Posted by: glenswatman | April 11, 2007

200510 Australia-SA

SATURDAY 1 OCTOBER – When we get up at 6.30am the Canadian solar team already have their panel tilted to the sun.  We set off early to get to the Coober Pedy races.  Road kill is profuse and there are lots of wedge-tailed eagles breakfasting on freshly killed kangaroos.  Approaching the town we see the landscape changed by thousands of mullock heaps, the piled up sediment left behind after the digging for opals.  Arrive in Coober Pedy only to find that we are late for the races, the meeting was brought forward to August!  We visited the town before and found it fascinating because of all the opal mining and cave dwellings so have another drive around and call into the Desert Springs Hotel to see their free exhibition and also take a quick look in the underground Catholic Church.   Steve cracks up laughing at the Rotary Club wishing well. It is full of empty 4 litre wine casks; with a group of drunken Aboriginals sitting nearby we surmise that this is what they are wishing for them to be refilled!  We continue our journey south and early afternoon pull up for lunch under the shade of some trees by a dried up creek bed.  We’ve barely got the fly screens in place when we are invaded.  Even worse we have parked in an area where tiny thorns are spread on the ground and we’ve brought them inside the van.  The wind begins to blow the fly screens off and we are invade by the flies.  We admit defeat.  It’s really hard packing up as we need one hand to swat the flies from our faces, another to pick the thorns out of our feet and another to pack the van up. We must look like whirling dervishes as we perform.  Further along we pull up at a rest area where there is a shelter to park under and less flies.  There’s little to detain us on our journey so we take turns in driving and put the km’s behind us.  It’s amazing when suddenly out of the barren desert a lake with water appears on our left.  Lake Hart is a salt lake and was completely dry when we passed through in June 1999.  Park at the rest area and walk down to the shores, crossing over the railway then walking across saltpans to get to the water.  It’s pleasantly warm but far too shallow to do more than paddle.  As we walk back out we notice our legs turning white and salt crystals forming.  This must be as salty as the Dead Sea.  By 5am we have reached Spuds roadhouse at Pimba and call it a day.  There’s a very basic parking area at the front but we are both feeling a bit weary so it will do us.



SUNDAY 2 OCTOBER – Luckily for us the combination of it being Sunday and a long weekend means that only one road train disturbs us during the night.  Back on the road we pass many, both wet and dried up, salt lakes and notice that the landscape is getting greener with real grass to be seen.  The majestic Flinders Ranges appear on our left as we approach the big town of Port Augusta.  We are now back in civilisation and find fuel cheaper; lots of big supermarkets with lower prices and have phone reception.  Just south of the town we turn off into Winninowie Conservation Park.  The 10km dirt track leads us past a couple of beach car parks and out to Chinamans Creek.  At the creek there are a few old holiday shacks, a grassy parking area and pit toilets.  Being holiday weekend, and in fact 2 weeks school holidays, there are quite a few people around.  We back track to one of the beach car parks and have the place to ourselves.  It’s 32C and we enjoy sitting out and enjoying our sea view.  At low tide you can get to the sea by walking across the dry creek bed, over a rise then a long way over the mud flats.  After an exploratory walk we are just happy to take in our surrounding especially sunset over the water.  We have good TV reception and watch a number of programmes in the evening.  As usual when we find a really nice spot there is a downside, hundreds of small bugs at night.  When we spray to kill them we end up with the bed covered in black things that look rather like mouse droppings.  Sweep them off the bed but keep finding one of two alive in the bed during the night. 



MONDAY 3 OCTOBER – It’s high tide when we wake up and the creek is flowing beside us.  We walk back to the toilet area and enjoy seeing all the wild flowers around us.  A sign says that you can only camp in this area and the ranger will collect the $6.50 (£3.00) fee, he’ll have to find us first!   The hot day is tempered by a cool on shore breeze and we sit out until early evening.  As soon as the sun sets it goes really cold but we are ready for it and have the van sealed up with the roof down.  Good job as it is a really cold night.



