Ceduna marked the end of the Nullabor and it was our cue to turn right and head down the Eyre peninsular. We stopped in at Smoky Bay for a look.
After riding around a sleepy little village on the bay called Haslam which had a campsite we decided to stay for the night. We had a very nice reception from the other campers there including a couple of cold beers from our neighbours when we turned up. We had Roo steaks for dinner which were yummo ! then we took a stroll to the jetty and watched the sun set over the water.
Next day we found ourselves at Streaky bay for lunch, it is so called because of the streaky coloured water.
After lunch we took the advice of some locals and headed out on a dirt road to the Granites and Smooth Pool where we had a snorkel. The ride was stunning and the Granites well worth the many steps down, they resembled pillars lying on the beach. The ride down to Smooth pool was anything but, however the pool itself was like swimming in an enormous rock pool with lots of fish.
That night we camped at Murphy’s Haystacks which are strange rock formations called Inselbergs. Inselberg comes from the german words for island and mountain and that is literally what they are. They are pieces of harder pink granite marooned when the surrounding land surface was eroded away. Camping there gave us the opportunity to photograph them and dusk and dawn and we got some good pictures. The farmer (a direct descendant of Murphy) charges a small fee to enter as they are on his land and we had a nice chat with him when he turned up to empty the honesty box. They got their name from a passing Irish agricultural expert who was travelling past in a coach and horses and mistook them for haystacks in the distance. He was greatly impressed and informed his fellow passengers the farmer must have harrowed his land to produce such an abundance of hay. The coach drivers perpetuated the myth and because the land they were on belonged to a man called Murphy the name stuck.
You can spot Karen in the third photo for a bit of scale.
We had a contact to head to in Port Lincoln, Phil and Caron the couple who were so kind to us in Perth put us in touch with some friends of theirs Jeff and Josie. I had to ring Jeff a couple of times to say we will be another day or two as we kept finding interesting places to explore on the way and we were aware that we were not coming back this way.
One of those was Venus Bay, a pilchard boat was in and unloading and the wharf was crowded with fishermen. This wasn’t a coincidence as the mackerel are attracted in by the blood and pilchards that inevitably fall in the water. Someone was cleaning fish and the penguins and gulls were queing up to fight over the spoils. The last picture is the viewpoint looking over the other side of town.
Elliston was a pretty little town so we stopped there for a picnic lunch then followed their scenic coastal drive trail which was also decorated with sculpture.
Lake Hamilton was en route and this old coaching house was right by the side of the road, it is situated in the right spot where a change of horses would have been needed and provided food and accomadation for weary coach travellers until the 1880′s.
When we finally reached Port Lincoln we were hot, filthy and tired. It had been a hot day with temperatures in the high 30′s and Jeff and Josie made us really welcome despite this and it was the start of a great couple of weeks. Our timing was good it was a few days before Tunarama, Port Lincoln’s annual festival now in it’s 50th year. It started to promote the Tuna fishing industry and coincided with the day the boats were put to sea. Now it’s a huge free event involving the whole town and runs over the Australia Day weekend. Here is a picture of Jeff and Josie when we arrived.
Next Up: Port Lincoln, Tunarama and much more.