Monday, November 19, 2007

DAY 45: Coffin Bay to Tumby Bay

Mon 19 th Nov 07
97 km @ 16.3 km/hr
tail - head - tailwinds!

Some funny animal noises in the night - a kind of booming throat-clearing that I’ve not heard before - kangaroos?? Slept well apart from this and awake with the inevitable galah chorus of chaos. Actually forgot to have breakfast this morning, maybe I was still full from last nights huge meal at the yacht club.
After taking a wrong turn and climbing an unnecessary hill I finally hit the right road out and at the top of the first hill were 4 emus walking in single file along the side of the road (facing oncoming traffic too!) until they saw me and diverted into the bush.
The first 16km was to rejoin Highway 1 and was easy with a tailwind; I turned to the right on 1 and the wind was then in front for the 30km to Port Lincoln. Scenically this stretch was mediocre; mostly boring sheep pasture again, but I spent a while at The Swamp watching the birdies - the road passes over a causeway here adjacent to which is a large area of wetland. I identified more white-faced herons; a single white-necked heron, much bigger than the former; a large no.of black-winged stilts, and a hundred or so black swans. I didn’t use the binoculars much at first and i thought they might be superfluous to requirements, but I’m glad I’ve got them as they do allow you to see a lot more than with the naked eye. I was able to watch the dolphins in detail the other day too.
Anyhow as I was saying there was a headwind, plus lots of traffic as the larger town of Port Lincoln loomed nearer, plus a number of steeper hills. I was feeling strangely disconnected as I entered PL, not in the usual state of expectation a new place usually generates in me. The place left me cold actually; there’s nothing much of interest within the town as far as I could see, it is little more than a bustling regional centre with a small beach, and although the PL National Park might have been interesting it was a longish detour I didn’t feel like making today. I went to the post office hoping to collect the shirt that I left at Salmon Gums that was supposed to have been forwarded here poste restante, but it wasn’t here, so I can finally say goodbye to that I guess.
This done, I made some lunch sat on the Esplanade and decided to carry on - there’s no good reason for hanging around here - too busy, noisy and not my cup of tea. Tumby Bay was 47km away, it was only 1230, and i should now have a tailwind as i have reached the south end of the Eyre Peninsular and now head up the east side with the south-easterly.
The wind actually was more easterly and almost on the side but their was some ‘tail’ in it for most of the time, and I was averaging 18 km/hr or so. More open fields so not very scenic, and lots of road trains carrying grain, so hard to relax and enjoy the cycling. The gravel verge is pretty rough and roly-poly so great care is needed when I need to use it. In not time at all I was arriving in Tumby Bay, and to add to a rather negative day the tent site fee was a whopping $17- compare to $9 yesterday at Coffin Bay! The latter was a nicer site too and I politely told the lady in the office this, evoking little interest unfortunately. It’s the only caravan park in town. I did a little shopping in pursuit of a desire for spag bol, and also bought a new 2l box of wine (well, the last one lasted a week?!)
After a huge dinner then (again) I cycled to the end of the long jetty and watched a perfectly clear sunset (about 2000 hours) - unfortunately after all yesterdays socialising there’s no-one around here to talk to - must be all indoors, or the mozzies are out and about?.
I might have stayed another night here but not at $17; I’ll head north tomorrow, possibly after uploading if that can be done here.

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