Friday, March 14, 2008

Adelaide via Streaky Bay (Days…nevermind, we’ve lost count of the days)

After spending the night on the Nullarbor, we headed for South Australia’s border only to be inhibited 3 kms from the border by a pair of Western Australia’s finest who were appalled at the fact that we had the audacity to prod poor Gypsy to a speed of 115 kph, whereas the speed limit in these parts is a mere 110. After a breatho (blood/alcohol test), a stern warning and a reminder that our solar recharger was not allowed to be affixed to windows in WA, we were on our way. 180 seconds later we crossed in to carefree SA.

First stop Ceduna, which is another of those beautiful, yet barely inhabited seaside towns that you can not imagine existing anywhere else in the world. We had lunch by the city beach and were a bit disturbed by the fact that the town looked deserted on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon. We learned later that today was the second match of the one day cricket series with India and then it all made sense.

We scooted down the Eyre Peninsula to a hamlet called Streaky Bay. Getting late, we went straight for the caravan park (that’s like a KOA for our American readers.) We noticed that they had a little tuckshop on the premises and went for a rare meal out. You may have a hard time believing this next bit, but they served us the best fish and chips that I’ve had since the Montana Brewing Company in Billings, and they had fresh oysters for 6.50/doz. And by fresh, we mean they slept somewhere off Streaky Bay the night before. If you ever get a chance to get an oyster that still has the sea water in it, by all means take advantage of this experience…they are beautiful!!!

The next morning, armed with the locally generated tourist guide of the peninsula, we set of to enjoy the other treasures of the Eyre. First stop, Murphy’s Haystacks, which according to the brochure was going to be a stonehengelike outcropping of pink granite formations amid a verdant field of lush pasture. It turned out to bit the biggest let down since the largest ball of twine in Darwin Minnesota. To the untrained eye, it was a couple of large rocks in a drought stricken brown paddock. This time it was Glenda who refused to get out of the car vice Sinead who put up a similar stance at the awe inspiring twine ball.

Feeling sure that the Eyre had many yet undiscovered charms, I fell back on the brochure for our next adventure. After a short stay in Port Lincoln at the tip, we opted to head for the town of Cowell which boasted a rare Jade find and a ferry across the Spencer Gulf, shaving kilometres if not time off our trip to Adelaide.

After a few inquiries, we met with one of the two jade proprietors in town who offered a modest selection of polished rock chips, minimum price $30, that may or may not have been sourced from somewhere in the area. We politely declined and upon learning that it would cost $180 for the ferry across Spencer Gulf, we’ve decided to view locally generated tourist brochures with a bit more suspicion.

After 9 on Sunday night we arrived at Mum/Mauzza’s new house in Aldinga Beach, about 40 minutes south of Adelaide city. It was great to have the big Mummo hug and see her new digs. She is ideally located close to a wonderful beach … great low surf, fishing allowed and you can even drive on it, which makes providing shade and carting beach supplies so easy. A mid week dinner was arranged at my brother Andrew’s house, with his wife Kirsten and the three kids. After a few days of lazing around and having quality Mum time, we packed in visits with old friends; Susan, Damien, the Milnes and Edith. A day full of driving eating, drinking, talking and love.

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