TUESDAY 4 OCTOBER – With cooler weather and occasional showers forecast for tomorrow Steve is keen to make the most of this spot and stay another day.  It’s hot a breezy again but the wind changes direction and we can see the change coming late afternoon.



WEDNESDAY 5 OCTOBER – We are both awake at 6am and head off to Mount Remarkable national park.  Entry is $5 (£2.25) and camping $12 (£5.50) but for $44 (£20) you can buy a two-month entry and camping permit.  Unsurprisingly when we arrive at Mambray Creek the ranger office isn’t open so we just go straight to the day visitor car park.  The adjoining campsite is heaving with holidaymakers and most of them are up even though it is still before 7am.   We do the short Davey Gully walk and get fine views of the surrounding area and see quite a few birds and euros (a type of small kangaroo).  The ranger station is still closed when we leave so we are unable to pay – shame.  The small town of Port Germain lays claim to “one of” the longest wooden jetty’s in the Southern hemisphere.  After making use of the free cold showers we set out to walk along the jetty and have to agree it is certainly very long.  There’s a strange vehicle parked out in the water, it looks like tractor parts mounted on a high platform with wheels and we learn that it is for launching boats as the tide here often goes out 1000 metres.  Heading inland we drive a short way into Port Germain Gorge then double back to go down the dirt track to Telowie Gorge. There’s a small free camping area before you get to the day parking.  We do the short Nukunu walk along the creek and into the gorge and although not outstanding it is rather pleasant.  Continuing along the dirt track we see lots of bob tailed skinks in the road, mostly alive.  Nelshaby reserve and Laurie Park are a bit disappointing; the reservoir is almost empty and devoid of birds and the park is looking rather overgrown and neglected.  In Napperby we head off to the Scout Camp from where you are supposed to be able to walk into the gorge.  Having eventually found the camp we realise that it’s a long way to the start of the gorge so we pass.  Port Pirie is a large city with the largest lead smelter in the world.  It’s trying to improve its industrial image and they have created quite an attractive recreation area at Solomontown Beach.  If you keep your back to huge silos and smelting works it’s really quite attractive.  Head off to do the “Bunyip” trail.  At Crystal Brook we make use of free Internet at the library.  We drive out to nearby Bowman Park hoping for an overnight stop but the gates are locked overnight.  So far we have escaped any rain and just had a dull day but we not get a few drops of rain but not enough to need the windscreen wipers.  Redhill is a small but extremely friendly town.  The lady in the Corner Shop tells us we can free camp under the trees on the grassy riverbank between the two bridges.  There’s a small town square with toilets, cold showers, free BBQ, children’s playground and museum.  She gives us the key to the museum where they display info on the area history.  We are on the banks of the River Broughton but the river walk looks poor so we just wander the town before settling down for the night.



THURSDAY 6 OCTOBER – Koolunga is where the Bunyip was sighted over 130 years ago.  Between January and March 1883 the creature was seen on 3 separate occasions, once by over a dozen people in a river waterhole and described as being about the size of a sheep and scaly.  Attempts were made to capture it by throwing dynamite into the water!  Needless to say it has not been seen since.  We park at Bunyip park and do the riverside walk and see nothing other than sheep on the banks of the black inky water – maybe one of these had fallen in and emerged covered in weed?  The Bunyip trail continues on a dirt track to White Cliffs.  This is a pleasant picnic and camping area on the riverbank with white cliffs in the background.  The river is so low that the steps leading down to it stop a good 10’ above the water level.  On to Yacka at the end of the trail.  Here we turn back towards the coast passing through Snowtown, made famous when lots of murdered bodies were found in the bank vault back in 1999.  Kadina is the biggest town on the Yorke Peninsula but other than a service centre has little of interest apart from a very helpful tourist office.  Back to the coast and Wallaroo where a massive conveyer belt takes the grain out onto the jetty to be loaded onto the ships.  The peninsula is a mass of sheep and cereal farms and this is how they transport most of the grain.  On the northern shores there is a big new development of prestige waterfront housing.  Heading south we reach the town of Moonta where they used to do a lot of mining.  You can do a self-drive tour round the area of the old mines and it’s really strange because in amongst the derelict buildings of the 1800’s you find houses that are still lived in.  Heading to the coast we call at the lavender farm and get more than we bargained for when the $2 (90p) tour of the gardens is guided by the owner who is keen to share her in depth knowledge.  Amongst the lavender beds she has created nursery rhyme characters to amuse children whilst she talks to their parents, reckon I could have done with a bit of a distraction as well.  The coastal part of Moonta links up with Port Hughes and although nice they are brimming with tourists and not our cup of tea.  A bit further down the coast we head off on a dirt road to an area with 3 free camping spots.  Arrive at The Gap and find only one other motorhome parked up.  There’s a lovely spot overlooking the bay but it’s really windy so we settle for a sheltered parking place behind the dunes.  In the night we get a big storm with heavy rain, thunder and lightening – typical when we have just found ourselves a nice beach stop.



