The Mighty Murray River!

The Mighty Murray River!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

PORT VICTORIA TO POINT TURTON


PORT VICTORIA TO POINT TURTON = 70km
CUMMULATIVE TOTAL = 1708km
POINT TURTON CARAVAN PARK = $23 powered
 
We covered alot of ground today and we are now at the foot end of the Yorke Peninsula.  The caravan park last night was crowded and cramped but nice enough.  The hot weather remained for most of the afternoon and also into the night.  But fortunately it clouded over but the breeze was enought to cool things down.  In the evening we went down to the jetty and it must have been around high tide as the locals came out to catch squid.  One guy near us caught 2 in about 1 minute ... he was a happy chappy!

There was alot of locals out swimming throughout the afternoon and early evening.  We went to bed around 9pm and no sooner had we turned the light out when some 'dickhead' decides to arrive and set up camp ... and right next to us.  They were trying to be as quiet as possible but with the constant moving of the car, rattling of their 'Taj Mahal' tent and then blowing up their air matress with a damn noisy compressor ... it wasn't making it easy to sleep so I didn't nod off until around 10.30pm and it wasn't a great nights sleep either.  We woke early to get an early start as we expected strong headwinds today.  But once we got started the wind wasn't around at all! 
We took the quiet road to Minlaton and this joined the main Yorke highway about 17km before Minlaton and believe it or not this must be the last remaining road in Australia NOT to have been widened.  The majority of roads around Australia have been widened for the increase in width of trucks and caravans but this road hasn't so a truck and a caravan can just fit in their lanes ... LOL it is wonderful to watch because when they pass each other they get the wobbles for fear of going of the road!
We took a break at Minlaton and had a cuppa and picked up supplies for the next 2 days as we are having a rest day at Point Turton.
Neil thought you would like this Ray ...
This plane is called the Red Devil and was flown by a chap called Harry Butler and it is a Bristol Mono plane ... if you require any additional information about this plane please contact Raymond Jones in Colac, Victoria!
From Minlaton the road goes in a south west direction to the coast by now the wind is blowing a little but not very strong but enough to remind you that you have a little resistance.
The road widens a bit but not much and I tell you there are some absolute dickhead drivers around - there are so many drivers that overtake us while there is another car coming in the opposite direction of which they either have to go off the road or slow down, and the thing is the person overtaking me thinks they have done nothing wrong!  Sometimes you can hear them revving their car while waiting behind to overtake us as there is an oncoming truck ... I always say to Neil to yell back to them to say
"go on overtake ... I dare you to take the truck on ... go on" LOL
We arrived at Point Turton and there is a munter of a grunter of a steep short hill to get into town and then you ride along the main road to the end where the caravan park is ... Now Point Turton is a little dot on the map but there is a huge amount of houses here, particularly new ones and a great deal of them are retirement homes and since there are no builders around they all come from Adelaide so it can cost around $500,000 for a home and even more with an ocean view, but obviously everyone doesn't mind paying it as there are lots for sale everywhere.
Coming into the caravan park we saw an amusing sight ...


LOL he looked quite comfy up there on his perch.
The caravan park is small but not cramped or crowded, in fact this is very much an unknown caravan park that has alot of regulars that come here - this park celebrates Melbourne cup day and has a bbq and regulars come here every year for it.  This is probably the best caravan park between the 2 peninsulas and it doesn't charge the earth for being so close to the sea - only $23 powered off peak and on the weekends it is a little more.  We came here because it was a park with a reasonable distance from Port Victoria and everyone keeps asking us how did we know about this park ... we simply say the internet.  Basically they can't believe that we know about this place ... which is strange - maybe they don't realise that we basically stay at nearly every caravan park on the peninsula because of the distances!
The park has a camp kitchen, nice toilet and showers and free bbqs
Like most places along the Peninsula it is a popular fishing spot and there are men (and women) running around with buckets, sinkers and fishing rods ... Neil and I feel a little out of place!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

MOONTA BAY TO PORT VICTORIA


MOONTA BAY TO PORT VICTORIA = 62km
CUMMULATIVE TOTAL = 1638km
GULFHAVEN CARAVAN PARK = $28 powered
 
well we woke up nice and early this morning knowing it was going to be another hot day, would have liked to get up alot earlier than 6.30am but there was no use as we had to return the damn toilet keys and get our deposits back ... and the office didn't open until 8am ... I hate that in a caravan park!  I didn't really like this place!
Moonta bay at sunset last night ...

