Sunday, December 21, 2014

Week 24 - Purposeful Meandering around Oz

Adelaide – Rapid Bay – Victor Harbor – Murray Bridge
Kilometres          28674 - 29163km

The week started with us having our last full day in Adelaide and after our previous late night we all enjoyed a sleep-in. Most of our day was spent around the van pulling down Xmas lights or packing up extra gear that seems to accumulate after spending so long in the one spot. The siege in Sydney seemed to dominate the chit-chat throughout the park with people unanimous on the fact “it had to happen sooner or later”…. At some point during the day we ducked out to grab a few supplies for the days ahead, but generally it was nice to have a relaxing day.
Camp site - Rapid Bay
It was sad to say goodbye to Adelaide, but under dark cloudy skies we headed south down into the Fleurieu Peninsula. We had a few stops at various coastal villages, but every stop was very short lived as the howling southerly winds had plummeted the temperature and made life outside the car unbearable.  About lunchtime we pulled into the tiny town of Rapid Bay and instantly agreed this is where we’ll stay the night. A small campground right on the water’s edge, a fishing jetty and no more than 10 houses in the town made for an idyllic postcard and a great place to stay. By the time we’d setup the sun was shining and the wind had dropped to a tolerable gale. We spent the remainder of the day exploring this small bay, which once boasted a limestone mine, 400 workers and shipping movements to other parts of Australia.
Old Limestone mine and disused jetty - Rapid Bay
Wednesday dawned with no hint of the previous days wind, with clear skies we decided to stay another night. We headed out mid-morning to see some more of the peninsula. Cape Jervis was only 10km down the road and its from here that the ferry leaves to go across to Kangaroo Island. The island can be easily seen from the mainland and we watched 2 ferries load and unload their cargo of passengers, cars, trucks and motorhomes. Unfortunately at $700 return (2A 2K car/van) we opted to spend our money more wisely and somewhere else….. Continuing our exploration of the peninsula we checked out the Deep Creek NP and the wind farm before returning to the van where we spent the afternoon relaxing. The kids had made some friends and were off playing cricket & footy for most of the afternoon.
Kangaroo Island ferry
With only a short distance around to Victor Harbor there was no great urgency to our Thursday morning. We’d packed up and travelled to Victor Harbor before lunch, unfortunately the wind had returned along with the rain so we headed to the nearest shopping plaza to kill a few hours so we didn’t have to setup in the rain…. After a few hours of retail therapy for the girls, the rain had blown away allowing us the setup in dry conditions. We spent the rest of the afternoon lazing by the van or down on the beach.
Cape Jervis with Kangaroo Island in the background
There was no wind or rain on Friday so under beautiful sunny skies we headed out to the nearby Granite Island which joins the mainland by a 600m long jetty. A horse drawn tram takes passengers out to the island as a tourist attraction, like many others we chose to walk out and ride the tram back which the kids loved. While on the island we visited the fairy penguin colony which houses sick or frail penguins. These cute little guys drew plenty of ooh’s and aah’s from the crowd of onlookers….. Returning to the van the weather was warm enough for the kids to have a swim while Leonie and I managed to get a few last minute Christmas presents wrapped and posted.
Fairy Penguins - Granite Island
On Saturday Dave woke to one of those “lightbulb moments” when you realise you’ve missed an important date or you haven’t paid a bill. For us it was both, the lack of a rego sticker and with no regular mail we’d forgotten to pay the car rego. Luckily after a few phone calls our mini crisis was everted. Phew! Nothing like a stress free morning to start your day..... About lunchtime we headed out to do a bit more sightseeing of the area. To the NW “The Bluff lookout” provided fantastic views of Victor Harbor and the coastline right around to Kingston S.E.  From there we headed around to the coastal towns of Port Elliott and Goolwa. The area seemingly a buzz with holiday makers setting up for their Christmas camping trip….. Back in Victor Harbor we had another walk out to Granite Island simply to bask in the afternoon sun, oh and to find a few more caches. By late afternoon we’d retired to van for a relaxing happy hour…..
Horse drawn tram - Granite Island
Our 3 nights in Victor Harbor had gone way too fast but it was time to head north towards our Christmas destination. We left the caravan park timing it perfectly to watch the Cockle Steam Train arrive in Victor Harbor for its Sunday excursions between VH and Goolwa….. Pushing north we quickly felt the effects of moving away from the coast, the temperature soared to 37deg but we were glad for the warmth after the blustery coastal conditions. It didn’t take too long to reach Murray Bridge where we opted for a 1-night stopover. After setting up, the kids were soon cooling off in the pool while Lee and I enjoyed a relaxing afternoon and the end to another great week.
Victor Harbor and jetty
By the time we write again Christmas will be over for another year. To all our Family and Friends, have a wonderful and Merry Christmas with those close to you. Stay safe over the festive period and hopefully Santa brings you something special.

Merry Christmas from the Bere’s

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