November 2011

November 2 — Elliston to Lock, 95.39 klms, Avg speed 15.6 kph, Cycling time 6.04 hrs; Total kms 24,429

5.30 am and up and at it.  Still dark and quite cool we breakfast and pack. The wind not too strong we make our way away from the coast.  A great day’s ride, something we haven’t had for a long time.  We headed inland riding along the Birdseye Highway passing cereal & grazing properties, the scenery was stunning, the sun was shining, the birds a-singing & the road so quiet, literally about 6 vehicles passed us along the way.  It was great to get away from the coast, less wind, less people, we love these wheat belt country towns although Lock’s very busy at the moment, harvest has just begun.  Lock’s striking grain storage silos make this town a strategic delivery centre for the grain grown in the region, road trains either stop here or Port Lincoln and now & again we here the train also carting grain down to the Port, it’s a hive of activity.  It’s been a great season for the harvest, farmers are happy, the town’s happy, they’ll have money to spend.  We arrive and lunch in Apex Park before surprisingly finding pretty coffee at a nameless cafe and make our way to the Post Office to pay our camp fees.  It’s a nice small caravan park, but no camp kitchen so we make our way to The Stockman’s Diner attached to the local Motel as the Pub is closed for renovations having been closed for at least six months.  Greg wanders around shaking his head exasperated, “what is a town without a pub?” he cries “but a collection a disconnected miserable people”.  We both have fairly low expectations but we’re in for a shock.  For starters the place is heaving, it’s Wednesday night schnitzel night (we should have known) and the food very reasonably priced and of good quality.  We sat in a clean, well cared for dinning room full with other diners and enjoyed, you got it, schnitzel and veges.  Greg declared, as is his want, that was so good, we’re commin’ back tomorrow, and we will.  We spent the next day seeing the sights of Lock including the Museum before making our way to the cafe.  Admin tasks for me while His Grace spent the afternoon in the tent “thinking”.  Something apparently he can only do whilst horizontal and with his eyes closed.  He does a lot of thinking like this, strange then that I’ve never heard an original thought from him.  As declared the previous evening we had another nice meal at the Stockman’s Diner before wandering back to camp for an early night. 

November 4 — Lock to Cummins, 82.50 klms, Avg speed 21.4 kph, Cycling time 3.50 hrs; Total kms 24,512

A fast ride down the Tod Highway to Cummins with favourable tail winds, yeh, we’d forgotten how quickly those 10 klm markers whizz by when the wind is pushing you along.  Except for a few road trains carting grain the Highway was blissfully quiet.  Cummins (district pop 4,000) is located at the centre of rich undulating farmland on the Lower Eyre Peninsular.  We rode past fields & fields of golden barley edged up against a cloudless blue sky, what a sight.  We’re both in short sleeves today, Greg says it’s the 3rd time he’s worn his short sleeved riding shirt since  Albany.  I don’t know if he’s right but it’s a warm 32°C by the time we arrive.  We headed to the busy Five Loaves Bakery and caught up with Marie over coffee.  We first met Marie, & partner, Pete, 2 years ago at Mt. Surprise in Northern Queensland, they’re now back home at Coffin Bay, hopefully we’ll be able to catch up over a wine or 2 when we arrive there next week. 

We headed to the Cummins Community Caravan Park looking very lush & green, with meticulously kept facilities & a BBQ area with shelter.  There’s nobody else here so we took over the shelter, pitching the tent under the roof.  Dinner tonight had to be the broccoli I’d been carrying for the past 3 days in 30C temps & now emitting an “eat me tonight or forget it” odour.  When sautéed with garlic, chilli & anchovies, tossed through pasta then topped with lemon, cheese & pine nuts & served with a tossed, green salad drinking beer & wine it makes the perfect Friday evening meal and a welcome home cooked meal.  Reasonable internet speeds meant we could watch some TV on the ABC web site.  It’s a warm 21°C at night so no sleeping bag required and although it’s a very busy harvest time neither of us hear any trucks or trains during the evening.  Cycling in hot conditions and a large bowl of pasta washed down with wine will do that for you, zzzzzz.....

