We're back from Wilpena, and here's the story with all the gory details.

So we drove up to Riverton on Friday evening and stayed the night with Darrin's mum. Set the alarm on my mobile phone for 7:30 the next morning so we could leave about 8:30. We actually got out of there at about 9, but no biggie. Drove down some new roads (since Darrin doesn't like going the same way twice, and he's doing this mapping thing for Open Street Map). Through Clare, Gladstone, Laura, to Stone Hut, where we stopped at the famous Stone Hut Bakery for lunch. Got back in the car, continued driving. Got out at Wirrabara to find a toilet, and shortly after we got back on the road from there, Caleb fell asleep. So the plan was to stop in I-can't-remember-what-town (maybe Quorn, I'm too tired at the moment to get up & find our trip plan), but since he was asleep when we got to there, we just kept driving. He slept all the way to Hawker, where we had to stop for petrol. Another half hour to 45 minutes up the road was the Flinders Ranges National Park, where the first orienteering event was being held. Since we were getting there a bit late in the day, we decided we'd go out on a course together rather than do two separate ones. It was classified an "easy" course, but we'd call it more of a "moderate" one. We did pretty well on that one, although there was one marker where I almost messed up the navigation (and would have if Darrin hadn't been there to correct me). We finished in under an hour, saw Colin & Aaron, chatted a bit, then got back in the car to head back to our accommodation in Hawker.

On the way back, Darrin decided to take an alternate route, and we managed to follow three kangaroos hopping down the road (because both sides of the road were fenced and they couldn't get over). At just about the point we were thinking "why aren't we getting a video of this" and reaching for the camera, they got over one of the fences. Dang.

No problem finding the place. Hawker's not that big, and there's only two caravan parks. We went to the office, got our keys, paid our fee, and went off to the caravan. No trouble finding the caravan. We got one with an ensuite bathroom (which wasn't actually connected to the caravan but was all our own, so I didn't feel weird walking into some public toilet with nappies to rinse out).

This is where things get ugly.

So we started unpacking. Got beds made up, changed a nappy, put our food in the fridge (which had been wide open and switched off when we arrived). I looked at one of the windows and it was open slightly. So I tried to crank it shut, but it wouldn't crank all the way in. And because I'd just been handling a slightly-leaking pack of raw meat, I went to wash my hands in the kitchenette sink. And a trickle came out, and then nothing. Um, okay. So I went to scope out the bathroom. And the window in there didn't latch properly. I could shut it, but any movement would open it again. The toilet worked, the sink worked, so the basics were there at least. Then on my way back I went to the window I'd found open and held it shut while Darrin did the latches on the inside. And went around to the other end of the caravan where another window had the same problem - only this one wouldn't latch properly either. And since I was halfway around anyway, I went all the way around and - yep - found a third window in the same condition. Back inside.

So I asked Darrin whether the gas oven looked like it had a pilot light or was manually lit like our oven (since I know very little about gas ovens) and he had a go at it, but it didn't do anything. So that's now four black marks against this place. There was, however, an electric frying pan in the cupboard, so we were able to cook our steaks.

Darrin decided to see what was on the box, and despite the TV being plugged in, turned on, and being connected to a roof aerial, all he got was snow. So then, since there was nothing else to do, he decided to go out and map Hawker and try to find us some chips (since earlier in the day he'd looked at a sheep paddock and said "Sheepies!" and I thought he said "Chippies!" and had been craving them ever since). So he was gone about an hour, and I tried to read a magazine while Caleb played, but since he was trying to play WITH my magazine, that didn't really work.

Darrin got back and reported that the only place open was the pub, so no chips. There was nothing else to do, and Caleb was getting tired, and we'd all been up since 7:30, so we decided to just go to bed early. I think it was about 9, maybe 10.

So anyway. We're all in bed, the lights are out, and Caleb's the only one sleeping. I get a few snatches of sleep with really weird dreams about Caleb turning into Tigger who then turned into a roast chicken, and putting a $165 in-ground swimming pool on layby at Fleet Farm. I checked my phone clock at about 2:30 and 3:40, and one of those times I got up to go to the toilet. About 15-20 minutes after I got back to bed, it started raining. Yay. We're doing orienteering in the morning and it's starting to rain.

So we woke up the next morning and it was still raining. We got all ready to go, stopped at the Mobil on the way out to get some spring water, a paper, and the all-important Cadbury Roast Almond block (mmmm). Drove up to the event, which was outside the park this time. A lot of people were parking on the road since the dirt road into the start area was getting a bit muddy. However since we have a small child, we weren't too comfortable with the idea of parking on the road, and went in. Got out of the car & had a look at everything, Darrin went out to do his course and got back in 74 minutes on a 6km course (when we were expecting 90 or more). So I got myself ready and went out, hoping against hope that the rain would let up just a bit. Well, it didn't. It just kept going. I found my first marker with no trouble, but then it all went downhill. I think I managed to find the wrong creek and found marker #3 before I found #2. But at least then I knew where I was, and went back to 2, then back to 3, and tried to find 4. But it was raining, cloudy, and I couldn't see the sun, and I wasn't sure I trusted my compass, so of course all this adds up to me heading in entirely the wrong direction and ending up back at number 2 again. And by this point I'm thinking that this course is a big load of number 2. But anyway, I managed to get myself going in the right direction to number 4 and found it. Then off in search of number 5, but I'd been out for ages by this point and was just sick of it, and couldn't work out where I was, so when I found a road (which happened to be the only road on the map), I decided I'd just follow it back to the next fence, which I could follow back to the finish. Enough's enough. I couldn't see anything because of all the rain on my glasses, and if I wiped them on my shirt they'd just be wet again in ten seconds time, so I didn't bother. About that time I was wishing I'd actually gone to my appointment and gotten my contacts a couple months ago when I forgot to go. (And Darrin was back at the finish starting to worry I'd slipped & fallen in a creek or something, so people were just about to come out looking for me.) On my way back I ran into one of the guys packing up markers, and he suggested I just follow the creek I was following back to the road, then follow the road up to the finish. This took a lot longer than I thought. But I got back, and everyone knew who I was (probably because I was the last person out), and told me Darrin had decided to move the car while there were still people around to push if need be. So I headed for the road.

