I know! You’re thinking of some boy.’

‘No!’ Minna shouted. ‘Not boys!’

‘Dinner time!’ Mum called. She rang the bell.

Like lemmings the Thumm clan trooped into Grandma’s kitchen.

As the elders settled around the antique 100-year-old oak table, with a spread of roast turkey, silver and the best china on white linen, Aunt Sophie beckoned to John, Minna’s older brother, ‘You can sit with us, dear, I want to hear all about that telescope you are making.’

Minna sighed, and followed the kids to the “kindertisch” on the back verandah. ‘My luck I’ll end up next to Wally’, she muttered to Holly as they heaped their plates full of the crispiest baked potatoes in the southern hemisphere.

Minna’s words came a reality as she perched on a foldable deck chair at the “kindertisch”. The only seat available for Wally, was next the hers. When he approached the table, paper plate laden into a V-shape from piles of poultry and potato, all the other kids had closed the ranks with their chairs, ensuring no Wally-sized gap existed. Minna, who had been busy discussing the method of making crunchy potato with Holly, had failed to register the Wally-approach. Too late, Wally squeezed his frame between her and Holly. Minna cringed. She would have preferred two Grandmas with wings on either side of her than to be seated next to him.

Wally spoiled what would have been a most pleasant Christmas dinner. As he hoed into his potato salad and smacked his lips together, Minna remarked, ‘You know, you remind me of Gomer Pyle! Where’re you from? Cornball Mississippi South?’

‘Shut up buck tooth Loch Ness Monster!’ Wally replied spraying a mouthful of spud over her plate.

‘Oh! Yuk! Creep germs!’ Minna cried. With that, she tipped the tainted contents over his lap.

‘I’ll get Boris onto you. Or better still, his cockroaches. Ha-ha.’

‘Whoever Boris is. Anyway, you’re one big cockroach.’

‘You dog!’ Wally scraped up a wad of potato and flicked it in her face.

‘How dare you contaminate me!’ She knocked her cola over his trousers. ‘Oops! Looks like someone’s had an accident. Ha! Ha! Wally’s peed himself!’

All the cousins laughed.

‘You cow!’ Wally squealed. His voice cracked and squeaked as if he were a pig.

‘Come, come! What’s going on?’ Grandma poked her head out the back door.

Wally pointed at Minna. ‘The dog did it!’

‘Now, now, that’s not a nice thing to say about your cousin.’ Grandma chided. ‘Dear me, what happened to your pants, Wally?’

‘It was an accident.’ Minna chortled. ‘Wasn’t it, Holly?’

Holly nodded and giggled into her napkin. She had no time for the loathsome Wally either. ‘Yeah, Gran, he had an accident, he peed himself.’ She guffawed.

‘What? Minna threw the drink on me!’ Wally yelped. He brushed the stain with his holly decorated napkin.

‘Now, now, Wally, calm down!’ Grandma reasoned. She waddled her wide-girth body to the table and put an arm around Wally’s shoulder. ‘You must treat girls with respect. You don’t go calling them names like that. Now you say, “Sorry”.’

Wally scowled and muttered, ‘Sorry!’

Satisfied, Grandma went back to her job of hosting the adults who were by this time popping bon-bons and laughing out loud at the lame jokes discovered inside them.

Holly and Minna tittered as they observed Wally move away and seat his slimy self all alone at an extra tiny card table. The paper hat sat crookedly on his greasy scalp.

Minna giggled and said, ‘Hey, Holly, with that salad bowl hair cut and pasty complexion, he looks like the dork from Oz.’

‘Shut up!’ Wally menaced as the girls continued to snigger. He hurled the bone at them. The girls dodged the missile and it landed with a plop in dried up plant pot.

‘Oooh!’ Holly jibed. ‘Respect the ladies, didn’t you hear what Grandma said?’

‘You’re no ladies,’ Wally mumbled.

His mother poked her nose out the window. ‘Wally?’

‘Nothing,’ her son muttered, and with head down, he played with a chicken wing on his plate.

 […to be continued]

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2018

Feature Photo: Christmas Table © L.M. Kling 2006 

***

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***

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The Hitch-hiker 

Wednesday Wandering–Time Paradox

[As the year comes to an end, a reflection on the passing of time…Especially since I’ve noticed time slipping away from me and feeling like I accomplish less each day than I used to.]

