Adelaide to Beachport
On Friday we left to share the Australia Day long weekend with other Jeep Club members at Beachport. We had an uneventful trip down stopping at Meningie for lunch. I asked the person serving what pies they had and she said something like, “beansanbaconpizzanedkellyhawaiianchickencurriedeggplantlambanrosemary” All that stuck in my head was Ned Kelly so I had my first and last Ned Kelly Pie!!!! It sat like Ned’s armour in the pit of my stomach.
I was hoping to see some Wombats but only saw a dead one beside the road, no sign of any others. We arrived at Beachport just after 4:00 and had the camper erected just in time for Happy Hour. We are arranged like a circle of wagons. An Inch Ant discovered Alex’ ankle and we discovered there was no Stingose in the First Aid bags. Just as well Alex is tougher than me when it comes to Inch Ants. Tinkerbell told us the revegetation of the previously denuded dunes is all down to the ants. They take the seeds away from the parent plant and obviously don’t eat them all.
About 7:30 people headed off to make their dinners, we weren’t hungry so went up the steps over the sand dunes and down to the beach. There were interesting rock formations on the shore.
While we were sitting outside there seemed to be just light winds and it was cool. Luckily I saw Alex was bringing a fleece jacket & put one in too or I would have been searching Beachport for something warm. During the night the wind got up and we were both disturbed throughout the night by flapping canvas.
Saturday –Beachport to Robe
We enjoyed lovely hot showers with heaps of water then set off about 9:30 for an area to practise driving up soft sand. Alex drove, later I had a go and then I just stayed in the driver’s seat. I was very satisfied to get up a section where some others had several gos before being successful. I did hit a ridge of some kind with a real thump but luckily no drastic damage, just pushed the bash guard up a bit.
One of the highlights was driving along the beach past a group of naked men having a sack race! Lots of white bottoms bobbing up out of the sacks. Other nudists were near the sandhill so further away from us.
Icecream called so we had some in Robe then took the bitumen road back to camp for a bit of relaxation then a shower prior to leaving for dinner at the pub. Delicious food, better than any pub grub I’ve had for a long time. It was a very satisfying day, not stressful apart from when I watched people churning up the sand in futile attempts to get up. I knew it would be even harder for me to get up then. Oscar was in the car with us so that he could mark off our sand training. Even though he seemed perfectly calm and confident I think he was as pleased as I was when I actually managed to crest the last big dune without getting bogged.
Clicking on any photo will take you to a slideshow, to exit the slideshow click the X in the top left corner.
Sunday – Beachport to Carpenter Rocks
We intended to support the local Lions Club at their Australia Day breakfast but there were hundreds of people there when we arrived so we went for a walk around the town. A big, thumping, cray fishing boat came in to the very long jetty but we didn’t have time to walk out to get a closer look.
The plan was to go from Oil Rig Square to Carpenter Rocks along the sand tracks then return along the bitumen but we took a wrong road so it was decided to do the reverse.
There were nice sand tracks through to Number Two Rocks where most of us plastered ourselves with insect repellent almost as soon as we arrived then set about having lunch. We were amused by S B’s frantic Can Can as he tried to shake off the March Flies biting his legs. He accepted our offer of some repellent. From that spot it was decided to try crossing the beach but although Tinkerbell made it across Rubber Ducky became bogged so everyone else decided to use the track.
I was so relieved not to be the driver when it came to the mad, 7km drive along Canunda Beach to Whale Rock. 40kph, NO slackening of speed and Alex had to stay in the wheel ruts. That was scary!!!
Thank goodness after that it was back to tracks through badlands, over whoopty doos and across a moonscape.
When we reached Oil Rig Square everyone put air back in the tyres, pressures were down to about 14 psi for the sand tracks, the bogged car had the tyres deflated to 10 psi. to help get it out but they had been topped up a bit before tackling the tracks again. While we were waiting for the tyres to inflate we noticed some Jumping Ants, they have a red section on their bodies and look smaller than the Inch Ants we get at home so maybe that’s what is also at the campsite. Either way they have a nasty sting. We headed into Millicent for a nice icecream and the word was fuel was cheaper there than in Beachport so we filled up.
After Happy Hour and dinner, we all sat around a fire drum made from an old gas cylinder, enjoying drinks, music and conversation.
Monday morning all the packing up began and most people headed back home. It was 36 deg. and along the freeway there were many cars with caravans pulled over, bonnets up. I was very aware of the temperature gauge in the Cherokee but although it went up a bit each time we climbed a hill it didn’t take long to drop back to the normal level.
We had a very enjoyable weekend, learned a lot about driving on sand and have had just a tiny taste of the area around Beachport, enough to make us want to go back again.