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Around the Coorong National Park

Thursday 20th August 2015

semi-overcast 14 °C

It is quite scary to think that we have now been away for four weeks. In some ways it seems like forever since we left our house in Saxmundham; that we have been to so many places and done so much. Somewhat contradictorily it also seems like the time is going quite fast, scarily our trip is now a fifth of the way through! I have missed seeing family and friends, but I am so very aware that this is a once in a lifetime trip and never again will we be able to come so far and be away for so long.

We are now on our way round the south coast of Australia. This morning we woke up to sunshine which was nice as the weather had been quite mixed in recent days.

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Sadly we only had one night in Port Elliot, given how nice the hostel and the town were I would have been happy to stay another night. We had quite a long drive to do as Robe, our next destination was just over 300 kilometres away. We had decided to have breakfast in the town before we left. I had read some really great reviews about a place called The Retro Vibe which has not only been commended for its food but also its fine retro decor. It was only just up the road, but as we weren't sure about the place until we checked it out we drove there in the car. There were a few people eating inside and it had a nice feel about it, and being quite hungry we decided it would be a good place for breakfast. We ordered the full cooked works, with eggs for Nigel and without for me and some coffees which were just right and boded well for the food. Whilst we were waiting for the meal to be cooked we took in the surroundings and thought of John (my brother-in-law) who would have loved the place. Not only was the decor the best in retro shabby-chic (oh so different from just shabby), but they had vinyl records and a turntable so you could play the song of you choosing (think mid to late 20th century). We gave the proprietor the first choice and she went for the flip side of the Tom Jones she had been listening to previously, and then my choice was an old Bread album.

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When the food came it was delicious and included home made hash browns. It completely set us up for day! Once we had finished we thought we ought to get on our way, and I offered to start the driving. The sat-nav sent us up the coast and then with a bit of navigating went off-piste so that we could follow round Lake Alexandrina. The countryside was pretty and we were surprised by the number of vineyards.

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When we got to the Murray River we took the free 24 hour pulley ferry (not sure if that is the technical name but without the internet to check it will have to do).

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The river level seemed quite high and it provided a brief interlude in the driving and once we arrived that other side we continued driving next to or near lakeside. We stopped a couple of times to take photographs

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and the get some more petrol in Meningie (64p a litre, readers in the UK aren't you jealous). Once we were on our way again we noticed that the sat-nav helpfully said turn right in 217 kilometres, so not much navigating for Nigel to do! We continued along through the Coorong National Park. Because the area is so flat with banks or levees at the side of the road it wasn't always easy to be able to view the lagoons. We did take a bit of a detour to a place called Parnka Point where we stopped and took some photographs and admired the view.

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It also struck me that we were starting to see more wild flowers, a start perhaps of a slowly emerging spring in South Australia. We continued in our journey until we reached a place called Kingston. This was not far from Robe, but we were quite keen to have a bit of a break and a cup of coffee. We found a service station that also had a cafe and went in there. The town is apparently famous for its lobster and there was a giant lobster by the side of the road to advertise the fact. The whole place had a slightly strange feel about it.

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Refreshments finished and we were soon on our way and before long had arrived in Robe. We found our accommodation for the next two nights, and once Nigel had got the key we were happily in and having a look round. It was advertised as being a bit like a beach hut, so we were surprised at how large the cottage was. As well as a large living room/kitchen, there was a double bedroom, a children's bedroom, utility, bathroom and a lovely little garden. It was all beautifully fitted out, and quite a contrast to Waves & Wildlife.

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I had been feeling a bit coldy, although it may be an Australian version of my spring hay fever. In pity Nigel went off to get us fish and chips for dinner; nice but not quite as good as at home!

Posted by Gill's Travels 03:41 Archived in Australia Tagged landscapes lakes australia robe

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