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I don’t think I have many followers but for anyone that has done so, our internet connection was non-existent for such a long time, keeping up wasn’t possible.  It’s not likely I’ll continue and as such hope I haven’t disappointed you. There is the off chance I’ll pick it up again just to complete…so check back from time to time and you may be surprised.

Quarantine Bin on SA and VIC border.

12  and 13 July

Well it’s time to depart Base Camp Seaford and head to an island, there is just something about islands!

Coincidentally our buddy Louise Crossley was also going and had already booked the ferry and accommodation so we teamed up.  Our tasks were simple, just organise the provisions, fuel up and collect her in Adelaide’s CBD.

KI is the 3rd largest island in Australia, has some 4400 residents and boasts a rich history, green countryside, famous beaches, tall cliffs, flora and fauna, one third being Conservation Parks or Wilderness Protection Areas.  Agriculture has been the norm since settlement.  Produce is high on the agenda, with special honey created by the Ligurian Bolongne Bees, wines, and fresh water crayfish Marron, all of which we sampled!

Louise booked us into a spot in Vivonne Bay in the south and over the 3 days we focused on the south and southwest as our destinations.  The island was too large (some 1600 Kms) for us to do it all, so we picked what we were interested in as most travellers do, in our case it was the environment, wildlife and historical locations though even then we didn’t get to every site of discussion.

It’s believed that Aboriginal inhabited the island until about 16000 years ago. Why did they leave you might ponder, the question is unresolved.  Matthew Flinders sighted the island in 1802 and named it Kangaroo Island for obvious reasons and his crew delighted in the fresh food!  Whilst they were in the area Baudin sailed in on the Le Georgaphe, the exchanges were very friendly with much shared by Flinders.  With the return of Baudin in 1803, he named much of the coast with French names as one would expect.

Sealers were the first of the non-indigeounous settlers, soon followed by the first free European South Australian settlement in 1836, but due to hardships on many levels these settlers were highly challenged and only lasted 4 years.   However with determination and drive, a few hundred folk formed the nucleus of community that today descendants continue to maintain the family traditions.

Many shipwrecks occurred from 1847, some 60 ships have been lost around the coast and as such a number of lighthouses were constructed, the first being in 1853 at Cape Willoughby.

Shouldn’t every place on the planet adopt this motto?

Just about ready to board…note it’s almost dark.

I chose the back seat and posted Lousie to the task of navigator since the roads weren’t on the bikes navigation system.  There was an hour and half drive from Pennshaw to  Vivonne Bay and we had to have a meal before we left there.  Needless to say we arrived fairly late to our accommodation even though we took a short cut to drop off about 30 minutes of the drive.

Vivonne Bay Beach in the morning whilst Adrian had his last coffee…and our exploring began.

Bird watching at Murray Lagoon where we saw Blue-billed ducks, Black swans and a lot more.

I don’t often see myself next to anyone in a pic, so it’s always a surprise as to how short I actually am!

It was time to have lunch, so we chose this spot and what a spot it was!

Adrian read that this beach was to be the best beach in Australia, though we all found it to be gorgeous we speculated there are probably many more that are as incredibly beautiful all round this country.

 We have a thing for the geology, but in this case have no idea as to the makeup of this stone.

On our trek to the Seal Colony not far from the lunch spot, we called into the Wheat Threshing Circle…are you able to imagine growing wheat in the sand dunes just adjacent, we shook our heads in disbelief.

It was here in Tadpole Bay that we spotted amongst a list of birds,a pair of Osprey, yes Osprey.  We later discovered whilst chatting with the Lighthouse Keeper at Cape Borda that the nest there was proven to be the same nest that the Flinder’s expedition naturalist/artist had painted during their data record collecting, an incredible piece of information and if true, absolutely incredible.

Another day trip from Base Camp Seaford took us southeast toward Victor Harbour to the 4452 hectares of largest remnant of natural vegetation on the Fleurieu Peninsula.  The area boasts diverse habitat of tall stringy bark, dry heath, creeks and rugged cliff tops to provide habitat for flora and fauna.  Mind you there is radiata pine forest farming all over the place, some things just never change.  Aboriginal history has identified the area as a transition area between the Kaurna and Ngarrindjeri Aboriginal people who told dreaming stories of  how the landforms came to be in the area and the offshore Pages Islands the Metalong. After visiting the beautifully maintained park we thought one should take at least a week to ten days to camp there and enjoy the varied landscape.

Fleurieu Peninsula in the distance.

