Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Journey Home. Kingston SE to Salt Creek

I am amazed. Not a single one of you have asked why a town is named Kingston SE instead of just Kingston. Well, fine then. I won't tell until someone asks --nicely.

I do thank y'alls good thoughts and such that headed my way. I can actually chew again! Oh, the feta cheese came out GREAT! Expect a post about cheesemaking over at Dingo Dave fairly soon (yes, I know I've been neglecting it).

Just in case any of you have forgotten where we are (directly above the centre of the Earth, BTW) on our return journey, let me refresh your mammaries --oops, memories.
kingston to salt creek smaller

Oh crikey struth, stone the crows, stiffen the lizards and pickle me granmothah! THAT map will just never do. Here, I'll grab some crayons and help ya out mates!
kingston to salt creek painted smaller

There! Now everyone knows what's going on. Right?

The first bit is really thrilling...
salt creek009

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It's hard to tell from this pic, but with the looooong, flat, hot road with the sun beating down on it, the shimmering mirages were everywhere. Passing a slow moving vehicle was NOT fun. Fortunately most folk were doing 100 to 120 kph so it wasn't much of a problem. But I did have to pass a few times and even though a straight may be miles long, you just couldn't tell!

Saw a car almost get smashed by a semi... Wee-Hoo! Gotta love The Prince's Highway!

See the thin white stuff on the horizon? That's the top of the dunes of The Coorong. They are a couple of hundred feet high, and in 25 million years they could have the cave structure you've seen at Naracoorte!
salt creek027

We were going to take the loop road around...
salt creek033
but it was 20 kms of washboard. No thanks.

I think it's a shame that folks have to be reminded...
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And here we arrive in beautiful, bustling downtown Salt Creek.
salt creek051

Here's a close up:
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The place kinda reminded me of roadhouses up in Alaska. Well, once you got away from Los Anchorage that is.

And any place that has a chalkboard out front telling you which sections of the beach road are washed out, how many vehicles have rolled over there recently and where to get the best snappers, sharks (bronze whalers) can't be all bad. Plus they even encourage you to take ya rubbish and take idiots rubbish out!
salt creek121
This really reminded my of Alaska. Well, except for the beach part...

Salt Creek is known as the southern gateway to the Coorong. And they are right.
salt creek056
Who is that big, tall, handsome, pony-tailed bloke in the red shorts?

This is where we drove up:
salt creek112

See the dashed line on the left of the map going across what looks like water? In the summer you can drive across!
salt creek108
Provided you've got a 4 wheeler, of course.

There are hiking trails galore!
salt creek174
Personally, I think Nakun Kungun is Ngarrindjeri for "let's see how many dumb tourists we can get to walk through mosquisto infested swamp" or something similar to that.

Oi! Mates! We found some swans!

Something you may not know is that swans down here in Oz are black and they have a red bill. These are also some of the first ones I've seen that aren't in parks. Meaning they don't start swimming over to humans looking for handouts.
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There are loads of wildflowers everwhere.
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We even found an apple tree that had self-seeded:
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And now back to the swans, jus' cus I like the reflections.
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Sometimes they get hungry
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But are we REALLY sure they are feeding? Let's just zoom in a bit and find out what is really going on...
farting black swan
Yep, that's what I thought.

At first I thought this bloke was a baby blue-tongue, but I'm now pretty sure he's a gecko.
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If you want to learn more about the Coorong, then just

go here,

and here,

and also here too.

Did anyone get the above SP reference?

Hey look! There's oil in them thar hills!!!!

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Instead of me grinding me poor ole fingers to da bone, how's abouts I jus' give ya the danged-gummed signs and youse all kin reed abouts it ya-selfs. Harumph.
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They just don't make em like they used to:
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Coming up next: Policeman's Point, a place I'd love to live at, and the first counrty town I didn't care for.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Don't Panic!

and don't forget your towel! 

I haven't put up the next segment of The Journey Home, Kingston SE to Salt Creek, cus I've been crook. That means sick.

