This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


Leave a comment

2010 Travels May 12

WEDNESDAY MAY 12     COFFIN BAY

M and John were up and away early, to go to Port Lincoln to do the boat trip they had booked.

I was able to sleep in until 9am – a nice luxury. While I had the chance, gave the van a good clean and tidy, and then spent some time on the laptop.

The tourists got back about 2pm. They thought the cruise had been good value. The boat only took eight passengers at a time, so there was attention for all. They gained lots of snippets of interesting information, about Port Lincoln and its area, and about tuna farming. They got to taste some of the highly valuable sashimi tuna. Port Lincoln was reputed to have the greatest number of millionaires, proportional to its population, of anywhere in Australia – due to the tuna industry.

Whilst still in Port Lincoln, they went to a chemist to buy some alkalinizing stuff for me – a product that M said her friend had taken, last year, when she had the same affliction during their Canning trip. The chemist told them I absolutely had to see a doctor, so they’d found an appointment for me – at 11.15 tomorrow.

I was actually feeling a bit better today – last night might have been the turning point. So I didn’t think I needed to see a doctor. That appointment would make tomorrow’s schedule really tight, as we were planning on moving from Coffin Bay to Port Lincoln, and John was booked in for bowls at 12.30. So I phoned and cancelled the appointment.

I also phoned and booked us into the Port Lincoln Caravan Park for five nights. We would use that as a base from which to explore the Lincoln National Park.

Went for a final drive out to the National Park – to the Point Avoid area.

Explored the side tracks to Flat Rock, Golden Island Lookout, and Almonta Beach too.

Near Flat Rock
Flat Rock area
Avoid Bay Beach
Point Avoid Lookout – Price Island
Golden Island Lookout
Almonta Beach

We contemplated driving the very sandy track through the dunes to Gunyah Beach, but the afternoon was getting on. John and I had been there before, and M was not keen enough on the idea to be bothered going through all the tyre letting down rigmarole – so we passed on that one.

Coffin Bay dusk

Tea was chicken thighs cooked with a packet satay sauce, with rice. Despite his aversion to coconut milk, John really liked it.

Another really cold night.


Leave a comment

2010 Travels May 11

TUESDAY MAY 11     COFFIN BAY

In the wee small hours of last night, we were woken by a really loud bang. Lay and listened for a while, but heard nothing more. In the morning, M told us that a roo had bounded full pelt into the side of the Troopy. It woke her up with a hell of a fright. Apparently, it was determined to maintain the course it was on, and crawled and scrabbled under the vehicle to the other side.

She had just gotten back to sleep, when a mouse trap went off in the drawer under her bed. Because the drawer was metal – and empty – that made a fair noise too. One mouse less. The roo did not appear to have damaged the Troopy. M was less than enamoured with wild life, right now.

On a day that was overcast, with occasional showers, we drove to the National Park.

First stop was Templeton Lookout, where there were great views over the bays and inlets of Coffin Bay, and towards the ocean in the other direction.

Looking towards the ocean from Templeton Lookout

On to the Yangie Bay area, where we walked the Lookout Walk circuit – about 2kms.

Little Yangie Bay – part of the larger Coffin Bay

Along the way, we looked at birds, admired the brilliant scenery, took photos.

Weather variable….

The walk was well worth doing, through thick but low coastal scrub and trees.

Casuarina on the Yangie Bay track

Ate lunch at the Yangie Bay camp area, which was a lovely place, with tent nooks tucked away in the trees, and close to the sea. The van section, though, was further up the hillside and open, bare, unattractive. Had we been able to park the van in a “tent” site, we’d have been strongly tempted to move out here next.

Next, we tackled the drive to Black Springs, some 13 kms away. After a couple of kms, reached Lake Jessie and there we had to deflate the vehicle tyres, to be able to continue through the sand dunes.

Deflating tyres in order to continue through the sand

The track was a mix of sandy surface, alternating with rough, rocky stuff. Originally, we’d hoped to go and drive along Seven Mile Beach, as John and I had done in ’93. However, because there was a kangaroo cull happening, there was no public access beyond Black Springs. The drive that far was lovely, though. I really enjoyed the coastal bush and the scenery in general.

We went for a short walk at Black Springs, then retraced our route.

Black Springs

Used our air compressor, with its inbuilt air storage tank, to re-inflate our tyres at Yangie Bay. That was such a great tool to have, fixed as it was and wired in, tucked under the rear passenger seat, with the tank under Truck. Much easier than fiddling about with a portable compressor. Over the years, it had been worth every cent it cost to have it installed, back at the beginning of our travels.