Moonta Bay early this morning - close enough to full tide ...
So the sun was pretty hot even at 8.15am this morning. We had to ride back into Moonta town itself and then take the road that goes to Maitland which is inland on the Yorke Peninsula.  It is a steady climb up to Maitland (which is 200m above sea level) - you actually don't really feel the climb except that there is a little resistance from 10km to 40km the road tends to go in steps up a hill.  We had a good strong tailwind that was blowing from a north north east position.  It took us just over 2.5 hours to get to Maitland where we had a cuppa and bought our dinner for tonight - salads - too hot for anything else.
From Maitland the road goes in a west south west direction and by now the wind is a real strong cross wind.  Not much cycling for the first 10km as it is a gentle down hill.
The entire peninsula looks yellow and the crops are ready to be harvested and we saw a little bit of harvesting today ...
Upto Maitland it looks really dry but all the land is full of yellow crops it is not until you leave Maitland and start coming down that you can look out over to the ocean and see an aray of green, yellow and brown fields ... lovely really ... would have taken a photo but didn't want to stop on my down hill!
Port Victoria is a tiny place on the coast line and the caravan park is again cramped but fortunately for us we are on the middle tier under the shade of a tree and the only ones on the front of this tier (as no one else can fit here!) while the caravans are behind us, we can see the vans on the lower tier but we can also see the ocean ... not the perfect spot but good enough for us.  There is a wonderful camp kitchen so our salads are going to be cold for dinner and not warmish!  Lots of people here and the park is not that big but like I said there is no one to the left or right of us.
It is nice sitting under the shade of the tree with the sea breeze cooling us down.  The wind has died down considerably now and there might be some sort of change coming.  Here is our camp spot ...
as you can see Kouta is flaked out completely ... lucky he has a funny hair cut to keep him cool!  Tomorrow we are either in Point Turton or Minlaton ... depends on how we go with the headwinds that are forecasted tomorrow ... that is the good thing about the Yorke Peninsula ... the towns are alot closer together and there is more roads to choose from!
 
 
 
 
 

COWELL TO LUCKY BAY TO MOONTA BAY


COWELL TO LUCKY BAY = 16km AND WALLAROO TO  MOONTA BAY = 21km
CUMMULATIVE TOTAL = 1576km
MOONTA BAY TOP TOURIST CARAVAN PARK = $28.80 (with discount) powered
 
It was a warm day today lucky we were catching the ferry for the bulk of it!
Yesterday we had a lovely rest day at Cowell and we decided to have fish and chips for lunch.  There was a fish kiosk where the jetty was and it wasn't much to look at but they had the loveliest looking fish!  It took a while to cook as I think Neil said all they had a was home fryer!  So once we got our 2 pieces of King George Whiting and a serve of chips and walked along the jetty and found a less windy spot to have our lunch ...
as you can see either Kouta looks real small now or our lunchbox is huge ... it is the  fact that koutas haircut makes him look tiny!
Here is what is inside the box ... mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

