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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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 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

***

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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

***

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The Hitch-hiker, Last Day Free

[An excerpt…]

More silence as the Kombi trundled along Main North Road. Was this the trend for the road trip? Long awkward silences. Two brothers sitting side by side, itching to punch each other. Liesel itched to lay hands on Fox who squashed himself against the car door. And Minna opposite Günter, tried not to make too many calf-eyes at him, as well as trying her best to not nibble her nails. Was this what grown-up young people do for fun? Where was the excitement? The pillow fights? The Coca-Cola? Things go better with Coke, so the commercials say. And things in this mobile can did require better going.

A man dressed in brown walked on the roadside. He hunched over and stuck out his thumb.

Fox slowed down the van. ‘Oh, a hitch-hiker. Why don’t we pick him up?’

‘Are you crazy? No way!’ Liesel batted his arm.

Fox eased the Kombi to a stop. ‘He looks like he needs a lift. What the heck.’

‘What’re you doing?’ Liesel raised her tone.

But Fox continued to pull over to the side of the road.

[Read the whole story.

For a free Kindle download,

Click on the link:

The Hitch-hiker.]

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2015; updated 2022

Story Behind the Art–Cradle Mountain

[One week remaining of our MAG exhibition at Brighton Central Shopping Centre. So far, a most successful time. Our artists have sold over 56 works and counting.]

Heavenly Hike Around Dove Lake

The pinnacle of the K-T-Y’s (K-Team, the Younger) road trip around Tasmania was Cradle Mountain. I might add here that we’d abandoned my husband (Hubby)in Poatina on a Christian Leaders Training course, while I chauffeured the younger members of our family to the scenic sights in the Central Highlands and East Coast.

So, Sunday January 18, 2009, with Cradle Mountain National Park our goal, we drove the hills, dales, twists and turns. And we fended off near-misses with drivers who apparently didn’t know which side of the road they were meant to be on.

[Photo 1: Our goal to view, Cradle Mountain © L.M. Kling 2009]

Before entering the National Park, we had to buy The Pass. And the K-Team kids took the opportunity to have some lunch at the café in the Visitors’ Centre.

Then another wait on the sealed but narrow road. We watched the procession of cars squeeze past us as they exited the park. The boom gate took what seemed an eternity to rise. I reminded my “lambs” that good things come to those who wait. However, the only positive my 15-year-old Son 2 could muster was more atheistic zeal to preach to his captive audience.

Finally, the boom gate rose, and I ferried the K-Team Young’uns to a highly sought-after carpark. We piled out of the car, sorted out backpacks, and with the sun warming our backs, commenced the hike around Dove Lake. At first, I had to drag a reluctant Son 2 to join us on this adventure, but soon, wooed by the brilliant scenery, he raced ahead to catch up to his older brother.

This time we hiked the opposite way around the lake from the way we did in 2001. Following the well-trodden path, a small lake emerged.

[Photo 2: Small Lake © L.M. Kling 2009]

‘Is this Dove Lake?’ Son 1 asked.

‘I don’t think so,’ I replied. ‘I remember it being bigger than this.’

A sign designated to the pond, confirmed that it wasn’t Dove Lake.

A little further on, we reached the boat house and Cradle Mountain framing the view of Dove Lake. On the shore of pebbles and sand, a photographer perched near his sturdy tripod and SLR camera with telescopic lens, while his wife, long-suffering, sat under a beach umbrella enjoying a novel.

[Photo 3: Boat House, Dove Lake and Cradle Mountain © L.M. Kling 2009]

We continued our trek around the lake. Son 2 ceased his drone about the meaninglessness of life, while Son 1 captured the beauty on the little digital camera I had lent him.

We marvelled at the sun sparkling diamonds on ripples of water.

[Photo 4: Diamonds on the water © L.M. Kling 2009]

I explained that the tannin from the button grass in the highlands caused the rivers to run the colour of tea.

[Photo 5: Rivers of tea-coloured water © L.M. Kling 2009]

A cheeky currawong amused the boys.

[Photo 6: Cheeky currawong © L.M. Kling 2009]

Every few steps, I stopped and took yet more photos of the lake and the mountain towering above.

7.
8.
9.
[Photos 7, 8 & 9: Views along the way: Cradle Mountain (7), Roots (8), and Flower (9) © L.M. Kling 2009]

Even so, time stood still…

Within an hour, the K-T-Y had reached the halfway mark. What a difference eight years make! What took more than two hours in 2001, half the time this time.

[10. Halfway © L.M. Kling 2009]

More magical drifting. See, I wasn’t hiking; the path was easy, the views spectacular. My film camera took over.

Tea-stained ripples by the shore.

[Photo 10: Ripples on shore © L.M. Kling 2009]

The knotted trunks of the emerging rainforest.