Back to town, along the beautiful drive beside the bay.

I had not felt properly well, all day, and was in quite a bit of pain. It was not the greatest condition in which to be travelling over rough tracks, but I was glad we had done the drive – such a beautiful area.

A hot shower seemed to ease the pain somewhat, but I didn’t feel like any dinner. Made some pasta with a bottled sauce, for John, and M had the portion that would normally have been mine.

The night was very cold, and I had feverish bad dreams. The degree of pain was such that I wondered if, in fact, my occasionally grumbling appendix had come to life again.


Leave a comment

2010 Travels May 10

MONDAY MAY 10     COFFIN BAY

It was an overcast day, with some rain.

After a leisurely start to the day, we drove to Port Lincoln. At the Information Centre, we bought an 8 week Parks Pass, for $27. M did the same.

We did a little shopping while there. M actually managed to buy some mouse traps and I could see an evil gleam in her eyes.

I had been feeling increasingly unwell over the past couple of days and was now starting to think I might be developing a urinary tract infection. It was decades since I’d had anything like that, and so I wasn’t really sure. I tried to buy some barley water at a health food shop, but they had nothing like that, so I bought barley at Safeway and made my own, back at camp.

Had a Subway lunch in Port Lincoln, before driving back to camp. Subway seemed to have replaced KFC as John’s travelling lunch of choice. I think he thought it was healthier.

We lazed about for the rest of the day. I was feeling very tired – always an ominous sign for me of something being amiss.

Lazing about at camp

Tea was open hamburgers – for all of us. I made special meat patties and served them on a half roll, with all the usual hamburger additions and extra salad. They were very yummy – but huge.


Leave a comment

2010 Travels May 9

SUNDAY MAY 9     COFFIN BAY

There was much condensation outside, under the awning roof, in the morning. There were far too many drips for us to be able to sit under the awning. Guess it had something to do with being by the sea. However, it turned into a beautiful day.

M had now declared serious war on mice. Not only had there been the rustling in the night, and the chewed things, but this morning, when she pulled out a storage drawer in Bessie, there were FOUR of the “little sh**s” – her words. Two immediately bailed out and ran off into the bushes, two went back into hiding. So she got determined. Everything that was left in Bessie came out.

All of the Troopy contents being thoroughly checked through……

The storage drawers were emptied. She even took off some of the wall lining panels. No mice to be found, but they were still in there somewhere. So much for lavender oil….Short of demolishing the entire vehicle, she’d done all she could. She left all the doors open, hoping they might sneak out and away. And hoping that the others didn’t see it as an invitation to come back!

There were Sunday markets in the township. We walked to those, but there was not much of note. However, I did buy a pair of earrings made from quandongs. Walked back to camp along part of the Oyster Walk, seeing some very nicely situated homes along the shore.

Mt Dutton from the Oyster Walk at Coffin Bay

Coffin Bay had, on our previous trips, always reminded me of a much smaller and laid back Lakes Entrance, in Victoria. The bay seems more lake-like, being so land enclosed. It was certainly beautiful – one of the very few places in SA that John and I would have found liveable. In fact, had this been somewhere on the Victorian coast, we’d have been sold up in Melbourne and shifted ┬áby now.

The name was not as morbid as it sounded. Matthew Flinders named the bay for a friend of his called Coffin.

After lunch, we drove out to the Coffin Bay National Park – a lovely drive because the road was beside the bay for some of the way. At the Entrance Station, when we saw the charges, decided we would be best served by buying a Holiday Pass, rather than do daily entries. But we would have to go to Port Lincoln to get that.

So, turned around and drove the other way, to Wangary, on the way we’d come from the north a couple of days ago. Took the minor road from there to Farm Beach. When we first visited these parts, in 1993, we had been amazed to see a parking area, by the beach, full of old tractors, and then – all along the back of the long beach, rows of parked caravans. We eventually worked out that the tractors were used to haul the caravans along the beach, as well as to launch fishing boats.

Coming from Victoria, it was rather unbelievable to us that people were allowed to have this unregulated van settlement actually on the beach. We wondered about hygiene: there were no amenities, and this was before the advent of en-suite vans.

Now, there was a basic caravan park on “proper” land at Farm Beach itself – $5 a night, no power available. It would be alright for a few days’ stay. There were now no caravans along the beach.