So a peaceful day was had, the weather was very sunny but a chully south easterly wind was blowing. 
Onto today - we got up and left relatively early allowing for any major disaster to happen to us along the way and be able to solve it and still catch the ferry at 10.30am.  We arrived in plenty of time, quite a few people caught this ferry and as per usual Kouta kept getting his photo taken while we waited to board the ferry.
The ferry departs from Lucky bay and this is a single line of holiday shacks along the beach front and I tell you they look a bit like steptoes yard (and I don't mean you dad!), they are a mish mash of corrugated tin and hardiplank type materials and you cannot see where the boundary lines are and the fact that there is no fences between each shack so I would imagine that there would be a great deal of someones boat and trailer on someone elses yard!
this is taken from the ferry.  Obviously the ferry is well patronaged despite the cost if you have a car and caravan, it is great for us and saves us heaps of time.
Here are the cars on the ferry
and little Kouta ...
I think he found this crossing a little better than the last ... and so did I.  It was a very calm sea so there was little or no rocking.  It wasn't until we were close to Wallaroo that there were a little bit of white caps on the waves but still it was smooth sailing.
Once on dry land, we had a hot northerly wind to take us down to Moonta to pick up supplies from the Foodland there and then onto Moonta Bay few kilometers down the road.
We had to pick up quite a bit of food from the supermarket as we were running out of stuff and we picked up some bargains ... like Earl Grey teabags were on special unfortunately at the checkouts the cash registers weren't recognising the specials and they all came up at their full prices.  Off course the young filly I had decided to tell me that about a third of the way through my order ... so I thought I had mentioned all that should be on special and it wasn't until I got out outside that I looked and saw that she charged me for my teabags at the normal price and again at the special price.  So I went back in with all my shopping and pointed out to them that my Earl Grey has come up at the normal price and I showed them on my docket and then I showed them a generic $4.99 which I said is the special price for the teabags and they said it wouldn't come up as 'generic' on the docket but as Earl Grey ... I said I know and I can see that there and pointed to the docket but I had to explain and convince them three times that I have be charged twice for Earl Grey ... eventually they saw my way and refund me my $6.45 !
Moonta wasn't looking great so far to me ....
and that didn't exactly improve either - the campground is a top tourist park and you have to pay a $20 key deposit and a $10 dog deposit (basically if someone complains about your dog you don't get your $10 back!).  It is very expensive $32 normally but with a discount it came to $28.80 and that $28 is solely for the location and nothing else ... oh may be for the roses that are everywhere in the park.  There are not enough toilets and showers - I would hate to be there at peak time, the sites are cramped in and tiny (ok for us and our little tent), they put us down below with every other tourist and so we couldn't get internet access due to the cliff behind us, it was an incredibly sterile place and to really annoy me there was NO camp kitchen.  At that price I expect a camp kitchen!  We got an okay spot and could see the ocean as well as what our neighbour in front of us was having for dinner ... here is the spot ...
one good thing ws that we had shade as it was hot - early 30's.
Now Moonta bay ... well everyone said ah that is a lovely place .... personally I can think of bays just as nice or even better, in fact the foreshore is a big disappointment - a concrete jungle ... maybe it was better on the other side of the jetty? not sure but I am not going to bother going there again!
here is Moonta bay when the tide is out ... mind you we did see dolphins frolicing in the ocean with the monculars but even then they were still black dots on the horizon bobbing up and down!
more on Moonta bay in the next post.
 
 
 
 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

ARNO BAY TO COWELL


ARNO BAY TO COWELL = 47km
CUMMULATIVE TOTAL = 1539km
COWELL FORESHORE CARAVAN PARK = $20 powered (they gave it to us at this cheap rate knowing we only use it for the computer!)
 
It was a relatively short day today but we had to get up early so that we got to the Cowell IGA before it closes (at 12 midday!) and tomorrow it only opens between 10am and midday :)
After I wrote last nights blog we went for a stroll along the esplanade type area of Arno Bay - it was still very windy ...
this the view from the shore looking out - you can see small rings this is where they farm the tuna - a full enclosure - this was the closest one to shore the rest were way out to sea but you could make them out and some were close together and a ship was amongst them ... maybe harvesting them?












 
 
this is the view looking south ...
 
This is the view of the bay looking north ...
and this is the causeway that you cross when you go towards the campground ... this causeway sort of seperates the small township of Arno Bay from the tourist and holiday makers ...

