Day 82 – 24 Sep 2012 – At Port Lincoln

At last the wind had died down and it was a very peaceful night. Normally we wake around sunrise, much to our surprise we slept in and it was around 9.30 before we started breakfast! Must have needed the sleep. Before we left we talked to 2 people in the van near us – they had been at Smoky Bay for almost a month and were setting up their satellite dish to connect to a large TV in the park’s BBQ area as it was planned to have a sausage sizzle etc. on Saturday and invite everyone in the park  to join in and watch the AFL grand final. What a lovely idea. He was setting up the satellite dish because although the ABC and SBS were digital and the picture from these stations was excellent, the other stations were still analogue and the reception was pretty poor. During our trip we have been surprised just how much of Australia is still viewing analogue TV.

The road out of Smoky Bay is the Flinders Highway and it travels along the coast all the way to Port Lincoln which is down the bottom of the Eyre Peninsula so we were lucky once more to be able to have views of the sea on and off during today’s trip.

We stopped at Streaky Bay to have a look around. I did not find it such an attractive seaside town as it was in a large bay surrounded by hills and these hills were almost completely bare. Didn’t look so good to me. The ocean view was lovely though so I guess that compensates a little.

We did not drive into the next couple of settlements beside the ocean but kept going until just before Elliston. We saw a sign which said ‘Tourist Great Ocean Cliff Drive’ and turned in to see what that would be like.

View on Great Ocean Cliff Drive at Elliston

This really is a drive right on the cliffs overlooking the Great Southern Ocean to the west. Some of the views were magnificent. As it was lunch time we pulled into a Parking Bay Area and had our lunch overlooking this amazing sight. There were a few islands close by and the waves were crashing on them, also the waves on the shore just under where we were parked were lovely to watch. Once again – such an amazing blue. More MAGIC. Can’t resist putting in another photo of an ocean view,  it was just too beautiful not to do so. The cliffs were quite rugged and eroded (limestone) so we were surprised to have 2 young chaps beside us just getting out of their surfing gear. How they got down to the water we don’t know, but they were pretty brave (or foolish) because it really was very rough and isolated.

We left Elliston and then drove all the way to Port Lincoln, arriving here around 3.30pm. Once again we have chosen a park right next to the water. Actually it is situated on Porter Bay so we thought it was very appropriate to stop here.

The view from our caravan at Port Lincoln Caravan Park

Their ads. were not wrong – they are right on the Bay – our Van is about 40 metres to the water and is one of the closest vans to the Bay. Normally we don’t get such a good site so we are very pleased. Unfortunately, it is windy again and the wind is quite icy – the temp is around 14C but it feels a lot, lot cooler than that. After setting up we went for a walk along a jetty just outside our van. There were the usual intrepid fishermen – Ian asked one chap what he was hoping to catch and his answer was ‘Bugger all’, so Ian replied that he probably would not be disappointed then. They both had a good laugh. It was so cold, and it really did not look like good fishing weather to me. I don’t know why they do it – they are always so optimistic; at least when they start out. I guess it is not the catching of the fish that counts, just fishing!! On all our travels the only person we saw catch a fish was the chap at East Alligator River in Kakadu and the barramundi were practically waiting to be caught there.

We then went for a short walk on a path on the edge of the bay right near the Park. It was through native seaside flora and was quite a lovely walk. There were signs explaining all the local indigenous plants etc. At the end of the walk was a dry dock and there were 2 fairly good sized fishing trawlers in there. On the way back we stopped to talk to another walker (with her dog) and she was a New Zealander who had moved over here 18 months ago with her husband and 2 children. She said it was the best thing they had ever done and she really loved the place. We can understand why. She wanted to know all about our travels as she and her husband plan to caravan around Australia when their youngest child leaves school.

The scenic cliff drive at Elliston also signposted ‘cliff sculptures’ and every now and then along the road there were some types of sculptures – some were quite amusing so I took a photo of them. One was a gigantic pair of thongs made out of the limestone and concrete – they were very well done. The other one was a model of a child on a trike. Enjoy.

One thing we have begun to notice is the amount of snakes on the road. Many are still well and truly alive. I guess they are trying to warm up on the bitumen. Another creature which seems to use the bitumen is the stumpy tailed lizard. We must have seen dozens of them over the past three days. Most of them fortunately are alive, but they walk so slowly we just hope another vehicle coming on the road can miss them.

I haven’t mentioned the roads for a while, but they are still very good, but I am finding that they are little more undulating than the roads up north and so my camera is unable to take away some of the motion of the car driving so some of my photos are not as clear as I would like. We are also finding we are now driving into insects so they are making the windscreen a little too dirty to take photos through as well. Ah, the trials of a travelling photographer!

One of the many ‘cliff art sculptures’ along the scenic drive

When we got back Ian took the chance to re-fill all our water tanks. The water in S.A. is notoriously ‘terrible’ (all the chlorine in it) but we had exhausted our supply so we will put up with the taste.

Love to all, Janese and Ian

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