Sunday, March 4, 2012

Leaving Broken Hill behind

Two of Pro Harts Cars

After a few days of wet and drizzly weather it was great to wake to blue sky and sunshine.  After a leisurely breakfast we checked out of our villa and made our way to Pro Hart’s Gallery.  Pro Hart is a well known Australian artist who lived from 1928 to 2006 in Broken Hill.  His gallery is open to the public with many of his original works on display.  He loved to collect vintage cars and four of his vehicles were on display – apparently he liked Rolls Royces and one of these he painted in his style.   He originally lived on a station outback from Broken Hill and then moved into Broken Hill to complete his schooling and worked for a number of years in the mines before becoming a professional artist.  His work reflects his station background and mining.  Peter had visited the gallery when he went to Lake Eyre.  From here we visited the Broken Hill Regional Gallery which had a variety of exhibitions from a number of artists.  The building this gallery is housed in was originally a warehouse and was amazing. 
He painted one of his cars he was also noted for other vehicles he
collected, including motorcycles

By now it was midday and as we didn’t want to complete a mine tour, or visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service or School of the Air (having done these at least twice before) we decided to head out of town.  We had heard whispers that the road to Adelaide was closed so decided to check out the road conditions with the Information Centre.  We were soon told that the road we needed to take to Port Augusta (about 410 kms) was the same road as the route to Adelaide to beyond the point where a bridge had collapsed last Thursday.  This meant that the road was closed and we would have to divert via Wentworth.  The lady was unable to advise whether there was the possibility of a 4wd track open to avoid the broken bridge so we checked with the local police.  They were not that helpful – just that they were advising all travellers to go via Wentworth and the road was likely to be closed for some weeks. (Told us that it would only add a couple of hours to our trip, 750kms extra, what speed does he drive at!!)   A quick check on the radio telephone also provided confirmation from a truck driver so we accepted our fate and headed out of town – back down the same road we had driven the 300 kms from Mildura.  This diversion will take us through Renmark, then to Burra, Peterborough and to Port Augusta making the trip over 900 kms.  So tonight we are in Renmark, which is on the Murray River and tomorrow will continue to Port Augusta.  Talk about bad luck!

We crossed the state border and we are now in South Australia again.  There was a fruit and vegetable quarantine at the border – fortunately we didn’t have much food with us but they made us dispose of one lonely tomato!    Although we have had no rain today we decided that another motel was better than putting up the tent so booked into the Comfort Inn.  We had dinner at the Renmark Club and watched the houseboats on the river and wandered along the foreshore.  Renmark is a lovely town and a nice spot for a stopover.

Two of Pro Harts Paintings
 Pro Hart's Painting Studio
 Line of Lode memorial and retaurant
 Mine waste from township
 Murray River at Renmark
 Houseboat on Murray at Renmark
 Houseboat Renmark

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