It is a nice enough campground - very crowded thou but friendly ... we have noticed that since we have been at Coffin Bay every caravaner wants to chat to us and actually really see that we are carrying a dog ... all the way over here no one batted an eyelid about us and the dog ... but since Coffin Bay we have been the talk of the coastline!
So onto todays riding - well we expected a strong south south easterly wind to blow us into Cowell instead we get very little wind and what wind is blowing is coming more from a east south easterly so it was a cross wind for the bulk of the ride.
The profile is bit of a misrepresentation of today - you definitely felt the long ever so gradual climb but there was definitely no down hill like the profile suggests.  I assume we didn't feel the slight downhill was because of the state of the road ... in fact this number 100 highway around the Eyre Peninsula is nowhere as good as the Birdseye across from Cowell to Elliston.  This 100 highway looks fantastic but in actual fact it is a drag for cycling.  The surface is chunky and bumpy and drops you a couple of km's per hour, it is a bit like going on a dirt road with all the uneveness ... a shame really as all it needed was a little more tar added to the road when they laid the stones on it!
Anyway across that causeway this morning at 7.30am Neil found a $10 note!!! I tell you he is like a hawk when it comes to finding stuff alongside the road ... me all I see is old newspapers and toilet paper!  Neil says I have no peripheral which is probably true due to not being able to see out of the sides of the glasses ... I will try that as my excuse from now on.
So Neil was happy as larry and then when we get to where we join the highway he finds a frisbee (a good one to) I did see that but ignored it but he picked it up to add to the one we already are carrying with us and haven't used (as it has been too windy) ... he says he will clean it and give it to Sharon ... I say I betcha she doesn't take it and tries to 'fob' it off on Caleb because it is used!!!
On our way to Cowell we both saw a very good pair of sunnies so Neil picked them up and they are in very good condition just one of the nose pieces is missing but that doesn't matter - they are a pair of Bolle sunnies!
Anyway despite the poor road conditions and the very unhelpful wind we made good time into Cowell around 10.50am.  As we were coming in we saw the charity ride group that is doing the 1000km to Adelaide and they waved to us so we waved back ... at least I did as Neil had been diverted by something shiny alongside the road!
We got to the campground and she gave us a slightly lower rate than normal for a powered site as we don't use much power on for the computers and a night light and since it is daylight savings it is only one for 30 mins before we fall asleep!
It is just like the Harbourview caravan park that we stayed in before (this is the place that the ferry leaves from) very dry and gravelly but at least it is structured and shady, so we are camped on gravel - very comfy!
We will stay here tomorrow and catch the 11am ferry on Monday - tomorrows (Sunday) ferry leaves here at 2.30pm which arrives at Wallaroo at 4.30pm and it is a little late getting down to Moonta another 16km from Wallaroo ... we could stay at Wallaroo but I think Cowell is nicer.
Neil with is daily 'hoard' ...
and our campsite - the water is a fair way from us but infront is just mangrove and I don't think the tide comes up to there!

 

Friday, October 26, 2012

TUMBY BAY TO ARNO BAY


TUMBY BAY TO ARNO BAY = 73km
CUMMULATIVE TOTAL = 1492km
ARNO BAY ABSOLUTE TOURIST PARK = $25.00 powered
 
Woo hoooooooooooooo we had a tailwind today ... our first in over a week.  It wasn't as strong as the previous days headwinds (except for now but it is late in the afternoon) but it was enough to make today a little easier!
We really enjoyed our rest day at Tumby Bay ... it is a lovely place and I would have to say not all that touristy - I can imagine what tourist homes are available and the caravan park would be busy in summer hols but the rest of the town seems to be full of retirees ... in other words alot of elderly walking around and there is a considerable amount of them!  I suppose because it has a reasonable size hospital and Port Lincoln is only 50km away it seems logical to stay put in your home in Tumby Bay.  Here are a few pics ...
a few of the locals ...
we are not sure what sort of fish these are and does the sign mean while you are in the water or are they stranded on the sand ... we couldn't see any!
Also during our rest day decided to give Kouta a haircut ... it has been 24 hours since we cut his hair and he is finally forgiven us and lets us pat him ... attitude!
doesn't he look 5 years younger!
Anyway onto todays riding ... we heard on the Eyre Peninsula radio that there is a group of 22 riders from a Cycle riding group leaving Port Lincoln and riding 1000km in a week to Adelaide - they are riding for the Ronald McDonald charity.  They are unloaded and racing lycra brigade.  Anyway they were due in Tumby Bay for lunch and then onto Cleve by 4pm a total of around 140-50km.  We thought they might catch up to us at some point but as we pulled into the turn off to Arno Bay their support vehicles also pulled in and they were about 20 mins behind us!  At that point they had ridden around 120km! while we had ridden 70km but we aren't loaded so we did good time.  Apparently

they averaged around 35km per hour while we did ours in around 17km per hour!
The terrain from Tumby Bay to Arno Bay is undulating, not difficult or steep undulations just continuous!  Everywhere you look are grain fields and everything is a golden yellow colour ... lovely. 
We even saw one field had already been cut!
Arno Bay is a real fishing place, more so than the others.  The park is small and crowded and ALL here (except for us) are here for fishing!  The bay is open and rough not really suited for swimming.
On the way in to here we saw a sign for a Tuna Hatchery and Neil said you can see them out towards the see so I will go have a look later when we walk Kouta.
Tomorrow we are back in Cowell which is around 44km and hopefully we can make it before 12 midday before the IGA closes!
 



