SATURDAY MAY 1 MT IVE TO STREAKY BAY 280kms
In the morning, M’s outfit took forever to pack up. The “tent” contents had to be taken down and packed into the Troopy, then the tent itself cleaned out, dismantled, folded up and also packed away in its allocated space. It provided space, shelter and comfort when camped in one place for a few days or more – but the downside was the time taken to put up and down. M had been trying for the past six years to find the optimum balance between comfortable camping and the ability to travel tracks like the Canning Stock Route. She was yet to find it……
There was also a big tarp that covered the otherwise leaky roof, to be dealt with.
There was a dead “mouse” under the tent’s waterproof floor. We presumed it had hidden under there and been walked on. Poor little thing. Now we were hoping it was a house mouse and not a native critter!
When we eventually departed, drove west, to the corner with the Kingoonya road, then turned SW through Yardea Station and the western section of the Gawler Ranges National Park. Signage wasn’t great, so we had a couple of missed turns. One of these resulted in a multi-point turn with our rig, on a narrow track – not fun with the van on!
It was hot enough travelling on this day, without getting all hot and bothered by such mishaps as well.
The tracks were mostly reasonable, with the exception of the section through the National Park, which was sandy in some parts and very lumpy and bumpy in others.
Decided we would detour a few kms to the east, to Pildappa Rock, so M could see this feature.
Pildappa Rock is a granite inselberg – think of a rock “island”. Millions of years ago it was underground, but erosion had exposed it. We had never been to Wave Rock in WA, but thought Pildappa Rock must be rather like it.
In one section at the base, gutters had been constructed to collect and channel water, in earlier pastoral times.
We walked/climbed up to the top of the Rock, relatively easily.
There were great long-distance from the top, including to the distant Gawler Ranges.
On the top were lots of small pools in dips in the granite surface – gnamma holes.
We spent about an hour wandering about on the top, then came down and had lunch at one of the BBQ shelters provided. There was also a toilet.
Pildappa Rock was a known bush camp area. There was one Bushtracker van camped there when we arrived, but no vehicle. It returned while we were eating lunch.
We rejoined the “proper” road system at Minnipa, followed Highway 1 west to Poochera, then cut across on a good back road to Streaky Bay. Reached there mid-afternoon.
The Streaky Bay Caravan Park was much busier than I’d anticipated, for this time of the year. Then it was explained – a week-long major bowls tournament started in the town, today!
We were able to get adjacent powered sites for $27 a night, after Seniors discount. We booked in for three nights, with a possible extension flagged.
The park seemed much improved over what I remembered from our last time here, in 2004.
After setting up, drove to the shops. We needed some fresh produce from the IGA supermarket, and to restock the beer supplies.
Back in the land of TV and phone coverage and internet…….There were several messages to be dealt with, and news that the Bendigo grandson had caught some contagious virus, from a swimming pool.
I roasted a chicken, with vegies, for the three of us, for tea.
No more campfire! John watched AFL football, on TV, after tea. M retreated to her tent, to read and do crosswords. I read.