Farm Beach – once was a long line of caravans right the back of this beach

There was a big tractor “graveyard”, and still some in use on the beach, for moving boats. We were told that the tractors all had to be cleared out soon. A few could stay, but they must be roadworthy and registered! So, the quirky nature of this place was giving way to the nanny state, it seemed. A pity we couldn’t be flexible enough to allow a few such places to remain – not the vans polluting the beach, but the practical use of old tractors for the boats.

We walked along Farm Beach for a while. Watched a couple of boats being launched or retrieved.

The northern end of Farm Beach. Pacific gulls and ordinary silver gulls.

Drove further around the inlet and looked at Little Douglas – a few houses, a beach. Like at so many locations around this part of the coast, we looked out over Coffin Bay – quite a large expanse here.

Little Douglas and the expanse of Coffin Bay

Then retraced our way back around to Mt Dutton Bay. This had a Heritage-listed, beautiful old woolshed that dated from the 1870’s, and jetty to match. Back then, coastal shipping was used to take wool bales to markets, and to bring goods in for the local pastoralists.

Mt Dutton jetty
Mt Dutton Woolshed

A little further north from Wangary and Farm Beach was Gallipoli Beach, which was turned into “Anzac Cove” for the film Gallipoli. But John was fading fast, so we did not go on to look at that.

The area visited today (Google)

Tea was garlic prawns and rice.


Leave a comment

2010 Travels May 8

SATURDAY MAY 8     COFFIN BAY

The morning was foggy, again.

After breakfast, M was in her tent, opened a plastic container to get something, and a little hopping creature bounded out and exited the tent, heading for the nearest bushes. She couldn’t remember when that container was last open, so we wondered where that had originated?

The mouse in the Troopy was still disturbing M’s sleep. She sprayed a lot of lavender oil around in there, this morning. She thought she’d read somewhere that mice don’t like lavender, so was hoping it would now leave voluntarily. At least, she should have a calm mouse!

I walked to the shops and bought the Weekend Australian, and some leatherjacket fish cheeks – apparently a local delicacy. Would try them for tea, tonight.

John had been hoping to go to bowls here, today, but found out there was none on. With the day now free, we decided to visit Port Lincoln, about 30kms away.

Our first stop in the town was at a fish co-op sales outlet – it closed at midday, so we had to get in quickly. Bought prawns and oysters. Put them in the little esky lunchbox, with some ice.

We went to the very comprehensively stocked Information Centre and browsed there for a while. M and John booked to go on a boat tour on Wednesday, that would take them round Boston Bay and to the tuna farm out in the bay.The weather forecast for then looked as if it would be favourable for being on a boat. I wasn’t all that keen on the offering, so spent some money on a set of electro-plated little gumnut earrings, instead.

We meandered around the shops and along the foreshore parkland. Saw the statue of Port Lincoln’s famous Melbourne Cup winning horse, Makybe Diva, owned by a local tuna fisherman. She is the only horse ever to win three Melbourne Cups, and the only mare to win that race more than once.

Tribute to Makybe Diva. Port area in background.

Port Lincoln was very attractive and picturesque, with the sun shining. Like Coffin Bay, it was in a superb setting. It was first explored  by Matthew Flinders, as he charted the Australian coastline, and named for Boston in the UK. Back in the 1830’s, this area was originally a contender for the main settlement of the new colony of South Australia, but was rejected in favour of what became Adelaide.

These days, it is a centre for tuna farming and deep sea fishing, and a terminal from which grain s from the hinterland are loaded on to ships, and fertilizers for the area’s farms brought in by ship.

Drove up to Kirton Point Bowls Club, where John found out about a game of bowls next Thursday afternoon.

We did some of the Tourist Drive suggested in the information brochure – to the very large Marina, home of the largest commercial fishing fleet in the southern hemisphere.

Port Lincoln Marina

There, we walked around and looked at boats – naturally! What else is there to do in a marina?

Lots and lots of serious fishing boats
……and a very nice recreational fishing boar

Since it was just a short distance further on, we drove to Billy Lights Point. This gave a good view of Boston Bay, and the large Boston Island off Port Lincoln. This island was a privately owned farm, grazing sheep. I wondered about the origin of the name, Billy Lights Point – maybe it was named for Colonel William Light, the first Surveyor General of SA, the man who rejected Boston Bay in favour of Adelaide.

Looking across Boston Bay to the large Boston Island – from Billy Lights Point

By this stage, John had hit the wall, so we went back to Coffin Bay. He watched bowls on TV for the rest of the afternoon. M and I sat outside, reading and chatting.