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

COFFIN BAY TO NORTH SHIELDS TO TUMBY BAY


COFFIN BAY TO NORTH SHIELDS = 56km via Port Lincoln
NORTH SHIELDS TO TUMBY BAY = 40km
CUMMULATIVE TOTAL = 1419km
NORTH SHIELDS CARAVAN PARK = $29 powered
TUMBY BAY CARAVAN PARK = $27 with Top Tourist discount powered
 
I have been a bit slack lately with this blog but yesterday I had a very bad case of hayfever - my first for the season.  Been pretty lucky so far and have only had the odd symptom here and there but with the northerly winds and cutting hay around Port Lincoln ... it had to happen sooner or later.
Well the wind blew for the bulk of the night while at Coffin Bay and we set of around the usual 8.30am and it was blowing predominantly from the east but we were lucky in that the road from Tumby Bay to the Flinders highway was sheltered both sides of the road so the wind was neglible. 
Kouta had a little bit of excitement along this road ... it goes something like this:
Kouta: "oh oh oh, Janet?, K-F-E!, stop, stop, K-F-E!, K-F-E!, stop Janet!"
Janet: "sit still what are you on about?"
Kouta: "K-F-E!, K-F-E!"
Janet looks and sees what he wants and decides to take a photo ...
K-F-E = Kentucky Fried Emu !!!!!
Yeah right kouta!
We joined the Flinders highway around 14km and from there you climb a bit (but it is an easy gradient), the road is starting to get busy and there is a relatively good shoulder.  The wind has swung a bit to a north east while the road goes in a south east direction so it is now on a our side and sometimes on our back.  The trees along the roadside give us shelter.  There are 3 roads into Port Lincoln - the Flinders highway swings north a bit, but a bypass road swings south a bit and then goes into new west road or another that loops and approaches Port Lincoln from the south.  We took the New west road which was a bit rough in places but a steep hill down into town.  We found the Woolworths and stocked up on food basics.  I did the shopping and couldn't resist the 12 pack of cinnamon donuts for $1.96 and they WEREN'T marked down!
We haven't had a great deal of sweet stuff on this trip - just the usual bickys and fruit cake while on the road - basically because we don't come across big supermarkets to tempt us ... paying upwards of $6.00 for a Sarah Lee cheesecake sort of puts you off a bit!
after shopping we went down to the wharf for a donut or 3 (kouta did have a fair chunk of mine and Neils serve - I swear he eats more than us!).  They have a swimming enclosure ... Neil reckons from the sharks
There was a camping store close by so we had to stop and get Neil a foam mat as his thermarest is not staying inflated and we have tried to find the leak to fix it but in most caravan parks the sink facilities are a little to small to submerge the mat in to find if it has a hole or if it is the valve.  He finds one and by now it is mid afternoon and wind has died down considerably (lucky for us) as we have to go North along the Lincoln highway to North Shields - the caravan park in Port Lincoln doesn't take dogs.  It is hot by now and for the first 4km out of Port Lincoln it is undulating and some of the undulations feel like munters, the temperature is around 30 degrees.  After the 4km the road flattens out a bit and since the highway goes along the coast (the only time it does around the whole peninsula) we get the opportunity to enjoy the view even though we are on the other side of the road!
North Shields caravan park is right on the waters edge and our campsite is about 20m from the water but between us and the water is the big concrete pipe that takes water to Port Lincoln and also the old road which is half missing - errosion!
our campsite ...
I tell you since getting the foam mat Neils bike is beginning to look a bit like yours Dad - lots of things piled high on it ... I said it looks like something you would find in Vietnam!
Glad to get to the campsite but the hayfever is getting worse, a cool change is meant to come and it does around 4pm.  From the campground you can see back along the coast to Port Lincoln ...
 





