Walking down to the Waterloo Bay, last night from the Caravan Park I had my own Waterloo Sunset, as I watched a pair of sooty oystercatchers dart along the incoming tide line, while later the urgent hysterical call of a pair of spur winged plovers was my lullaby.
It was a clear night, which made for a heavy dew. This morning it was cold two, 2 degrees they say. I warmed my hands and extremities under the hot air dryer in the men’s room. Not a good look. Speaking of the men’s room, the little pictograph of the men’s amenities block was, one might argue, overly descriptive!
The scarcity of raisin toast along the Eyre Peninsula continued at the Elliston Roadhouse: “We don’t do raisin toast” said the waitress, “Youse can have Vegemite or jam.” I settled on Apricot jam.
Layered up I left the Flinders Highway heading east and inland across the Peninsula, along the Birdseye Highway, named after Silvia Birdseye a community campaigner and force behind the development of the road between Elliston and Cowell. Of all the roads and highways I have traveled along, this was by far the best. A great surface, good verge and no traffic. For my entire journey today of just over 92 kms I counted 19 cars, 7 of those were towing caravans coming from the opposite direction. I suppose they had taken the car ferry, getting off at Lucky Bay. I imagine the road gets a lot more busy in summer than a mid week winter’s day.
Riding today I was treated to remnant bush land and pasture with the occasional stand of tall trees. Lots of twists, turns, rises and falls to keep me interested. At times the wind couldn’t make up its mind, pushing me along then holding me back.
Wild goats and almond plantations, blue tongue lizards and canola fields imposed themselves on this grassy rocky landscape. At times the countryside looked a lot like the Lakes District in England, especially with the use of dry limestone walls and black faced sheep.
Now and again unkempt roadside fruit trees were blooming, mostly plums I think. I wondered did they grow from a discarded fruit tossed from a passing motorists car or were they older heirloom varieties left over from smaller farm holdings of previous generations.
Local graffiti celebrated the victories of ‘The Roo Girls, Go you good things’ and ‘The Mighty South West Hawkes! Premiers 2013’.
Farmers in ute’s, my only company, tooted and waved, sometimes twice as they passed me coming back from where ever it was they had been.
The wind picked up and I was feeling the cold as I came into Lock, which is a small, small town dominated by a series of giant wheat silos, one pub, a small grocery store, Post Office and primary school huddled together at the highway crossroads.
The local Lions Club look after the Community Caravan Park, an amenities block on the edge of town, there’s nobody there. A friendly local said: “If you want to stay at the Park, you need to see Pearl at the Post Office.” I get chatting to Pearl, who’s on the point of retirement and about to take a caravan journey around Australia. She’s originally from Sussex “We had a little Japanese fellow in here a week or so back.”
“Was his name Hero?” I asked.
“I don’t know what his name was, he was mad though. You’re all made you know that don’t you!” all good natured stuff. Pearl suggested that if it looks like rain “You might as well take you swag in the laundry, at least you will be dry.”
So I’m here with the entire amenities block to myself. Tomorrow’s a sizeable day 120 kms to Cowell.
nick,maybe you could fire up that aeroplane and save some ferry fees.
People out here put a lot if effort in to their mailboxes , hope you guys are having a wonderful break ,