For tea, had half a dozen oysters as an entree. Lovely they were. Then the leatherjacket cheeks, dipped in tempura flour and fried. They were really yummy.


Leave a comment

2010 Travels May 7

FRIDAY MAY 7    COFFIN BAY

Woke up to a foggy morning, but it eventually cleared.

Today was a camp based one – mostly relaxing.

Our site with M’s beyond.

M and I walked to the General Store, after breakfast. There were no mouse traps to be had in Coffin Bay, either.

I picked up our mail from the Post Office, forwarded by daughter, to whose place I’d redirected our mail before leaving. There was nothing of note there, apart from a set of spectacles for John. He had ordered these, over the Internet, before we’d left home, wanting them for close-up work – reading and computer use. When he tried them, though, he found they were like his “proper” glasses – fine for normal seeing and distance – but useless for close up work. I suspected that the Internet was not the best way to acquire glasses that worked….

John phoned our new, good mechanic, at home. The one who had already done much work on Truck, this year. His advice was that the best solution to the coolant/heater issue, was to divert the coolant away from the heater, until we got home. Sounded logical. John did the necessary pipe shuffle, as described to him by mechanic. Now, we had no functioning heater. If the weather turned wintery, there could be some very cold feet.

After lunch, M and John went walking, on the Oyster Walk track, which follows the shoreline for kilometres, from Kellidie Bay, along Kellidie Inlet to Mount Dutton Bay. They walked a long way and were away for about three hours. I didn’t go because my back was a bit sore, and I didn’t want to aggravate it.

The Coffin Bay area (Google)

Chicken kievs for tea, with broccoli.


Leave a comment

2010 Travels May 6

THURSDAY MAY 6     STREAKY BAY TO COFFIN BAY     280kms

Packing up again took a long time – for all of us.

The gear was wet too, which didn’t help. As the sites were fine gravel, trying to clean off and fold up the wet awning roof, without picking up lots of little stones too, was a challenge.

M really needed a different “living” arrangement, in my opinion. That current tent was a fool of an arrangement.

After all the trials of the pack up, we had only gone a couple of kms from Streaky Bay when John noticed that the temperature gauge was rising too much. Pulled over. When he checked under the bonnet, saw that the coolant expansion tank was almost empty. That was a worry. He added some water to that, then we did an about turn and drove back to Streaky Bay and bought a container of coolant. We always used to carry a spare container of this, in our general travels, because we were often in remote areas. Never needed it. Of course, this time, when we did, the spare coolant was at home!

Started out again, somewhat tense about what might be going on under the bonnet.

Stopped at the next town down the coast, Venus Bay, for a little explore. Walked out along the unusually curved jetty to where there were some fishing boats tied up. A dinky little “railway”, with manually pushed trolleys made it easier to move the catch, and provisions, back and forth along the jetty, which was really too narrow  and decrepit for car or truck transport.

Venus Bay jetty

On our wanders, kept a very wary eye on pelicans perched on top of the – substantial – light poles. A “splat” from one of those would not have been at all pleasant!

Walk below at your peril!

We drove up to the Lookout, behind the town. Well worth the effort of doing so – great views.

Venus Bay coastline

While we were parked up at the Lookout, I noticed coolant leaking from under the heater on my passenger side. The accounted for the acrid sort of smell I’d been noticing for the past three days or so, and not been able to find a source for. John and M had a fiddle with the pipes but without any apparent effect.

We stopped at Elliston to buy lunch. We’d read good things about the bakery there, so bought a selection of pies, pasties and sausage rolls. Lunch cost us $23! Not something we’d do too often, at those prices. The food was alright, without being awesome. I tend to find the thought of sausage rolls much nicer than the reality, anyway.

There was a Scenic Drive, from Elliston, which followed the coast around in a loop. M went off to do that. John did not want to do it with the van on, and what we could see from the town didn’t look all that scenic, so we continued on to Coffin Bay alone.

Elliston – Scenic Drive in distance

On previous passes through these parts, John and I had not been attracted to either Elliston or Venus Bay as potential places to camp for a while. We still weren’t.

A little way past the hamlet of Wangary, we turned onto Airport Lane, which we knew would take us through to the Coffin Bay Road.

Booked into the Coffin Bay Caravan Park for a week. $26 a night, with the seventh night free. We had stayed here a couple of times before, so knew we would want to spend that time here.