Got a bad infection... Blocked and infected salivary gland. Face swelled up, very painful too. Loads of the most powerful soft tissue antibiotic, and loads of codeine. Of course, there's the nausea and other side effects from the anti, fun. And then there's the fact that large doses of codeine will, ahhhh, ahem... plug up the pipes. It was four days before I was able to "pass" anything and it was getting rather painful, to say the least.

Anyways, that's probably Too Much Information for most of you, but tough shit (literally!) cus I had to endure it so you got to read about it.

Was just about to start uploading pics for the next installment, when we went over our monthly allotment of gigs for broadband and Bigpond applied the speedbrakes. Just now upgraded to 25 gigs a month but that doesn't take effect until tomorrow arvo.

So this is just a quickie (wink, wink) to let you all know that I'm still here, still alive, and the swelling on the left side of my face is down so that I look somewhat normal (for me, at least).

If the upgrade is down on time, then in 30 hours you'll be reading about Salt Creek and the Coorong!


I'm now off to the kitchen to check on the curds for the batch of feta cheese that I'm making. Yummy!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Journey Home; Kingston SE



*LONG POST AHEAD WITH LOTS OF PICTURES!!!! So just load the page, go back to work for a few minutes, and THEN get started reading this post (once your bosses back is turned, of course).*

Well, we left Lucindale on our way to Kingston SE. On the way there we passed the horsie truck (again). We also drove past a small place called The Avenue. It is a "town". Basically there is a dirt road going off of the side road we were on.

What's so special about The Avenue? There's an emu farm! you can also buy emu meat. Steaks, roasts, mince (ground), etc. I really really wanted to go up to the farm and get some emu meat as I've heard good things about it; lean and tasty.

However there was another person in the car (perhaps, say, maybe... Wifey-Poo) who would not have a bar of it. NOT A CHANCE! Next time, I keep thinking, next time...

We pretty much zoomed right through Reedy Creek. I like the place. We saw one house, 2 dirt roads, a CFS building (Reedy Creek Country Fire Service), and a couple of acres of scrub land for sale. Just about my size.

We are now approaching Kingston SE and looking forward to a big ole giant lobster, a neato sundail, and who knows what else.

But first, let's look at where we are:
lucindale to kingston

Perhaps this next map will help
lucindale to kingston painted

Here is the view of YT that WP sees as we drive along
Kingston SE WP001

And this is what she sees when she looks forward
Kingston SE WP002
I'm not sure why, but she sure does look forward a lot.

We really like Kingston SE. Very laid back, friendly folk, nice and quiet... and only a short drive away from Reedy Creek! Kingston SE is known for it's crustaceans. Lobster and crab are it's speciality. If we lived there we would most definitely have a dory with loads of crab and lobster pots.

I imagine a conversation something like this:

YT: "Hi hon! I'm back and the boat's put away."

WP: "Great! How was it?" please GOD no more lobster

YT: "Beaut! Every pot was full of lobster and crab!"

WP: *sob* "Oh... that's just wonderful..."

YT: "Yeah, that's what I thought too!"

WP: sound of teeth grinding

YT: "Ya know, after a few years of eating lobster and crab everyday it does get a little tiresome."

WP: YA THINK!! "Well, if you say so dear."

YT: "So I was thinking of having something different tomorrow."

WP: Ahhhhhh, bliss... how I love my hubby! "What did you have in mind?"

YT: "Well, how's about I head over to the ponds behind Frank's place and get a whole mess of yabbies? Doesn't that sound good?"


YT: "Oh, you've got the cleaver out already! I'll just bring the buckets in and you can get started."


Note to self: don't let WP read this post, it'd give her too many bad ideas.


Before you get to see pics of a 60 foot tall lobster, how's about a really cool sundial?

It's even on it's own little island in the middle of town:
Kingston SE YT002

With a really cool bridge to get to it:
Kingston SE WP004

And the bridge (and sundail) have nifty sculptures courtesy of a local artist.
Kingston SE WP008

It's a sundial of Human Involvment!
Kingston SE WP018

There's a plate with a squished, elongated figure-eight in the middle of the rocks, and you stand on the in a specific location for what day of the year it is. When this was made, there were only 8 in the world. Although I'm sure there's more than 8 of them now.

