Smithsdownunder
Our journeys around Australia

10-Dec-2004
   

Well, you will all be sorry to hear that the weather has taken a turn for the worse. We have had a week of high winds, thunder and lightning and rain. The temperatures are hovering in the 20's and occasionally popping up to the 30's so its warm enough but a bit moist!

I managed to put my back out and I am sure it was nothing to do with flying kites. As a result, we stayed an extra couple of days at Port Elliot before taking a short drive for a couple of more nights at Meningie camping right on the edge of Lake Albert. As I was incapacitated, I temporarily promoted the trainee navigator to trainee driver. She made a very good job of it, even towing the caravan through a town and stopping for fuel in a garage.

To the south of Meningie lies the Coorong. This is an area of brackish lakes that are separated from the sea by sand dunes. The lakes stretch for about 120km along the coast. The area is famous for its bird life and a film called 'Storm Boy' was filmed here. It's also a place where pelican's bread and we visited a hide near a breeding site but I think the peli's had all gone on holiday. We had planned on spending a night or two bush camping in the National Park but the site wasn't up to much so we moved on to Robe.
We passed through Kingston on the way and took a photo of an old lighthouse that used to live on Cape Jaffa not far away. CapeJaffa Light
Robe Storm

Robe is a pretty little town with lots of old buildings and a small active fishing harbour. Ali was eyeing up a crayfish but changed her mind when she saw the price (about $34/kg). We had some very nice fish and chips instead for $12 for the two of us.

Our caravan looks out over Guichen Bay and the Southern Ocean and we were treated to a brilliant display of lightning, which was probably happening in the Adelaide area.

Storm clouds building over the caravan site in Robe.

In fact the next day, there was a great picture in one of the papers showing a couple of surfers on their boards waiting to pick up a wave. The wave however was from the wash of a car driving along a flooded road.

As it wasn't going to be a beach day, we drove inland to a place called Naracoorte where there are several caves. The caves were OK but not as good as Cheddar or Wookey Hole.
Naracoorte Caves
The Rymill Vinyard

Another good reason for visiting this area is that it is in the Coonawara Wine district. We visited the Rymill vineyard and tasted some of their wares. They produced an excellent champagne as well as delicious reds and whites. They are about to launch a new red champagne they call 'The Bees Knees'. It should be available in the UK in 2005 so look out for it in Waitrose.

The Rymill Vineyard in the Coonawara area. It looks far too green to be in Aus!

We were treated to a very nice sunset tonight so perhaps it will be a fine day tomorrow! Oh, and the back is much better now.

Southern Ocean Sunset. (The trainee navigator/driver has asked me to point out that she took this photo).

Robe Sunset