The Park had expanded since the last time we were here, with a very nice new amenities block built.

We were put onto one of the older sites at the top of a gradual rise, not one of the newer, drive-through van sites. This was because of M’s outfit being a vehicle and tent – and we wanted adjacent sites.

We had a goodly amount of space around us – sites in this park were pretty spacious. And grass underfoot again! Kangaroos grazed around the sites at night – there was plenty of evidence of that around!

M arrived not long after us. She had missed the short cut turn off, so had done some extra kms.

Set up, then relaxed for the rest of the afternoon.

After the big lunch, tea was small – chicken noodle soup thickened up with a tin of creamed corn.


Leave a comment

2010 Travels May 5

WEDNESDAY MAY 5     STREAKY BAY

Today a longer drive was on the agenda, to wrap up our sight seeing from the Streaky Bay base.

Again, headed south on the Sceale Bay Road. The roughly 30 kms provided some variety – farmland, low scrubby bush, then the Yanerbie Sand Hills off to the west, and finally, views out to sea.

The settlement at Sceale Bay was similar to Yanerbie.

We didn’t linger, but doubled back a little way then took the Point Labatt road. This route, in part, followed the western side of Baird Bay, a long, narrow inlet. In a few parts, the road was almost in the water of Baird Bay!

Sceale Bay and Cape Blanche

The attraction at Point Labatt was, of course, the sea lion colony there – the only such colony on mainland Australia.

Sea lions sunbaking – and their ponderous flipper prints.

A platform has been built at the top of the cliffs, so one can watch the creatures going about their normal lives – which are lived at a pretty slow pace. There are little coves below, where they sleep and sunbake, on the sand and rocks. Some of them were really big, and so ungainly out of the water. The big old males could be pretty bad-tempered too. It occurred to me to wonder if that’s a mammalian characteristic that is common across different species? Decided it might be politic to keep that thought to myself, though.

When we’d watched our fill of sea lions, drove back to Sceale Bay road, then east to Calca, then took a minor road back down the eastern side of Baird Bay, to the township of that name. It resembled Yanerbie, too, only somewhat larger.

We sat in our vehicles, looking across Baird Bay to the far side, where we’d driven earlier, and ate lunch.

Retraced our way, stopping briefly to have a browse around in the Old Calca Cemetery, a small collection of old graves sitting in the middle of a harvested paddock. Bleak, lonely, sad.

Thence to Murphys Haystacks. This stop was more interesting than I’d expected. Like Pildappa Rock, these are inselbergs, but not as big.

Murphys Haystacks

There’s a number of them, in clusters, quite close together, with a path that wanders around and through them.

They are a strange and unexpected occurrence in the flat farming land.

Eroded into strange shapes…

Apparently, the original Murphy, who had the farm around these formations, was buried in the Old Calca cemetery.

The head of a sea lion?

Arrived back in town mid-afternoon. Checked out a hardware shop and an electrical store – in order to buy M a heater! Suddenly, she’d gone from scoffing at the creature comforts we carry, to being a convert…

I had a quick browse in a craft store. Didn’t see anything I couldn’t resist.

The mousey resident was still keeping M awake at nights, and she had been finding the odd chewed-through items in her stores. But there was a mouse plague in these parts, and not a mouse trap to be had in town!

From camp, we went walking along the track that follows the western shoreline of Blanche Port, out and back. We probably walked about 3kms in all. The flies were really sticky and annoying, and we had a couple of short spells of light rain drizzle, so it wasn’t the best of conditions. Watched a couple of nankeen kestrels hunting and hovering, looking for their dinner, admiring how they could hover in one spot for some time, despite the breeze.

Streaky Bay beach

Tea was ham steaks and pineapple, mash, and John had a couple of eggs with that.

This was another chilly night. M christened her new heater.


Leave a comment

2010 Travels May 4

TUESDAY MAY 4     STREAKY BAY

My baby turned 36 today. I’d already posted a card to him, from here, on Sunday, but today sent him birthday wishes via text, as well. Didn’t think the mail service was that efficient.

Today’s sightseeing was the Westall Way Loop drive, ranging a bit further afield. This took us out the Sceale Bay road, then off on a side road, firstly to High Cliffs.

High Cliffs

High Cliffs was a bit of a misnomer. Where the track took us to was a parking area above a moderate slope down to a beach some distance below. However, from the parking area there was a clear outlook to  high and steep cliffs to the north.

Rock shelf south of High Cliffs

We clambered down a rough track from the top, to a small beach with some granite outcrops at their end, and explored amongst those for a while.