November 7 & 8 — Dutton Bay

The locals in Cummins are a friendly & generous lot, especially Grant & Chris.  Not only did they invite us to lunch in Cummins (came for lunch, stayed for dinner!!), they also invited us to stay at their shack at Dutton Bay & go fishing, how could we resist!!  Grant dropped us at the shack the next day & we sat like stunned mullets outside gazing at the fantastic view over Dutton Bay.  We walked and rode over both east and west Dutton Bay making pronouncements about the various shacks and residences as we went.  Storms came and went across the Bay and provided the perfect ingredients for a magnificent sunset.  Grant had been fishing with his son Luke and kindly provided dinner in the form of filleted Whiting, yumm.  Next day was action packed, a day spent fishing on Grant’s boat around Coffin Bay, first time ever for me fishing, Grant put a rod in my hand, stuck some bait on the hook.  I cast a line & 5 secs later there was a King George Whiting hanging off the end, this is easy stuff this fishing, not sure what all the fuss is about.  We moved from fishing spot to fishing spot, while spotting all sorts of birds, sting rays, seals and a variety of other wildlife.  We almost had the bay to ourselves as there were only a couple of other boats out on what was a beautiful sunny day with only a very light breeze.  After over 5 hours we called it quits, in all we caught 26 fish & left Dutton Bay with 52 fillets of fish.  Grant dropped us back at his shack, had a cuppa and left on his merry way back to Cummins.  Great day, thanks mate!

November 9 — Dutton Bay to Coffin Bay, 34.84 klms, Avg speed 15.7 kph, Cycling time 2.13 hrs; Total kms 24,548

Short ride into Coffin Bay, good dirt road for first 7 klms then bitumen.  Tail wind to start with then blustery head wind.  What a pretty place Coffin Bay is, boats bobbing in the bay, fishing shacks lining the shore line, you’d have to have a boat if you lived here to explore the inlets & of course, go fishin’.  No wonder its annual population swells from 500 to 3000 plus every summer.  We walked the Oyster Walk meandering along the picturesque foreshore through natural bushland, trekked to the Oyster sheds and bought big beautiful and fresh oysters.  Two dozen of them for $14, and they’re all mine as His Grossness doesn’t eat them. Amazing!  Although he did shuck them for me, he’s a good boy....Great coffee was served at The Oysterbeds Restaurant & Cafe so this was where you’d find us at about 10.00 o’clock when they opened, overlooking the bay.  We ummed and arrhhed about eating there as it did look very nice, but Wed night was Schnitzel night at the pub, so after a pre dinner beer outside and a chat with a local we moved into the dining room.  They’re posh here in Coffin Bay, our Schnitzel came with a Supreme topping of tomatoes, olives, capsicum & chorizo.  We still had some Whiting left so we ate that in the very new and well equipped camp kitchen, however, they do treat you like little kiddies here as the lights go off, the stove stops working and the door is locked at 9.00pm sharp.  It doesn’t open again until 8.00am the next morning which is quiet late for us as we’re reasonably early risers.  Friday night we walked along the Oyster Walk to Coffin Bay Yacht Club.  The club is situated overlooking the bay and it was a stunning afternoon and sunset.  It was steak & quiche night at the Club, and so we did, before heading back to the by now dark and quiet caravan park.  Our tent is surrounded by Skippys and rabbits, they’re so close we can here them chewing, not that it kept Greg awake.....zzzz.  We were sad to be leaving Coffin Bay and the western coast of the Eyre Peninsular, they’re a generous and hospitable lot and we’d had offers of accommodation at Kellidie Bay from Marie & Pete in addition to our stay at Dutton. It was very tempting, but we feel we need to keep moving to make it into Adelaide by the middle of December for our house sit.

