What a great catch up with many Solo friends I hadn’t seen for 12 months. Lots of HUGS all round!
I have to say Penola wasn’t the most enjoyable rally I have ever been to, although that is no reflection on the rally organizers – more to do with the weather, which was cold and wet for most of the rally. This really stopped a lot of informal gatherings that normally happen and I found the cold weather a real shock to my system…. I’m definitely a sunshine and summertime girl!
The program was stacked with things to do – line dancing, rock ‘n roll and ballroom dancing lessons plus trips to wineries and the Naracoorte caves. There were workshops for musicians, computers and photography and of course the traditional Poet’s Breakfast, where I told a couple of my poems.
Our Big Night was themed red and white as Penola is in the famous Coonawarra wine growing area of South Australia.
The final day of the rally was our Sports Day organized by Rainey and her band of helpers. The sun shone and it was a lot of fun, with the old fashioned egg and spoon races, tunnel ball and a three-legged race. The highlight, though, was the grape stomping competition. Handmaidens washed the feet of our grape stompers, Tony and John, and then they trod the wine and filled the bottles with grape juice as it poured from the barrels. A lot of fun – and a lot of energy expended by the stompers!
Sunday night, our last night, was skit night which was a lot of fun and then there was a promotion for the next Solos Rally in Wagin, Western Australia. Glenyce Mills, who I spent some time travelling with in Tasmania is going to be the Rally Manager and she has a huge job ahead of her. But she is an extremely organised person and I know it will be a most successful rally. I wrote a poem called Ragin’ in Wagin to help promote the rally, and this is what it says:
We’ll be ragin’ in Wagin
The Solos Rally in the West
Where the wild flowers are spectacular
And the beaches are the best.
And whether you come over the top
Or across the Nullabor
You’ll find that Western Australia
Has amazing things in store.
From the pure white sandy beaches
That you’ll see at Cape Le Grande,
To the rugged cliffs of Kalbarri
And the red earth of the inland.
The National Parks provide great camps
And it’s not hard to find free sites
Where fellow travellers meet for fun
To enjoy the starry nights.
The country towns are friendly
The station stays a must
But the wind blows strong on the west coast
And you’ll never get rid of red dust
But the dust’s like a badge of honour
It says you’ve travelled far
And you’ve ventured on those long dirt roads
And not stuck to the tar.
So make the trip to Wagin
Enjoy your journey on the way
Gather lots of great experiences
And we’ll see you in WA!