WARPED TIME

An argument broke out between two members of our family over time—threatening a war that would rival the epic war of the Time Lords from the Dr Who series.

‘You better allow at least two hours to get from Zurich Airport to Wattwil,’ a member of our family who came from Switzerland warns.

*[Photo 1: Zurich from above © L.M. Kling 2014]

‘What? According to Google Maps, it should only take an hour,’ another family member shows their relative the map on their computer screen. ‘See? It’s only sixty kilometres—and we’ve got the freeway.’

*[Photo 2: Countryside near Wattwil © L.M. Kling 2014]

And so, a joke endures in our family that time speeds up in Switzerland, perhaps owing to the mini-black hole created by the Large Hadron Collider.

Fast forward to Zurich Airport August 2014…and we witness not time, but our relatives, fresh off the plane, stand still for an hour and a half, debating where to change Australian dollars into Swiss Francs. Is this what our relative meant when they said all goes slower in Switzerland? For them, perhaps, not us. Up until then, the only impediment to our timekeeping was a wayward Tom Tom who prefers scenic routes to the more expedient ones, and road works—the bane of summertime in Europe.

*[Photo 3: Destination Badenweiler, Black Forest after scenic tour into France © L.M. Kling 2014]

So, maybe it wasn’t the mini–Black Hole after all, but I have observed time does speed up or slow down depending on the place and activity. You may have heard the old adage: “Time flies when you’re having fun”. When I’m painting, I’m in the zone, and hours melt away, and a whole afternoon disappears into night. My son will come to me and ask, ‘When’s tea?’

‘Soon,’ I say. ‘Just need to do a few more dabs.’

Another hour slips by and my husband comes and says, ‘It’s nine o’clock, when are we eating?’

Fine then. I put down my brushes and admire my work…for another half an hour.

*[Painting 1: Somerton Beach summer sunset © L.M. Kling 2018]

Yet there are places where time slows and stretches almost into eternity. My mother and I are convinced that Magill, a suburb east of Adelaide city, is one of those places. We love our “Magill time”—a leisurely lunch, then a slow snoop at the Salvos, then the bookshop, and still time to do the grocery shopping before we pick up my son from his guitar-making workshop.

However, for my son, “Magill time” doesn’t exist. For him, the time spent on his craft vanishes into the sawdust—much like when I paint, I guess.

My son theorises that time is relative to age. When a person is young, say, one year old, they haven’t experienced much time so the time they have lived seems a long and drawn out. But for an eighty-year-old, one year is one of eighty and thus seems short in comparison.

*[Photo 4: Timeless, Morialta Falls just a few kilometres from Magill © L.M. Kling 2013]

I guess there’s something to be said that time is related to energy. Young people possess a greater amount of energy; they pack so much more into a day, and still don’t tire. Have you noticed, as you get older, young people speak faster? Or if you are younger, you wonder why older people speak so slow. What’s going on there? Young people complain about being bored and needing to fill in each minute of the day, so as not to waste time. Screen time fills in the gaps when “nothing” is happening.

*[Photo 5: Screen time Christmas © L.M. Kling 2016]

In contrast, I believe there is a phenomenon called “older people’s time”. I observed this with my aging relatives. They complain time speeds up, but from my point of view they are just slowing down. They compensate for their slow movement in time, by preparing in advance for events, and arriving early so as not to miss out. It’s not unusual for the older generation to arrive at a venue an hour early so as to be on time.

*[Photo 6: Grandpa Nap time © L.M. Kling circa 1978]

And in contrast to their youth, older people prefer to sit for hours pondering, their memories perusing their past. For them, days blend together, years vanish into a succession of Christmases. ‘Oh, dear, how time has flown,’ they say. Some think they’ve lived so long, they experienced the pre-Industrial Revolution. Not sure what’s going on there.

*[Photo 7: The good ol’ days way back when… Christmas on Mission in the Cameroons © F.W. Basedow circa 1899]

I guess at the end of the day, as in Psalm 31:15a, David says, “My(our) times are in your (God’s) hands”. We are encouraged to use our time on Earth wisely, loving and building each other up in goodness and thanking God for the time He has given us.

