So we are at the two week mark of this 6 month epic! The odometer tells me I have done 3200kms and as I write we are sitting in a caravan park in the little town of Hawker, just at the south end of the Filnders Ranges. A very pretty spot and Danelle is in her element as a walker!
Perlubie beach was the place we had landed in my last post and we spent 3 nights there – a beautiful spot and you don’t get any closer to the water. We ventured into Streaky Bay for our 30th wedding anniversary lunch – at a little cafe called Bay Funktion. Good food and coffee as well as a chat with a local bloke who gave me some surf tips – namely ‘Backbeach’ or ‘Granites’ are the place to go for waves.
So with the weather still sweet and the breezes still offshore I headed for backbeach where I managed to get wet for the first time on the trip. I imagine there would be some good waves here on the right day, but the breeze turned as I arrived folding them over prematurely and closing them out. The next day I headed to Granites, a cool local wave that peels left off a pile of huge granite rocks. It was only waist to head high so I headed out and caught some good waves, even if there was a fair degree of kooking… After nearly 2 months out of the water I am struggling to get my sea legs back as I would like.
We left Perlubie for Walkers Rocks Campground, another beachside campsite, but minus the waves. Not true – there were waves, but just bone crunching close outs in the middle of the bay and I wasn’t that keen. But again, for $10/night it was a sweet place to stay the night. Just a handful of other vans and plenty of room.
From there we headed inland to Cummins Caravan Park, as the washing lady needed to get some laundry done. This was a quaint little park in the middle of a very typical Aussie country town. We were one of two vans in the park so we enjoyed the space and even some coffee made from the espresso machine rather than the off grid ‘Rok’. If you’re travelling off grid and keen on coffee then you have a few options. I experimented with the Bellman CX25P on our July break last year and found it too messy, finicky and time consuming. Every coffee I made felt like a half hour mission both getting the coffee and then cleaning up afterwards! I sold it on and debated between the Rok or the Flair. The Rok won out mainly due to its minimal mess and minimal set up factors. The Rok simply involves grinding coffee into the custom made portafilter and then pressing the ‘arms’ down to produce a shot. It is supposedly a double portafilter, but I reckon its a 1.25 at most so I usually end up doing the shot pouring twice.
We spent the night in Cummins and went to the pub for dinner. We liked the town, but the pub food was decidedly unmemorable, or maybe best forgotten… I ordered the seafood thinking it would be awesome given the area we were in, but it felt like it might have been defrosted just for me.
While in Cummins the weather changed from singlets and shorts to trakky daks, and ‘crank the diesel heater’! So quickly… And it stayed cool for the rest of our time in the south of the Eyre peninsula.
Our next stop was Port Lincoln where we pulled up in ‘Great Views Campsite’, another Wikicamps $10 special. It was basically a large sloping field with a long drop toilet onsite, as well as a small kiosk / shop that sold fresh fruit and veg, local jams etc. We ended up spending 4 nights here as it was quiet, well located and very cheap. The bigger attraction was actually some friends who we hadn’t connected with for almost 20 years, so getting to see them again was the highlight of the time in Port Lincoln.
The last time I was in Port Lincoln it was for a weekend – a wedding I conducted for my mate Al. Four of us drove over and drove back for the occasion, so we didn’t spend much time checking the place out. If you’re a West Aussie then imagine Albany and you’re not far off the mark. Its a decent sized place with Coffin Bay National park on one side and Lincoln Nat Park on the other. We checked out Coffin Bay one day, but didn’t get to the Lincoln Nat Park this time around.
The colder weather meant ‘cloudier’ which meant the solar input we had while free camping was on the decline. On the final morning in Pt L we woke to the battery warning sound telling us we had run out of power. Ooops… And the slide out was stuck out. It seems that litihum batteries need some sort of a ‘jump start’ to get going so we set about sorting that out and fortunately it came back to life easily and we got closed up and on the road again. The intent was to climb our way up the east side of the Eyre. We stopped in at Tumby Bay and then Cowell for lunch, but didn’t feel inspired to stop and set up camp. There certainly weren’t any waves lurking and I’m guessing a combination of wrong swell direction and being further up the gulf just worked against us. We ended up driving thru to Whyalla, where we found another $10 footy oval special and we plonked there for the night.
Whyalla is a curious place with lots of houses that seem to lack any aesthetic – they look like little brick boxes dumped in place to create houses for those working in the mine. We walked the new jetty, took in the view from the top of Hummock Hill and then headed home to cook the feed of squid that Al’s son, Charlie had given us. 5 fresh squid were devoured on that evening and they were awesome.
Again it was a one night stop over. We had debated heading straight down the Yorke peninsula or possibly heading north to the Flinder’s ranges. The Flinders won out so we drove thru Port Augusta, the little town of Quorn and finished up in Hawker, just at the south end of the ranges. It was washing day again so we are in a caravan park for two nights at least. Danelle seeks out and devours walk trail guides like I do with the google earth and the coastline! She loves to walk and I love to surf. Fortunately I don’t mind a walk, so I usually head off with her to complete whatever track she has found.
So far it’s been a trip with minimal hiccups. We did manage to break the fridge door fascia as we went over some corrugations, but having pulled it apart, it was obviously only a matter of time before it happened. I’m currently working out a plan for repairing it as I get the impression caravan parts are in short supply everywhere.
We did make one significant change of plans, moving Tassie from Aug-Sep up to May-June, so we will try and get there in Autumn and it may be a little warmer. Of course there are no guarantees!
So far my reading has been ‘Jack’ (described by the Guardian as a ‘Calvinist Romance’ chuckle – how’s that for an oxymoron!!) which I wrote about below, and ‘Transforming – The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians. I wrote a poorly worded and just plain dumb Facebook post recently expressing my own more ‘binary’ convictions, so in the aftermath of that I felt I needed to hear more from those whose every day experience is defined as ‘Transgender’.
I hesitate to write about the book because I am not sure I can do it with sufficient balance and nuance, but I’ll give it a shot… Austen Hartke has written a book based on his experience as a transgender person (woman-man) and he has sought to understand his situation biblically. As a person of the ‘where can you find it in the Bible?’ tribe I appreciated this endeavours here.
I won’t write a lot about the book as it probably deserves a post of its own, but essentially he advocates for the eunuch in the Bible to be the ‘gender fluid’ person who was accepted into the church by Phillip in Acts 8 when he baptises him.
In short – its well worth a read if you are pondering these things and want to hear from a person who has sought to understand their experience thru the lens of scripture. I also intend to read Preston Sprinkle’s (his real name…) latest book titled ‘Embodied’ to hear his take as a theologian. I can see many fear to tread into these waters as it is volatile territory, but it isn’t going away… so we need to think it thru, listen, learn and then lead churches in this time.
Anyway – that’s where we are after 15 days… I feel the need to write some other posts more related to what i have been feeling and learning while away, but they will come in a coupla days when I get a chance to sit at the macbook again.
From here its Yorke Peninsula, Adelaide, Fleurieu Peninsula and then onto Victoria and the boat to Tassie…