Posts Tagged ‘Elder Ranges’


I sat at the café in Hawker and cried. Hawker is like any of the Flinders Ranges towns that are so familiar to me from my youth. I know why I have been lacking my motivation. I need some time by myself to process this. My journey is coming to an end, and I need some time alone.

The road to Quorn

The road to Quorn

Clement and I are in different places mentally. I cursed at every bit of mud and every rock in the road while cycling in the sun through the grassy, green fields on the beautiful Mawson Trail. Clement hurtled forward with excitement and enthousiasm, making my irritation even more complete.
Do I want to get home quicker? Finish this two-year life-time dream? No. I don’t want it to end. Yes. I want to be in Brighton, Adelaide. I want to walk down the jetty where mother’s ashes dissipated into the water. I want to be back. I don’t know what I want, and so here I am, in the café, bursting into tears.

Clement and I parted ways today. He continued down the bumpy but beautiful Mawson Trail. I took the straight, flat, bitumen road and entered into myself, gliding along with a tailwind in the sun. Over and over again I burst into tears. I was going to Quorn where my grandmother was born, and where we returned every year to walk and enjoy the Flinders Ranges. I had flashbacks of those times. Of my grandmother. Of my mother. Of everything. And everything brought back the tears. The journey is ending, and here I am.

I pulled over at a windmill. I used to love these windmills as a kid. We used to count them when driving up here. A game to pass the kilometres. These windmills are so iconic in my mind. I sat next to it and ate a whole packet of Tim Tam biscuits. It was sunny and warm, and I didn’t want to arrive in Quorn. But I did want to. I don’t know anything anymore.

Windmill

Windmill

Windmill

Windmill

I checked in to the first hotel I passed in Quorn, showered away the infinity of dirt and grime from my weather-beaten body, and then went to the train station to stare at the station building with ‘Quorn’ written above the door in big, friendly letters. Everywhere I looked were memories.

Quorn

Quorn

Clement will catch up with me tomorrow, and my father will drive up from Adelaide. We are going to spend a weekend here in this memory-filled place. Then it’s the last stretch – the last 350km – into Adelaide.


Today I was not motivated. The Mawson Trail was always beautiful, but bumpy in parts, and I just couldn’t be bothered. I was eyeing off the short-cut to Hawker, but was talked out of it. Cycling through the grassy fields with the rocky mountains as backdrop in the evening light made it all worth it. Still, a comfortable bed and a hot shower would be nice soon.

Mawson Trail in the evening light

Mawson Trail in the evening light

The Mawson Trail is a bit fractal around Wilpena Pound going 5 steps forward and 4 steps back. We returned to the main road from Port Augusta to Marree only 50km from where we turned off at Parachilna to enter the Flinders Ranges. Before that, we skirted the outside of Wilpena Pound, and then passed between the pound and the Elder Ranges – another line of rocky outcrop mountains. When the rain-looking clouds were gathering, and the wind was again a headwind, I found my motivation dwindling to leave the beautiful smooth bitumen road that was only 30km from Hawker, to cycle down a dirt, corrugated road in the opposite direction. I am here to enjoy the landscape, and the main roads certainly aren’t as nice.

Elder Ranges Road

Elder Ranges Road

Maybe an early night will fix my blues.