FRIDAY 7 OCTOBER – It’s still windy in the morning so we have to leave Billy’s roof down and crawl around getting our breakfast.  By 10am the storm seems to have passed so we set out to walk the couple of km’s to the next free camp known as The Bamboo’s.  The track is flooded in parts but still passable.  There is no one at all at the camping area.  Whilst the beach is nicer than at the Gap the camping area is not so good and more like a big car park.  Walk back along the beach and notice the rocky bed as the tide goes out.  Manage to sit out for lunch before the storm blows up again with more heavy rain.



SATURDAY 8 OCTOBER – It’s very windy again with heavy intermittent rain.  The sea is really rough with little difference between low and high tide. It sounds to be widespread as the news reports of many accidents in the area where trees have fallen onto the road. 



SUNDAY 9 OCTOBER – We wake to a calmer morning and take the opportunity of putting the roof up and taking things out of the van to air and for a big tidy up.  It seems we will now need warmer clothing than up in the Northern Territory.  In the small seaside town of Port Victoria we make use of the water supply to do a bit of hand washing.  Just down the coast we stop at 2nd beach for lunch and to dry the washing.  The coastal track leads to the next beach but we soon come to a point where the rain has completely flooded the road.  Rather than risk getting bogged we double back and take the long route via the sealed road.  Arrive at Wauraltee Beach camping area behind a wide sweeping bay.  No one else is here so we have the pick of the spots and settle into a secluded area in the dunes with some shelter from the wind.  We have a sea view and having walked along the beach we hope for good weather tomorrow to make the most of it. 



MONDAY 10 OCTOBER – After a very cold night, 2 duvets, tracksuit and hot water bottle job, we are happy to wake to clear blue skies and sunshine.  Neither of us slept well and we both had bad dreams about snakes even though we haven’t seen any since we were in Darwin.  A strong wind causes problems by blowing the fridge out and we spend ages covering the vents with tarpaulin, wind break and finally leaning the sun lounger against it in order to keep the gas going.  Having done all that it is then really nice to sit out on the opposite side of the van in the hot sunshine.  Early afternoon we both shower using the hot water from the solar bag.  I walk around the van to peg the towel out to dry and jump back when I spot a long snake gliding along beside the windbreak.  It is about 1 metre long, sandy colour with beige/green markings.  I scream for Steve who then wants to take a photo of it.  By the time I have recovered enough to get the camera the snake has disappeared into the bush.  What’s weird is that fact we both had snake dreams last night.  A much warmer night.



TUESDAY 11 OCTOBER – The weather looks undecided so we bide our time and play Scrabble in bed before finally getting up just after 10am.  This is such a nice quiet spot that we decide to stay another day and fit in quite a few hours sunbathing.  Set out to walk along the beach but the minute we leave the shelter of the van we are into a blasting cold wind so give up on the idea. 



