I’ve only been camping in a tent once in my life. David and I went to the Flinders Ranges in South Australia. We’d recently bought our first car, a Holden Camira. Aussies who remember that car are probably wondering what we were thinking but hey, we knew nothing about cars. Anyway, this was our first road trip. We took a little two-person tent, sleeping bags, a couple of chairs and a gas stove. We also took our two dogs, Tammy and Nicki.
I did enjoy that trip. We explored the local area. I loved the colours. I wish I had been a better photographer then and that I had taken more pictures.
The reason we chose the Flinders Ranges was that David had been there on holidays before. We stayed at a place called the Angorichna Tourist Village at Parachilna. It was and I believe still is a campground with cabins and camping sites. David told me that it was once a sanitorium for people who had tuberculosis.
I had never been there before but whenever we went to Port Pirie or Port Augusta on the train I would see the Flinders Ranges in the distance and want to go there. I think it was the mountains that drew me, Adelaide is pretty flat.
David was a Scout Leader at the time and often went camping with the kids so I wasn’t particularly worried about our sleeping in a tent. The first night we were there the wind came up and the tent collapsed on top of us. We managed to sort it out though.
We saw the ruins of failed farms and abandoned railway buildings. It was so sad to read some of the old gravestones at Beltana.
The original railway to Alice Springs went through the towns of Quorn and Hawker. We knew Quorn quite well from our visits to the Pichi Richi Railway but had never been to Hawker so of course, we went there. We drove as far north as the bitumen road went and I wished that we could go the extra 80kms to Marree. David had not been driving long so we decided not to chance it especially as we had already had one adventure driving on a dirt road. Our car nearly flipped over on a bit of rough road. It was very scary but we were all OK and the car was not badly damaged, just needed a new tyre although that can be a big deal in an outback area too. A passing motorist stopped to help us. This was the eighties, no mobile phones or even phone boxes out there.
I remember how strange it felt when we arrived back in the suburbs after a five-hour drive and there were traffic lights, cars, people and buildings. We didn’t like it.
I still have that blue tent in a box in the shed. I’ll never use it again. I couldn’t camp now. I might be able to sleep in a sleeping bag on the ground but I don’t know if I could get up off the floor in the morning
I’ve chosen some photos of some large cities, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Densely populated cities with highrise buildings may be interesting places to photograph but I would not care to live in one.
This week two challenges coincide on the theme of smiles. These pictures are for both Nancy’s “A Photo A Week Challenge” and “Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge”.
I don’t take an awful lot of photos of people. Naomi hates having her photo taken even more than I do and generally if I do take a photo of someone I don’t always like to share it but I’ll make an exception today because the people in these pictures are friends or they are in the public eye.
Nostalgia is associated with a yearning for the past, its personalities, and events, especially the “good old days” or a “warm childhood”
Here are a few nostalgic memories of mine that all relate to my life before I moved to Tasmania.
As well as being a historic locomotive built in 1936, the sight of 621 about to depart Adelaide Station with an excursion train brings back memories of the happy times we had riding on steam trains all around South Australia.
Here are David and I with our dog Tessie standing outside our old house which we had just sold. Nearly 17 years ago now.
This photo of the Canine Grand Prix was taken on Pit Straight sometime in the late 1980s. It was a fun event held on the Grand Prix circuit in Adelaide the week before the big race. We loved Grand Prix Week, the side events, walking around the track after the roads were closed, seeing the cars being assembled and the four days of the F1 event itself. The racing was close and you never could be sure who would win. I don’t think F1 today is half as good.
A group of my old workmates from the Railcar Depot in Adelaide.
As a railfan, many of my memories revolve around endings. Naomi and I started to travel on steam train excursions when we were in our teens in the 1970s. Regular steam train services had finished and it was a time when many country railway lines were being closed and torn up. We went on many “Last Train To…” trips.
We used the Refreshment Rooms at places like Riverton and Bowman’s just one more time, We visited the towns of Moonta, Kadina and Wallaroo during the Kernewek Lowender, the Cornish Festival. We went to Loxton and Renmark and various little places that were little more than a platform and a sign. We had wonderful times. All those lines are closed now.
We also saw the end of various suburban branch lines, the line to Penfield with its loop, the line to the Holden factory, even the factory is gone now. It hit us hard when the passenger service to Bridgewater in the Adelaide hills ended. We used that one a lot and when the line from Glanville to Semaphore closed in 1978 that seemed even worse.
David worked in the old Adelaide rail yard for several years and eventually, we saw the building he worked in demolished to make way for an updated depot where Naomi and I worked a few years later. Now that too has gone, replaced by Adelaide’s new hospital.
The old Adelaide Yard by David Jensen
Adelaide Yard circa mid 70s photo by David Jensen.
Looking back towards Adelaide from the yard. circa 1987-90
My memories of rail in South Australia are both happy and sad.
*Note:Some of the photos I’ve used here are not mine but I needed them to tell the story. The others were taken by David when he worked in the old Adelaide Yard and on some trips. I can’t always remember who took what from those days as we were both photographing the same things although usually from different points of view. Generally speaking, if it has people in the foreground it will probably be mine and if it is in black and white more than likely his. These pictures were all scanned from photos so the quality is not great.