November 12 — Coffin Bay to Port Lincoln, 49.44 klms, Avg speed 15.9 kph, Cycling time 3.06 hrs; Total kms 24,597

Scenic ride, few bumps to ride up & down, stunning scenery, the only downside was the constant stream of wheat trucks heading our way.  Luckily there was an enormous shoulder to pedal on.  Port Lincoln is home to 15,000 people and the fourth largest city in South Australia after Adelaide, Whyalla & Mount Gambier.  It’s the seafood & aquaculture capital of Australia, home to the country’s largest commercial fishing fleet catching tuna, whiting, prawns & wonder we’re staying here for several days.  The navigator, Matthew Flinders, was so impressed with the massive natural harbour & surround countryside that he named the area in honour of his native Lincolnshire in England.  That’s where I was born & names such as Port Lincoln, Louth Bay & Sleaford Bay here are all well known to me as place names in England.  Big difference here,,,the sun shines!

November 13 to 15 — Port Lincoln

Pretty spot Port Lincoln, we had a great camp spot overlooking Boston Bay.  Daily we’d ride along the Parnkalla Trail, winding its way through natural bushland around the edges of Port Lincoln’s breathtaking beautiful natural harbour.  Being on bikes, it’s impossible for us to visit everything when we stop but on this trip we did visit the Axel Stenross Maritime Museum (Finnish chap who built lots of wooden boats) & cycled to visit Constantia Designer Craftsmen, they built the Hansard table & main table for the Parliament House in Canberra.  Unfortunately they were closed due to “sickness”.  We also visited Del Giorno’s Cafe daily for our coffee fix, they didn’t disappoint either, great views & staff too.  On our travels we’ve met some wonderful people like Trish & Jeff from Darwin.  They’re fun kind of people and knew we’d get on well with their friends, Lyn & Doug, who lived in Port Lincoln.  They were right, we had a ball over dinner at Del Giorno’s, thanks Trish & Jeff for the intro.

November 16 — Port Lincoln to Tumby Bay, 55.17 klms, Avg speed 16.0 kph, Cycling time 3.26 hrs; Total kms 24,653

I think we rode to Tumby in a daze, the surrounding farming, hilly landscape was simply stunning albeit dry will lots of dust swirling about, the harvesting machines in full force.  So onto Tumby Bay, yet another idyllic seaside town with crystal blue waters, 10 klm white sandy beaches, pine tree-lined foreshore & jetty ideal for casting that fishing rod.  It’s quiet here, so peaceful & relaxing, would be horrible during school hols as it’s a popular spot with families.  As we rode past The Seabreeze Hotel to the Caravan Park, the billboard out the front advertised “Wed night, Pasta & Pizza Night $12”, no need to guess where we’d be dining that night.  After setting up camp next to a very unhappy Blue Heeler Dog (he’d apparently bitten the owner of the Park that day, not a smart thing to do, we named him Snapper) we were dying for our coffee fix so ended up at the Bakery.  Our experience is that they’re not renowned for great coffee but this one hit the mark, we sat outside & watched the school kids invade the bakery, overweight some of them were too.  Later that night we feasted on our $12 lasagne with chips, salad & bread roll, very yummy.  Two, now overweight, satisfied cyclists headed back to camp being greeted by a growl—apparently Snapper doesn’t like cycles, whipper snippers, reversing trucks in fact everything in life.  Pity dogs don’t drink wine, it could help Greg reckons.... We slept well and while Greg drafts an email, this one to the Financial Service Ombudsman ( I think he’s turning onto a grumpy old man), I head off to explore the sights.  We meet at the Jetty Cafe for our morning fix and a good brew it is too.  There we sit, in full sun, watching the beautiful Bay do its thing.  That night Greg cooks up a storm and although there’s a tele in the camp kitchen we sit and ponder over maps and brochures about future destinations.  Snapper’s still not happy, but fortunately he’s on a strong lead.

November 18 — Tumby Bay to Port Neill, 43.02 klms, Avg speed 14.8 kph, Cycling time 2.53 hrs; Total kms 24,698

