Well. Bugger. That’s all I can say about WordPress which bloody deleted my first painfully executed blog, how spiteful can you get? So this time I am writing it as a draft and will publish when I fancy. Still, bugger.
We left Melbourne in the searing heat leaving Dave in very capable charge of The Melbourne Estate on the 8th of March.
We headed straight for the coast and the cool sea breeze of Killarney (part of Ireland in Victoria) which is on a lovely beach with an off shore reef and then diverted to Port MacDonnell. Not much to say here except it was our intention to feast on Southern Lobster at the port of catchment and landing, the signpost even said this is the best lobster on the south coast. The only problem was it cost $85!a tail. We have therefore been unable to verify this claim. Also in this area was a long 240 km walking trail called the Great Southwest Trail, I am gathering that all trails are Great. We walked along a portion of it at Cape Bridgewater to see the only mainland sea lion colony in Australia. Once again the information boards lied as they promised up to 600 sea lions but only about 100 were lolling around and barking loudly on the sea ledges and waves below, this rock is the only place where it appears that NZ and Australins get along in harmony as both types share the ledges and caves in apparent comfort.
From here we took another diversion inland from Mt Gambier of Blue Lake fame towards Coonewarra and the terra rossa. Penola has a French bakery that is worth visiting, they had pies to die for and sourdough bread that is the real deal; heavy, chewy and crusty. We found a delightful camping place owned by Sue Bell, an up and coming wine maker (Bellwether). With a cellar door and us the only people in the camp ground it was a memorable stay. It was at this very appropriate stage in our travels that I decided to give up the rubbish of no alcohol. I have been recently diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis, an auto immune disease and along with the magic medicine came an instruction of so little alcohol as to make it not worthwhile at all. Some glasses of wine down the hatch and so far, so good and regular blood and liver tests will confirm that this is a good solution….and anyway Robert needs a drinking partner.
We had planned to hug the coast all the way to the Nullarbor so back we went to Robe, a fishing and holiday town on the edge of the Coorong NP. We had wanted to camp in the Park but it was closed for a week for ‘pest control’ activities. One of the locals reckoned it was probably the police searching for more bodies around the Salt Creek area (nasty incident involving backpackers camping on the dunes had taken place a few weeks earlier). So we moved on to Meningie on Lake Albert, part of the Murray River mouth complex. It’s a sorry story on how the Murray has been and is still being treated over the years. Enough to say that the once freshwater lakes are now totally salt water and the ecology has changed dramatically. It was a public holiday in south Australia on Monday 14/3 so when we arrived on the Friday a the beginning of the long weekend, the lady at the reception in the only caravan park for miles around looked at me blankly, no booking, no site available this weekend. Next minute the phone rang with a cancellation and we had place to recharge the batteries and do some washing. Memo to self, Check public holiday dates and school holidays for all states.
Initially we had planned to arrive in Perth a couple of days before flying out to South Africa for the big event – Charlotte’s wedding on the 16th. But this little episode convinced us to get to Perth before the Easter weekend, particularly as it looked as though James might be leaving for the US early in April. Spending time with James and Steph over Easter seemed a fabulous plan! So a slight acceleration in schedule and we headed for somewhere north of Adelaide on the coast. Unfortunately we chose Wallaroo.
A horrible place where they can’t tell the difference between beaches and parking lots. The sand was compacted solid with upper reaches of the beach a highway and lower edge close to the sea a place where you park your 4 WD, open up the boot and obviously have the car radio on full blast. Have fun in Wallaroo!!!!
From Wallaroo we had wanted to take the ferry across the Spencer Gulf to Cowell on the Eyre Peninsula but it was unfortunately not running, so round the gulf by land was only way to go. Lucky, as we found The Remarkables Nat Park. 5km off the main road and the perfect antidote to jumped up Walloroo and its boom boxes and MacMansions. Our neighbours were very busy goannas and emus and we spotted a Tamar wallaby, a beneficiary of the 1080 baiting that is widespread in National Parks. Sadly Dingoes are killed along with the foxes and occasional feral cat.
Because WordPress is a gobbling, lose to the ether app, photos will now be added and the magic publish button pressed. Holding thumbs all is saved.