After leaving Ceduna we did stay at Haslem, a popular little spot for keen fisherman, sadly the weather had changed from high 30s/40 degree temps down to cold and windy low 20s so we were not tempted to stay here any longer than the one night.
On to Streaky bay and slightly better weather, seeing the sunshine intermittently. We learn the art of Razor fishing which is really more like gardening than fishing. Razor fish are a large shell fish which bury their pointed end into the sand, and are visible at low tide. We got talking to a couple who offered to take us out at low tide the next morning to show us the ropes. Armed with solid shoes and thick gloves we set off around to the next beach and walked about 100 metres out where hundreds of the shells could be seen sticking out at the waters edge. There is a fair bit of wiggling (the shells, not us!) to release the razor fish which then need to be cleaned. This should be done out at the low tide mark as these shells are sharp and dangerous to walk on. After smashing the end off and breaking open the shell there is a lot of brown muck to clear off around the muscle which is a creamy coloured round shape about the size of a scallop. This is the part that makes good eating, (a cross between abalone and a scallop) the brown bit makes good bait for both the fish and crabs. The legal quota for razor fish is 25 per person so with our full quota caught and cleaned in around an hour we had enough for two good feeds. After a quick bash and a little cooking they make good eating, we did ours in a creamy garlic sauce with rice and they were yummy! The next morning we set off again, this time we were the experts, showing others this fine art of "hunting and gathering"
We did the coastal drives in the area, seeing the blowholes and whistling rock and also the seal-lion colony about 50kms out on a dirt track. It was great to see the seal-lions basking in the sun but our photos couldn't come close.
We walked around Murphy's Haystacks which are huge rounded rocks sticking out of the ground. The Irish have a reputation of being "a bit thick" Well, what was Murphy thinking off? Actually, I think it has something to do with Murphy being the owner of the property and growing wheat.
After Streaky Bay it was on to Coffin Bay with a stopover at Coodlie Park, (a private property with bush camping and 4wheel drive tracks to the rugged coastline) and Elliston, (where the coastal views were lost in the mist and clouds due to bad weather)
We were surprised to meet up with Harry and Irene in Elliston, a couple we had met last year in Darwin and they told us to also look out for Andy and Gay in Port Lincoln.
Coffin Bay is famous for the oysters so a tour of the oyster business was in order. We learnt all about the oysters and the process they go through in their 18 month life cycle from spat to table. We watched the computerised machine check and grade them into size before we then got to sample a few. As well as the famous coffin bay oyster this particular farm also produce the anagasi oyster, originating from Tasmania, with a slightly stronger flavour and a prettier frilly shell.
Port Lincoln next, known for it's local seafood, tuna, mussels, prawns and fishing. Again the weather was against us as we would have loved to swim with the tuna, sharks or sea lions, however not so appealing in cold weather so we decided against any water tours this time.
We did meet up with Andy and Gay and caught up on all our news and adventures and passed on our best wishes to the regular "Tumbling Waters" visitors who make the trip up every year.
We saw the bronze statue of Makybe Diva, the well known race horse from the area, famous for winning the Melbourne cup 3 times consecutively. Seeing her life size statue I was surprised how small she was.
We spent Easter at Tumby Bay which is about 50kms up from Port Lincoln, calling in on the off chance and finding a little gem of a place. We stayed at the Modra apartments and RV parking, owned by a lovely friendly and helpful family and were made welcome by them and also the other RV travellers. Good Friday was spent enjoying each other's company and good food. What started out as a seafood lunch went on all day with enough dishes to cover dinner as well! Mussels marinara, crumbed redclaw, smoked cod in parsley sauce, king George whiting and calamari along with salads, cheeses and a few deserts. We all had a great day and we both got our dose of "kiddie time" (always a bonus!) playing with Skyla and Annabel, whose parents, Damien and Kristie run the place.
While in Tumby we drove out to an old museum at Koppio and enjoyed the drives and walks of the area. Chris also made the most of a golfing opportunity, with golf fees of only $5 for 18 holes he had 3 early morning games.
We left Tumby Bay on Easter Monday, heading towards Port Augusta where we have the car booked in for a service but first stop is Wyalla where we spent a couple of nights at a park next to the Weeroona Bay "tigers" football club. $10 a night and we had access to toilets and hot showers. We enjoyed a walk and a good lunch along the foreshore and checked out the lookouts over the towns large steelworks.
In Port Augusta, while the car was being serviced, we visited the Wadlata centre and spent time learning the history of the area, learning about the Ghan railway and the mail route on the Birdsville track. Later we climbed the old water tower look out and my legs are still aching from that climb!
Now as we leave Port Augusta, we are all topped up again, car serviced and fuelled up, washing done and fridge full! The weather is good again, although somewhat cooler which is to be expected, although as we didn't experience a winter at all last year, it's taking some getting used too! When that sun goes down, so does the temperature.
Now we are at Murray Bridge, this time staying at the show grounds for $10 including power. We've been to the local farmers market and then wandered along the Murray, checking out the houseboats and the Murray Princess before strolling up to the Round House, standing next to the first bridge to ever cross the Murray. For $3.50 each we were given a personnel tour of the beautiful old house and learning it's history. (money well spent!)
After a look around the town, buying a new TV (broken ariel point on old one) and checking out the Op Shop (me, not Chris!) we went back to the van, only to find there was a bird sale on in the pavilion near where we are parked so off we went to take a look. Bird breeding must be a popular hobby in these parts if this sale is anything to go by! There were people and birds everywhere, all sorts of parrots, quails, finches and budgerigars. We could have bought a "show special" for $1000! - Maybe next time!