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Day 5 – Wednesday 3rd May 2017

Again it was a lovely day and we were, therefore, able to hold the Street Breakfasts but these weren’t lengthy repasts because we had to be in town by 9.30am for the A’van Walk.  When I met up with Liz Newman at breakfast I asked her where was Archie. Oh, he’s “gone fishing”.  Not only did Archie miss out on a great breakfast but he also didn’t catch a fish!  Nonetheless, I was conscious of Archie’s stand-ins keeping their eyes on me.


Photo 1   Archie’s stand-ins


Photo 2   Joe and Marlene Collins of WA and there “table of memories”


Photo 3    Vickie Teague of SA  - Doesn’t everybody have flowers and candles on their breakfast table?


Photo 4    A street of breakfasts!

About 80 A’vanners set out on the A’van Walk accompanied by Darryl Snooke of WA.  It was a 3km gentle walk where people could move at their own pace.  The enormous trees were especially spectacular and memorable.   


Photo 5   A’van Walkers – Courtesy of Cliff Hicks

Photo 6   Their Fearless leader, Darryl Snooke of WA – Courtesy of Cliff Hicks

Photo 7   Only a Few Steps – Courtesy of Cliff Hicks

Photo 8   Over the Bridge -  Courtesy of Cliff Hicks Photo 9    Just a Little Further – Courtesy of Cliff Hicks


Two A’vanners were travelling between Norseman and Esperance.  At one stage they stopped to get a book out of the car and in order to reach the book, one of the A’vanners put a brown bag of clothing on the roof of the car and no prizes for guessing what happened next.  The bag contained all their warm jackets and winter gear. 

After arriving in Esperance they retraced their steps to Norseman but there was no sign of either the bag or their clothing.  They called into the police station at Salmon Gums but nothing had been handed in. One of the A’vanners decided to make enquiries at the Esperance Police station.  He walked in and said I’ve lost a . . . and the policewoman said . . . a brown bag. Every item of clothing was in the bag.  A lady from Esperance had spotted the bag on the road and after retrieving all the scattered clothes she handed it in to Esperance Police Station.  What a good news story!

About 150 people attended the Technical Session presented by Scott Montgomery of REDARC  Electronics. The company which is based in South Australia and has just set up in NSW as Hummingbird won “Australian Business of the Year” in 2016. They have just received a grant from the Government to partially fund further expansion.  The company’s motto is “Stay a While Longer” by extending the life of batteries.  There were many questions and this reflected the interest in the subject matter.


Photo 10   REDARC

 The Open Van segment also proved to be very popular.  There were 21 vans at the Ocean Beach Park which were “open for inspection”.   There were many wonderful modifications.  My husband has always said that A’vans are a “Handyman’s Delight”.  Actually one of the innovations that impressed me was the simple but effective “Grey Water Holding Tank” on Site 10 (Ocean Beach  Park).


Photo 11    Open Van Modification    

If you are not going to either Dinner you are still entitled to a souvenir place mat.  These may be collected from Site 66 at Ocean Beach Caravan Park.

Those who didn’t go to the dinner had the option of attending a Wine and Cider Tasting. A certain “pinot noir” seemed to be very popular and I saw a number of bottles being carted away for future consumption.

I’ve also been advised that the food at the Denmark Pub is very good.

And the Dinner was most enjoyable.

Photo 12 – Dancing at the Dinner – Courtesy of Cliff Hicks Photo 13 -  Heather and Dave Michaels of USA – Courtesy of Cliff Hicks


Photo 14 -  David Bourne, Jane Winkler, Les and Rose Griffiths – Courtesy of Cliff Hicks Photo 15 -  Yum,  yum! – Courtesy of Cliff Hicks







Yalata Roadhouse

We’ve crossed the Nullarbor a number of times in our A’van and have often wondered why the Yalata Roadhouse was closed.

A recent discussion with a fellow A’vanner prompted us to read a book written by Frank Walker, entitled “Maralinga” and published by Hachette Australia in 2014.  It makes for “very interesting reading”.

Yalata;   When the British Government decided to conduct atomic testing at Maralinga in South Australia, Aborigines from Oodlea Mission were forcibly relocated to a government sponsored Lutheran Mission at Yalata in 1952  (p.156).  Therefore these Aborigines had been removed from their traditional land and cultural links. (p. 157)

In May 1957, an Aboriginal family wandered into a decontamination site at Pom Pom which was 160 km to the north of Maralinga.  The family was immediately taken to Yalata which is 160 km to the south of Maralinga (p.151). There is a suggestion that Yalata Mission became a hospital for Aborigines who had been exposed to radiation but there are no records to prove this (p. 163).   The absence of official documentation is compounded by the fact that Aborigines do not speak of their dead. 

References:  Pages as indicated.

 Yalata Roadhouse continues on Day 6





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