Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

day one of the shortest holiday ever

I arrived in Port Pirie a little before lunchtime, we'd made good time. I collected my luggage and decided to walk to my hotel. It wasn't far, about ten minutes walking. I'd booked a room a few days earlier, but was surprised to find it was a motel room located in a string of them down the side of the hotel.

The website had described it as a hotel/motel, but I'd assumed there were rooms in the actual hotel part.
Didn't matter, a room is a room is a room, as long as the bed is comfortable and there is television and airconditioning, I'm okay with it.

The television was a decent size, bigger than mine at home. I wasn't planning on watching much, or anything, unless I wasn't able to sleep. I had my camera and my kindle.

This is the art work above the beds, too large to fit in my luggage, dammit!  The colours are a perfect match for my curtains here at home, except for that white patch, but I could live with that. It isn't as bright as in the photo, the light from the window was shining right on the white bit, so the effect is a little like a flash.

Even the quilted bedspreads are a good match. One of those wouldn't fit in my luggage either.....not that I tried, I could see straight away it wouldn't fit. Probably the hotel manager wouldn't be too happy to see room contents missing either. That's my small roller case sitting on the bed.

the drawers beside the door are much older than anything else in the room and had no knee space so I couldn't use the surface as a desk. There wasn't a straight back chair anyway.

I pulled the gigantic armchair out of the corner and set up the laptop on the bed instead. The chair weighed a ton, I think I nudged it a quarter inch at a time.

After checking the internet connection was working, I packed it all away, and went in search of lunch. I'd seen a McDonalds and I haven't had any of their food in yonks, so decided on a burger and fries/coke meal. Normally I'm a pepsi drinker, but they don't carry it and I really wanted some cold fizz rather than my usual water.
Then I went in search of a bus stop.

Found it! There is no sign that says Bus Stop, no yellow framed timetable attached to any post as there is here in Adelaide, just a park bench style seat pushed against the building wall and this yellow rectangle on the road.
So I sat and waited for the bus. And took a few photos while I was there.

this beautiful old church is now a Barnacle Bill's restaurant.

See? I'd planned on Fish'n'Chips there for my dinner on my last day, but we already know that didn't work out.

oh look! there's a bank, that's handy to know.

this cheeky fellow amused me for quite a while, he kept trying to swallow that crust of bread and of course it was too big so he kept dropping it. Luckily the other gulls hadn't spotted him or he would have had a fight on his....err...hands?

Eventually the bus arrived, quite late, and I visited my sister who lives a lot further out of town than I thought at first.

this is my sister's street, see the unsealed footpaths?
Away from the city centre, this is what you get. If you wear sandals you'll be stopping every few metres to shake out the grit, as I found out the next day when I wore my sandals.

After visiting for a few minutes, (longer would drive us both crazy), I went to the bus stop opposite where I'd got off to wait for a bus going in the direction of the city. A bus passed going in the opposite direction, the same way the bus had travelled when dropping me off there, so I waited for one coming my way. I'd thought there should be one, why else have a bus stop on that side of the road? But after waiting over an hour, I walked back to the hotel. It's about five kilometres and took me quite a while since I stopped fairly often in various patches of shade.
When I was almost there, one street away from the hotel, I spotted a BBQ chicken shop.

Chicken, roasted potatoes, gravy...all acceptable. Carrots...a bit mushy so I only ate half.
Peas were canned, which I hate, hate, hate, hate, so a small mouthful was more than enough.
I guess a few vegetables are better than none. 
I used the kitchenette tray that held cups, spoons and a small dish of sugar packets, coffee packets and tea bags as a table, I didn't want to be spilling gravy on the bedspread.

After dinner, I showered off the sweat and planned the next day.


  1. I also came from Pirie and looking at these photos have no desire to return.

  2. The town looks nicer than I thought it would be. Gee, it must have been stinking hot though.

  3. Suzie; welcome to drifting. I've been back only twice in the last 30+ years, once to see my mum in her last week before dying, then this latest trip. I can't see myself ever going there again.

    Andrew; there are some nice spots. I think I could have coped with the heat if there had been places to sit under some shade and if there were no flies. Really, it was the flies that did it, and the ha ha bus service.

  4. That's a beautiful old church! And the hotel room did look a bit homey too!


  5. I sincerely doubt if I could walk that far in the heat & still consider it a vacation!!

  6. Well. I just feel very lonely reading this post, River. I hope all is well and you got along OK with your family while you were gone. ((hug))

  7. You had a few wins though. You saw your sister - for long enough for both of you, and you know you have no interest in returning to the place.
    Hot, flyridden and with rotten bus service means that I suspect lots of people don't return.

  8. betty; I prefer homey to grand and glitzy. and those colours made me feel as if I were home, these are the colours of my lounge and bedroom curtains, tablecloth too.
    The town has many beautiful churches.

    fishducky; I'm used to walking, but these days I like a sit down a few times along the way.

    Happy Elf Mom; I rarely feel lonely, so I'm okay being alone. I got on well with my sister for the few minutes we visited and kept in touch with the kids back here in Adelaide via text messages.

    Elephant's Child; For those who were born there and stayed all their lives, maybe it's okay. They don't seem to mind. I sometimes wonder how I would have turned out if I'd stayed there instead of leaving at sixteen. Even back then I couldn't get a job in that town. I'm glad I left to go and live with Mum.

  9. I went to solomontown,remeber the aerials and the sulphur dust that drifted through the town .

  10. Suzie; maybe I know you or your family. I was there from 1958 to 1968, at Solly primary from 1960 to 1964.
    I remember the sulphur dust too, that isn't there anymore. I have a photo of myself and my brother sitting high up on one of those aerials.

  11. Looks like a picturesque little place.

  12. Delores; the parts I photographed are picturesque.

  13. Your pictures make it out to be a lovely town. But I know how the camera can steer one to the clever angles. We live in a town dominated by an enormous steelworks and industrial harbour, but you'd never know it by the photos hubby takes.

    How ironic that the church is now a temple to fast food - the new god. I couldn't get over the lack of shade. That's one thing I thought we Aussies did well - providing shady verandahs and trees, knowing that it's shit hot in summer. At least you got a free tan and sauna :-)

  14. Thanks for sharing your day 1 in Port Pirie. You chose some nice parts to photograph and, as you say, when you pick out the good bits any place can look good.
    That motel room to me looks so comfortable unlike the starkness of some I've seen in the past. I'd have felt really cosy and those colours are so inviting too.
    They do say a change is as good as a holiday so even if it wasn't quite the holiday you hoped for, at least it was a change and has give you plenty to write about and share with us.
    One thing that really got to me were the unsealed footpaths .... in this day and age. Unbelievable!!

  15. Marie; there are shady verandah store fronts in the town centre, but that is two blocks, after that the verandahs are on the houses in the suburbs, but set back from the streets, so the rest of the town is baking in the heat unless you walk through the bush, (snakes) or through the Memorial Park, which I planned on doing, but came home instead.

    Mimsie; travel agents do the same thing, you see their photos in brochures and think you'd like to go there, but when you do, it's often a lot different. The motel room was comfy and I slept well in the bed, that's always a plus. The unsealed footpaths are in the outer suburbs, but those same suburbs were there when I was a child, so I thought they should have been sealed by now.

  16. damn woman, all that way just for a few minutes?

    You are an awesome sister. I don't know if I would have made the effort. x