A Travellerspoint blog

Day 41 – Port Lincoln – Rest Day

Saturday 12 November 2011

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Walked into town again, primarily to pick up the TV Week from the Newsagent. We expected it to be open by say 0700 for people to buy their papers, well this one at least wasn't open at 0720. A local suggested Coles so in we went. No TV Week that we could find but we did find bananas at $2.48 per Kg. That's right $2.48 !! We bought some just for a snack on the way back. We noticed a supervisor changing the price as we left the store. Guess there was a mix-up somewhere.

By the time we got back to the caravan we'd been out for two and a half hours and it was starting to get hot. Breakfast and some household chores and then stick our noses into the Kindle.

The sky clouded over and the day turned quite cool. Spent the entire day doing nothing. Off to Coffin Bay tomorrow.

Stay well and travel safely.

Cheers … Tony
Stretching excercise or High Hopes of pushing down the building ?
Tugs returning after berthing a grain ship
A 'local' keeps an eye on proceedings

Posted by greynomadm 00:23 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Day 40 – Port Lincoln

Friday 11 November 2011

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Started the morning with a walk along the foreshore track that leads into town. Interesting scenery and vegetation. It appeared to end as we approached the grain elevators and shipping wharf so we walked along the road and across the bridge over the railway track. We'd been out for about 35 minutes and decided to head back. I took some photos of the grain complex and wondered about the number of trucks parked inside the complex.

As we were heading back I noticed a trail marker near where it appeared to have ended. So we headed down towards the grain terminal. We were both greatly surprised that would could actually traverse the complex provided we remained on the marked path and avoided the many grain truck which we now starting to move. No high visibility jackets, no hard hats and little or no restrictions.

Spoke to one of the truck drivers and asked why they were all parked there. Seems they all had been scaled on the way in and then queued to be scaled out – inward weight minus outward weight equals weight of grain delivered. So why were they still here at 0730 in the morning ?? Because the scales only work from 0700 to 1900 !! So they get to spend 12 hours locked in. “Not bad now”, he said, “wait until the harvest kicks in !! There will be over 50 of us in here.”

Dropped Jenny off for a haircut while I visited the Information Centre, very helpful and they suggested a guided walking tour of the prawn trawler wharf. $12 each for just short of two hours. Had a quick lunch and then headed for the marina for the tour. Very interesting to hear from a fisherman as he pointed out the various features of the trawlers. Visited two local seafood processing plants and bought about $20 worth of seafood. Not significantly cheaper but it was guaranteed fresh. Quick dash around Woolworths for some provisions and back to the camp.

Polished off some of the seafood and settled in to watch TV. End of a busy day.

Stay well and travel safely.

Cheers … Tony
Dawn over Porter Bay
Trucks waiting to check out
The grain elevator
The prawn trawler fleet
A modern prawn trawler

Posted by greynomadm 00:52 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Day 39 – Whyalla to Port Lincoln

Thursday 10 November 2011

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Awoke to a calm mild morning, a total contrast to 12 hours previous. We hit the road with the GPS programmed for Arno Bay. As the morning progressed we decided to throw out the plan and continue to Port Lincoln.

Found our way to the Port Lincoln Tourist Park on the foreshore of the point between Boston Bay and Porter Bay. It is spread over a fairly steep slope down to the water. We were offered one of their 'new sites'. These sites are located in a newly renovated area, all are drive-through and feature a wide level concrete pad. All sites face the same direction (front of the van South West) and are serviced with water, power, sullage and a plug-in TV socket. A coaxial lead is available for a $10 deposit – refunded on return. The slope between each terraced site is dressed in a course crushed rock which made it impossible to secure tent pegs. That's been catered for with a solid steel 'hitching rail'. Found out later that these sites come at a premium of $5 per day – very well worth the money.

Settled in for the four nights and after lunch Jenny clipped my sparse growth of hair because “You are starting to look untidy !!”. Drove into town to buy a replacement watch for me and arrange a hair trim for Jenny.

Feels like a cool night coming up and the wind is now no more than a light breeze.

Stay well and travel safely.

Cheers … Tony
The Superior Site
Part of the Caravan Park
Found hiding under a dense tree
Fishing boat crossing Porter Bay

Posted by greynomadm 00:32 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 38 – Whyalla

Wednesday 9 November 2011

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Late last night a sharp little wind squall and accompanying rain brought both of us bolt upright, I dashed out to check that the windows of the Patrol were closed, by the time I was back inside the whole event was over.