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2016; updated 2020; 2022

*Feature Photo: Seacliff Sunset © L.M. Kling 2013

***

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Trekking with the T-Team: Central Australian Safari. (Australia)

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari (United States)

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari (UK)

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari (Germany]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [France]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari (India)

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Canada]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Mexico]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Italy]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Brazil]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Spain]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Japan]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Netherlands]

Travelling Tuesday–Saas Fee

The Matterhorn Rebellion

[K-Team European Adventures 2014]

One morning in August 2014, I rose early to catch the sunrise on the mountains surrounding Saas Fee in Switzerland. My husband also woke early to organise the earlier-than-other-places’-check-out at 9.00am. A shadow of disappointment rested on us as we adjusted to the reality that we would miss viewing the Matterhorn—not as a result of the weather, the weather was perfect, but because certain members of our gang feared they could not afford the expense of travelling to the other side to see the Matterhorn. (In retrospect, in a large travel group there’s always going to be differing agendas and opinions where to go and what to do and plenty of drama to go with it.)

The fallout from the Matterhorn Rebellion had settled and we had made the best of our Saas Fee visit with the previous day spent up the Honig instead. An aside here, how family myths are created. One member of our crew, insisted for years to come that I had been stalked and attacked by goats up on the Honig. I was not stalked and attacked by goats. Although, the thoughtless person who left a plastic bag of waste tied to a bench seat, has a lot to answer for. Let’s just say, that anyone who sat on that seat was assured of company. Goats, that is.

*[Photo 1: Goats, and mountain view up the Honig © L.M. Kling 2014]

Hence, the next morning, our last in Saas Fee, after catching the sun’s rays spreading over the mountains, we ate our muesli breakfast admiring the view…until the others in our party made an appearance.

 *[Photo 2: Dawn on the Dom © L.M. Kling 2014]

However, for some members, the novelty of early starts had worn off. So, after some more drama, where the morning views of the mountains surrounding Saas Fee were not appreciated, my husband, his brother and I were left to sort out the garbage. Saas Fee being a green village, had a particular protocol regarding waste disposal.

*[Photo 3: Morning Saas Fee, Switzerland © L.M. Kling 2014]

I rang the hotel management. My Swiss-German being non-existent, and my German not much better, this was a challenge to understand what we were to do with the waste. We were meant to have an orange bag for the garbage. Where was that? My husband hiked down to the hotel reception, while his brother and I vacated the apartment. We waited in the courtyard for my husband to return. He did, just before the taxi arrived—and with an orange bag.

*[Photo 4: Saas Fee, a town surrounded by the Alps © L.M. Kling 2014]

En route to the car (being a car-free village, all cars had to be parked in a carpark outside Saas Fee), with the loads of bags the others left for us to transport by taxi, the driver stopped at a humble wooden hut. He took our orange garbage bag and, after opening the door of the hut, tossed the bag inside. I marvelled that even the garbage-disposal sites were disguised as mini alpine huts.

*[Photo 5: A hut like this in Saas Fee ©  L.M. Kling 2014]

After finding our car, and loading the baggage into it, we walked to the cable-car station. We caught up with the rest of our party at the Revolving Restaurant at Mittelallalin. We rode the two cable-cars and then cog-wheel train which went through the mountain tunnel to Mittelallalin at 3500m. The brisk but thin alpine air, the blue skies and bright white peaks of fresh fallen snow melted the misunderstandings of morning away and peace was made.

*[Photo 6: Now that the garbage has been dealt with—my hubby grabbing sunshine outside the Revolving Restaurant © L.M. Kling 2014]

*[Photo 7: What lies behind the Dom–the Matterhorn, of course © L.M. Kling 2014]

At 1pm, the younger members of our party decided to head down the mountain and start the drive back to Wattwil and the farm. Us “oldies” stayed to investigate the ice-caves inside the Fee glacier. When we prepared to leave the mountain, we saw the line-up for the cog wheel train was wide, thick and long with skiers who had the same idea. Maybe after some lunch the crowd would thin. Not so. Lunch did nothing to thin the crowd. Took us nearly an hour, crushed in by school-age skiers and their big ski gear bags whopping in front of our faces, and slowly inching forward as we watched three cog wheel trains cram skiers and snow-boarders in and then leave without us. There was even a “ghost” train. It came. It went. Without any passengers. Go figure!

*[Photo 8: Line-up of a different kind in the Ice-caves of the Fee Glacier (c) L.M. Kling 2014]

 ‘Why the long face, son?’ his mother asked.

