Well! What can I say? It is all very real and to be able to describe my feelings – I can’t. I just can’t. Try to expand on ‘euphoric’ – and you still won’t come anywhere near to it – but that should give you a bit of an idea. Simple as that. I am absolutely and completely overwhelmed by the warmth, friendliness (is that a word?) and – everything, all rolled into one, of the people I have met thus far.
My heartfelt thanks to the wonderful Sally Henery of Alpana Station, which is the very first property, nestled in South Australia’s superb Flinders Ranges. Sally has been the perfect hostess – to say nothing of being an absolute mine of information – I have just spent two and a bit days on their property and, honestly, could not have wanted for more – of anything – except time. I needed far more time. Far too much to see and do for such a limited time. Sally introduced me to so many people – some from other nations, others originating from other parts of Australia, either cities, towns or farms, or even other stations – but all of whom are living and working in or near the tiny local township of Blinman – and all have a story to tell. I even caught up with Mary Fisher, who used to live on ‘Pitcairn’. A wonderful reunion. Most of these people have been fantastic enough to agree to participate in ‘our’ book – so I do have a very, very busy time ahead of me. All so good.
I am not going to describe the ‘area’ surrounding Alpana and Blinman – suffice to say ‘spectacular’ does not really come anywhere near to the true description – but I can’t think of anything else, so it’ll do – and you’ll just have to see why when the book is finally published.
There are also some absolutely amazing stories and facts coming to light – this is a huge learning curve for me. The teeny tiny township of Blinman is steeped with history and is really lovely but – well, let’s just say the people in the town and surrounding properties do have their problems – but much will be revealed elsewhere.
Hey, I even went into the fantastic Blinman Mine – wow – what an experience. That ‘wow’ factor certainly applies here too. And an unexpected bonus for my trip, which took both Sally and me by surprise – Alpana’s Tag-Along Tour. Again you’ll just have to read the full description in ‘our’ book – but it is pure magic – trust me. The Wild Lime Cafe & Gallery is also a must-visit.
The sights and scenery of the majestic Flinders Ranges – WOW again. But trying to take notes (that mine of information from Sally – some memory there) and photographs at the same time, while being driven along some pretty rocky roads, at some amazing angles … hmmm. So much fun though. I had to take notes – or try to – as it was a tad too noisy for my little tape recorder. Anyway, the book will tell all.
Now I am in Port Augusta, having been driven back by Sally today. We dropped into Wilpena Pound along with a few other wonderful spots, en route. Tomorrow I will be visiting the SotA base here, which is the one we used on Pitcairn – it’s actually the only one in SA. But I am really looking forward to that. A couple of other places to visit while in town (recommended by those wonderful people in Blinman and surrounds), then off by coach to Adelaide for a couple of days.
Having been completely out of contact while on Alpana it was lovely to be able to talk with my husband and both daughters once I returned to civilisation. Yes, I am missing them all very much – and this will only serve to make my eventual return home all that much sweeter.
But so much to look forward to before then. And it will all be described fully in ‘our’ book.