WEDNESDAY 12 OCTOBER – We decided that unless it was a blue sky and no wind sort of a day we would press on.  With the breeze getting up we head off towards Minlaton.  On the outskirts of town there is a mini aircraft hanger and interesting display with the original “Red Devil” flown by local hero Captain Henry Butler. Internet in the library is free and with no time restriction so I spend over 2 hours getting really up to date with E-mails and doing some research.  Steve also now knows all there is to know about his beloved Liverpool!  Return to the coast at the small fishing community of Hardwicke Bay.  On the northern edge of town just beyond the beach shacks we find a lovely parking spot with fine views over the bay. Our exploratory walk takes us past numerous shacks, many seeming almost derelict but still taking up prime beachfront positions.  At the other end of the bay we see the other extreme with magnificent mansions just behind the beach road.  The beach, full of dried up seaweed, has lots of tractors that are used for boat launching.  The bay is rather strange in that it’s very shallow and the low tide exposes lots of sort of mini grassy islands with what look like bonsai trees.   



THURSDAY 13 OCTOBER – We continue around Hardwicke Bay and see good free camping spots at Longbottom and Flaherty’s Beaches.   A roadside sign welcomes us to the “Bottom End”, not bad considering we were in the Top End less than a month ago.  We cut across the peninsula and reach the opposite coast at the holiday town of Marion Bay.  This is the entry road for Innes National Park.  Our plan to buy the 2-month camping pass grinds to a halt when they tell us you can only stay in the park for 5 nights then must leave for 24 hours before returning.  We interpreted the 5-night limit on one site to mean one campsite meaning we could move between campsites within the park.  The alternative is to pay the one off $7 (£3.00) park entry fee and then camping fees, between $4 (£1.80) and $12 (£5.40) per site per night.  However you have to pay for the camping in advance at the visitor centre so need to decide which sites you want to stay on and for how long.  In the end the lady agrees to ticket us for 4 nights camping at any of the basic $4 sites.  We follow the driving tour leaflet and can immediately see why it has been declared a national park, as the scenery is stunning.  A deep green sea creates a beautiful backdrop to the spectacular coastal road past Chinamans Hat rock.  Wildflowers abound, as does wildlife, we see a family of emus happily strolling beside the track and lots of kangaroos.  There are many walks along the way and we first stop to do the Cape Spencer lighthouse track.  Blustery but with rewarding views.  After walking round the deserted gypsum-mining town of Inneston we stop for lunch.  The Gap has a superb example of a rock fall and is only a short walk from the car park.  West Cape is quite a long walk but again we get sensational views.  Pondalowie Bay is an $8 campsite but facilities are available to all campers so we stop in for a shower.  The water has a really strong mineral content and I’m not convinced it is an improvement on our natural bodily smells!  Surfers Beach is known to be noisy but with only one small tent on the site we reckon it will do us for the day.  There’s a really long boardwalk out to the ocean where a number of surfers sit looking at the “wrong sort” of waves.  Walking back to the van we pass the tent and hear glass bottles clanking.  A couple of kangaroos are in the site and creating havoc.  One is in the tent whilst the other rummages through the gear left outside.  It’s looks like a campsite belonging to a couple of young lads but we suspect it is even messier than they would have left it.  We shoo the kangaroos away but they keep returning.  A bit letter a truck pulls up with a couple of elderly men.  They say their son is camping on the site and he’s a bit slow to learn about the kangaroos disrupting things as the same thing happened yesterday and he still hasn’t zipped up the tent!  Just before dark a couple of campervans pull up with music playing loudly and loud giggly girls.  Seeing this as a sign of things to come we quickly pack up and move 6km further along to Shell Beach.  There are only 8 sites and 2 are occupied but by a family and young couple so we reckon it should be better for us.  Another extremely cold but quiet night.



FRIDAY 14 OCTOBER – A beautiful sunny morning so we make the 10 minute walk to the beach and find a very attractive bay.  We can see the beach stretching around the corner and explore to find and few more secluded bays.  The tide is coming in and the waves crash spectacularly over the rocks.  Spend the rest of the day sitting by the van.



SATURDAY 15 OCTOBER – The last place to visit in the park is Brown Beach where we are surprised to find the campsite full of fishermen.  It’s a steep walk down to the beach and we first turn left to explore some very interesting rock and to watch the waves crashing in.  The fishermen seem to be congregated at the other end of the beach and most are catching a good share of salmon.  We prefer our spot at Shell Beach so return for lunch. Late afternoon we walk beside the inland lake and back to the previous bay where we first visit Dolphin Bay then make the long walk out to Royston Head.  Again superb views but after a while they all seem much the same. 