‘All this way, I’ve come,’ he muttered, ‘perfect weather, and we were so close…and I still couldn’t see the Matterhorn; thanks to the Matterhorn Rebellion.’

So, as the sun set on the Alps, disappointment settled in the hearts of certain K-Team members, who had missed out on their goal to see the Matterhorn.

[Photo 9: Sunset on the Alps, Saas Fee © L.M. Kling 2014]

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2016; updated 2018; 2022

*Feature Photo: Dawn on the Dom © Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2014 

***

And now, for something different…from Europe…

Dreaming of an Aussie Outback Adventure?

Click the link below:

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari 1981,

To download your Amazon Kindle copy of the story…

And escape in time and space to the Centre of Australia 1981…

Virtual Travel–Romantic Road Bavaria

[Over the weekend I have wiled away some time in virtual travel courtesy of YouTube, particularly reliving our exploration of the Romantic Road, Bavaria. I also delved into some research of Nördlingen (mostly Wikipedia). I wanted to find more information about Kaiserhof Hotel Sonne but was sadly disappointed that the algorithms were on the side of “Booking.com” and “Tripadvisor” which dominated the search engines.

If anyone out there has some history pertaining to this hotel or can direct me to some resources, please share in the comments below.]

We passed through Ulm which was featured in this postcard but didn’t visit Ulm. We stayed in a town nearby called Burgau for a few days while we explored the Romantic Road. Our Tom-Tom, which we named Tomina, took great delight in leading us astray. In our quest to reach our Burgau apartment, Tomina decided to take us on a roadway that was closed to traffic.

Similarly, over one-hundred years ago, this postcard chased Theodora Bellan across Bavaria, originating in Sofflingen (a town that Google maps doesn’t recognise), then Nussdorf, and finally found her in Ludwigsburg.

The Romanitic Road was one part of Germany, that despite the wars and modernisation of the twentieth century, never lost its Medieval charm. A reason I so wanted to travel this road of the Romans when we travelled to Germany in 2014.  

Romantic Road

The next few days we explored the Romantic Road, although Tom Tom always tried to get us on the freeway. Friday, we did Tomina’s circuits in by never obeying her commands and instead following the Romantic Road signs.

 Highlights of the Romantic Road:

Nördlingen–the town of my Trudinger ancestors and having lunch in the Hotel Sonne restaurant which was owned by the Trudinger family until the 1960s. We then walked around the medieval wall. Hubby amused fellow travellers by greeting them with an Aussie “G’day”.

[Photos 1, 2, and 3 Aspects of Nördlingen © L.M. Kling 2014]

1. Red Rooves were filmed in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
2. The Wall of Nördlingen.
3. Kaiserhof Hotel Sonne

[Photos 3 & 4: Wassertrüdingen © L.M. Kling 2014]

4. Rain in Wassertrüdingen
5. Reflections in the water of Wassertrüdingen

Dinkelsbuhl–the church, St. Georges Minster, the ornate carvings and artwork and the bejewelled skeleton of a martyr executed by Emperor Nero on display. And…that day, Goths and Emos aplenty.

[Photos 6 & 7: Dinkelsbuhl © L.M. Kling 2014]

6. St. Georges Minster
7. Segringer Tor

Rothenburg ob der Tauber where we enjoyed the delicious sweet pastry as well as the beautiful sunny day that showed off its cobblestone roads and medieval buildings at its best.

[Photos 8, 9 & 10: Rothenburg ob der Tauber (c) L.M. Kling 2014]

8. Sweet Treats
9. Typical Rothenburg Street
10. Rothenburg ob der Tauber most popular

Challenges of the Romantic Road:

  • Too many tourists especially at Fussen on the Saturday we visited, caused us to be trapped in a massive traffic jam that held us in a virtual carpark for an hour.
  • So many tourists at Neuschwanstein (Mad Ludwig’s Castle). If we’d attempted to buy a ticket, we would have waited a four and a half hours or more to enter the castle!
  • Traffic jams and rain, both especially heavy that particular Saturday in August.

[Photos 11 & 12: Neuschwanstein and surrounds © L.M. Kling 2014]

11. Neuschwanstein with Schloss Hohenschwagau in foreground
12. Schwansee

We took a break from the Romantic Road one day to visit my relatives. Tomina had trouble with the “dud” roundabout, so we ended up travelling the “scenic route” through the back way off the motorway through corn fields and behind slow tractors. The hour’s trip took two hours, but once we arrived, we had a wonderful day.

