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Published: November 22nd 2013
On Kangeroo Island we drove 25 miles down a corrugated, red dirt track to stay in a piece of Australian Heritage. The 3 metre square hut is part of Cape Borda lighthouse, built in 1860. Inside it were our beds, a table and chairs and a few kitchen appliances. The rainwater tap was outside; our toilet was also outside, some 50 metres away; and we could only run one electrical thing at a time because that is the limit of the power supply. Why were we there? For the kangeroos and wallabies munching grass and "boxing" outside our door; for the blue fairy-wrens and scarlet robins singing at dawn; for the 270 degree view of the South Atlantic; to be able to watch our lighthouse beam traverse the rough seas 4 times every 20 seconds. It is a magical place, and a bargain at £32 a night.
Being part of a lighthouse, the hut sits on an exposed headland of cliffs. All night the wind howled as, from our beds, we watched the lightbeams swinging across the sea. By morning the wind had abated a little and the rain of the night had passed, leaving just a small puddle in
our hut. Below us, the South Atlantic was grey, rough and uninviting, .somewhere beyond it is the Antarctic.
We walked the 3 miles to Harvey's Return, the small bay where, for the first 70 years, everything was landed for the lighthouse settlement. Not just supplies but the materials for the buildings and even the lighthouse itself, which came as a construction kit all the way from Birmingham!
Life was tough for the lighhouse keepers and their families, the graveyard is testiment to just how tough. The first lighthouse keeper lasted just 2 months - he fell on a stick which pierced his eye and, with no medical help available, he slowly died of the wound. Children were lost and fell down cliffs. Women died in child birth. Today, as it is totally automated, there is no keeper.
We also visited a koala reserve. There are at least 25 in the woods, we were told. So we spent some hours walking around with our eyes pointed skywards playing spot-the-bear.It was harder than we had imagined, despite the koalas being 2 feet long and fairly chunky. We did find 10, including two "joeys". Some were even awake - they
sleep for around 20 hours a day.
Tomorrow we will take the ferry back to the mainland and drive East, leaving South Australia for Victoria.
Finally, thank you for all your comments. We do love to get them but unfortunately we have no ability to reply.
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