Driving to Blowhole Beach.
Kangaroo Island in the distance, flat calm seas and no blow at the hole!
Extraordinary geology of granite with seams of shimmering quartz.
 Adrian discovered a Monarch butterfly as we walked up the hill, this beauty was too damp to fly.
Walking trails abound in the park so we took the one to Deep Creek Cove, walking through, to our surprise a recent hot fired area that devastated the vegetation.
The ‘yakkas’ as the locals call them, Xanthorrhoea quadrangulata are a prominent species to be seen everywhere in the South Australia and they were thriving in this burnt landscape together with a host of hardy plants.
Adjacent to every yakka grass tree a lichen of this extraordinary bright gold was to be seen, yet nowhere else?
 Orchids were beginning to bloom and given the time of year, the leaf structure, my guess are they are Corybus unguiculatas.  They were on the shaded bends of the switch back  track down to the creek.
Arrival to the creek was breathtaking…
 Lunch at the creek, we just had to keep a watch on the tide and ensure we could make a safe departure.
 Adrian having a look at walks for a potential, future camping trip. Our next stop, Kangaroo Island!

Mt Lofty Ranges, Eden Valley and the Barossa, a pleasant day trip out of Adelaide with a bit of off road driving seemed like a good thing so off we went from Base Camp Seaford.  It was today that I was receiving a 4WD tutorial, ie how to read the book with the trip details and keep us on track.  It took me a bit of sorting but finally the instructions took hold and I got the gist of reading and delivering information to coincide with the navigation system.  Thing is, sometimes these off road tracks aren’t actually in the updated versions of Where Is…

An 1991 version of the off road ‘bible’

No this wasn’t a tyre change ‘already’, just reducing the pressure to meet the off road conditions, no different really than being on Bruny Island!

 

The German’s settled Eden Valley without convict labour, actually there were no convicts assigned to the settlers in South Australia.  So who the heck built all these ‘Remarkable Walls’ as they are called that go for kilometres over hill and dale beyond as far as the eye can see?  Simply beautiful, dry stone walls of magnificent quality create boundaries and keep the owners stock in the right paddocks!

A big grey seemingly as inquisitive as we were.

Landmarks are noted in the ‘bible’ so luckily and thankfully they show up in just the right number of kilometres, ‘good, got that, now just turn right for another 5.3kms and…’  Trouble is, you have to be quick to see the sights and keep your eye on the book otherwise you lose your way.

‘nah, it’s not TL (turn left) with the pipeline, it’s SO (straight over) to the T intersection then TL onto the main drag.’

Heaps of sheep, more remarkable walls, interesting gum trees and lots of birdlife to keep us happy with Wood ducks, Galahs, a White breasted brown falcon, Crested pidgeons, and numerous species of parrot and rosellas, somewhat quick and difficult to identify until settling into the Slater’s we brought along that is becoming dotted with stickies.

‘What species of gum tree is that?’ I kept asking, well the tree is dealbata or Red River gum, but the funny pendulous cones are mistletoe. I had never seen anything like this before, very odd, the extraordinary thing is there is a Mistletoe bird to go with this phenomenon and it habits wherever the mistletoe occurs, all around Australia.

Before we can go to the beach to walk the doglettes, Adrian needs to detach his jacket from the seatbelt fitting!

Adrian, ‘Boo’ and John ready to descend onto Maslin Beach for the walk to Gull Rock, ‘Versace’ was already running like the wind…

Darling Fooz friend of 45 years, we met in Hawaii where we were roomies at university.

This is glacial geological sediment, it’s so beautiful.

John and Fooz preparing their famous once ‘or twice’ a year cinnamon buns!

Yummmmmm, these are the best and seriously dangerous…I only ate one!

July 3rd.  If you have made a trip on the ‘Spirit’, you know all about it, but we hadn’t since moving to Tasmania in 1991.  In fact we had driven from Adelaide where we’d caught up with best friend Francesca and her entire family for a reunion in the hills. It was in the same month, July and bitterly cold.  Anyway that trip across the Bass Strait was on the old ferry.  We were up at 5am like everyone else, struggled with the terrible coffee and off the ship by 7am ready to make way to Adelaide.  We took an accidental turn due to the new highway being off the navigation radar so it was a longer day than necessary, but quite interesting with many birds, beautiful gum trees, and the sighting two live foxes and three dead ones, yay!  The Penola and Coonawarra was very different from the first drive through, back then there were no cafes or accommodations.  We arrived at 19.00 and had eventually come in by way of the Adelaide Hills, ready to start adventuring after chilling out for a day with our buddies.