Very photogenic, they were.

Scrambled back up the track to the vehicles, then drove on further – only a short distance further – to another lookout. Here, there was a built, stepped path, down to similar rock formations. We decided we’d just been exploring part of the Granites – from the other side – and had done it the hard way!

Did some more exploring there. There was something exciting about wandering around the rocky area while the waves crashed further out. I think the rather stormy skies actually added to the attractiveness of the whole area – certainly made it more dramatic looking.

We had come down the incline in the distance

Our next stop and wander was a bit further south again – Smooth Pool. It is as it sounds – an area in the granite rock shelves protected from wave entry, so just smooth water. I imagined that, in warmer weather, it would be a great place for children  to cool off, in a safe area.

Continuing on around the Westall Loop Road took us to the turn off to Yanerbie, and we had to go have a look at that settlement. It was a small collection of beach houses and shacks. Frankly, we couldn’t work out why people would be bothered to be there! It was bleak, barren and with no services. A pleasant view over Sceale Bay to Cape Blanche was its only redeeming feature.

We parked and ate lunch by a weed covered “beach” near Yanerbie, and watched a seal – or a little sea lion? – swimming about. These lunches with marine life entertainment were great!

The Yanerbie Sand Hills that we drove by, on the way back to Streaky Bay, were something different in the otherwise flat and rather boring landscape. A section of the coastal sand dunes at the northern end of Sceale Bay had become destabilized, probably through vegetation disturbance or removal, and the dunes had begun to move inland. They were quite high, as in much taller than houses, shining white, and slowly encroaching on the surrounding farmland, such as it was.

Google view of the Yanerbie sand blow

Got back to camp mid afternoon.

Fish and fries again for tea tonight – the whiting was excellent.

The night was very chilly, and with drizzling rain. We lent M our small electric fan heater, to warm her sitting tent.


Leave a comment

2010 Travels May 3

MONDAY MAY 3     STREAKY BAY

We had a fine day, blue sky for most of it, very pleasant.

Set out to drive the Cape Bauer Loop tourist drive. This would not be too onerous for John, but would give a good sampling of the spectacular coastal scenery to be found around here.

First stop was Hallys Beach. A long but well graduated boardwalk took us down to the beach, which stretched into the distance.

The way down to Hallys Beach

We walked for some distance along the beach, and back.

The long expanse of Hallys Beach

John was standing near the water’s edge and wave watching, when a big one suddenly reared up and “chased” him. His efforts to get going in the sand were hilarious – cartoon worthy. The waves were certainly impressive.

Northern end of Hallys Beach

Back up the boardwalk, which didn’t seem nearly such an easy gradient going uphill.

Drove on to Whistling Rocks and the Blowholes.

Wave platform at Whistling Rocks

The Whistling Rocks were great. Waves forced air and water through fissures in the rocks and this made an impressively loud noise. There were steps built to these and to lookout platforms.

We spent some time at each platform, trying to get good photos of waves crashing onto the rocks, blowholes blowing, and rainbows in the sea spray.

Then more driving – on to Cape Bauer itself. This was the southern head of the Streaky Bay, so named by explorer Matthew Flinders, because the water surface in the bay was – streaky! As it still is.

The rugged Cape scenery was impressive. We watched a pod of dolphins playing about in the surf.

Dolphins
At Cape Bauer

Continued on the loop road, following the coastline around, back towards town. We stopped at the boat ramp area – inside the small Blanche Port inlet bay at the head of which the town is built. Ate lunch there, watching two dolphins swimming around just in front of us.

Rather than go back to camp, took the track to Back Beach. The tide was in, and there was no beach to speak of, so we didn’t try to walk down onto it.

Back in town, refuelled Truck. Went to the seafood outlet shop and bought six large whiting fillets. These cost $25 but would do us for two meals.

Tea was whiting, fries and salad.

John phoned one of his bowls acquaintances at home. Ever since our time with the dingoes at Pungalina in 2005, we had kept revisiting the idea of getting a dog. Now, we were to get a cattle dog pup from this bowls family. The news was that the pups had been born: four females amongst them, which was good, because that was what we wanted. The mother dog was part stumpy-tail cattle dog (yes, it is a distinct breed), part blue heeler, and it appeared that only one of the pups had a proper tail. We might have to get used to having a “tail-less” dog. All very exciting – but an event that would certainly cause change to how and where we travelled in the future.

For once, a reason to look forward to going home!