I saw the car stop and headed for it. Darrin got out and as soon as I got close enough I was sure he'd see I gave a big thumbs down. Got in the car, and he turned the heat way up. I decided against changing my clothes because I just wanted to get out of there. Caleb fell asleep about 10 minutes into the drive, so when we got back to the caravan we just left him in the car and took turns having showers while the other watched him sleep. And for all the rest of our caravan experience sucked, the shower was pretty nice.

We decided to head back into the town & find some lunch, and maybe those elusive chips. Of course Caleb woke up just before we were going to get into the car, so we got him out & changed his nappy, and he really wasn't impressed when we put him straight back in the car seat. We found the general store and went inside. They had a deli/cafe type thing, so we started looking at the menu, and it was looking promising, till I noticed a sign that said they closed at 3pm. It was about 3:30. Argh. Foiled again on the chip front. So we went across the street to the Mobil again, where we knew they at least had some hot pies. Ate our lunch at one of the tables outside, then decided to go see all two of Hawker's attractions that were open. One was a touristy-type shop with some local artwork, the other was hardware/op shop/fabric shop/etc. Then we went back to the caravan.

Oh, and at some point on Sunday we noticed drops of water falling from the roof just a few inches off the double bed, and getting onto the blankets. Nice.

So then I decided I'd do laundry, since I had some wet clothes and used nappies and the like. Piled it all into the car and drove over to the amenities block, tossed it all into the washer, and only then realised I needed more change than I had. So I went over to the office and changed a $20 into a whole pile of $1 and 20c coins. Back to the laundry, put my money in the machine, and started it up. Drove back to the caravan (because it was raining, and I'd been out walking in the rain enough that day), then back over about 30 minutes later, when the washer was supposed to be done. There was a lady ahead of me using the only working dryer (there were two but one was out of order). All the signs up said the dryers take 20 minutes to go through a cycle. I sat there for 40 minutes. The cycle lasted 30 minutes, and still she hadn't shown up to check her stuff. So I was going to just take it out, leave it on the counter, and put my stuff in, but her stuff wasn't even dry. After several minutes debating what to do and ranting to myself about how crappy a place this was, I grabbed my stuff and went back to the caravan. I decided to hang it all up in the bathroom with the exhaust fan on in hopes that something would be dry by morning.

At some point Sunday, we decided there was a possibility we needed to turn the gas & water on somewhere outside the caravan. But still, it would've been nice if they'd told us. And since we were cold right through, having been out in the cold & rain most of the day, I decided to get out the tiny little space heater that was in the cupboard. And I left it on for about an hour, but really, it didn't do anything. We don't usually run a heater or anything in our bedroom at night, so we're used to just piling on the blankets, but every once in a while you need something extra.

Darrin cooked our lamb chops and we ate. Caleb was getting really grumpy by the end of tea so I got him off to sleep. It rained pretty much all night, and I had more weird dreams about door-to-door mayonnaise salesmen.

Guess what - the stuff didn't dry overnight. So we packed it all into plastic bags and put it in the boot. Packed up all our stuff, cleaned out the caravan, and turned in our keys by 8:15 Monday morning. Halfway to the event Caleb started fussing a little, and I turned around to look at him, but got distracted by the brilliant double rainbow off to the southwest. I told Darrin to pull over so he could have a look too, and he took a couple pictures. Off again. Got to the event, went & had a look at the courses, and I was still feeling pretty negative about it all, so I was assuming I wouldn't go out at all. So Darrin went out on another 6km-ish course and got back in about the same time as the Sunday one. Then we went back to the registration tent together, because even if I didn't go out, I had to hand in my rented Sportident stick. After much pleading and convincing, Darrin finally talked me into going out, and I did pretty well. I only had a little trouble with the last few markers because I got confused by seeing markers from other courses. But anyway, I finished in 1 hour 10 minutes, which isn't too bad for a 3km course.

So into the car again. And again, Caleb falls asleep about 10 minutes into the drive. And we'd been planning to stop in Hawker again to get petrol, but changed our minds when he fell asleep. So we went all the way to Orroroo, through Cradock and Carrieton. Stopped at a nice bakery/cafe in Orroroo and finally got some chips. Mmmm....

Filled up with petrol. Drove off again. Got enough street details for Darrin to map nearly the entire town. And then somewhere before Jamestown we saw another rainbow, and stopped to take some pictures. And we kept seeing that same rainbow for about 10km.

By the time we got to Clare Caleb was ready for a break, and we were ready for a snack, so we first stopped at the Woolworths where I got some food, and then found a playground where Caleb could run around for a bit. Of course all the seats of everything were wet, so in addition to a wet nappy, we had to change wet pants. But he had a good time, and we saw yet another rainbow (this one we didn't get pictures of).

And off again, via Saddleworth, to Riverton, where Darrin's mum had soup waiting. We stayed the night there again because it was easier than going back at night and unpacking everything at home in the dark, and having to steal blankets off the spare bed because mine were still wet.

Anyway, we got up at 7 this morning even though my alarm was set for 7:30, and got going before our planned departure of 8:30. Got the car all unpacked and then Darrin went off to work with Josh.

And I spent the rest of the morning unpacking suitcases, washing clothes & nappies, and hanging them outside. And now I have a cold, thanks to the crappy weather and everything. Yay.

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