Sunday, 12 March 2017

1. The first bit…

After a few last minuteIMG_0172 setbacks The Driver and I finally bounced off the Peninsula just after lunchtime on the very last day of February. A little late but we were kind of on schedule. After all, we did plan a February departure.

True to form our well-organised travelling companions, otherwise known as Peter Perfect and the Gorgeous Mrs G, had made a much earlier start and were well on their way by this time.?So we agreed to make our first night?s camp together at Killarney Beach, a little surfside campground surrounding a footy oval just beyond Warrnambool.

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The next day we set off to explore the surrounding area. At Port Fairy, we wandered along the swanky main street shops and viewed some of the town?s quaint stone cottages while the boys ogled the various fishing craft as well as a few long-forgotten yachts before settling down to taste test the quality of the coffee and cakes on offer. It?s a tough job I know, but somebody?s gotta do it!

Satisfied all was in order, we made the big leap across the border to South Australia. According to the detailed itinerary I?d prepared, our destination was a cam
psite known as Dry Creek situated on the banks of the Glenelg River. However, despite checking it?s precise location at a local information centre and Mrs G?s excellent navigation skills, somehow we managed to miss the turn off and Peter Perfect ended up sinking into a very sandy track in the middle of a pine plantation.

After putting his glossy vehicle into 4WD and lowering his tyre pressure he did manage to get himself unstuck but as can be imagined Mr Perfect was in fine form by the time he and his dust covered truck returned to the bitumen. There may have been a few expletives heard above The Driver?s giggles as together they pumped his tyres back up.

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Eventually, we pulled into Dry Creek to find a quiet shady little spot under the trees with a view of some ancient fishing shacks dotted along the river?s edge. After wandering down to check out the boat ramp and meet the other campers, including an old character called EH, a few refreshing ales were in order before The Driver was ready to take us all out on a twilight cruise.

The glassy river was a deep dark blue reflecting off the surrounding multi-coloured cliffs. Mrs G identified the seabirds swooping and diving all around and also spotted wallabies stopping on the bank above to eye us cautiously. To my eyes some of the cliff caves looked big enough for Batman to keep his Batmobile, and later Peter Perfect and I agreed that a long vertical crack in one section looked suspiciously like it might part to reveal Thunderbird?s headquarters. Of course, The Driver only had eyes for the other fisherman out on the water and by the time we returned to the jetty he?d planned an entire day?s fishing.

But during the night, the wind blew up and we woke in the morning to a cold cloudy day so we all piled into Peter Perfect?s chariot and set off to visit the local tourist attractions. These included the marvelous Princess Margaret Caves as well as the massive crater lakes in Mt Gambier.

We had planned to stop for lunch among the lush botanical gardens at the Umpherston sinkhole as suggested by old mate EH but the foul stench drifting across from the nearby timber mill quickly changed our minds.

We all decided it should be renamed The Stinkhole. So after browsing along the main street we again took on the laborious chore of sampling the wares of a local bakery.

We headed back to camp arriving just in time for happy hour. However, while we were out our cosy little neighbourhood had expanded to include several carloads of yobbos. Suffice to say that it was a long, loud sleepless night that included lots of doof doof, some fisty cuffs and a few burnouts as some disgruntled mates? left in a huff in the early hours of the morning. Not keen to live through that again, the next morning we packed up and high-tailed it out of there?destination Robe!

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When Danielle?s not busy writing, she loves to read, attend writing events and travel as much as possible. Exploring also provides plenty of opportunity for Danielle to indulge in her favourite sports of eavesdropping and people watching, which manages to fill her notebooks with even more story ideas.

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