This morning we woke and the wind has swung around to a north westerly ... we have the worst luck with wind - going south we get southerly headwinds, we swing around to go north and guess what the wind also changes and becomes northerly headwinds .... I am jinxed I reckon!
however upon walking back from the toilet early this morning I did see a fantastic sun rise (around 6.30 - 7am)
The sun was a glorious pinky orange.
We set off around 9am as we only had 40km to go but we did look at the weather radar as it was pretty cloudy but warm and the radar did show that  there might be the odd shower so we decided to go.  So there are no photos as the camera was tucked away nice and dry as we had showers for the first half.
The wind was a very strong cross headwind and for part of the way an incredibly strong headwind and then back to a cross headwind so sometimes the going was tough.  But we got here just on midday ... the wind has picked up now and is around 40km per hour! lucky we got here.  The forecast is for it to swing around to the south but we stay here tomorrow and it should be a tailwind for us when we go to Arno Bay on Friday.
The campground is nice, good camp kitchen despite what Badgers says and we have a good corrugated fence behind us which shelters us from these 40km per hour winds ... we are so lucky.  Still warm around early 20's.
Catcha later.
 

Monday, October 22, 2012

ELLISTON TO CUMMINGS REST AREA TO COFFIN BAY


ELLISTON TO CUMMINGS REST AREA = 60km
CUMMINGS REST AREA TO COFFIN BAY = 82km
CUMMULATIVE TOTAL = 1323km
COFFIN BAY CARAVAN PARK = $32 (powered)
 
It has been a tough 2 days for us and it is very late so I am going to bombard you with photos with a brief explanation for each!
Rest Day @ Elliston = Waterloo bay













First day on our way to Cummings Rest Area - it blew a southerly for the 2 days we rested and also on this day - around 20-30 km per hour - very tough going

















Just before Sheringa we came across this sign and the photo of the road to Nowhere is below it!


Very slow going with such strong winds - the road is very much out in the open so any wind except for a tailwind would tough going ... just before the rest area is this historic building

















this was an eating house in the past and has a great view of the lake






















Extremely glad to get to the rest area - nowhere to came before hand and if it wasn't for such a strong wind I would have liked to have done a few more kms - but for the previous 10km before it I was down to 10km per hour and that is just ridiculous - it was even getting to the point that I went up a slight undulation rise at 10km per hour and believe it or not actually went slower than that on its' downhill due to the very strong winds ... I gave up on this day !  Our bush camp

















and we had a lovely view

















woke in the morning determined to have a better day and actually tackled the ride to the lookout - it said 500m but it was more like 1km!  Great view though
all the weather reports said today was to be a north easterly so technically that should be a tail cross wind for us - it wasn't it was more an easterly so we had head cross winds until Mount Hope then basically cross headwinds to Couta. Got a nice photo of the Marble ranges which we ride alongside ...
Mena Hill ...

had our lunch break at Coulta where Kouta passed out under the pine trees ...

and here is Neil enjoying his cuppa ...
found where we sat we were constantly getting pine pieces dropped on us ... a bird was eating the pines and dropping them once they had finished ...






















From Coulta it is predominantly down hill and you go down a valley and for this part we had a tailwind, once at Wangary the road veers east and so we had our head wind again but saw that the 5km dirt road to Coffin Bay via the Kellidie Bay conservation park was good so we took that as it would save us 12km

relieved to get here - bigger than what I thought and full of huge holiday homes that are for rent or are empty.  Caravan park has immaculate facilities with camp kitchen but the price is very expensive and all the oldies are complaining like mad because some of the sites are not level and they have to spend time levelling their vans etc.  I think it is expensive but the facilities are fabulous and I certainly used the camp kitchen!
The park is next to a conservation park and kangaroos come into the camp ground - Kouta loved that and they come quite close to graze but not close enough to you for a pat. 
Kouta watching carefully ...


























Went for a quick walk along the Oystyr bay walk and it follows the edge of the bay and on one side you have the water and on the other is someones yard ... just before you get to the marina area you actually walk alongside someones house ... I am not kidding they have their kitchen wall right on the border with the path that you can look in and see and at one point I actually thought we were on their veranda ... it was unbelievable.
it is a picturesque bay and you can see the oyster racks in this photo below

tomorrow another headwind forecasted ... of to Port Lincoln to pick up food supplies and then on to North Shields a further 10km north as Port Lincoln doesn't take dogs.