SUNDAY 16 OCTOBER – It’s a drizzly start to the day so we stop off at Pondalowie for a mineral shower!  Whilst travelling back through the park we see a family of emus walking along the road. They are not the least bit afraid of the car and we get some great photos.  Apparently it’s the father that looks after the young.  The southeastern coast seems to have better weather and we find nice informal camping at Jolly’s Beach.  I spot a covered pit and Steve goes to take a look and is very exited to find it’s a snake pit with 2 huge brown snakes inside.  I’m am somewhat less impressed and leave him to take a photo rather than have a look myself.  A friendly magpie keeps coming really close to us and we get a “birds eye” view of it foraging in the grass.  It seems to be pulling out small round balls of something but one is rather bigger.  Steve scares the bird away so we can take a closer look.  It’s some sort of toad and its eyes are blinking.  The magpie returns and flies off with the toad screeching in its beak.  The bird then proceeds to rip it apart until it eventually goes quiet.  Late afternoon we walk over the cliff tops to Marion Bay.  Although not listed as a walk it is really quite scenic with the ocean on one side and the lakes on the other.  If nothing else we will certainly be fit after all our walking.



MONDAY 17 OCTOBER – In Marion Bay we make use of the laundry within the Caravan Park, $2.60 (£1.10) wash and $1 (45p) 20 minutes tumble dry.  Once we have processed all our washing we head out on the coastal dirt road towards Edithburgh.  Hillocks Drive is a property that allow access to their coast for $6 (£2.50) day or $10 (£4.50) with camping.  There are lots of beaches but most are way below the cliff top track.  Butlers Beach suits us best and we take a site with a view over the bay.  The owner is down mowing the lawns but when she leaves her dog remains and joins me for a walk along the beach.  By nightfall the dog is still with us and looks like staying on guard overnight.



TUESDAY 18 OCTOBER – The weather is poor so we head towards Edithburgh.  Although we find a few nice campsites along the way the flies are a real problem.  A big storm is forecast and flies often precede rain.  The Troubridge scenic drive is the best part of the coast road.  There’s a huge wind farm with 55 turbines and we park nearby for a coffee stop.  Lunch in Edithburgh by the tidal pool but with the storm getting worse we need to press on and somewhere sheltered for the night.  Stansbury has no camping signs everywhere but we do find a spot a bit further north at Black Point.  You are supposed to camp on the foreshore by the toilet and shower block and pay $5.50 however they are working on the car park and the area is closed.  We continue to the end of the coastal road and find a new track leading us to a pleasant free camping spot.  Spend a quiet but rainy night.



WEDNESDAY 19 OCTOBER – Steve wakes up early to watch the Champions League match on TV.  It’s almost uncanny how we just happen to be in a place with TV reception whenever the matches are on!  The next town up the coast is Ardrossan where there is free Internet at the school library.  There are lots of shops in the main street and it’s rather pleasant in spite of the stormy weather.  You used to be able to free camp down near the jetty underneath the spectacular red cliffs but this has now been stopped.  You can still free camp at Port Arthur up the coast but it is not very appealing and near the main road, good enough for a lunch stop though.  We leave the Yorke Peninsula at Port Wakefield and immediately encounter busy roads with lots of road trains but a bonus of much cheaper fuel.  The town itself is historical but only marginally so.  It has finally stopped raining and we need a place to prop until Monday when we can visit our friends in Adelaide.  Off the A1 dual carriageway heading to Adelaide we turn off to Port Parham with the second most popular free camping spot in South Australia.  The small community runs behind the ocean and at the northern end there is a camping area with water taps, picnic tables and a toilet.  Its’ mostly water logged but we find a dry spot as there is only one other motorhome parked up.  Explore the town and find the usually range of housing from shanty style beach shacks to substantial modern houses.  As always there seems to be a competition to find the quirkiest name for them; “Thisledous” seems to be the most popular.  Most have sheds containing boats and the 2 metre high raised platform vehicles for launching them.  The sun eventually breaks through and we spend the rest of the afternoon sunbathing by the van.  The beach is shallow tidal and at low tide looks like a huge mud flat back by the seaweed-strewn shore.



