Yet another wonderful day in paradise. We would love to have stayed in Port Lincoln another week, but it was time to move on. So after showers, breakfast and packing up Bertha, we slowly wound our way to the Lincoln Highway via the scenic route.
Driving this morning was nice and easy. Temperature in the low 20s, blue sky with a few clouds, and a light breeze. We’re driving on B class roads so they are wide and generally well maintained. Traffic, particularly trucks, is very light. As we head out of Port Lincoln the breeze blows up a bit but we are protected by decent wind breaks on both sides of the road.
The country-side is mixed, with large areas of cropping land, yet other places where the scrub shows signs of obvious regrowth after bushfires not so long ago. The ground appears to be sandy with plenty of rocks.
Eventually we turn off B100 to the Coffin Bay road and it seemed that immediately the wind picked up and made driving a little more difficult. Very soon we caught our first glimpses of boats on the water at Kellidie Bay approaching the township of Coffin Bay.
We took a slow cruise around the Esplanade, as only a large motorhome can do. Coffin Bay’s esplanade is unlike the Esplanade in Port Lincoln and doesn’t have a strip of trendy shops and cafes. At Coffin Bay the Esplanade features quandongs, mangroves, dirt roads to picnic areas on the beach, and so on. There are some very nice houses and holiday apartments in Coffin Bay, a jetty, a yacht club and a few businesses, but there is no shopping strip in the usual sense. The caravan park looks very inviting and it is definitely on our list of places to revisit as soon as we get a chance. Interestingly, the real Coffin Bay is some 21 kms from the Coffin Bay township so the waters lapping up at Coffin Bay townships aren’t actually from Coffin Bay.
We stopped at the Beachcomber café/general store/take-away/whatever – a very typical beach-side establishment from days gone by. We enjoyed a coffee at Beachcomber before going for a short walk along the Oyster Walk around the bay.
Ann had her eye on Café 1802 which has a great reputation for seafood, and it certainly looks like a very nice restaurant. Unfortunately 1802 didn’t seem to be open today so we returned to Beachcomber for lunch. Ann finally ticked “eating fresh Coffin Bay oysters” off her wish list and enjoyed them immensely. In fact she savoured them all afternoon. They were fresh, full of flavour, well prepared and presented, and they were ridiculously cheap. I’m not so much into seafood but I enjoyed my lunch equally.
Today we only scratched the surface of the beauty of Coffin Bay and we got no-where near the renowned Coffin Bay National Park. But, we’ll be back.
Eventually we returned to Bertha and headed back along the Coffin Bay road. One thing that struck us was that there is basically no beach at places around Coffin Bay – in many places the water just comes up to either mudflats or mangroves.
We’re now approaching time to head back home so rather than continue exploring the Eyre Peninsula coastline we turned back on to the Lincoln Highway towards Port Lincoln and then turned off at the Tod Highway (B90) which basically goes North through the centre of the peninsula.
We stopped for coffee in Bertha at Cummins, which is a small town with something of a split personality. The railway line splits the town in half, literally. The highway goes down one side of the railway line and has a collection of shops, cafes and businesses, and there is another road along the other side of the railway line which also has a collection shops, cafes and businesses. There are crossings from one side to the other, but it is a bit strange. This is definitely grain country, and there is a flour milling business based in Cummins. At one point we all of a sudden became surrounded by large trucks and B doubles, so finished our coffee and got out of their way very promptly.
Another 80 kms up the B90 found us at Lock which is a bit of a junction for traffic heading north-south as well as traffic heading east-west. We decided to stop here for the night and sought out the local caravan park as there didn’t seem to be a suitable free camp nearby. After paying for our site at the post office we were told to park anywhere we liked, connect to whatever we like, and generally make ourselves at home. Which we did.
We did however face a challenge on this, our shakedown trip. We’re getting used to having to park with Bertha’s nose down a bit – it seems that most caravan parks, including those with slabs, design their sites that way. But with Bertha’s slide-out, we need to have a reasonably level site from side to side as well because the slide can give Bertha a bit of a sideways lean. And we couldn’t find one – but we were being very picky. So Ann did a great job of driving both the front and rear wheels on the low side of Bertha up the yellow ramps so we were nearly perfectly level. Great job!
After connecting the power, water and sullage, we had some visitors. I don’t know how she does it but Ann loves chooks and seems to attract them out of nowhere. Two very healthy looking chooks came clucking around Bertha so Ann couldn’t resist feeding them.
I think we know what will wake us up in the morning!