Friday, July 15, 2011

Melrose and Mt Remarkable

The town of Melrose overshadowed by Mt Remarkable
Our next excursion was to go to Melrose, a lovely little town nestled under Mt Remarkable, about 80 kms from Port Germein.
Old Police Station & Courthouse now a museum
Melrose is quoted to be the oldest town in the Flinders Ranges approximately C1865.
Bluey Blundstones Blacksmith Shop.
Bluey Blundstone 's Blacksmith Shop dates back to 1865.  Built of pug, pine and stone is now listed on the State Heritage Register.  The complex has been lovingly and authentically restored and is now a coffee shop and B & B.  Featured inside is an extensive collection of historical tools and machinery. 
Mt Remarkable Hotel
We decided to return via the Bridle Track ( A 4 Wheel Drive dry weather only track) down over the mountains and through private property. We drove along a narrow path skirting the mountain and through the gorge, it was scary in parts but the jimny managed the road OK.   I think we climbed 700 metres above sea level  but the view was absolutely breath taking, you could see Port Pirie to the left and Port Augusta to the right and even Whyalla.  
Looking over the landscape
 The weather was kind to us and although it was still coolish the sun tried to peep through the clouds.  In Port Germein there is rather a unique junk shop, I don’t know how else to describe it. 
The Junk Shop in Port Germein
 There is stuff all over the place and piled high some things you can’t even get to and barely a walk through for others.  I would love to be able to fossick in there for a few hours because I think there are some very serious treasures hidden in there.  I found 2 toy antique sewing machines hidden in the corners, but I don’t think the owner really wants to sell anything as I think she has grown to love everything in the shop.  She was the most charming of ladies although a little bit eccentric and I mean this in the nicest of ways.  She was wearing an orange coat over a patchwork skirt teamed with Doc Marten boots with patchwork motifs painted all over them, topped with a black western Hat adorned with feathers and brass trimmings with a fringed patchwork scarf draped around her neck.  Quilters are notorious for being a bit alternative, different or eclectic so I am no stranger to this but she looked great.  There were antique quilts hanging from the roof covered in spider webs and dust.  She very generously showed us two of her quilts that she had just finished.  One was made out of men’s ties (complete not unpicked at all) woven top and tail and only stitched where the ties crossed.  It will be a feature in an upcoming Quilt magazine so I won’t give too much away.  She had also made a quilt of coffin shaped blocks some opened showing a skeleton underneath and it was secured with a skull shaped button.  The fabrics she used depicted skeletons and skulls it was very quirky.  I would have loved to have taken some photos but didn’t think I could push my luck.  So look out for the magazine. 
 Parked at Port Germein
 Tomorrow we move on to either Port Augusta or Whyalla for a few days we haven’t quite decided yet.

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