We wake at sunrise to hear Snapper’s Dad banging away with a hammer.  There’s apparently something wrong with his caravan and he needs to fix it NOW!  Bugga any poor bastard that thought they might want to sleep in... We set off at about 8.00am and I reckon this was one of the windiest days we’d ridden in a long time, it was ridiculous & laughable at the same time, 32kph really, really strong side winds gusting to 50kph.  You had to lean well over to the left to stay upright, at one stage I thought the wind was going to push Crazy Ruby’s  wheels from under me.  We got some respite when we stopped to talk to a lone, touring cyclist Maree Carroll, heading the other way.  Needless to say the wind was the major topic as she had also been fighting headwinds too.  In fact Maree was cycling from Perth to Adelaide, but the wind was so strong she ended up catching the bus so she could attempt the Nullarbor crossing from the other direction.  Time will tell if that was a good decision..... Port Neill, with its white, sandy beaches & clear calm waters is another perfect spot for fishing, boating, sailing, water skiing & diving, you have to ask yourself, what do you do in the Eyre Peninsular if you don’t like fishing??  There’s no shop here, only a pub, but this snoozy town was in excitement mode, a huge marquee stood on the beach overlooking the water & jetty, a wedding being held the next day.  The influx of guests were gathering at the pub ready to party.  After a beer we dined that night in the camp kitchen at the caravan park, Chef Greg whipping up pasta with a bacon & tomato sauce in the microwave.  He’s a great cook is our Greg, has a fantastic feel for food, how lucky am I!

November 19 — Port Neill to Arno Bay, 39.67 klms, Avg speed 18.8 kph, Cycling time 2.06 hrs; Total kms 24,737

Last night the wind howled, thunder grumbled all around us interspersed with lightening strikes, I thought the tent was going to take off not that His Grossnessness was worried, as usual he was ZZZZZZZZing like a baby!  Surviving the night we sped along to Arno Bay, great favourable winds AT LAST.  There’s no Cafe in Arno, so we disappear into the craft shop that advertises “Tea & Coffee”.  While Mrs Kafoops in the Craft Shop boots up the coffee machine we get an earful of her holiday to Sydney, her daughter-in-law (the bitch!) her grandchildren, blah blah, blah blah, blah blah... The coffee wasn’t bad but oh the pain we had to endure.  We were going to spend 2 nights here but decided against it, the caravan park had no camp kitchen only a BBQ stuck under a gazebo with open sides, on a sunny day that would be fine but on a rainy, overcast day it’s no fun.  You probably shouldn’t judge Arno on an overcast day either, it was a town divided by a tidal plain, fishing shacks of old lining the foreshore.  This town was once a major port servicing the local farming area, with superphosphate shipped in & cereal crops shipped out.  Today it’s renowned as SA’s kingfish & aquaculture capital, there’s also a historic pub where we dined that night, chock a block with diners as it’s the only place in Arno to get a feed & good food & service too.  We didn’t have time to meander along the award winning Mangrove Boardwalk, next time we return we’ll ensure the sun is shining.

November 20 — Arno Bay to Cleve, 31.09 klms, Avg speed 14.4 kph, Cycling time 2.09 hrs; Total kms 24,769

“What yer goin’ to Cleve for?”  “There’s nothing’ there.....” said to us by someone who worked there.  This didn’t put us off, it was great to leave the coast & ride inland, fantastic ride surrounded by rolling hills, the sun shining, the birds singing, no traffic about, it was a perfect Sunday morning ride.  And...Cleve, you are such a pretty service town for the surrounding agricultural district renowned for bumper crops of wheat, barley, canola & pea crops along with sheep farming.  Not a lot happens in Cleve on a Sunday, most of the shops closed but we had a couple of coffees at the service station where we checked out their Caravan Park.  An old bloke Greg got talking to virtually lassoed us as we passed his table and bent our ear for a while about the local area.  We decided on the Showground where for $5 (honesty system) you’re provided with loos, a cold shower & a grassy, quiet spot to pitch the tent.  We spent most of the day at the Lions Park opposite the Showground, great facilities, we even found some camp chairs with backs in the BBQ area, I strolled around the town taking the odd shot or 2, Greg washed Horsey & then I sat on my backside most of the afternoon reading the paper, a rare treat.  Not thrilled with having cold showers, Greg filled 2 water bags, they heated beautifully sitting in the sun all afternoon & we used the new facilities in the Lions Park to have a warm shower courtesy of our water bags.  After setting up camp over the road we trotted down the street to the Cleve Hotel, spotlessly clean, a welcoming local to have a beer, some wine & really decent grub of Garlic Pizza followed by Veal Cordon Bleu with veges (yummy) & His Grossness a Super Supreme Pizza.  The pub closed at 8.30pm, however, the owners, Chris & Jane, invited us to stay & we chatted happily for another hour, being entertained by their 2 dogs, Harper & young Tex.   We contemplated staying at Cleve another day, there’s so many interesting places to visit in the surrounding area but realistically we couldn’t cover everything on Crazy Roby & Horsey so we’ll return one day in our 4WD.