In Burgau we had no internet. I think Hubby coped…although to be honest, he was grumpy at times. I guess there’s something to be said to slow down to the pace of snail mail and send postcards as folk did over 100 years ago…especially when there’s no internet.

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2020; updated 2022

Feature Postcard: Ulm © 1905

Postcard Front: Ulm, Bayern

Postcard Back

***

And now, for something different…from Europe…

Dreaming of an Aussie Outback Adventure?

Click the link below:

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari 1981,

To download your Amazon Kindle copy of the story…

And escape in time and space to the Centre of Australia 1981…

Trekking Tuesday–MacDonnell Gorges (1)

The T-Team Series — The Gorges of the MacDonnell Ranges

In this episode, the T-Team valiantly explore as many gorges in the MacDonnell Ranges as they can…in one afternoon. The challenge, avoid the crowds of tourists while keeping Mr. B entertained.

Ellery Creek and Serpentine Gorge

[Extract from The T-Team with Mr B: Central Australia 1977, a prequel to Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari 1981.

The T-Team with Mr B — In 1977 Dad’s friend Mr Banks and his son, Matt (not their real names), joined Dad, my brother (Rick) and me on this journey of adventure. I guess Dad had some reservations how I would cope… But it soon became clear that the question was, how would Mr B who was used to a life of luxury cope? And how many times would my brother lose his way in the bush?]

With our two Indigenous guides, Dad drove the Rover along the rough dirt track (probably a “short cut”) to the road that parallels the MacDonnell Ranges, Namatjira Drive. These days, the main roads are sealed, but not back then. Dust billowed into the cabin as we drove on a road that parallels the MacDonnell Ranges.

*[Photo 1: View of MacDonnell Ranges from Namatjira Drive © L.M. Kling 2013]

Nearing the intersection of Namatjira Drive from the unknown track, Dad turned to Mr. B. ‘Ellery Creek? Or Serpentine?’

Mr. B gazed at the mountain range and pointed. ‘Ellery Creek. You did say it’s like the local’s swimming pool.’

‘There’s many interesting gorges and creeks in these hills to explore,’ Dad said. ‘We won’t be staying at any for too long.’

*[Photos 2 & 3: Gorges Dad dreams of visiting again and again: Ormiston (2), Glen Helen (3) © C.D. Trudinger 1977]

2. Ormiston Gorge
3. Glen Helen

Mr. B frowned. ‘Just long enough to take a few snaps like the tourists, I expect.’

‘You sure you don’t want to start at Serpentine to our right? We could hike up while the morning’s still cool.’

‘What morning? It’s already past noon.’ Mr. B flicked his map flat. ‘Ellery Creek, I say, for lunch.’

Dad sighed, ‘Very well, then, Ellery Creek.’

Ellery Creek

After lumbering along the wider but corrugated road, Dad turned into the barely discernable trail that led to Ellery Creek. After entering the clearing for parking, we hunted for a car park. Not an easy feat as the car park was full; even the spaces in between swarmed with tourists.

Dad squeezed the Rover into what seemed the last remaining gap, and the T-Team piled out.

*[Photo 4, & 5 Aspects of Ellery Creek © L.M. Kling 2013]

4. Trees of Ellery Creek

5. Ellery Creek Big Hole

*[Photo 6: Recent visit to Ellery Creek © L.M. Kling 2021]

‘It’s like Glenelg beach,’ I said, ‘it’s stuffed full.’

Richard looked at the offering of water; a disappointing dam at the end of a sandy bank. ‘There’s more sand and water at Glenelg.’

‘As many people, though,’ I replied.

Matt sniggered.

Mr. B stomped past us and with elbows akimbo he stopped at the water’s edge. ‘Is this it?’

Dad joined his friend. ‘I warned you.’

So, with obligatory photos taken while dodging the crowds, we made our way to Serpentine Gorge.

*[Photo 7: Said obligatory photo of T-Team with guides at Ellery Creek © L.M. Kling (nee Trudinger) 1977]

As he turned the Rover left so heading east towards Alice Springs, Dad smiled. Mr. B pouted and folded the map. He insisted we have lunch before we start on the hike up the gorge. Dad went one better announcing that, since it was Sunday, we’d have lunch AND a Sunday Service.

