A Fanatical Sabbatical | Part 9 - Take 2 . . .

And they are off . . again . . and heading north into the desert . . .

We did it! We have escaped the vortex of home and have hit the road. Finally, we have embarked on a Fanatical Sabbatical Take 2. Unfortunately, we have decided that we just couldn’t continue managing our business remotely and have instead chosen to put it on a hiatus… probably not the best financial decision, but the right one ensuring our family can have a stress free time for the remainder of ourt trip. I suppose we have to keep reminding ourselves that life isn’t always about financial gain. If we can find the time to put family togetherness forward as a priority, and combine that with an experience of a lifetime, seeing our beautiful country in all its splendour, we wont regret it. Well, that’s what I keep telling myself anyway. I’ll let you know how I feel about it in five years!

We spent our departure date reconfiguring the packing. Added items include a fire pit (an old Webber kettle BBQ converted), a box full of kids educational things and (OMG I’m SO excited) a Kayak! The time spent on the Murray River over the last few weeks really solidified how much we enjoy being on the water. OK, so its not a boat, or a massive sea going kayak, but it at least gets us out there every now and then, and hopefully we will be more successful on the fish front. It’s going to look a bit silly on the top of the car as we head into the desert, I’ll admit. I wonder if we will make enough use from it to warrant the drag on the vehicle. That’s a lot of fish to cover the cost of the fuel. Reminding myself about the ‘experience over finance’ factor, yet again.

The Big Lap Bluray Special

Just like last leg, I’ve started out being sick. I’ve completely lost my voice. No doubt the stress of getting prepared to leave didn’t help. To sooth my throat and help prevent getting any sicker, we exited Adelaide late in the afternoon via a small Vietnamese diner for a massive bowl of hot and gloriously healthy Pho for the grown ups and chicken noodle soup for the kids. It was just what the doctor ordered, though probably wasn’t the best choice prior to a long car ride, with multiple loo breaks requested along the way. Lesson learnt.

After much debate with family and friends, we decided heading up the centre is the way to go. To begin this leg, we are popping in to the small Mid North town of Melrose, to camp in the back yard of a mate, while we decompress from regular life again. Melrose, the Flinders Ranges ‘first town’, is a gorgeous little spot for the active family, especially if you are into mountain biking and hiking, as we are. Nestled beneath the towering eastern side of the Mount Remarkable National Park, it boasts some of the best riding trails in South Australia, a bike-friendly community, with the Mawson and Heysen Trails running right through town. The caravan park straddles an iconic looking Flinders Ranges creek, lined with towering river red gums and kid friendly bike tracks, the perfect spot for a family to hang out for a few days.

We rolled into town late in the evening, happy to discover our habitual dance of setting up wasn’t hampered by either the long spell between camps or the pitch black country skies. Tired kids crashed out in bed like they’d ran a marathon, but we adults shivered in the cooled camper together, surprised at the dramatic difference between Adelaide and the Lower Flinders. We were awoken the next morning by the screech of a thousand corellas soaring across the tired paddocks as the sun rose to illuminate the green of Mt Remarkable behind the town. A morning coffee on the camp cooker, bacon and eggs on the BBQ, kids playing in the dirt before the PJ’s are even off… Ah... we are back on the road!

A Fanatical Sabbatical

‘Mark, Kim and the kids are leaving behind their home in the Adelaide Hills to jaunt around the country side while they manage their arborist business remotely. Normally enrolled in ‘bush school’, they thought they could push the kids outdoor eduction experience a little further by living outside for a year.

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