November 21 — Cleve to Cowell, 47.69 klms, Avg speed 17.0 kph, Cycling time 2.48 hrs; Total kms 24,816

Stunning ride along the Birdseye Highway, winding our way through valleys, up & down hills, the Mt. Millar Wind Farm towering above us in the distance.  We climbed up & over one very long hill but it was great getting to the top as it was all down hill into Cowell.  It’s a pretty town (pop 1,270), lots of historic buildings lining the main street towards its Franklin Harbour, a 48 square kilometre natural harbour which has developed a reputation for being one of the best fishing destinations, yet another one.  We had a great cuppa at one of the local pub, and after lunch in the park trying to escape the cool breeze we picked up dinner & rode another 3 klms to stay at the Harbour View Caravan Park which as the name suggests overlooks the harbour, at least this one had an enclosed camp kitchen with kettle, microwave & BBQ.  On the menu tonight—Tomatoey, creamy, sausagie pasta which I actually cooked.  Greg does let me cook every now and again and I think he quite likes the results, amazing....

November 22 — Cowell to Whyalla, 102.82 klms, Avg speed 19.1 kph, Cycling time 5.22 hrs; Total kms 24,919

We hadn’t ridden over 100 klms for ages but with favourable winds we ended up doing our third fastest ride since we left Albany 3 months ago.  As we’re now getting closer to built up areas another bonus was getting access to ABC Radio National, we’ve declared we couldn’t live anywhere unless we had access to this radio station, it’s so interesting to listen to, great presenters talking about interesting topics.   We’re only staying in Whyalla 1 night, it’s a large (pop 22,500) mining town so holds no fascination to us, the usual multitudes of Toyota utes with bright flags on poles and orange flashing lights all over the place.  Whyalla is definitely a mining and steel town.  With favourable winds forecast for tomorrow we’re ploughing on.  Kerry, the manager at The Whyalla Caravan Park, wouldn’t let us pay for our camp site, how nice was that!  With a grassy site, good camp kitchen out of the bloody wind, lasagne for dinner we were happy little Vegemites.  We even watch a little tele on the laptop just to keep up with world events and have a look at some of the shows we like.  It’s nice but we don’t really miss that much on the tele.  We head for bed and the wind is still blowing.  Looks like no sleep for me and no difference for His Grace, grrrrr.

November 23 — Whyalla to Port Augusta, 84.37 klms, Avg speed 18.8 kph, Cycling time 4.29 hrs; Total kms 25,003

We’ve now ridden 25,000 klms around Australia, hard to believe we’ve covered that distance on the bikes and there’s still lots more to see.  No grumbles from us both, we’re still enjoying this adventure so expect to see us back in Sydney in a couple of years!  Yes another great day on the road wind wise, the only downside being the heavy traffic & non existent shoulder when we left the Lincoln Highway & connected with the Eyre Highway about 20 klms south of Port Augusta.  Reaching Port Augusta means we’ve finished our tour of the Eyre Peninsular, the latter being such a beautiful place with quaint seaside fishing towns & equally beautiful farming communities.  Unless you’ve travelled through the farming areas of WA & the Eyre, it’s impossible to imagine how huge the wheatbelt area is, it’s enormous.  Port Augusta is pretty big too (pop 15,000), the city has undergone a transformation over the past 10 years & is gaining a reputation once again as a tourist destination.  From the early 1900’s the Commonwealth Railways occupied the most prime waterfront land but this has now been clawed back exposing the quiet waterways of the Spencer Gulf so there’s lots of fishing, yachting, swimming, kayaking & gulf cruises to be done & of course, in the backdrop is the magnificent Flinders Ranges.  Another plus of being in a relatively large city is the choice of restaurants, last night we dined on Indian, haven’t had access to a good Indian for months and this one was delicious.  Looks like we’ll be here for a few more days yet.