[Photo 11: Rainforest edge © L.M. Kling 2009]

‘I’m in camera-heaven!’ I sighed as I caught up to Son 1 who was also clicking away on his camera.

The deep blue of Dove Lake dazzled us.

[Photo 12: Deep blue water © L.M. Kling 2009]

Further on, a passing parade of hikers lead by a tour-guide directed my view to Cradle Mountain through a tangle of vegetation.

13.
14.
[Photo 13 & 14: Cradle Mountain Framed by forest © L.M. Kling 2009]

Then Dove Lake again framed by twisted and thirsty trees.

[Photo 15: Dove Lake framed © L.M. Kling 2009]

A couple approached us. ‘How far?’

I looked at my watch. ‘I don’t know, but we’ve been walking about an hour and a half, so, at least that.’

‘Hmmm, we’ve only just begun,’ the man said and then passed us.

My sons raced ahead, eager with the end of the hike in sight.

[Photo 16: Thirsty Bushes © L.M. Kling 2009]

Dove Lake winked through the trees. Yes, our hike was almost done.

[Photo 17: Almost there © L.M. Kling 2009]

I caught up to the K-young’uns. ‘Took us two hours this time.’

‘Dad’ll never believe us,’ Son 1 said.

[Photo 18: Days end at Deloraine © L.M. Kling 2009]

Over a hotel dinner at Deloraine, the result of the boys needing a “dunny stop” and me not wanting to cook tea that night, we reminisced the tale of two Cradle Mountain trips. And Son 2 had to admit that the hike around Dove Lake this time was not bad. And maybe, just maybe, there was a God who created this amazing world.

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2019; updated 2022

Feature Painting (watercolour): Classic Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake (minus the tangle of forest) © L.M. Kling 2009]

NB. This painting of mine is available as an unframed painting at our MAG exhibition at Brighton Central, until October 30, 2022.

***

Want more but too expensive to travel down under? Why not take a virtual travel with the T-Team Adventures in Australia?

Click here on Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari 1981…

And escape in time and space to Central Australia 1981…

Story Behind the Painting–Northern Flinders

Skint at Arkaroola

[This time, some of the T-K Team step back in time into the Mt. Painter Sanctuary, Northern Flinders Ranges, South Australia; a land offering a glimpse of prehistory…]

Late 1980’s, and my husband and I planned a honeymoon stay in Arkaroola, the town within the Mt. Painter sanctuary, Northern Flinders Ranges. When we arrived, we rolled up to the motel and presented our VISA card for payment.

[Photo 1: Approaching Mt. Painter Sanctuary, Northern Flinders Ranges © L.M. Kling 1987]

‘Oh, I’m so sorry,’ said the manager, ‘we don’t take VISA. Only MasterCard.’

‘What?’ But we were counting on our VISA to cover the costs.

We scraped together the cash amount for the three-nights of accommodation and emptied our wallets of all but a few notes. Romantic dinners in the restaurant, off our menu. The longed-for Ridge-Top Tour, off our track. Then cold hard panic struck, how were we to pay for petrol when we returned to Adelaide? The amount in our tank, Dad’s four-wheel-drive vehicle that he loaned us for the holiday, may not last the journey back to Hawker. All because the town in which we chose to spend our honeymoon, was so remote, they did not deal in VISA.

[Photo 2: Cornflakes for breakfast © L.M. Kling 1987]

We sat on our motel bed and counted our measly amount of cash. What were we going to do? It’s not like I hadn’t gone without before—on the T-Team with my Dad. Being like-minded and frugal, we dealt with the disappointment, and decided we’d cook our own meals using the barbecue facilities and not venture too far from the town. Besides, there were plenty of places to which we could hike.

[Photo 3: Hiking up Radium Creek searching for titanite © L.M. Kling 1987]

I took a deep breath and picked up the book our pastor had given us as a wedding gift. Inside the front cover I discovered an envelope. ‘I wonder what this says,’ I said to my husband.

I took out the card and opened it. An orange-coloured note fluttered onto the floor. I picked it up. ‘Hey, look! Twenty dollars.’ I waved the note in my husband’s face. ‘Twenty dollars! Pastor must’ve known we’d need the money.’

‘I think God did,’ my husband said. ‘Twenty dollars makes all the difference.’

‘Can we do the Ridge-Top Tour?’

‘Um, perhaps not that much difference.’

‘Dinner at the restaurant?’

‘Maybe, but we still need to watch our spending.’

I sighed. ‘I know.’

[Photo 4: Dinnertime Hill © L.M. Kling 1987]
[Photo 5: Towards sunset on Mt Painter Sanctuary mountains © L.M. Kling 1987]

In the restaurant, and eating the cheapest meal offered, I spied a photo adorning the wall behind my beloved. A waterhole with red cliffs on one side and cool but majestic eucalypt trees on the other side. ‘Echo Camp,’ I read. ‘I want to go there.’