THURSDAY 20 OCTOBER – The other motorhome leaves early.  It’s a very pleasant morning so we make the most of the water supply to give Billy a really good wash.  Driving here down dirt roads awash with mud means there is a lot of caked on dirt to be hosed off.  With the chores out of the way we sit out until the weather changes and we get intermittent rain showers.



FRIDAY 21 OCTOBER – A caravan pulls up and we chat to Stan and Marilyn from Perth and do a few book exchanges.  With the weather as it is we are getting through a book in a day or two.  Lots of vans arrive late afternoon, presumably for the weekend.  Again we get mixed weather with occasional heavy showers, not bad considering the storm should have lasted for many days.



SATURDAY 22 OCTOBER A nice sunny start to the day so we set out to walk further north along the beach until we reach the gated entry to Wakefield Camp run by the military.  It’s lovely walking back along the beach, the tide is out and the very shallow water is nice and warm.  Sit out sunbathing for most of the day.  The village hall has a bar and restaurant and a sign said that there was a wedding reception to be held there today but that the normal bar would still be open and visitors were welcome.  We wander in and chat to a few locals.  The wedding was held on the beach at 4pm and along with friends from the city it seems that many of the 300 residents were also invited.  We learn that this area cannot be developed further because of the adjacent military proof and testing area.  Most of the residents started off having holiday homes here or are fishermen.  Blue swimmer crabs are easily caught here, as are garfish and whiting.  Walk back to camp and stand at the back of the beach to appreciate a really spectacular sunset.  We return to the van many times before going back to watch more as it seems to get better and better.  A man in waders walks back over the mud flats towing a cart.  He’s been out crabbing and has caught many using a leaf rake.  You drag it over the mud and the crabs cling on to it.  Once there claws have taken hold you flip the rake over then shake them off into your container, in this case a baby bath on wheels. 



SUNDAY 23 OCTOBER – It’s a dry but windy morning and the weather remains poor all day.   Had we not been heading into Adelaide to visit friends tomorrow we would have been heading off in search of sunshine for sure.



MONDAY 24 OCTOBER – Back on the main highway and just south of Dublin we see some strange sculptures in the fields on both sides of the road.  We pull up to investigate further and after inspecting a number of them decide that they are a protest against a rubbish tip being moved to this area.  In Adelaide we visit the RM Williams shop and museum.  Famous as makers of the best ranch wear in Australia we enjoy learning about the company history.  Nearby North Park and adjoining Sefton shopping malls help us kill the rest of the time until we can go to Stuart and Lin’s.  Although both retired Stuart has been doing some house renovations over the weekend and Lin has been away with friends.  Stuart is home and makes us most welcome as do the dogs Ruby, a blue heeler, and Bonnie, a shaven collie.  We settle ourselves into the spare bedroom.  When Lin arrives home we begin catching up on our news having not seen them since we were all in Darwin.  We find out they are both Canasta players so wind up the evening with a few games that take us through to the early hours.



TUESDAY 25 OCTOBER – Stuart and Lin have things to do today but leave us in the house and with access to a washing machine I find plenty to keep me occupied.  It’s a lovely hot sunny day and great to sit out sunbathing in the afternoon.  On Tuesday evenings Lin has members of her family round for tea, her Mum Margaret, daughter Jane and Jane’s children Maddy (12) and Anna (9).  Lin cooks up a superb meal and the time flies by.  It’s late when they leave but we still manage to stay awake long enough for another game of Canasta.



WEDNESDAY 26 OCTOBER – Stuart has decided to have a day off doing his renovations and with Lin having a birthday tomorrow we offer to take them out for a meal.  The Buffalo is a replica ship moored down at Glenelg.  At the moment they are doing mid day meals as a training restaurant.  We get excellent food and service at a very reasonable price.  The desserts deserve a good 10 out of 10 for presentation.  One is a chocolate boat shaped like The Buffalo, full of strawberries and mouse and served on a blue sauce made to look like the sea.  It tastes almost as good as it looks. The students walking round with golf balls on plates provide entertainment after the meal.  On the way back Stuart gives us a bit of a tourist drive up the coast.  With no need for an evening meal we fit in even more games of Canasta!