We enjoy the relatively relaxed pace of not riding today, and after a quick move of camp sites because we didn’t like the sand, we headed into town for a wander and coffee.  Admin. catch up in the arvo for me and horizontal contemplation for His Grace.  He needs his rest as he’s cooking me bangers & mash tonight with loads of veges, yummy!

We make our way to The Australian Lands Arid Botanic Garden and walk through various displays of plants we’ve ridden past over the last few years, all in one spot.  These are the tough guys of the flora world with drinks of water only every now and again, nutrient poor soils and extremely sporadic seeding and reproduction.  It’s a great display and a huge amount of work for those involved.  The day heats up and we head into town to coffee and shop.  We’ve decided to head off tomorrow and have roughly planned a circuitous route to Adelaide.  I desperately need a “Busby Trim” as Greg likes to call it, he’s really just jealous, so I head into town.  I can usually last about six weeks but after seven or eight weeks I can’t fit my helmet on  so needs must... Again we’re staying in tonight taking advantage of the good camp kitchen facilities and pretty good fruit and veg available in such a big town.

November 26 — Port Augusta to Quorn, 47.58 klms, Avg speed 15.5 kph, Cycling time 3.03 hrs; Total kms 25,051

Up early but can’t get into the bloody camp kitchen because it’s locked until 8.00am. Why? Who knows, but it drives us mad.... We ride out of town along the bike path that follows the foreshore and suburbs.  Breathtakingly beautiful ride through the Southern Flinders Range, it was simply stunning riding past stone wall embankments & over spectacular iron bridges, this ride has now been added to our Top 10 ride list in Australia.  We were following the Pichi Richi Railway line, a treasured steam journey which chugs its way through this glorious rugged countryside from Port Augusta to Quorn.  The steam train has stopped operation for a while because of the summer fire risk, but they do run the odd diesel service every now and again until Autumn.  Our thinking was if the train goes through here it would be relatively flat, wrong, it was a bit like riding a roller coaster, still lots of fun though.  A team of dedicated volunteers breathed life into the abandoned railway in 1973, it closed 20 years earlier & it’s now one of Australia’s best-known steam train journeys.  Quorn itself had lots of character, historic pubs (there were 4 in this small town of 1400), lovely heritage buildings & really wide streetscapes.  Being a good pom & always on the fang I was looking forward to a ’Quornish’ pasty but they’d all gone, still we ended up at Bytes & Bikes Cafe & enjoyed our coffee fix.  We dined at one of the pubs, The Austral, with another couple from the Caravan Park, my beef cheeks were delicious while His Grossness had his usual Chicken Parmiagiana, this one a bit more up market, it was topped with asparagus.  Yuppy!  We could have stayed another day in Quorn but with only 2 weeks to get to Adelaide we’re leaving tomorrow.

November 27 — Quorn to Hawker, 68.08 klms, Avg speed 17.1 kph, Cycling time 3.58 hrs; Total kms 25,119

With a hot day forecast we hit the road just after 7am & rode in near perfect conditions—no wind, flat road, a slight chill in the air but with the sun now spreading its warm rays over us.  We rode through “big sky country” with little traffic, again another great ride.  We reached Hawker by 11.30am & rode straight to the Sightseer’s Cafe, the only place open on a Sunday to have a cool drink & cuppa.  Hawker was once a thriving railway town & retains much of its 1880’s charm, today it’s a great base to explore the Flinders Ranges.  It’s pretty warm today at about 36°c so we sit about in the shade.  The pool looks tempting but we reckon the water would be freezing so early in the season so give it a miss.  After an afternoon stroll we had beer at the pub and strolled back to the caravan park camp kitchen.  We’re the only ones there and after pasta and a jar of sauce and a hour or so of tele, we hit the hay.....

