Prarie Hotel, Parachilna
By breaking her dream down into manageable portions .. yes, it was possible to fly her to Adelaide. Qantas, Virgin Blue & Jet Star all have phenomenal procedures in place to accomodate wheelchair bound passengers and it is only a 2 hour flight from Brisbane. There are car hire offices right in the airport and many, many people always assist when help is needed, either in retrieving or carrying luggage, pushing the wheelchair etc. The car hire companies at the Adelaide Airport always provide a car that totally suits the extra demands of a carrying a wheelchair.
From Adelaide, it is simply a matter of driving on beautiful sealed roads, through charming country towns and entering the majestic Flinders Ranges area. Dot comes alive when out on the open road, having been born in the country. It is almost as if the brain goes to "standby mode" when she is in places that are repetitive eg home, doctors, shops but replace crowded cities with views to the horizon and she never closes her eyes.
Another essential aspect of her travelling in a car is having many CD's of music to complement the moment .. up tempo music (rock n roll, honky tonk, stirring tenor singing) for mornings; perhaps quieter Foster & Allen or classical in the middle of the day; ballads and serene music for sunset .. or in her case sometimes stirring gospel music.
Dot was able to stop in small towns along the way to take in their charm (stayed overnight in Quorn & saw the Pichi Richi steam train come in).
Arriving at Parachilna is like arriving at an oasis in a desert .. the backdrop of the Flinders Ranges on one side, the vast open plain with no obstructions to the horizon, no buildings or development anywhere within sight to the north or south .. it is the ultimate remote hotel .. yet with class. There is a dedicated purpose-built disability room, the bathroom of which made wheelchair access a breeze. Just outside the room was a lovely lounge overlooking a courtyard and beyond the Flinders Ranges.
Unlike the city, letters posted from here may not reach their destinations in Australia the next day!!
The sunsets looking towards the Flinders Ranges the first night at Prarie Hotel, Parachilna - words can't describe the beauty.
This trip showed that Dot had unbelievably achieved her dream of more than a decade prior to travel the outback of Australia.
Parachilna is absolutely a remote outback area almost in the middle of Australia.
A dream is a wish your heart makes .. never give up on your dreams.