Auxillary sleep prior to departure…

Remarkable stone walls all through Victoria

and vineyards for kilometres

only bout 250Kms to get to our first destination!

July 2nd and we are finally underway to Devonport, phew, thought we’d never get on the road.  What was I stressing about?  I know subconciously whatever your doing, it usually falls into place and in the scheme of things really what does it matter if it doesn’t?  However, adding a couple of de-stressing exercises may help and might include as follows:  Go to a surprise BD party, get hugs from your friends there, engage in stimulating conversation about topics never discussed before, have a couple of delicious wines, savour the amazing nibbles that are offered (don’t worry about the calories), sleep in the day before you leave and have your boot ready that day, and add a meditation component, then take off in the knowing that your trip will be filled with friends, joy, new experiences and laughter!

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Stresses now water under the bridge…

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Brief stop at Callington Mill in Oatlands to buy spelt flour for our friends John and Fooz in Adelaide who make the most outrageous cinnamon rolls…with the hope they will create some for us to savour.

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Stop at ‘ut si’ a delightful, modern country, converted church just after the turn off to Devonport offering deliciously made fare with our high quality Tasmanian produce.  Adrian’s choices, fresh mushroom soup and croque monsieur, mine a tomato, chick pea and chorizo braise with crusty sour dough…so delicious I nearly forgot to take a pic!

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We were definitely ahead of schedule and relaxing as a result…

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Oh dear, is that the ferry?  Given our arrival to Devonport was early, we had a number of hours to spare, so took a walk along the river and the water’s edge following the Padoe Heritage Trail, the site of the first settlement and our first walk…all 5.6kms worth, stretching our legs and breathing some fresh air.

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Why do people leave chips and junk for seagulls to consume, it’s not cool and it’s totally unhealthy any way you look at it…

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We thought we’d stay here if anything changed with the ‘Spirit’ schedule..

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Known for his real estate eye, Adrian decided to check out the local property…just in case he saw something worth considering to add to his portfolio…it had it’s own equestrian ring, ducks, on a stick, cats, birds and more decor, less shopping for sculpture!

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Now that the carbon tax has come into effect it’s probable we’ll experience a reduction in our rising sea level, correct?

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Loading onto the ferry at 19.30pm, fabulous sky and a near full moon to enjoy.

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Being silly and getting into the ‘spirit’ of the adventure, people watching is great sport!

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Would you believe this was Woodbridge Smoked Trout?

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No more clothes, so we’re on our way? Then came the fiasco with keys delaying us yet another couple of hours, but finally we were on the road.

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The mantra kicked in, we’re just fine, we’re just fine, we’re just fine till someone had the audacity to beep their horn albeit a friendly beep, when I turned around to check out who it was…

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I saw the loaded boot and thought OMG, this is going to require a rethink!  I won’t even bore you with the list again but it’s the subject of a PhD paper on how much blasted stuff one needs to survive.  I keep reflecting on Miranda in her Observer Tree beaming to the world in the freezing cold, strapped in a harness without much to keep her alive and well and she never complains, in fact she relishes her experience, such an inspiration and here we are with so much junk, it will have to be reduced by at least fifty percent that is 50%!

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So it’s another go at the contents, mind you the vehicle items including the yada, yada, yada are still in the car along with the first of two cool boxes, the camera backpack and the rest.  I think it’s time for a coffee, I’ve been up since 05.15am trying to get my day into gear.

 

 

Aaaaargh, are we really still packing?  Does it take this much organisation to have a bit of fun, or am I overloading attempting to line up works for the property in our absence, have the residence spotless, or have we just left it too long?

I remember being away internationally not so long ago for 3 months, with a carry on airline bag, a small extra bag with computer and necessary extras, camera, book, travel docs, handbag and thin leather to wrap around my neck, wrist or waist as accessory.  The entire setup weighed 9 kgs and authorities allowed the extra 2 kgs on board given I had no checked baggage. With just nine clothing items to mix and match in black and white (what else) plus trainers, flats and two pairs of sandals to make some 20 outfits vacumn sealed in zip locked bags, I was prepared for casual, dinner or theatre, sport, and even a week of barge tripping.  Surely I haven’t lost the touch, so how the heck did I do that?

One last shot at getting it together will happen early tomorrow morning after pasta marinara tonight followed by  a big sleep where the zzzzzzzz, surely my focus will be greatly increased!

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Only problem, you get pretty over the clothing you have chosen!

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Please mantra, do kick in…

Cold weather gear, because the desert is cold at this time of year.