Mr. B’s response was to shake his head and mumble something not-so-polite into his red dust-stained handkerchief.

Serpentine Gorge

Less populated, Serpentine Gorge begged to be explored. Our Indigenous guides were not interested in joining us, so we bravely set off on our own adventure. To get to the narrowest part of the gorge, we had to cross a deep pool of water on our air mattresses and then walk along a rocky creek barefoot. We had forgotten to bring our shoes. Not that it concerned the men, they raced ahead leaving me behind hobbling on tender feet over sharp stones.

*[Photo 8: Later lilo exploits © C.D. Trudinger 1986]

Then, disaster. Mud and slime replaced jagged rocks. In the shadows of gorge, I trotted on the path near creek. My heel struck a slippery puddle lurking by a pool of sludge. Next, I skated, feet flew from under me, and I landed bottom-first in the murky depths of the Serpentine Creek.

*[Photo 9: That special part of Serpentine Gorge at that special time of day © C.D. Trudinger 1981]

I pulled myself from the rock-hole, my clothes caked in mud and stinking of slime.

Dad jogged up to me, his barefoot steps slapping, the sound bouncing off the slate walls that lined the gorge.

‘What do you mean special part of the gorge?’ I snapped at Dad. ‘It’s not so special to me. It’s too dark, and I’m just too uncomfortable.’

*[Photo 10: Not so special to me © L.M. Kling (nee Trudinger) 1977]

‘Ah, well,’ Dad sighed. ‘We better get back to the Rover. We need to find camp before it’s dark.’

As we hobbled back in the fading light, I mumbled, ‘Sure it’s not dark already?’

Other Gorges for Another Day

Dad endeavoured to distract me from my discomfort with descriptions of the many other gorges in the MacDonnell Ranges and tales of adventures exploring them. His stories whetted my appetite to view these wonders myself one day, on this trip, or perhaps in future journeys to Central Australia.

*[Photo 11 & 12: Other Gorges to look forward to. Redbank (11) Ormiston (12) © C.D. Trudinger circa 1950]

11. Redbank
12. Ormiston

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2019; updated 2022

*Feature Photo: Ellery Creek Big Hole © L.M. Kling 2021

***

Dreaming of adventure in Australia’s Centre? Take your mind and imagination on a historic journey with the T-Team…

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Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari 1981

T-Team Series–Palm Valley

It’s been a rough weekend. Storm, been called a mini cyclone, struck Adelaide Saturday afternoon, slaying trees all over the city and the hills, and tearing down powerlines. 100000 people were affected with no power to their homes, and even today, some are still without power.

We were without power for 24-hours, so work on the computer has been delayed. Managed to get some painting done, though.

Memories of the T-Team’s adventures without all the modern-day luxuries surface, and how we coped way back in 1977…

[Extract from The T-Team with Mr B: Central Australia 1977, a prequel to Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari 1981.]

The T-Team with Mr B (24)

Lost in Palm Valley

Our truck lumbered over the designated four-wheel drive track-come-dry Finke Riverbed to Palm Valley.

*[Photo 1: Dry river of the Finke © C.D. Trudinger circa 1955]

Dad turned to Mr. B and chuckled. ‘How would you like to sleep on this riverbed?’

Mr. B pouted, folded his arms and looked out the window.

We continued to bump over the rocks and sand where two-wheel drive vehicles fear to tread. Dad recalled his days travelling by donkey along this same track when he explored Palm Valley with his Arunda students.

*[Photo 2: Those were the days when only donkeys trekked the path to Palm Valley © C.D. Trudinger circa 1955]

‘O-oh!’ Dad uttered as the Rover’s underside scraped over some boulders. When our vehicle continued to move, though slowly, we all sighed with relief.

‘O-oh!’ Dad gritted his teeth and sucked air through the gaps in them. The Rover jolted to a stop. The engine screamed. The body rocked. The wheels spun. ‘O-oh! I think we’re bogged.’

Mr. B groaned, ‘I hope that doesn’t mean we’re sleeping on this god-forsaken creek tonight.’

‘Okay—oh, better put it into four-wheel drive. Now, for one more try.’

Dad readjusted the grip of his fingers on the steering-wheel and pressed his foot on the accelerator. The Rover leapt out of the bog-hole.

