In my last update to our travel journal I mentioned that we were slowing down… well we didn’t slow down… we stopped. For four weeks! And it was bliss.
This blog post covers 2nd to 29th October, from Adelaide SA to Wentworth NSW. (Yep, doing the whole four weeks in one post… cos we did so much of nothing.)
We were stoked with our cheap campsite at Mt Crawford Forest Reserve. At $20 per week but still only about an hour out of Adelaide CBD, it was the perfect mix of remote and quiet forest location still within easy reach of the big smoke.
We did lots of nothing.
We also went for walks (not many, but it sounds better than saying we sat on our butts most days), gathered firewood and made fire (and damper and baked potatoes), regularly fed our new friend Maggie (who promptly took our offerings to her babies in the nest above our site) and worked on our blogs. We even started an Instagram account! Check us out, if you’re into Instagram.
We did do a little bit of sight seeing. Spent a day driving out the West Beach and up the coast past the Port of Adelaide to where the cruise ships come in.
We also caught the train into the CBD where we hired bikes through an app, and rode along the Torrens River. Then we had lunch in a pub, and I think we probably spent more time in the pub than we did on the bikes.
The closest town to our campsite was Gawler, and it had everything we needed: Aldi and Dan Murphys. Seriously, we’re pretty happy campers if we’ve got a budget supermarket and bottle store close by. (And we’re really looking forward to getting back to NSW where we’ll only need Aldi because they have their own bottle store inside the supermarket. With French bubbles!)
Gawler also has a swimming pool which we visited a couple of times. I’d like to say it was so that we could get some exercise by doing laps in their outdoor heated pool… but it was really so that we could have proper showers with plenty of water pressure to wash my hair.
We got to hang out a couple of times with Bens primary school friend (who he hadn’t seen in 30 years!) and his wife. (Thanks Mark and Beth!) We had some really nice times with them.
But, finally, we felt the urge to move on. We could have stayed in our idyllic campsite in the forest until the end of November, but the feet were starting to itch again, so move on we did.
The day that we packed up and moved, it started raining. Thankfully, not until AFTER we’d packed up! But it was bucketing down by the time we hit the road and headed north-east into the (Murray) Riverland.
Unfortunately, we didn’t know that the Riverland is a quarantined area so you can’t bring fresh fruits and vegetables into the area. But we had a huge fruit salad, a salad and quite a lot of fruit and veges in our fridge! So we parked next to the quarantine bin and sat there in our car scoffing as much of the yummy fruit salad as we could! We polished off the fruit salad, but the rest of our goodies had to go straight in the bin.
By the time we reached Barmera the rain had eased off a bit, but it was getting late so we found a spot at the huge free camping site on the east side of Lake Bonney. Set up our tent and then this:
That sunset was just so stunning that I didn’t know what to do with myself. We stared in awe, we took photos, we scooted up the little hill behind our tent, we sat in the tent with our glasses of cider and beer; then we’d duck outside again down to the waters edge to try and drink in all the beauty. It was mesmerising and invigorating and humbling, all at the same time.
And then the next day the wind started. We lost our awning roof in one gust, it just flipped up over the tent (still attached, thank goodness) flinging all the poles, guy ropes and pegs like a catapult. We resorted to parking the car on the windy side and tying the tent to the car; the pegs having no staying power in the sand.
Oh no… not again!
Next day we left this lovely little spot and travelled east across the border into Victoria. About an hour later we left Victoria as we crossed the border into NSW! We stopped just over the border in Wentworth to fill up, when Ben noticed a dribble of fresh oil on the side of the car, so he checked under the bonnet and sure enough, oil spitting out everywhere.
With somewhat deflated spirits we checked into the caravan park just 300m from the petrol station and looked up local mechanics. Oh hang on, no we didn’t… we checked in and set up our tent and then went straight to the pub for a drink!
The next day we looked for a mechanic and found one close by. As luck would have it, it was a Friday and he couldn’t look at it until Monday, so we’re stuck at this caravan park right on the banks of the Murray River, where the friendly geese and baby ducklings have decided our tent is a good place to visit. I’m delighted that they choose us… could also be that our site turned into a bit of a pond in the overnight rain.
I could think of worse places to be stuck..
Chalks Camp – Mt Crawford Forest Reserve
2nd – 23rd October
Unpowered site – $20 per week
Lake Bonney Free Camp
24th – 25th October
Wentworth Willow Bend Caravan Park
26th – 29th October
Powered site – $27 per night
BP Gawler $1.279/L
BP Evanston $1.209/L
Caltex Wentworth $1.289/L