‘Hmm, not sure, if we have to drive far.’

‘Oh, please.’

‘We’ll see.’

[Photo 6: Radium Creek © L.M. Kling 1987]
[Photo 7: Nooldoonooldoona © L.M. Kling 1987]

A couple of days passed, and we’d exhausted all the nearby scenic sites to which we could hike. We decided to drive up the road, but not too far.

I spotted a sign to Echo Camp, and not-too-many kilometres off the “main” road. My husband noted that the track was only for “authorised” vehicles.

‘That’s not fair,’ I said. ‘They shouldn’t tempt us with scenic places like that in the restaurant and then deny us because we’re not “authorised”.’

[Painting 1: Track to Echo Camp © L.M. Kling 1987]

He who was driving, turned into the track. ‘You’re quite right. Ready for some adventure?’

‘Okay, well, it says Echo Camp’s only a few kilometres down the track.’

My husband drove up and down the track. It soon became obvious why the track was meant for “authorised” vehicles. But we were committed, and the track became so narrow, with one side rocky cliffs and the other sheer drops, we had no choice but to lurch forward, upward, downward, sideways and every-which-way. While I clutched the bar on the dashboard, my husband had fun, relishing the roller-coaster ride to Echo Camp.

We reached a relatively flat area where we parked our four-wheel drive vehicle. The Painter Sanctuary mountains rose and dipped like waves before us. A feast for the eyes with shades of sienna, blue and mauve. I captured this beauty with my Nikon film camera.

[Painting 2: Vista of the Sanctuary © L.M. Kling 2019]

‘By the way, where’s Echo Camp from here?’ I asked.

‘Just around the corner, I think.’

‘How many kilometres have we travelled?’

‘More than the sign said, but it can’t be far.’

‘I get the feeling we missed it on the way here.’

My husband nodded. ‘I think we did. There was a fork back there, but I wasn’t sure. And the angle was too sharp to turn down.’

‘Better check out that track.’

[Photo 8: Sun fast sinking on secret sanctuary © L.M. Kling 1987]

We back tracked and found the way leading to Echo Camp. By this time, the sun hung low in the sky, so our time savouring Echo Camp was limited to no more than half an hour, wandering near the rock pool, taking photos, and enjoying the peace and silence of this land untouched by civilisation, and reserved for the “authorised” apparently.

Aspects of Echo Camp

[Photo 9: Our trusty Daihatsu Four-wheel drive © L.M. Kling 1987]
[Photo 10: Reflections in the billabong © L.M. Kling 1987]
[Photo 11: Echo Camp © L.M. Kling 1987]

Then, after braving the roller-coaster road again, we crept out from the contraband track, and back into town.

[Painting 3: Echo Camp © L.M. Kling 1990]

***

My most recent painting of Arkaroola landscape, Dinnertime Northern Flinders is for sale at the Marion Art Group exhibition at Brighton Central. You can also check out my work on the Gallery 247 website.

Marion Art Group’s exhibition (first in three years) is to be held from Monday October 17 to Sunday October 30, Brighton Central, 525 Brighton Road, Brighton, South Australia.

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2016; updated 2019; 2022

Feature Painting: Dinnertime Northern Flinders Ranges © Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2018

***

Want more but too expensive to travel down under? Why not take a virtual travel with the T-Team Adventures in Australia?

Click here on Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari 1981…

And escape in time and space to Central Australia 1981…

Story Behind the Art–Cockling at Goolwa

[After a three-year hiatus between exhibitions, Marion Art Group will hold an exhibition at Brighton central shopping Centre (Brighton Road, South Brighton) from October 17-30, 2022.  One of my artworks to be displayed, Cockling at Goolwa in Pastel revisits the K-Team’s journey down “memory” highway, 100-kilometres south of Adelaide to Goolwa Beach on the far-flung edges of the Fleurieu Peninsula. Remembering our time with friends 20-years ago searching for cockle shells in the sand.]

Cockling at Goolwa

A picture, they say, tells a thousand words. So, what is Cockling at Goolwa’s story? How can the simple heel-toe dance of “cocklers” (people who dig for cockle shells), their feet sinking in soggy sand of the in-coming tide, in the flux of early summer warmth, on a remote beach south of Adelaide tell us? What story worth a thousand words? What was it about this scene that attracted me to capture it? First in photo and then several years later, on canvas in acrylic, and recently in pastel.

*[Photo 1: Cockling at Goolwa © L.M. Kling 2002]

I think the water reflecting the sky, all silver, the people on the wet sand, a mirror, swaying and twisting for cockles captured my attention. I’d been there, on the glassy surface, watching for bubbles, grinding my heel into the bog, feeling for the sharp edges of shell and plucking out the cockles that snapped shut when exposed to air.