THURSDAY 27 OCTOBER Lin’s birthday and we are well aware of it when the phone starts ringing at 8am and the door bell rings with flower deliveries from 8.30am.  Lin’s goes out to dinner with a friend and Steve and I go for a drive to pick up a few things.  When we get back Steve helps Stu with some of his renovations.  In the evening we all go to Jane’s house for the birthday party.  Her estranged husband Michael is there as is Lin’s other daughter Zanna (Alexandra) and her ex boyfriend Yukky.  We send out for a Thai take away and have a great time. 



FRIDAY 28 OCTOBER – Our next stop is North Adelaide to meet up with friends Cath and Lew.  They are delayed at the garage so we park up and walk along the nearby Melbourne Street where there are lots of cafes and restaurants including “The Greedy Goose” that recently won the “My restaurant rules” competition on TV.  They are home when we get back and we spend the rest of the day chatting.  Early evening we take a walk over to the city to the main thoroughfare Rundle Street.  After a wander around we go to another area for a fish and chip supper.  By the time we get back and chat a bit more it’s again after midnight before we get to bed.



SATURDAY 29 OCTOBER – Cath & Lew are having the house completely redecorated starting on Monday so it’s not a good time for us to hang around.  We head down the coast to Seaford for our next rendezvous.  It’s pouring with rain but we still have an hour or so quiet time parked on the esplanade catching up with ourselves after our hectic few days.  We arrive at George and Nicole’s mid afternoon.  Their daughter Paula with James (3) and Leah with newborn Erin are there so there’s lots of catching up to be done.  Once the girls leave we settle down to a relaxing evening.



SUNDAY 30 OCTOBER – Clocks go forward here by an hour at the end of daylight saving time so with England going back an hour we are now 10 ½ hours ahead.  We need to go back into Adelaide for the Travel Show in order to get 20% off the travel insurance that we require for Malaysia.  We stop off at Kea Campers to check out the Toyota 4wd Landcruiser Bushcamper for future reference.  We are pleasantly surprised to find that the bed is a good length for Steve and the pop top roof high enough.  They sell them off with between 80,000km and 100,000km or at 18 months old for around $50,000 (£22,000), a huge saving on the price when new.  In the city we find it’s free parking on Sunday at the Oval from where we walk across the bridge to the convention centre.  It’s also the Adelaide food festival so we check out the food stalls for later.  At the travel show we are not sure the travel insurance policy is for us but take it anyway knowing we can cancel within 30 days.  Back outside to the food festival  It’s a beautiful hot sunny day and with gondolas on the River Torrens the setting is superb.  We settle for pies made by a school.  For $5 (£2/25) you select a hand painted pottery dish that is filled with the meat of your choice and topped with a pie crust.  $1.50 of each pie sold goes to charity.  The rabbit variety is really tasty.  Return to the van and drive up into the foothills to Morialta Conservation park.  Having parked up we follow the stream to the start of the walks and select the 2nd waterfalls track.  It’s a steep climb up the side of the gorge but we are rewarded by fine views.  Following the recent heavy rainfall the waterfalls are quite spectacular.  We walk below the second falls and above the first falls then back to the car park.  We are right on the edge of the city so surprised to see a koala up in one of the trees.  Return to George & Nicoles where I cook us an evening meal.



MONDAY 31 OCTOBER – George is at work today but Paula has invited the rest of us over for a visit.  As all the other men are out Steve elects to stay behind whilst Nicole & I go it alone.  James is delighted to see his Grandma and soon has me joining in playing with him as well.  We all go out to the nearby Norwood shopping centre then pick up food to take to Leah’s for lunch.  Leah lives up in the hills with a real panoramic view over the city.  We get a better look at Erin who is awake for most of the time.  Drive back to Seaford in time for tea which is disturbed by “trick or treaters” at the door.


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