10th August, 2011
11th August, 2011
12th August, 2011

Wednesday 10th August, 2011

Coast photograph

Near the Whistling Rocks, Streaky Bay

Drop Cap e were woken at 4 a.m. this morning by a mouse nibbling and scrabbling at the munchies bag on the table. It zapped up the wall and behind the wardrobe. Somewhat naturally, I did not sleep much after that! We reported it to the office and were told that it was probably the tail end (sorry) of a plague that had just gone through. She was very apologetic, but the damage had been done.

Rocks photograph

"Murphy's Haystacks" near Streaky Bay

Drop Cap e left Ceduna at about 9:45 and headed southeast towards Streaky Bay. We arrived there and got some tourist info about scenic drives and went off on a tour to Cape Bauer. On the way we found the "Whistling Rocks" and blowholes and went down a long boardwalk to see them. There wasn't much to see except the glorious ocean, crashing against the cliffs, but it was a good walk and very scenic. On the way back we saw two painted dragons (I think, although they could have been shingle back skinks) about the size of a small blue-tongue, very stubby and covered with diamond shaped armour scales. Geoff was getting quite low in blood sugar so we dosed him with jelly beans and went to a bakery for good rolls filled to order.

Rocks photograph

"Murphy's Haystacks" near Streaky Bay

Drop Cap hen on again towards Elliston (where we stay tonight) and stopped to explore a really incredible natural site known as "Murphy's Haystacks". These are giant rock formations with the technical name of isenbergs, "island mountains" in German. They grow out of the ground, looking almost artificial. It was quite a weird sight.

Sunset photograph

Sunset over Elliston Cliffs

Drop Cap hen on into Elliston, a small town of 300 odd population, and our apartment. Very well-equipped, very small, but it has everything we need. I collected some food from the local general store and prepared to cook a meal. However, before dark we went out to drive the Clifftop Scenic Sculpture Drive to Anxious Bay. It seems to me that the early explorers were a bit traumatised by this coast; we had Denial Bay near Ceduna, Streaky Bay (which is) and now Anxious Bay.

Heads photograph

Easter Island at Elliston

Drop Cap t was a lovely drive, great scenery and some of the quirkiest stone sculpture ever. My favourite was a series of heads, like Easter Island, on top of the cliff - quite weird. There were several others like the large stone block with fish faces carved into it and the totem pole with fish climbing up it. It was an interesting drive.

Drop Cap e came home and I cooked sausages and mash with tomato and onion and the remains of our tin of mixed vegs. Good stuff.

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Thursday 11th August, 2011

stone walls photograph

Dry Stone Walls near Elliston

Drop Cap t rained during the night but the day was lovely, warm and sunny. I swapped my skivvy for a t-shirt for the first time. We drove off down the B100 towards Port Lincoln. Our first stop was at some dry stone walls, built in the 1850s. I must say the raw materials for these walls were everywhere in the fields. Stony ground indeed.

Drop Cap hen we stopped for morning tea at a licensed roadhouse sort of place which reminded us of the Ettamoggah Pub or something out of Crocodile Dundee. Full of the most eclectic stock of the hook, line and sinker, bait and ammo style. But we got coffee and Geoff got a hotdog.

eating house photograph

Lake Hamilton Eating House

Drop Cap ff again we paused to look at a historic site, the Lake Hamilton Eating House from the 1850s. Made of stone with timber beams cut from trees and not dressed or shaped, and flagstone floors, it looked a very secure little house.

memorial photograph

Memorial to Lew Cummins Lost at Sea

Drop Cap e moved on again but stopped to look at a monument to a certain Lew Cummins who was lost at sea in the 20s I think. There was a great scenic lookout there with cliffs and surf. Very beautiful, wild, and dangerous.

After this we went off the highway to visit Coffin Bay (another unfortunate name - we have been collecting these. Today we also added Point Avoid and Mount Misery to the list with only a tiny modicum of light in Mount Hope!) We had lunch at a takeaway in Coffin Bay and while we were sitting at their outside table we saw a mob of about a dozen grey kangaroos bound out of the foreshore bush across the road and into the next section of bush. Don't often see that. We have seen flocks of emus, a couple of possums and one camel (from the train) but not much wildlife really.

coastal lookout photograph

Coastal Lookout near Streaky Bay

unit photograph

Part of our unit at Tumby Bay

Drop Cap ff and away to Port Lincoln, which we skirted and headed for Tumby Bay and our apartment for the next two nights. This is really good - spacious, two big bedrooms, both with queen beds, washer and dryer, beautiful new bathroom, large fridge, proper stove, microwave etc.

clock tower photograph

Clock Tower by the Beach, Tumby Bay

Drop Cap e went into the town centre, what there was of it, and got some food at IGA then had coffee at a cafe by clocktower next to the sea.
Geoff wanted raisin toast but "the kitchen was closed". How ridiculous! The only place available for meals seems to be the Seabreeze Hotel, so we booked there for tonight. Tomorrow I will cook. Not much of a town, but a great apartment.

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Friday, 12th August, 2011

garden photograph

Garden Setting of Modras Apartments, Tumby Bay

Drop Cap lept in, very comfortable, even my shoulder doesn't ache so much - it has been very bad the last couple of days. After breakfast and showers we went off to pick up some filled rolls for lunch from a really good bakery (we got two fruit scrolls as a freebie from the apartments. There are several other free offers in the pack which we won't have time to use.)

mangroves photograph

One of the Mangrove Trails, Tumby Bay

Drop Cap hen we went to the Mangrove Boardwalk not far from here. This is really interesting and incredibly well done.

mangrove hut photograph

Info Hut at the Mangrove Boardwalk

Drop Cap bviously the mangrove wetland was there but they have made a feature of it with a boardwalk and a descriptive leaflet which told of the plants etc. We all found it fascinating. Lots and lots of wildflowers and, in the clear water, tiny fishlings and crabs.

mangroves photograph

Mac and Geoff at the Mangrove Boardwalk

skink photograph

Fence Skink, Well Camouflaged

Drop Cap e even saw a wildlife, a "fence skink" so called because it lies in the sun along a fence and blends in really well. I didn't notice it until it moved its head when I put my hand on the fence rail. We watched the tide creeping in over the mangroves and finished both nature trails then drove along the seafront till we found a picnic table and had our lovely fresh salad rolls and watched the sea.

gull photograph

Pacific Gull at Tumby Bay

Drop Cap e were visited by a really huge gull, much bigger than the local silver gull which was hoping for a share of our lunch. It was black backed with a large, dangerous looking yellow beak tipped with red (or it might just have eaten something). Geoff looked it up on Wikipedia. I thought it might have been a greater black backed gull but they turned out to be much bigger than this one and with a northern hemisphere habitat. We felt it might have been a Pacific black backed gull found in the southern hemisphere and NZ. (Later we confirmed this with a wildlife board at Robe in SA)

Drop Cap wandered on the beach and picked up some shells, then we returned to the apartment. I decided to do one last wash to do us till Apollo Bay, repacked my bag and settled down with my book and my sketching things.

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