At the the first inkling of warmer weather I started thinking about a trip somewhere. However, being disabled I need help along the way in the form of a person who can do some basic chores like helping out of the driver’s seat into the wheelchair and vice versa and loading and unloading the same wheelchair. There there are jobs of finding food places to eat and so on. This person is my dear wife, best friend and soul mate, Judith.
I saw a story in the Sunday Mail about the whales of the Head of the Bight in the western region of our State, South Australia. Roughly 700km from home and a full two-day drive from here, maybe three. We tend to dawdle a bit, driving at slower speeds and stopping in towns for fuel or something to eat.
We HAD to stop in Port Augusta for some shopping and then we pushed on to Kimba where we found a berth in the caravan park right on the highway. Trucks running their air brakes all night kept me awake. This of course is the main highway to and from Perth so it never sleeps.
We visited the outside of the Viterra Wheat Silos with a good bit of art covering all four silo bins. This of course is the new craze in country Australia. Silos not i use anymore may have their outside walls painted toe invite tourism to isolated villages and towns in the country.
Feeling refreshed the next morning we made it to Ceduna, found a place to park and Judith went shopping, again! The good thing was that we found out that if you bought a heap of vegies and you may have some left over when you return the Fruit Fly Inspectors will give you a card as a leave pass. We got one for 4 days. Then we made for Fowlers Bay and camped for two nights in the small caravan park they have there. I had decided that it would be better to drive up to the Head of the Bight there and back in 3 hours driving time. And so that is what we did.
We Old People get a discount to enter the whale viewing platforms. 49 whales had been seen from the spotter plane and we were happy to see 20 Mother Whales and calves.
Wheelchair access is good at the ranger Station and we managed to get all the way down the ramp to the lowest platform.
‘Why is it called the Southern Right Whale:
They get their name because they were the ‘right‘ whale to catch: they were slow-swimming, floated when dead, and provided large amounts of valuable products – particularly oil for illumination’ and lubrication. (I lifted this information, displayed in italics, from the internet).
I am not sure who was watching who. The whales were frolicking in the waters below us while we, the tourists, gathered along the boardwalk.
We spent over two hours watching the whales, calves and the dolphins that come to play.
Mother Whales and Calves at Head of the Bight
When the time came to leave, we were discussing how we would tackle the long uphill trek up the ramp when a total stranger overheard us talking and offered to push me all the way up as he needed some exercise. And within seconds I was back at the top again.
Jude drove home most of the way. We spend time listening to ABC Outback Radio and the time passes quickly. I wanted to check out some other tracks but they ended in sandy tracks and it was too late in the afternoon to start mucking about with air pressure so we returned to the caravan park.
The next day we made our way to Penong, the village well known for its display of windmills and asked if the road to Cactus Beach was passable for caravans and could we get to the beach and the answer was yes to all questions and off we went as I had wanted to see the place for myself as it was famous for surfing and also Great White sharks. We chatted with some surfies and took some photos. There is only a very small section of ‘beach’ as the surf comes right up to hit a rock wall and therein causing part of the good surfing waves to be had.
That night we spent in the Lock Caravan Park and the road was dead quiet. The when took the road back to Kimba for a visit to the Op-Shop to find some treasures and to look at other places of interest in the town. From there I decided to take a gravel ‘backroad’ to Whyalla through Iron Baron and Iron Duchess Mines. Part of this road was very corrugated and it shook a light loose inside the van. We spent the night at a layby off Cuttlefish Road on Point Lowly. I played Ball with Blaise and after some throws it disappeared into the bushes never to be seen again.
The following morning, we woke to a heavy dew and a cool breeze off the Spencer Gulf waters.
We made for home. More shopping in Port Augusta and a look at washing machines as our is starting to fail.
The MUX struggled up Horrock’s Pass in 2nd gear and thereafter we cruised through the Beautiful Valley of Wilmington, did another Op-Shop and refuelled at the Farmers Stock Agent at a good diesel price and then we headed home against a slight east wind which warmed the Southern Flinders Valley
It had been a good week away, we spotted the whales, and the van ran well without the Weight Distribution Hitch attached.