*[Photo 2: Dad Digging for the cockle © L.M. Kling 2002]

I was there, but then I watched. Mothers, fathers, and children lost in the moment of twisting and hunting and collecting cockles.

*[Photo 3: Lost in the moment © L.M. Kling 2002]

‘What will you do with all those cockles?’ I asked.

‘They’re for fishing,’ one of our friends said. ‘Bait for fish.’

‘Hopefully, we’ll catch a few fish and have them for dinner tonight,’ another said.

I imagined fish, fresh from the sea, thrown on the barbeque and the cockle bait inside them buried once again in our stomachs. We continued digging for cockles…family and friends, one with the ancient, outside time—nothing else matters but the cockles.

*[Photo 4: Goolwa beach Lost in time © L.M. Kling 2002

]

Goolwa, if I remember, has mounds of spent shells in the sand hills, monuments to generations upon generations of Indigenous Australians, their open-air kitchens and meals. Did they perform the same ritual, on the same patch of wet sand, delving for cockles to fry on their fires? A quick perusal of Google reveals they used nets to collect cockles and catch fish. They then cooked the cockles on a campfire.

*[Photo 5: Goolwa beach sunset © L.M. Kling 2002]

We are here, they are gone, but their spirit of history lingers, reminding us, though we seem different, we are the same. We are digging, dancing and delving for our dinner. We are still, in the moment, alone in our thoughts in a forgotten corner of the world, unknown by the world, yet one with this country’s past. And God knows each one of us—each part of us, even the unknown parts of ourselves and our secrets.

*[Photo 6: Divine painting of sky and sea © L.M. Kling 2002]

What if I shared a little secret—an artist’s secret? Okay, I’ll tell you. I painted this picture in less than two hours. Now, that I’ve told you, would the painting be worth less to you? Must time be equated with worth? Sometimes I do take hours upon hours, layers upon layers, and more hours planning to get the work right. But not Cockling at Goolwa.

*[Photo 7: The natural child © L.M. Kling 2002]

I love the beginning of a painting; laying the foundation, engaging my inner-natural child, the paint flowing from a thick brush on a damp canvas, colours blending, mixing as I go. One side of the brush crimson, the other blue and a dab of white. Sienna somewhere there in the foreground shadowing the sand. Mid-yellow added incrementally to shroud the distance in light grey for perspective. Then just a hint of heads of land jutting out halfway across the horizon with a suggestion of ultramarine in the grey. So simple, and sometimes, like with Cockling at Goolwa, the scene emerged before my eyes. In the world of artists, I believe the term “magic brush” or “magic hand” has been used. Um, trade secret, so don’t go spreading it around.

So, there you have it, in less than an hour, surf, sand, sky and tones in all the right places.

*[Photo 8: Boogie-board Surfing at Goolwa beach © L.M. Kling 2002]

Now for the people, the twisting, turning people, their feet in the boggy sand. How do I paint them? I had a break and drank a cup of tea. I remember not all the children hunted for cockles. Some kids body-surfed in the shallows, some played cricket and one little boy with a wish to be hunted, or to be warm, buried all his body except his head in the sand. I found him and he broke out of his sand-grave, the sand zombie.

*[Photo 9: Sand-zombie © L.M. Kling 2002]

‘Don’t go tracking your sandy footprints into the shack,’ I said.

He washed himself off in the surf, then sat wrapped in a towel and shivering in the sun while watching the cockle hunt.

All the while the “cocklers” cockled for cockle shells. Soon the boy joined the hunt for cockles.

Then when the paint was dry, I plotted the people in with pencil and then painted them in with a finer brush.

‘I like that painting,’ a fellow member of the art group said. ‘Don’t do another thing to it. Don’t even frame it. I’ll buy it as it is. How much do you want for it?’

Paint barely dry, I took the work home, signed it and then the next week at our Christmas lunch, I delivered Cockling at Goolwa to them. The buyer showed the work to others at their table and all admired it.

[Photo 10: Watching the cocklers © L.M. Kling 2002]
 

What made another person connect with Cockling at Goolwa? For this person, their son and family spent many summer holidays at Goolwa, doing just that, cockling. Time out, out of time, unwinding, relaxing, happy times, happy memories, captured on canvas…in less than two hours. And I must admit, the story is slightly less than one thousand words.

But, perhaps as you look at the copy of Cockling at Goolwa, you may have a story of your own about the painting. Maybe a painting’s story is not just one person’s story, but stories from many people, one thousand words, or more…

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2016; updated 2019; updated 2022

*Feature Painting: Cockling at Goolwa in Pastel © L.M. Kling 2022

***

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Trekking the T-Team: Central Australian Safari 1981