January 16 to 18, 2009 – Point Turton
We’re back from one of Australia’s many perfect beach spots, Point Turton. The “shack” where we stayed belongs to Frank and Jane, friends of David and Jeannette, who very kindly included Robin and me in a weekend gathering of people who were part of a tennis club. Terry and Judy made up the fourth couple here for the weekend, and the bay-view home easily accommodated us all.
We arrived Friday afternoon and dined and wined our way through the first evening. Before we settled in for an Aussie barbecue, we went for a walk along the shore. Robin took photos of pelicans. I’d never been so close to one before.
Saturday everyone went out fishing. I opted to stay behind, needing a good walk and some time to stop, reflect, and write. My only companion was Cassie, a Rottweiler who was afraid of me. First time I’ve ever met such a timid Rottie.
Out in the Bay the twins were catching gar fish, one for David, two for Robin. Those were the only fish pulled in (though Judy caught five and Terry one more later in the day), but everyone was thrilled by the calm seas, pristine waters, and turquoise water – at least until one of the boats had to be pulled back to shore.
Robin was intrigued by the tractors lined up along the shore. The Yorke Peninsula is farming country so tractors are a convenient and sturdy vehicle for launching boats right into the salty water, no ramp needed. There is, of course, a ramp, down in the caravan park, for those unfortunate enough to be tractor-less.
After a late lunch back at the “shack”, the twins (Robin and David) and their partners (Jeannette and I) drove south to Innes National Park. On a glorious, calm day the native bush and blue seas offer stunning scenes around every curve.
At one stop, to look at Chinaman’s Hat Island, we saw a family of emus. Dad looks after the young in an emu family so the half-grown youngsters were being watched over by a large and very attentive parent. Not far away, along the track out to the lighthouse, we looked down to see emu tracks along the beach, possibly from the same family.
At Pondalowie Bay we walked out the boardwalk to watch the surfers. It’s Mark Jarman’s (Robin’s nephew) favourite surfing spot so we stayed for a while to watch young enthusiasts waiting for just the right waves. Rounding a bend as we returned to the car park, Jeannette spotted a pair of kangaroos and motioned to us to hurry to join her. We caught up with her just in time to see a female and her joey staring at a woman coming their way. Just after I took this photo, they hopped out of sight.
Our last morning in Port Turton, Frank cooked an Aussie breakfast on the barbie. After a leisurely start to the day, we drove to Wattle Point Wind Farm to see the 55 giant turbines that make up one of eight wind farms in South Australia.
Our route from there took us to Edithburgh, with its fine examples of colonial architecture. From there we meandered through a chain of small towns and into Ardrossan, where the beach is lined with red cliffs and bordered by an enormous barley elevator, where a conveyor loads ships bound for world markets. Some ships sail away with a load of barley, others with gypsum. Both use the same conveyor system for loading.
At Two Wells we stopped to see the house where a surprised mother of twins (no ultrasound in those days) brought two bundles home from hospital instead of one.
There was, of course, much more to our trip to the Yorke Peninsula, but if you’ve read this far, I’ve taxed your patience enough. I’ll just say that the flat, golden stubble of miles of farm fields, the old limestone farm houses tucked in among gum trees, the vast stretches of salt bush, the colonial architecture of rural towns, and the ever-present surrounding sea caught my imagination every minute of the way.