The weather has continued to be a bit of a blight on our journey since leaving Adelaide two weeks ago. Overcast and windy conditions have prevailed. For the first time in three or four months we have had to run the generator to top up the batteries. We are not complaining but it is just another thought pattern that has to be adopted to ensure our travel meets with the minimum of hiccups. We could go into a motor camp to plug in but that is not how we are travelling.
Rod’s Port Lincoln fishing charter on Friday was a non-event. While he left it until Friday morning to commit (because of the weather), the operator was a no show anyway. Rod was not too worried about it – we spent the afternoon on a walk around the waterfront taking in all the attractions.
We departed Port Lincoln on Saturday afternoon and made our way 50km southwestward to Coffin Bay. The attraction of Coffin Bay was the Coffin Bay Oyster grown in the many lease areas within the bay system. While the oyster is not as ‘fat’ as New Zealand’s Bluff oysters, the local price of $9 per dozen makes it an affordable delicacy. We are well stocked and look forward to enjoying them at 5 o’clockers over the next few days.
While we were staying at Billy Light’s Point in Port Lincoln, a fellow traveller told us about a ‘must do’ while at Coffin Bay. About 12km out of Coffin Bay (on a dirt road!!), there is a tourist attraction at Wangary called Minniribbie farm. The farm is dedicated to producing 100% free-range pork from the famous heritage breed Berkshire pig. While the Berkshire pig is black, the meat is pale pink and delicious.
The farm had its’ own cafe and quirky little antique shop (with carpet delicately covering the dirt floor) and visitors had access to the entire farm. This was Dearne’s first visit to a free-range pig farm and the standout for her was that the pigs were not caged. They were able to roam free in large fenced grassy paddocks, wallow in mudpools and each paddock had its own fresh straw shelter. If she could have smuggled a piglet into the van I am sure we would have had a pet for the rest of the journey.
While we were at the farm we got our first close up of an Australian wedge-tailed eagle. A car had hit the eagle some months ago and as a result of it now being unable to fly, it is a permanent fixture at the farm. Gee they are big – with a wingspan of some 2.3 metres and weighing in at about 5kg, the bird is Australia’s largest bird of prey. While staff said it was relatively friendly, we kept well clear of its’ claws and beak.
By the time we left Minniribbie farm it was getting late in the day so we continued northwest on ‘our dirt road’ to a little place called Farm Beach Cove. We discovered a low cost camping area directly beside the coast and, at the time of our arrival, out of a cold southerly wind that had sprung up during the day. While we were thankful for the overnight stop, the wind and the dust had us moving on early the next morning.
On Sunday we retraced our steps along the dirt road back to the Flinders Highway then continued northwest with the goal of reaching Elliston by the end of the day. However, as per our normal travelling style, we didn’t quite make it. Whilst driving, we heard about an ‘off the beaten track’ camp area that was worth a look. The camp was at Sheringa Beach at the end of 8km of dirt road and on the coast some 39km south of Elliston.
The camp was very small and had room for about eight vehicles. I think we were vehicle number eight. We found our parking space, unpacked and spent a pleasant (but cold) 24 hours at Sheringa Beach. We know its getting cold because when we were watching the news on TV last night, a little mouse ran across the arm of the lounge suite. It must have snuck into the warm of the van. It could have been worse – it might of been a snake. The mouse traps will be set tonight.
This morning (Monday) we were back on the road and heading further north. We are conscious of the fact that it is Easter Weekend in Australia this weekend so we want to be off the road and sorted in terms of a stopover by at least Wednesday. The plan is to have a look between Elliston and Streaky Bay on the Eyre Peninsula’s west coast to see what we can come up with.