South Australia, Mid North
Trip Start Mar 30, 2009
18Trip End Jun 30, 2009
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West Beach, Adelaide.
Port Fairy is a beautiful little spot at the western end of the Great Ocean Road. Graham & I had an early morning walk along the beach & watched the sunrise. After brekkie we had a look around the old cannon battery & Griffiths Island (an old whaling station & lighthouse, now accessible by a walking causeway. Then we headed for South Australia via the A1 & Portland, then the C192 coast road to Nelson, where we had our first roadside lunch & force -fed ourselves all the fruit we had bought in the previous few days, before crossing the border. There was much guffawing and consternation when we found that the border was just a quarantine bin, and the armed guards we were expecting, were non-existent! Nelson is a nice place on the Glenelg River, which at that point actually had water in it, although that close to the coast, it was mostly salt I would expect.
Made our way cross country to Port MacDonnell, where we saw some more stunning coastal scenery, just as good as the great Ocean Road, if not better (no tourists i.e. no buses-full of Asians & Europeans!!) From Port MacDonnell we stayed on secondary roads through Millicent, and Beachport, to Robe. So far, the Robe Hotel has the prize for the worst meals & the biggest crack-up. Three of us ordered their special of the day, Roast Pork. Later the barman comes out of the kitchen, and somehow the Pork had morphed into Turkey!! The usual jokes about pigs flying etc had Graham, Paul & Kay just about disgracing themselves.
Not fancying turkey, Graham & Kay settled for Gourmet sausages, and Paul for Beef Curry. They all very politely ate their meals, but made heavy work of it, even Gr. Later he said it was one of the worst meals he'd ever eaten. I had made an excellent choice & was very happy with my meal.
Stayed Thursday night in a Robe caravan park, had a good look around the Robe coastline, also spectacular, then made the run for Adelaide, to pick up the camper. The Murray River at that first glimpse near Tailem Bend is everything you'd expect & more. Will reserve judgment on what it looks like further up. The M1 climbs steadily all the way to Mt Barker, and then a really steep descent in to the city. Fortunately the Johnstons who we've hired the camper from, live on the outskirts of the city, close to the A1, and we found their place easily. An hour's worth of lessons and chatting about the Kimberlys, and we're off through the 5 o'clock rush hour to a camping ground at West Beach (right across the city!!) Luckily it's an easy city to find your way around. The camper is awesome, and everything we'd hoped. Staying here another night, and will have a squiz around the city today.
We had a really good look around the old Port Adelaide & spent a couple of hours in the Maritime Museum (Dad, you would have loved this). Then we headed back to the Adelaide Hills and went through Hahndorf, an old German style village, settled by a ship full of Lutherans, escaping persecution. Very quaint, but too close to the city & full of day-trippers (read - wankers.)
Sunday 5th April. Packed up a slightly damp camper (5mm, Adelaide's first rain in 6 months - drought busters strike again!!), & headed out to McLaren Vale for a wee spot of wine tasting. There were heaps of people out there, being a Sunday; all a bit too pretentious for us, so we left it at two vineyards.
Headed west from the city and we've ended up in another wine region, quite by accident, the Clare Valley. Wheat country as far as the eye can, & then suddenly climbed up into a lovely valley, full of vines. I will assume Riesling, as the tourist signs all say "Riesling Trail".
The camper is working out really well. Another few nights & we'll be experts. I'll try & get some photos woven into this, so here's hoping!