When we stay in caravan parks we expect the occasional big rig to pull in, this place topped anything we've seen before. A gleaming grey Kenworth prime-mover drove in and parked next to one of the cabins. I guess the driver has to sleep somewhere !!

Recent TV documentaries have covered the impact on the environment resulting from the dredging of waterways for shipping. Here in Whyalla, on the edge of the very shallow Spencer Gulf they have solved that problem in an unusual way. There is a steady export of pelletised iron ore from here via Cape-sized bulk carriers. Their draught does not permit them to berth within miles of the port so they tie up to buoys out in the deep-water channel and the ore is brought alongside in giant barges towed by tugs. It takes about five days to transfer a full load to the carrier, longer if the weather is rough. A figure around half a million dollars was mentioned as the additional cost, more expensive for the mining company but good for the cuttlefish, dolphins and crayfish for which the area is famous.

Walked to the old city centre along the foreshore and through the Ada Ryan Gardens, a most unexpected green oasis in what is generally a rusty dusty town. The gardens are home to some ancient trees and also house an aviary complex.

Back to the caravan and joined the park manager for a free sausage sizzle which is held every Wednesday. After lunch we decided to drive out to Point Lowly where SANTOS has an LNG facility and is close to where the cuttlefish come to spawn. The light-house looked quite spectacular especially set against an increasingly darkening sky.

We headed back to Whyalla intending to fuel up and then return to the caravan. The deteriorating weather conditions changed our mind and we high-tailed it back to the caravan as fast as we could. We arrived to find one of our neighbours holding down our awning which looked to be in danger of being ripped off. We quickly took action to roll it up with the help of four or five other caravanners. No time to gloat as the heavens opened up and a tropical style deluge descended on us.

In due time the wind and rain abated a little and we headed off to refuel the Patrol, just over 100 litres at just over $1.50 per litre. We went on to the shopping complex and while there the storm unleashed another dumping. We waited until it eased and on the way back we hit a number of overflowing drains and many roads were awash.

All buttoned up and secured and as ready as we can be to head off in the morning. Next stop is Arno Bay because we don't trust the weather to stay out on the road too long.

Stay well and travel safely.

Cheers … Tony
The Ore Barge and Tug
The Cape-size bulk carrier in the channel
Ada Ryan Garden
Ada Ryan Garden
Ada Ryan Garden
Point Lowly Lighthouse

Posted by greynomadm 23:46 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 37 – Port Pirie to Whyalla

Tuesday 8 November 2011

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An electrical storm overnight was still lingering when we got up. In addition it was raining heavily and there was no way we were going to walk in that weather. We hung around until about 0800 and took to the road. The rain was quite heavy but was nothing compared to the spray from the trucks, semis and road trains.

Crawled through Port Augusta where the storm had knocked out power to 25,000 homes and there was evidence of considerable water run-off. It was hard to tell but I suspect there was a significant headwind. The terrain to Whyalla is nothing to write home about, so I won't.

By the time we'd settled into the caravan site the sun was starting to break through and the wind had eased. We visited the Information Centre where we were lucky to be served by a most enthusiastic volunteer who regaled us with local stories and places of interest.

We visited the Rose Hall Quilts shop. In actuality it was a section of a most wonderful house which was built to house BHP mining engineers in the 1930s. The lady's name was Jenny and the two of them talked up a storm. There was a great range of colours and pattern and my Jenny showed great restraint and only bought a few 'fat quarters'.

Next stop was Hummock Hill Lookout, the site of a WW II Anti Aircraft Battery. The massive concrete revetments have been tarted up and have been fitted with solid canopies which kept the harsh sun at bay. Yes by 1500 it was becoming uncomfortably hot the remnants of yesterday's rain were increasing the humidity.

We managed to find the Flinders and Freycinet Lookout where the two explorers are depicted as rather quirky sculptures. Back to the caravan park and a bit of housekeeping. Also some entertainment as we watch a couple try to back their van into position.

Tomorrow we'll visit the shops and top up with fuel. We may also have to modify our plans regarding stops after leaving Port Lincoln. The weather at the time will influence our decision.

Stay well and travel safely.

Cheers … Tony
Beachfront Cabins at the caravan park
View from Hummock Hill
Whyalla Steel Works

Posted by greynomadm 01:06 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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