After most of a week in Adelaide and south to Kangaroo Island today was the start of a broader exploration of what South Australia offers. Majella’s itinerary had us finishing more or less due east of our overnight at Cape Jervis with a deviation to the north along the way.
I woke at 5:00 am but thought that was far too early and rolled over until 6:45 am. Majella and I were up, showered, breakfasted before 8:00 am. We packed and joined the others at the van. By 8:30 am we were all ready to roll with Michael at the wheel.
There was a quick side trip into town to fill up with fuel and then we headed toward Victor Harbour. The drive was through varied countryside with forests and farmlands. At times we were high enough to see water on both sides, St Vincent gulf on the left and the Great Australian Bight on the right. As we drove, Majella filled us in on some details about the area.
Soon after 9:30 am we were in Victor Harbour where we headed down to the area from which the bridge runs across to Granite Island. We all walked across the bridge but at the island end took different paths. Majella, Warwick, Russell and I walked up the trail to the point. The others explored the flatter area along the foreshore. We were all back across the bridge by the time that the horse drawn tram that runs across the bridge was about to make its first trip for today so we watched that before going for coffee at the nearby cafe.
From Victor Harbour we drove on to Goolwa which is on the western edge of the Murray estuary. We spent some time there on the old wharf near the bridge to Hindmarsh Island which was a national controversy in the 1990s. There was a small paddle steamer moored there and open for viewing. It is over 100 years old, maintained by volunteers, and still running monthly. We enjoyed walking around the deck and looking at the old machinery. Perhaps its old time style is indicative of the atmosphere of Goolwa which is the first cittaslow town in Australia.
Next stop on Majella’s itinerary was Bleasdale Winery at Langhorne Creek. It is an historic site and was a generous donor to the wine pull fundraiser that Majella and Hannah organised for the Cri du Chat group in 2015. She hoped that we might have lunch there to celebrate the wedding anniversary of Warwick and Colleen. Unfortunately there was no food at the winery but we bought a bottle of wine to share in celebration this evening and took advice about where we might eat.
Lunch was at the Bridge Hotel at Langhorne Creek, just up the road from the winery. The meals and service were excellent, a very suitable celebration for 45 years of marriage for Colleen and Warwick.
Next stop on Majella’s itinerary was the Big Olive at Tailem Bend. We had expected to see signs as we approached the town but there were none. We stopped, checked out the website, and discovered that it is closed on weekend. We never did see it but drove on toward our destination for tonight, Meningie.
Along the way Majella described the pink lake that we might see but she was not sure of its exact location along our path to Meningie. I searched and found a blog post suggesting that it might not be easy to find. In the end it was signposted so we pulled over to look. I got out for a photo but the rest stayed put. There was a faint pink tinge at the edge of the water in the distance but that was difficult to capture so, at Majella’s urging, I enhanced the image that I posted to Facebook. The one I’ve used here is truer to what I saw from the roadside.
Our accommodation in Meningie is 5 rooms in a motel. They are comfortable and will allow folk to set their own schedules for sleeping and waking. Most of us went out for a walk along the shoreline of Lake Albert where there is a short interpretive walk with information about the environment, indigenous owners, and early settlers.
Majella and I walked on to check out Mass times. 10:00 am will be too late for us as we plan to be on our way down the Coorong and on to Mont Gambier well before that. Perhaps we will find an alternative along the way.
As the sun set over the lake we shared nibbles and drinks, including the bottle of Bleasdale to celebrate the wedding anniversary. I slipped out for a few minutes with my camera to see what I could capture of the sunset and then returned to continue the celebrations. That was all done soon after 6:00 pm and, after some discussion about plans for tomorrow, we retired to rest.