It was made by a local artist, and on each of the granite hour blocks there is a carving of something local. Could be a crab, bird, plant, snail, basically whatever someone brought to him that day to carve.

Here's what it looks like:
Kingston SE WP020

Kingston SE YT007

And here's some of the carvings:
Kingston SE WP014

This is what you stand on:
Kingston SE WP015

Look! It works!
Kingston SE WP030
Of course, we had to adjust for daylight savings time.

Note the puffed out chest of YT. This is cus I was trying to suck my gut all the way in... My diaphram almost squeezed my lungs up past my epiglotis and I turned blue and passed out ten seconds after the picture was taken.

And now please meet Larry The Lobster!!!

Kingston SE YT028

Kingston SE YT036

Kingston SE WP054

Bye Larry
Kingston SE WP050

Larry was made in the early 1970's and by 1990 one of his front claws fell off. They did try to raise money to shore up the other one and fix the broken one, but it was better to rip the other one off. He has remained clawless since. I also heard there was a HUGE feast of lobster claw meat that lasted for a week!

Did you see the shot of the dude with the buzzcut laying on Larry? German tourist and he and some friends had rented a van to cruise around Oz.
Kingston SE YT025
Naturally, I had expected this to be a cool hippy van and that Tommy Chong and Cheech Marin wannabes would step out... Darn! No Ish, the van was NOT made of what you might think it should be made of.

There's a restaurant behind Larry. It's for sale. It also serves expensive, high-falootin' type grub. And very pricey wine and beer. It's only been open for a few years and is struggling. Personally, I'dve opened a fish n chips shack specializing in the local, fresh, catch of the day at a cheap price.

Next to Larry is a junk yard. Well, at least that's what I thought at first. Then I thought maybe I was back in Fairbanks looking at a typical house up there. Then I realised it's a museum. Of what I wasn't sure.

But they had something eyecatching out front:
Kingston SE YT031

Hmmmm, let's just zoom in a bit:
Kingston SE YT032

We then went on down to the beach to have lunch. And also to see a lighthouse. The lighthouse is atually on the national historic registry --or whatever it's called-- and supposed to be special for it's size and unique construction. I'm not too much into lighthouses, but we thought it'd be fun to go through. Turns out it's only open once a week for a few hours and that's only during school holidays, darn.

But here's a shot of it anyways:
Kingston SE YT048
It was very impressive and I would've liked to go through, oh well.

On to the huge, massive Kingston SE Yacht Club!

Kingston SE WP096
Happnin' place, eh?

They even have a few yachts
Kingston SE YT051
Personally, I prefer a lazer or a windsurfer, but beggars can't be chosers!

And to celebrate US "holiday" of 420
Kingston SE YT054Please keep in mind the sailing class 420 has NOTHING to do with the Waldos!

There's a new, paved path that meanders through the dunes. Shall we go for a walk?
Kingston SE YT061
Then again, maybe not.

Let's go to the beach instead
Kingston SE YT062

Here's what I like about Kingston SE. Not only can you drive on the beach, but there's a posted speed limit for vehicles, AND it's only council bylaw 3! How's that for small town?
Kingston SE YT063

It's not the most picturesque of beaches...
Kingston SE YT069

HUGE field just shoreside of the dunes! I'll bet they have good parties here!
Kingston SE WP078

And now...

We finally get to meet the horsies!

Turns out that they take their horses to the Lucindale agri show each year (see last post) but the day before they drive them on down to Kingston SE so they can frolic in the surf, roll in the sand, eat the grass, and generally have a grand ole time. The horses, not the kids...

Kingston SE WP072
Kingston SE WP086
Yep, the daughter's riding bareback.

The dad has probably 10 generations of rural Aussie in him. And he sounded like it too! Friendly, outgoing, proud of the horses, and a rural Aussie accent ('strine) so thick it took me a minute of talking to him to figure out what he was saying --and I've been here 9 years now.
Kingston SE WP088
BTW, he and I have the same kind of hat!

Kingston SE WP089
Kingston SE WP091
Kingston SE WP094
Bye bye horsies!

Up next post, we head north to the Coorong and to Salty Creek --home of the very first oil drilling rig in Australia in 1866.