Why all the fuss about Whyalla?

Trip Start Apr 13, 2011
Trip End Jul 13, 2011

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Flag of Australia  , South Australia,
Sunday, April 17, 2011

Stupid title, I know, but the blog keeps wanting me to come up with "cool" titles for my entries. We are actually the only people on the road who have given Whyalla a second glance. Most of the others look at us as if we are completely mad when we don't agree with their appraisal of the place as a "shithole" - their words, not mine!

And now for the entry itself ...
More road, more travel, more shockingly unattractive towns that only served to make Whyalla look strangely beautiful once we got there, although we are quite used to our take on places being quite different to others'. Funnily enough, we had planned to bypass Whyalla altogether, as we had let ourselves be influenced by others and to be quite honest, had suspected the same ourselves

However, Whyalla has a certain kind of dusty olde-world charm about it. Everything is red, although you only have to be here five minutes to see why. We cruised the streets and picked out the houses we would live in. Whyalla High School is perfectly situated on the foreshore, proudly lording it over a lush oval that runs into the beach - what a playground. After only an hour in the place, however, we realised it could be a health hazard to get too friendly, as the Subaru had turned the same shade of red as all the buildings, and was covered in a sheen of black dust, which I assume is what you breathe in all day, every day, if you live here. OK, so Whyalla is not the answer to our dreams. I'm kind of relieved, as it's a little bit early to be pulling up stumps - we have a Nullarbor to conquer yet, and some serious beach-combing to do. No time for dusting!

We continued on our way to Cowell, where we tried our first oysters fresh from the sea. Well, nearly, they did come to us via the little kiosk on the pier, and someone had had time to put Glad Wrap over them. They were very tasty, although I was a bit alarmed on two out of my six opportunities for a taste sensation. The first was when I discovered something that looked like a centipede wallowing in the container underneath one of my oysters. I figured that if he was still alive, the oyster must be pretty fresh, so down the hatch with the oyster and back in the ocean with the centipede and Bob's yer uncle. The only catch was discovering my little mate did not respond well to lemon juice, so I had to interrupt my eating pleasure to run him down to the foreshore quicker than first planned. His tortured wriggling was puttlng me off demolishing the remaining four victims in the "punnet". Next shock was with oyster number six, and by then I wasn't letting a bit of oyster faeces ruin my day. Well, I guess he must have had a bigger shock than me if he poohed his pants when they shucked him. Another generous slosh of lemon and this one, too, became history. I was expecting to be ill later in the day, but it takes more than a scared oyster and a wriggly critter to put this little piggy off her tucker!

Later in the day, we rushed through Port Lincoln without even slowing down on our way to Coffin Bay, as the garish mix of glitz and horror in terms of architecture clashed everywhere we looked. Justin Madden must have got his ideas for town planning here – maybe he did a gap year in Port Lincoln? I must admit, we did not even consider the supposed charms of the national park here, as the town itself was quite scary. Scary, because the whole thing looked like it just been thrown together – a bit of a shopping mall here, some hardware stores there, then chuck in a row of horribly ostentatious displays of new wealth along with some completely gross housing for the people with nothing. This horrid mix seemed to sprawl forever, and in the end we lost interest in looking for the good bits, hightailing it to Coffin Bay, where we planned to finally stay in the one place for more than one night and dedicate some serious time and effort to the business of relaxing and mellowing out. 



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