‘Good thing you remembered that the Land Rover has four-wheel drive,’ Mr. B muttered.

We crawled along the creek bed for a few more minutes, until confronted with formidable boulders where we were forced to stop. Dad reckoned we were a mile or two from the valley, so we had to hike the rest of the way.

Rick raced ahead. As was his habit, he lost us.

*[Photo 3: Palm Valley with me © C.D. Trudinger 1977]

We entered the land that time had misplaced, forgotten and then found preserved in this valley. Lofty palms swayed in the breeze. Fronds of green glittered in the sun while their shadows formed graceful shapes on the iron-red cliffs. Here a cycad, spouting from the rocks, there a ghost gum jutting from those same deep red walls. This sanctuary for ancient prehistoric palms, which had existed there since the dawn of time, distracted us from my errant brother. We trundled over the stone smoothed by the running of water several millennia ago, admired the mirror reflections in the remaining pools, and breathed in the tranquility.

*[Photo 4: Mirror reflection © C.D. Trudinger 1977]

Then, as if the ancient palm spell was broken, a frown descended on Dad’s face. He stood up, tapped his pockets checking to feel if his keys and small change still existed, and then marched down the valley. When he’d disappeared into a gathering of palms, I asked Mr. B, ‘What’s my dad doing?’

‘I think he’s looking for your brother,’ Mr. B replied. ‘He seems to have a habit of getting lost.’

Matt, Mr. B’s son sniggered.

*[Photo 5: Wiggly Palm © C.D. Trudinger circa 1955]

Still in the zone of swoon, I sat beside the billabong in the shade of the palm trees and changed my film. Then I stretched, and leaving Mr. B and Matt to their rest, I ambled along the stone-paved bed looking for Dad. Again, time lost relevance in the beauty and wonder of the palms: tall skinny ones, wiggly ones, short ones, clustered ones and alone ones.

*[Photo 6: Pa peaceful amongst the palms © L.M. Kling (nee Trudinger) 1977]

I found Dad, but there was no sign of my brother. The sun had edged over the western walls of the valley casting a golden-orange glow over the opposing cliffs.

Dad huffed and puffed. ‘It’s getting late. I s’pose Rick has gone back to the Rover.’

‘Better head back, then,’ I said.

On the way, we collected Mr. B and son. They had not seen my AWOL brother either.

*[Photo 7: Sunset on the cliffs of Palm Valley © C.D. Trudinger circa 1955]

We waited back at the car for Rick. Dad’s concern turned to annoyance, then frustration. Dad had plans for a picnic, but as the sun sank lower, his well laid plans were becoming remote. Dad paced the sand, hands on hips, and muttering discontentedly. Trust my brother to spoil a perfect place and time for a picnic tea. The idea of proceeding with the picnic without Rick did not occur to Dad. I guess the thought that some peril had befallen him had sabotaged any appetite. Dad nervously tapped his right pocket; at least his keys hadn’t gone AWOL.

Every few minutes Dad paused in his pacing. ‘Ah—well!’ he’d say. Then sucking the warm air between his gritted teeth, he’d resume pacing.

An hour passed as we watched Dad track back and forth across the clearing.

*[Photo 8: Memories of a ghost gum © C.D. Trudinger 1977]

‘I swear you’ve made a groove there in the sand,’ Mr. B said.

Dad halted and narrowed his eyes at Mr. B.

I peered at the sand, straining my vision to pick out the path Dad had created.

A branch cracked. Footsteps, thudded. Distant. Then closer…louder.

Dad turned. All of us in the clearing froze and we fixed our gaze on the path leading to Palm Valley. The prodigal son stumbled into the clearing.

[Photo 9: Waiting for the prodigal son—view amongst the palms © C.D. Trudinger 1977]

Contrary to the parable, Dad snapped, ‘We were going to have a picnic tea. But it is 5 o’clock, now. We have to get going!’

So, with less than an hour before darkness descended, we navigated the bumpy Finke River ride, and Dad’s grumpy mood, back to Hermannsburg.

After tea, Dad recovered from the grumps as we played card games; first “Pig”, followed by “Switch”.

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2019; updated 2022

Feature Photo: Palm Valley © C.D. Trudinger 1981

***

Dreaming of an Aussie Outback Adventure?

Click the link below:

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari 1981,

And escape in time and space to Centre of Australia 1981…