St Patrick's Day in Beachport, SA

Trip Start Mar 14, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Australia  , South Australia,
Tuesday, March 17, 2009

We awoke in Beachport and reintroduced ourselves to our hosts, since nobody could remember anything about anyone else due to the alcohol we had consumed.  Danny and Sierra are travelling around Australia but have become trapped in Beachport due to an inexplicable inability to leave it - they both said repeatedly, in awed tones, 'It's just this place, man it sucks you in.'  We had laughed this off, but actually, now I think about it, we're about to spend our third night here and we had intended to stay only one.

While visiting Bompa's Hotel, the owner heard Sierra jamming and asked him to play his guitar in their bar; from there, the boys found themselves living with the head chef, Kirby, and doing odd jobs in exchange for free board, food, alcohol and a bit of pocket money.  They have been made welcome in this tiny community of 300 people - they've been taken fishing, snorkelling, diving and surfing.  They know all the locals by name, and everyone in the towns and villages around knows all about the Cally boys of Beachport.

While at Kirby's, we've been getting a real taste of the friendliness of the local people which Sierra and Danny rave about, and of the small town life that I've never known.  People here just walk into each other's houses; doors are always unlocked.  A sign in the police station announces that there will be no officer around until later that evening, the implication being could we all please try and behave ourselves until then?  Calling into tourist information, the lovely lady who recommended we do the walk around Woolly Lake abandoned the office to drive us up there.  

Beachport is set just off a sandbar, on a beautiful stretch of coast.  There are several lakes between the sandbar and the mainland, although much of the water has seeped away, leaving only a dry crust of salt.  Many people in the town are either retired or are fishermen.  The latter start work at 3am and are finished by noon, and we met many of them that afternoon in the pub  (the definite articles being most appropriate in this case; there is only one pub).  Within minutes of settling on a bar stool and ordering a Guinness to celebrate St Patrick's Day, we had already received several invitations from locals; Ralph, whose wife runs Tourist Information, offered to take us snorkelling for abalone.  Another man told us that tomorrow was pizza night at his place and we must come down.  I asked him where his place was, assuming there must be another restaurant in town we hadn't visited yet, but actually, he was just inviting us to his house for dinner.

St Patrick's Day got off to a good start after a couple of rounds of 'Irish car bombs' (very non-PC of name, but a delicious drink nonetheless) and the boys treated us to the most amazing meal I have had in a long time - the creamiest of soup followed by the tenderest of lamb (my mouth is watering as I type).  The black stuff and the drunken banter did flow, and then it was back to Kirby's house to dance manically around the living room to MGMT and practice my poi. I was picking up the poi for the first time since I cracked my nose with a home-made set under the tutelage of Mike in Zambia.  I have to say that my second attempt here in Oz, with both the poi and the fire staff was not as successful as one might hope.  I have scrubbed off most of the soot that covered my body and the smudges that aren't going anywhere I must assume to be bruises.
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