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Prarie Hotel, Parachilna
Outback - South Australia
470 km north of Adelaide
May 2009

A dream is a wish your heart makes .. never give up on your dreams.

Prarie Hotel Parachilna Rail Station Dot disability adventure Prarie Hotel Parachilna Disability Adventure Dot Brain Tumour
Before the onset of Dot's brain tumour, she had a dream to travel around Australia. She had already bought an Express Van and stockpiled camping gear such as portable fridge, sleeping bags, stove, eskies, tent etc .. all just waiting to implement her dream. At the time she was spending time every day on her 5 acres of land in Brighton, Brisbane which had no facilities such as power, phone, water, sewerage etc but which had all sorts of crops and trees; sheep; ducks; turkeys and chooks. So every day, in a sense, she had the experience of "roughing it - camping style".

By 1998, she had been diagnosed with the brain tumour and undergon neuro surgeries and with the gradual loss of all skills since that time, that dream of seeing more of remote Australia seemed as if it were unattainable. But dreams always exist - they never leave us. We have the choice to either fulfil them or go to our grave with missed opportunities.

A wonderful bush care group Dot knew was working at Angorichina, not far from Parachilna early in 2009 removing kilometres of oleanders which are choking the waterways. The native trees, flora & fauna are struggling to compete so it is an important project. They would be able to assist once Dot arrived at 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.

Prarie Hotel Courtyard Parachilna Dot Flinders Ranges brain tumour Prarie Hotel Parachilna Bar Dot

Dot arrived late in the afternoon so was able to sit in the courtyard and later take in the spectacular sunset. So many times she smiled as if she had achieved her dream of seeing remote Australia.

Jane Fargher, the owner, is in the photograph with Dot in the front bar of the Prarie Hotel. She and her team ensured that all Mum's disability needs were met. Her menu is top class and Dot enjoyed a fine meal in the restaurant. Her waiter was brilliant and had a great personality.

Dot Prarie Hotel Parachilna Postbox Australia Post

Dot next to the postbox for Australia Post at the Prarie Hotel, Parachilna, South Australia

Unlike the city, letters posted from here may not reach their destinations in Australia the next day!!

Prarie Hotel Parachilna South Australia isolation outback

The view from the road of the isolation and scenery surrounding the Prarie Hotel, Parachilna ..
the ultimate "get-away-from-it-all" location .. peace, perfect peace .. and a few flies.

Prarie Hotel Bar Parachilna Dot adventure brain tumour Parachilna Prarie Hotel Flinders Ranges Sunset Dot adventure

The sunsets looking towards the Flinders Ranges the first night at Prarie Hotel, Parachilna - words can't describe the beauty.

Prarie Hotel Parachilna Sunset Flinders Ranges Dot disability

Looking west from the front of the Prarie Hotel to the distant horizon. The feeling of freedom and peace is off the scale.

Dot Express Van wish to travel to outback dogs

This trip showed that Dot had unbelievably achieved her dream of more than a decade prior to travel the outback of Australia.
This was the van she intended to take .. she had all the camping equipment needed .. and always thought there was a "tomorrow" to do it.
Her brain tumour put a stop to all those plans.

Parachilna is absolutely a remote outback area almost in the middle of Australia.

She got there in May 2009.

A dream is a wish your heart makes .. never give up on your dreams.