After a quiet night in Port Elliot, we ate breakfast and started to pack up the caravan. Caroline and the girls went for a play on the playground while I finished packing up. Caroline had asked Ava what she was most looking forward to back home, Ava made a panting noise and acted out the mannerisms of a dog in reply. I have to admit, I too am missing Jack!
The sat nav decided to take us on an interesting route from Port Elliot to Robe, so much so that Caroline stopped the car a few times to cross check our route on google maps while I reviewed Hema. Today is around 350kms of driving with Caroline at the wheel – a good thing as I really didn’t feel like driving today!
On our round about trip, the car struggled a little going up some of the steep hills and winding roads of the Adelaide Hills region and the Langhorne Creek region. Our road separated the vivid green established vineyards. Beautiful gardens dotted with agapanthus, many cellar doors yet we didn’t stop. I suppose visiting over sixty cellar doors in just over seventy days does take it’s toll on you. We will have to leave the lovely vineyards of Adelaide HIlls to another adventure.
Caroline drove towards Wellington, where we boarded a small ferry to cross the Murray River, at the point where it is intersected by Lake Alexandria. According to Caroline the ferry is the only place you can cross the Murray!
A quick trip to the other side of the river, we continued our journey on the Princes Highway hugging the coastline. The brackish water gave off a foul odour. Ava commented that the pungent smell was similar if not worse to that of the stinky Bongo we saw many weeks ago in Western Plains Zoo Dubbo. We continued south east and witnessed another living animal on the shoulder of the road. An echidna who wasn’t sure whether he should cross the highway or not. I hope he decided not to cross – the highway was quite busy!
We had our first spot of communicating with another traveller towing a caravan today. Some caravan drivers, usually the grey nomad variety, stick their names along with the UHF channel on the back of their caravan. As the Princes Highway is quite a narrow single carriageway, it was difficult at times to determine whether it was safe to pass the caravan in front. This particular van, with Mick and Jean written on the back of it was driving 80km/hr in a 110km/hr zone.
I turned on our UHF and tuned it to channel 40. Not sure whether it was appropriate to introduce myself to ‘Mick’ and ‘Jean’, refer to them by name, or just ask them whether it was safe ahead, I decided to make the conversation concise and asked “is it safe to pass?” Seconds later Jean responded “yes it is” and with that we passed Mick and Jean.
With 60kms left in our journey, Caroline commented that it has felt like a long day of driving. I suppose the hills and the twisty turvey roads paid a toll on Caroline today, just like it had on me at the start of journey today.
We arrived at Lakeside Tourist Park, Robe a little after lunch time. Caroline made sandwiches for the family while I set up the caravan. The girls ate their sandwiches on the picnic rug enjoying the warmth of the sun and the tranquility of the lake, less than two metres away from the rear of the van. There was space and grass in abundance, a lovely change to yesterdays site. After lunch we decided to have a drive through town to check out Robe. I was told by the owners of the caravan park “One road in, one road out”. They were right, Robe is a quaint little beachside town that obviously has some history behind it, however looks like a fair bit of money has been invested in the area. Beautiful sandstone buildings that have been restored to their former glory with small boutique shops along the main drive. The caravan park has lovely green grass everywhere and we aren’t packed in like sardines – I think we are going to have a lovely couple of days.
After driving through the town, we headed to Long beach, a 12km stretch of beach that is classified as a road. Before entering the beach, there are signs confirming this fact. A 25km speed limit and for all drivers to obey the same road rules as you do on bitumen, the beach was HEAVING! There were so many cars along the 12km span of beach. We drove for a bit, found a place to sit on the beach for a while and unpacked the car. Such a civilised way to go to the beach! So civilised that the beach was also patrolled by the beach. The only downside was that the girls had to keep checking like crossing a road to go from sea to car.
Caroline lay on the mat while I played with the girls. The girls and I dug a few holes, covered ourselves with sandy water and even found time to bury Ava and give her a set of ‘boobies’. Afterwards, the girls took it in turn to “surf” on daddy. Standing on my stomach whilst I lay down, jumping up and down while trying to ride imaginary waves. Not the most comfortable thing I have done, but the girls were having a ball! Surfing was replaced by wrestling. The girls trying to pin me down while I was lying on my stomach, I had to do a push up to try and get them off me. So much fun!
We headed back to the caravan park having the dinner we intended to have last night. Steak, jacket potato and corn on the bbq with some salad. That coupled with a glass of the 2015 Sussex Squire JRS Barrel Selection Shiraz. The plan for tomorrow weather dependent is more beach time with possibly a spot of fishing!!