FLEURIEU PENINSULA REVISITED
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
325Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 15
JOURNEY: Adelaide, Rapid Bay 100kms
WEATHER: Sunny, warm, 22 degrees
After another month in Adelaide, it was time to take a break by the ocean. All dental treatment was completed on September 9 but guess what?- another incident occurred that prevents us heading off to the Eyre Peninsula for the last part of our South Australian Adventure before going overseas. But not to worry, we enjoy spending time with Nell, Kath's mum.
Sheila ordered a pair of noise cancelling headphones from the USA that took much longer than expected to reach her in Adelaide. (A pair of Bose headphones is packed away in our storage shed in Brisbane in one of the 100+ cartons but it was more economical to get another pair than fly back to Brisbane and try to locate them. Sheila will not fly overseas without the phones.) She didn’t want to risk returning to Adelaide a week before we go overseas in case something was wrong with them. As an aside, our furniture is now stored and paid for one more year so, that is 3 years in total and at $3000 per year seems expensive!!! but we certainly did not anticipate staying away for more than 2 years when we packed our stuff.
So we wait and take off to the Fleurieu Peninsula for what we anticipate would be a week by the ocean, but proves to be longer.
A week at the Rapid Bay campground was replete with perfect sunny days, wild windy days and some rain, the full spectrum of weather.
The weekend, with the loveliest weather saw the camp ground close to full on Friday night, mostly Adelaide people, and emptying again on Sunday and with just 6 of us by wildly windy Monday night. We enjoyed meeting our camping neighbours who are dreaming of travelling around Australia in a couple of years’ time and are investigating the best mode of vehicle to buy- so they talk to travellers when they come to Rapid Bay to get their feedback. Both have stressful jobs and enjoy frequent weekends away at this camp ground.
Unfortunately a stabbing on Saturday night with the police and ambulances called in to a domestic dispute put a nasty tone to the weekend. Luckily we were well removed from the action and only got the full story the next day!
The caretakers and the council are wondering what to do about the "rough" element making an appearance at the camp ground; we have found that weekends at camp grounds near cities and towns can be a bit feral on weekends with a combo of alcohol and large groups – shame!!
The camp ground has full internet and phone coverage as well as 25 TV channels so nasty weather meant TV nights, games of Scrabble and good solid reading; Kath was happy to finally finish “The Glass Room”, started for the 3rd time. Weirdly, we are researching “El Tigre” excursions out of Buenos Aires on the internet while we are here!!
The caretakers here are fabulous, keep the place clean and in order and are always friendly without being intrusive. There are toilets, outdoor cold water showers (no thanks), and BBQs and we love that you can camp right on the ocean edge- spectacular.
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 22
JOURNEY: Rapid Bay, Cape Jervis, Deep Creek National Park -50kms
WEATHER: Changeable. Cool breeze/wind, sunny, overcast and rain. Typical of the Southern Ocean!
When we realised that the package from the USA was not going to reach Adelaide before next Monday- Australia Post advised us that it had left Melbourne by road today. What's wrong with airmail we wondered but the assistant did not have a sense of humour so we had to accept this snail mail method.
So it was onto Deep Creek National Park for our second visit there; we settled into site 14, at Stringybark camp ground, after two drive-throughs because there were so many vacant sites and decisions were hard to make. After a week without a shower (we did the face washer trick so had kept clean enough) we took a quick stroll through the gorgeous heath, spring flowers and grass trees, and then enjoyed the luxury of hot water showers and a thorough shampoo and scrub. This is a rare facility in a national park and they charge $21 per site for the privilege; we have a 2 months National park Pass which saves a heap of money. $50 with senior discount!!!
Our neighbours stopped for a chat and asked us to join them at their camp fire but feeling a bit anti-social we settled into the van after dinner to shelter from a cold windy night; we checked out the stability of the tall trees nearby but escaped any flying debris. The ranger came by to tell us that we had to vacate the park tomorrow morning because of controlled burning in the area.
So after a restless night- the van was parked on sloping ground and we slid about in bed and the wind howled around us, we headed for Delamere to buy firewood, took a drive to the very boring Cape Jervis from where the Kangaroo Island Ferry leaves and arrived at the lovely Trig Campground after 9 kilometres of good gravel road. This is a lovely camp ground and we found a perfect spot at site 11 and happily we were on very flat ground with a glimmer of the ocean in the distance. Western Grey kangaroos kept the grass neat and short like a football field- they did leave a lot of poo about however.
We made a warm and slow burning camp fire which kept us cosy despite the temperatures dropping to 9 degrees and enjoyed a huge bowl of spicy lentils and the usual bottle of red wine. Our late arriving neighbours from Adelaide, Sue and Jeff chatted for a while but the cold night air got the better of us and it was into the van for a read under the doona.
It rained most of the night and killed Kath’s theory that it doesn’t rain when it’s really cold. The rain stopped altogether at 9.30 am and the day was sunny and cool so we took the walking sticks and water and headed for the "Deep Creek Cove Trail" a medium rated 6km return trek with views over Kangaroo Island and the Southern Ocean. Some sections were a little steep and muddy after last night’s rain but we were thrilled with the destination where Deep Creek reaches the Southern Ocean in a little cove.
Spring flowers lined the trail and we were thrilled to find some gorgeous specimens of the Spider Orchid and we met a shy little bandicoot and a slow moving echidna.
Superb fairy wrens and stunning scarlet robins flew noisily around us and we felt privileged to enjoy this beautiful bushland on this bright sunny day.
The southern ocean is always unpredictable, but today at the mouth of Deep Creek it was relatively calm and the stained creek water, granite rocks and blue ocean created a stunning vista.
We had a wander around this calm quiet spot and retraced our steps up the rocky slopes.
Three hours later we were back in camp with a coffee and turkey/avocado sandwich enjoying the outdoors and resting our legs.
The afternoon was sunny and, with a clear sky the night was cold. Another wonderful campfire kept us warm and mesmerised, and we relished the dark starry sky. As always, we appreciate the joy and privilege of “living outdoors”.
Sunday morning was cool and sunny and we decided to do the Deep Creek Waterfall Hike, before heading back to Adelaide.
We were happy with our decision and enjoyed the fact that we were once again on the Heysen Trail which stretches from Cape Jervis to the Flinders Ranges.
The views over the ocean and the thickly vegetated hills kept the camera busy and the waterfall was small but quite spectacular with a strong flow after recent rains.
We chatted to a couple from Victor Harbour about the beauty of South Australia’s wilderness- they were wild orchid experts and could name all the tiny specimens growing in the park. We could only comment that we admired their beauty unaware of their rarity, name or habit.
We were astonished to meet a man carrying a mountain bike down the steep incline towards the waterfall but he said he would get back on it when the track flattened out a bit and was heading for the next “walk-in” camp!! He looked extremely fit!
Normanville was our next stop and we called in to the very lovely deli called Jetty and treated ourselves to a chocolate and a lime friand to have with coffee. Yum ! It was sunny and warm and we noticed a lot of people walking the beach and enjoying the afternoon.
Next stop Adelaide.