Published: May 15th 2012May 15th 2012
Fishing trawlers in the overflow marina
Port Broughton is an old favourite, and we felt we were in familiar surrounds when we arrived at the caravan park. The trip westward across Yorke Peninsula was short (about 120 kms), but it was enough to give Geoff apoplexy – 24.8 lts/100kms was the best we could do against the wind (read - cyclone). Thankfully the wind abated (mostly) and it was relatively pleasant on the west coast. Geoff and Marg got the fishing gear out and walked down to the local pier to catch a feed for dinner… it was a good thing that we emptied the wallet at the Port Victoria fish shop, as the fish were not biting where Geoff and Marg were. They were biting 50 metres closer to the beach from where G had picked, but what a difference 50 metres can make!
After 2 days getting over the worst fuel consumption ever seen, we were confident that the wind was not going to be an issue so we headed off to the Eyre Peninsula. Without too much mucking around we skipped past Port Pirie and on towards Port Augusta at the top of Spencer Gulf. During
this leg we picked up a semi trailer transporting caravans; eventually he rang us up on the CB to let us know that he was having trouble with his truck and was using us as a tow… That would be a first! We parted company with the semi at Port Augusta and sailed through Whyalla and on to a point mid way down the East coast.
If we haven’t said it before we are planning most of this trip to be “free camping” or, at least, low cost camping and to that end a little spot at a place called Port Gibbon met the bill. We were late (4.30 pm) and it was not a place we would go to again unless we were able to get in early and get a better site than next to the ‘water treatment plant’ that was our only choice on this visit. Fortunately the wind was blowing in the right direction, so it was not too bad. Needless to say we moved on the next morning.
There are a number of locations down the coast where we could have stayed, but we chose to pull into Louth
At Mikkira homestead
Bay, just 20 kms short of Port Lincoln. When we visited there were only 3 parking spots available as there was some work being done in the bush surrounding the foreshore to eradicate the Aleppo Pine and you have no idea how nasty that pesky pine can be! Louth Bay, as many of the little towns on the 2 peninsulas are, is very much a fisher-persons place with a lot of the homes unoccupied; however the village sports a golf course and a ‘community centre’ which advertises that the bar is open daily from 4.00 – 7.00pm. Well with an invitation like that, what else could we do?
Geoff tried fishing on the local jetty and got a lot of really good lessons from a young local who arrived about 2 minutes after the school bus had passed through! He had his squid jig in and had landed one before Geoff had got a nibble on his line. It is amazing how young folk can pick when older folk are out of their depth and it wasn’t long before this little tacker was giving G coaching in how to catch fish. The little bastard was still pulling
Early morning wake-up call
There were two koalas up this tree, but this is the one that woke us - you can tell by the look on his face.
in squid as fast as you could count, but he still managed to give advice and a little bit of squid tentacle to help the old bloke. It didn’t help.
Next stop was a ‘farm stay’, at a place called Mikkira Station (pronounced M’kirra). It was not cheap at $25 for the night, but they advertised toilets and hot shower (which was true on both counts). The camping spot was quite busy to begin with as it was Sunday and Mother’s Day, and there were many family groups either picnicking or camping for the weekend when we arrived. There was a huge area however – fully grassed and surrounded by large Manna gums. In all it was a place you could stay at for a long time (apart from the cost). The station was created/settled in 1842 and there are remnants of the original settlement a short walk from the camp area and we had a good look around. They did it tough in those days, and as witness there is a small grave site for a one day old infant behind the original homestead; her mother died shortly after being transported to Port Lincoln. Despite this
tragic history, we spent a very pleasant and quiet night having coffee around the campfire (after the rain!) and a dinner of prawns which we had purchased in Port Lincoln. We have also eaten two dozen oysters since arriving on this peninsula. We were woken by the grunting of a koala in a Manna gum just 20 mt from the caravan; life does not get much better than that.
We then headed for the other side of the Eyre Peninsula and are holed up at a little place called Elliston, once again a little fishing village with a PO, Chemist, Bakery and a very small supermarket and of course a Pub. Geoff bought a squid jig and some bait and will be catching huge amounts of fish and squid (please God at least one little something.) It is very windy here, but sunny. The people in the van beside us had a bit of a disaster when the backpack they had their mobiles and wallets in blew off the jetty into the sea yesterday. Fortunately the man was quick thinking and used his squid jig to hook the bag and bring it up onto the jetty. Needless to say the phones are kaput. Tomorrow we plan to head through Ceduna and onto the Nullarbor over to WA.
Quick trivia: yesterday we got the best fuel economy on the short trip from Mikirra station to Elliston – 17.6lts/100kms; there was not a breath of wind on this leg. In the potential disaster category, so far we have tried to leave a site with the jockey wheel still down, left a site with the Winguard TV antenna still up, and travelled some distance with only one safety chain attached. And NO I HAVEN’T CAUGHT A BLOODY FISH YET! Do not ask again.