November 28 — Hawker to Carrieton, 73.30 klms, Avg speed 20.1 kph, Cycling time 3.38 hrs; Total kms 25,192

It’s my birthday!  Greg’s birthday card stated “the holder of this card is entitled to a slap up Chinese meal!!”..... I think that’s more for him as he’s a bit partial to a bit of Chinese food.  Birthday’s are no excuse not to ride & we had another fantastic ride through the Ranges with hardly any traffic & a great tail wind.  After passing through a really small one Pub town of Craddock (good looking Pub it was too!) we continued along to Carrieton.  Didn’t know much about Carrieton but definitely no Chinese restaurant here.  It’s a small (pop 50) enchanting town surrounded by gum creeks, with  a store, swimming pool, pub & caravan park, however it is famous for the Carrieton Rodeo held annually in December when 1000’s flock from all around the country, hard to believe with the town being deserted.  The caravan park was a primary school in it’s past life & the community has now turned it into a welcoming park, the old buildings now turned into bunk/cottage accommodation plus plenty of space for caravans & tents too.  We rocked up to the Carrieton Hotel for the Wells’ birthday bash, it was a bustling affair with me, Greg, a local with teeth missing accompanied by his 2 friends, Pixie & Butch the dogs.  The menu didn’t particularly get the gastronomic juices flowing (fish & chips, toasted sandwiches, chicken or beef parmiagiana) so in the end it was “2 burgers with the lot missus 1 egg, thanks luv”.  As for wine?  My wine negociente recommended the only wine on the list, there was no Carte des Vins or Lista da Tinta so it didn’t take long to choose.  He did manage to locate a McGuigan Rose, embarrassing I know, but it wasn’t too bad, must  have been the hot night, declaring this choice in print has unfortunately stripped us off several Christmas Card lists no doubt!

November 29 — Carrieton to Orroroo, 38.63 klms, Avg speed 16.8 kph, Cycling time 2.17 hrs; Total kms 25,231

More stunning scenery, riding along what was once the railway line between Orroroo & Carrieton which used to hook up with the Pichi Richi railway.  After our coffee fix in town we rode into the Orroroo Caravan Park greeted by a sign saying “Budget Cabins for $45.00” and that’s wintin our budget.  With the park having no camp kitchen so no fridge & no where to sit to get away from the strong winds, we booked into a cabin for the following 2 nights.  With a bed more than a foot off the floor, a tele, fridge, microwave, jug, toaster & electric frypan we were as happy as pigs in poop. Chef Greg Blumenthal immediately started to rattle some pans to get the Spag Boil sauce simmering away. Half way through the process I was drafted to go down to the shops for more supplies....”Wine!”, he says, “wine, how can I cook without wine?” I think it was meant for the sauce but some must have missed and splashed into his glass. In any event, after four hours blup, blup bluping it was beautiful, as expected. The hot wind howled outside, but we didn’t care. His Grace was happy as he could watch Lily on SBS’s Letter’s & Numbers show at 6o’clock and I was happy with one of my favourite meals Spag Bol & salad, all’s right with the world.... Except! Yes, the Boy Blunder has a cold, not just any old garden variety of cold, but a Man Cold so early to bed for him, sniff.

November 30 to 1 Dec—Orroroo

What a pretty town Orroroo is, most of the old houses built from local blue stone with verandas wrapped around.  We ended up staying 3 nights so Greg could recover from his cold, I didn’t mind as it did give me a chance to walk the streets & gaze adorningly at all the old houses, I had visions of buying an old house & doing it up.  The locals were friendly too, Heather at the Caravan Park, the butcher became my best mate & the 2 cafes didn’t disappoint with our daily coffee fix.  Surprisingly we didn’t eat out at either of the 2 pubs, we were just content to stay in our cabin giving the electric frypan (don’t you hate those things) a workout—spag bol (Greg) & chilli beef me (tinned kidney beans in his sauce, drives him mad but I love them).  I could have stayed longer in Orroroo but His Lordship announced he was feeling better & we’d be leaving tomorrow.  His cough has been driving me mad, it sounds as though he’s got a fur ball stuck in his throat!!  Every now and then he announces that “the worst is over and that he’ going to pull through” or if he’s really sick he croaks “Kathryn! The security code to the cellar is.......” Nahh, he’s not that sick.