Saturday, 4 October 2008

Port Lincoln

3/10/08 Streak Bay – Port Kenny – Port Lincoln 293(14788) kms

Old eating house
Last night was a beaut! A fine meal and lovely wine (Yellowglen Bella champagne for Sue, Xanadu Cab Sav for me) followed by a walk home and a good night's sleep. Just one more of the many memories we'll bring home (gosh, I said that word again) in a week's time.

This morning we had a protracted talk with a couple just a few years older than us who were travelling from Adelaide to Perth and back via the south west corner of WA. Nice folks and we talked for too long but what's too long when you are enjoying someone's company. Sue did the shopping, I bought a new bandanna, we fuelled up and were on our way.

Port Kenny for lunch, where we ate rolls and talked with pronounced and wet lisps whilst admiring the portaloos. It was windy from the south despite thunder and rain approaching from the north. It reminded us of Tambar Springs to look at. Make up your own mind what that means!

Stopped near Lake Hamilton at the old Eating House - an inn which was sponsored by Price Morris, a wealthy grazier who owned land from here to there and back again. The building was erected in 1851 but had a new roof fixed to the original rough hewn timber poles that make up the rafter and ceiling joists. The floors are locally dug limestone rocks, shaped to fit together. The walls are also limestone and have been white washed. You just let your self in and out. Outside, a stone fence or wall disappears across the paddock to the main house. These limestone fences were build by convicts and some paid employees, who would get a shilling for every chain of wall they constructed by stacking limestone rocks on top of one another.

Once reception was obtained, Sue called ahead and got the second last site in the caravan park. Being so late, I didn't feel like travelling an extra 30kms out to the national park and finding a spot in the fading light. We are making life easier for ourselves at this end of the trip.

A boring old day but even so, we enjoyed it.

4/10/08 Lincoln NP

Three months completed! Some days struggle to end, don't they? Yesterday had one of those never ending feels to it with a twist at 10:30pm.

Earlier in the evening we had to tolerate rude and boorish behaviour from several hockey groups who are staying here whilst they compete in junior championships in Port Lincoln. The players behaviour was mostly brattish - girls far worse than boys his time - but the drunken and loud behaviour of their supervising parents left everyone, including the park management, in disbelief. Once they had settled down, some new campers - new to the park at about 9:30pm and new to camping apparently - lit their gas lantern, not knowing that the mantle had to be pre burnt. As a result, it went up in flames, they ran for the hills and expected a bleve ... gas bottle explosion. Two fire engines attended to make sure the park owner had correctly turned of the gas bottle when he raced to their aid. Luckily, they were igniting the lantern outside the tent. Lots of noise, loud sirens and bystanders!

A long morning this morning. I had to wash again - last for the trip - and as usual, intended an early start to beat the Washing Witches for control of the laundry. Unfortunately, I'd forgotten to replace my exhausted laundry liquid so a start was not made until after Woolworths opened. By then, the WW were in complete control so I had to wait my chance. Task finally finished at 9:30am, we headed out to Lincoln National Park. Lincoln is located to the south east of Port Lincoln and is that bumpy bit which sticks out in the bottom of the Spencer Gulf. The road in was also bumpy but we persevered and went south first to a spot on the coast facing the Southern Ocean called the Wanna Lookout. The drive in winds its way through sand dunes and climbs for the last few hundred metres until a road barrier stops you driving over 60 metre high cliffs! What an amazing view. Rugged coastline similar to the Bunda Cliffs and huge flat boulders giving unfriendly greetings to the angry waves of the Southern Ocean makes for spectacular spray and foam tossed high into the air. An offshore island fills part of the view with its sheer ramparts and birds launching from its heights to find feed below. Parts of the coast are sheer drops, some badly undercut near the tops and the unsuspecting could easily be the next subject of a body recovery team. All the colours we have seen since Cape Leeuwin were there - deep blues, aquas, Persil white wave tops, yellow, orange and red cliff faces, green vegetation and all shades of wildflowers. I hope the photos help you understand what it was like standing in our shoes.

Dragging ourselves away, we drove to the inland side of the park and stopped at a long, deserted beach with a convenient picnic table above the short walk down onto the beach. We had lunch here as though we were back at the Abrolhos Islands - clear water, white sand and shallow swimming for any taker. In 90 minutes, that was only us. Sue had a dip but I was busy taking pictures.

During the mid afternoon, we drove to the furthest point of the park, Cape Dorrington, where a lighthouse protects shipping from the stupidity of its Skippers. On such a pleasant afternoon, it was a joy to sit on the long flat rocks of gneiss and allow them to bed us for twenty minutes or so as we catnapped only a few meters from a calm sea. Gulls wandered past and called a greeting and the waves played a watery lullaby which sent both Sue and I off to Nod. The day was in its cups as we headed back out of the park. What a delightful place.

Sue and I returned to Port Lincoln and sought out coffee. It was an ordinary one, unfortunately, but
the company at our table for two was excellent. In the aftermath, we walked along the shoreline and out onto the main jetty where locals were shopping for their dinner using a currency of prawns, squid and bread dough. The shoppers ranged from four to eighty, male and female and told the same stories as their ancestors with the same hard luck and sizeable misfortune.

Washing folded, a wonderful dinner and two exhausted campers.

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