Saturday, February 1, 2014

Road trip: Day 3 - Robe to Meningie

We had no place to be at any particular time on the third day of our road tripping adventure, so we look things at a more leisurely pace. We started the day with a visit to Long Beach where we saw this sign in the car park:

When we realised we were allowed to drive on the beach we considered it briefly before commonsense prevailed  -  we couldn't risk getting bogged. Ten seconds seconds later we looked at each other and agreed to thumb our noses at commonsense. Pfffft! YOLO!!! (No, we didn't really say that.) Off we went in our Nissan Micra.


We didn't care that the half-dozen or so other cars on the beach were four-wheel-drives and their owners were looking at us quizzically/scornfully. We didn't know tham. They didn't know us. Whatever! Oh, how we laughed. 

Luke, the Intrepid Explorer 

Although I'd been told Robe was lovely, I didn't have high expectations...maybe because the name makes me think of a tatty dressing gown? But it really is lovely. The beach is long and wide and the foreshore is lined with pine trees. Like Port Fairy, it has some well preserved/restored old buildings, although they are mainly concentrated in one street. 

 Customs House (It's hard to tell but this is a very small building)

Robe also has an obelisk. Contain your excitement! It was built in 1855 to act as a sort of lightless lighthouse for the many ships that sailed by in the treacherous waters of Guichen Bay. There were 30 shipwrecks off the coast there in 1853 alone. I can' any light on why they didn't just build a proper lighthouse.  

It looks tiny, but it's actually 12 metres tall 

We left Robe before lunch and stopped off in the tiny township of Cape Jaffa, pretty much only because I like Jaffas.  There wasn't much to see there - just a handful of workshops facing a long, thin jetty and an empty beach stretching for miles in either direction. 

Luke spotted this piece of gloomy, pot-bellied equipment sheltering under the veranda of one of the workshops. It made us giggle. The guys in the workshops must have thought we were strange taking photos of it. 

We stopped for lunch in Kingston SE. The SE stands for 'south east', which, I deduced from scouring the map, is tacked onto the town's name to distinguish it from Kingston OM, or Kingston-on-the-Murray (River), a town further north. (Tangentially, there's a town near Kingston OM called Winkie. Looking at maps is fun.)  The sign on the outskirts of town just says 'Kingston' though. 

We had lunch at the pub (the gluten-free options included included "rice noddles") before visiting the town's main attraction, the Big Lobster, for a quick photo.  

Next on our itinerary was The Coorong, a vast stretch of wetlands that runs parallel to the roaring ocean. We stopped on a track to Chinaman Wells to take photos of a salt pan and purple scrub, and got a surprise when startled a kangaroo and her joey hopped out of nearby bushes. They hopped a safe distance away then stopped to watch us. That was our second encounter with wildlife (not counting the dead snake on the road just out of Robe). 

We saw a lot of salt pans - dried up salt lakes  - and we also saw a salt lake that still had water in it tinged with pink. 

The white fringe on the beach is a thick layer of salt. It was crunchy underfoot and sparkled in the sun. 

Salt encrusted rock

We stopped in Salt Creek (to continue the theme....) and went for stroll in the bush...

The Coorong isn't exactly the place for breathtaking scenery. 
It has a more rugged beauty

...before heading on to the small town of Meningie where we booked into a motel across the road from Lake Albert for a two-night stay. 

Evening grooming hour in the Lake Albert shallows

We had schnitzels for dinner at the pub because we had no other option - there was nowhere else to eat by this time and on schnitzel night thing on offer is schnitzel. (No, there were no gluten-free schnitzels.) There was also no lime in my first gin and tonic so I decided to ask for lime or lemon with the next one because it just isn't the same without that citrusy twist.  "We're from the city," Luke explained when my request was met with slight befuddlement. She gave me a large wedge of lemon in a little dish to go with my drink. 

And then it was back to our motel for bed.  My run of good sleeps continued. Holidaying agrees with me.


Andrew said...

Great photos. Beach sand driving is not to be encouraged but hey, a one off. Lol at no lime or lemon. Maybe the correct thing to ask for is a g&t with lime on the side.

Jayne said...

The sand was really compacted from lots of people driving on it, so there was little risk of us getting bogged. If the sign had said 4WDs only we would have given it a miss though.

Lindy said...

What fun driving on the beach! Great photos. I am enjoying your trip. :-)

Lindy said...

Hi Jayne,

I came across this print and thought of you.

Kind regards,