13.09.2010 - 16.09.2010 17 °C
Another cloudy and windy day with showers, so Mary & I went shopping for some local prawns for dinner. A good choice as they were delicious! The weather deteriorated later in the day.
I received a call from the Port Lincoln caravan people that they reckoned that they could fix the problem van charger for a fair amount of money, so we agreed to call in as we left next morning.
During the evening the weather went from bad to worse and we had quite long periods of heavy rain that went on for several hours. I became concerned that if the large and heavy caravan parked very close above us on the hillside caused some soil slippage we would have a very serious problem in avoiding damage. Fortunately that did not happen, so we were relieved, that in spite of the heavy rain and increasing wind, to make it safely through the night. To add to the tension we decided to watch a DVD that a fellow traveller had given to us back in Kalgoorlie – ‘Avalanche’- a definite yawn movie! Altogether, a bad night.
Port Lincoln to Whyalla
Mary and I were up early to pack up and get on the road, even though the weather was not very good and the Park was really wet with some erosion from the run-off.
Brian and Maureen had expected a difficult time in getting hooked on to their van due to the slope on their site, however, everything worked out well for them, so we headed off to get the charger situation dealt with in town.
Neither the original charger nor the smaller version that I had bought from RACQ before leaving were functioning so a decision was made to have a new and larger 20 amp model installed. All went well and we were only an hour late in leaving town to catch Brian and Maureen up the highway.
As we headed north towards Whyalla we were somewhat surprised at the number of flooding streams and creeks with muddy water surging towards the nearby sea. Fortunately none had managed to cut the highway so we soon met Brian and Maureen at Tumby Bay, a seaside town, for morning tea. It was also very wet there and some roads were very close to flooding over. A cold wind didn’t help either as we then moved north and had lunch at Cowell – an older township, somewhat similar in building design and age to Oamaru (NZ).
We made it into Whyalla, a large mining based town, and checked in to the CP prior to heading to the shops for some supplies.
We had an early dinner and headed off for an early night.
Whyalla to Snowtown
A very quiet night for all of us enabled Mary and I to be ready for an early start, however, by the time we had the office pre-book a couple of sites at Christies Beach Top Tourist CP for the following night we finally hit the road about 0900.
For a change we had sunny weather and a good road so cruise control came in handy for this leg of the trip. Morning tea at Port Augusta then a lunch break at Crystal Brook, before deciding to make it through to Snowtown for the night. The roads were good, but with a lot more traffic than we had previously had in many weeks on the road. The amazing greenery of the fields and even on top of the Flinders Ranges was a sight for sore eyes as we knew that drought had been stalking the land for years.
Mary and I made a small deviation from the highway to a small village called Port Germein. A nice place it seemed.
There were many large fields of grain (wheat, mainly) and the changing scenery made for an interesting trip. We arrived at Snowtown about 1430 and set up a basic camp as we planned to leave early next day. We did not bother with awnings for unhitching from the car to speed things up for departure. This CP was a part of the local sports complex, but had basic facilities so no problems were experienced. A walk around this small town filled in the afternoon and gave us some welcome exercise! Snowtown will be familiar to many Australians as a place of multiple murder and evil some years ago, however, it appeared almost asleep as we walked through.
Our plans for a peaceful night suffered a blow when we discovered a major rail line was only about 80m from us, however, there were few late night trains so it did work out to be a reasonable spot for the night.
Snowtown to Adelaide (Christies Beach)
We were on the road quite early into a variety of traffic types. There seemed to be a lot of over-size trucks travelling the highway and we soon found that our UHF CB radio could transmit but not receive. Needless to say I understand that I received a fair amount of abuse from the passing heavy vehicles, but as I couldn’t hear what they were saying, I wasn’t bothered by it! By turning the set power off and then back on again I managed to get the CB working in time to make contact with Brian, ahead of us, just as we hit the northern outskirts of Adelaide.
In the increasing traffic, hindered by roadworks, we managed to edge our way through the northern suburbs before finding a sort of by-pass route to avoid the CBD. Brian, in the meantime, had followed his GPS (also a Tomtom) and managed to access the supposedly better by-pass, however, his Tomtom did not ‘know’ that the motorway by-pass it wanted them to take was a one-way only system. Poor Brian spent quite some time getting (literally) back on track, and finally caught up with us at Christies Beach as we started to set up.
Brian had a major problem when he tried to unhitch his van from the towbar when the jockey wheel failed leaving him in no-mans land being unable to move the car or setup his van. Nigel, the young chap on duty at the park managed to ‘borrow’ a spare jockey wheel thus enabling Brian to get unhitched completely, and after setting up his van, to race out and buy a replacement one. We were all very impressed with Nigel’s customer service skills over several days. In the meantime Mary & I set out to find a doctor to attend to Mary’s continuing back problems and eventually found one available who soon prescribed some very potent medication to help ease the pain.
The weather was, again, overcast with a cold wind – not at all like the Adelaide that I remembered from 1963/64!
We foolishly thought that being in a capital city that we would watch TV for the evening, however, the gadget that we had bought back in Brisbane refused to function, so after too much wasted time, we gave up and read a book instead!