Thursday, 23 April 2015

Day 9

Macclesfield to Kangaroo Island

Distance Travelled - 167.4 km

Today started with a short trip to Strathalbyn - about 11km away to look at a few book shops that were unfortunately both closed when I got there but I did enjoy some time wandering through a couple of antique shops looking at some cool stuff.

After arriving back at Aunty Jan and Uncle John's I repacked most of the gear into the car and headed off to catch the ferry to Kangaroo Island. It was a very pleasant and pretty drive down to the ferry at Cape Jervis. I was booked on the 4pm ferry but when I checked in at 2.30pm they said they could squeeze me on the 3pm trip so I waited to drive the car on and then boarded. I survived the 45min crossing without mishap or any real feeling off seasickness (maybe my Antarctic trip has cured me?).

Arriving on Kangaroo Island I quickly visited the Visitor Information Centre who were very helpful even though in essence we got nowhere. Cape St Alban's lighthouse is on private land and they were trying to hunt someone down who could open gates etc for me at some stage. Eventually they took my number and are going to get back to me when they find something out.

Leaving there I headed out to Willoughby Lighthouse, getting there as they officially closed for the day. Sneaked around the back and took a few photos before heading to the nearby Zest and Thyme Cafe to ask a few questions. It was just on closing time for them but they were very happy to talk and offered me the use of their grounds to camp on overnight, particularly as I was wanting to do some night photography of the light in action.

After an average tea of spaghetti bolognaise, I headed back to the lighthouse, jumped the fence and set up to do some night photography. It was very windy and even on the heavy tripod the camera was having trouble staying steady. Spent about 90 mins trying to get a few shots before leaving to go to bed. Hopefully a good sunrise tomorrow will make up for the lack of night photography.

                                           Late afternoon at Cape Willoughby Lighthouse

Night shot of Cape Willoughby Lighthouse

Day 11

Cape Willoughby, Kangaroo Island to Cape Borda, Kangaroo Island

Distance Travelled - 184.5km

It was very windy last night making photography a little difficult as even on the heavy tripod the camera was moving a bit on occasion. After a couple of hours I decided enough was enough and went back to camp outside the Cafe. After a good sleep I awoke to the sound of my phone alarm and got out of bed to get some sunrise photos featuring the lighthouse. Got a few that look ok.

After that hung around until Liz and Mos came to work at the Cafe and had a very nice coffee with scrambled eggs, bacon and a ham and cheese croissant for breakfast whilst we talked photos and emergency services stuff as they are both in the volunteer ambulance on Kangaroo Island. During the morning I realised I had lost my ring that I got for my 21st birthday. Searched the car park, sleeping bag and stretcher tent and the area surrounding the car and where I had slept, all to no avail. Went to the lighthouse and explained to them I had lost it, possibly during night photography and went and the searched the areas I had covered but still no luck. Both groups took my name and number in case it turns up - apparently Adele at the lighthouse found a SD card from a phone 7 years after it had been lost and still had the contact numbers so was able to return it so who knows.

After a significant chat all things lighthouse with Adele I went back to the Visitor Centre to see if there was any update on the Cape St Albans lighthouse situation. Whilst I was there a few more calls were made with the final outcome being that it appears I can take my car as far the gate and then walk the rest of the way if I wish but that is the only option so at the moment that is planned for Friday morning.

Spent the afternoon driving to Cape Borda and sorting stuff for night photos. Did a quick tour of the surrounding area and some of the spectacular scenery and then read for awhile before heading back to the lighthouse just after 5pm to start work. Cape Borda has the traditional beam light but has 4 beams operating at once making it difficult to get the shot I want but hopefully, although not what I want, some might be ok.

After a couple of hours there I returned to a spot not far down the road where I decided to camp for the night, made tea, wrote my entry and prepared for bed ready for sunrise photos again tomorrow before heading down to Cape de Couedic lighthouse and possibly the Kelly Caves before heading back out towards Cape Willoughby and Cape St Albans.

                                           Morning Visitors outside Zest and Thyme CafĂ©

                                            Early morning at Cape Willoughby Lighthouse

                                           Early morning at Cape Willoughby Lighthouse 2

                                                              Cape Borda Lighthouse

                                                                     Scott's Cove

Way too much noise, but a start on the type of image I eventually want to capture, this is Cape Borda Lighthouse at about 8.30pm.

Day 12

Cape Borda to Cape De Couedic to Cape Willoughby

Distance Travelled - 258.6 km

Woke up early to another overcast sky and with it went hopes of sunrise photography but ever hopeful I drove back to lighthouse and did a few more shots before heading off towards Cape De Couedic. A pleasant drive through the bush on a gravel track rather than the slightly short sealed road before arriving at the Flinders Chase National Park Visitor Centre. Despite having bought a National Parks Pass for South Australia for $80 (I still find it weird that you can't buy a National, National Parks Pass but need to buy a NATIONAL Parks pass for each state as you go) I had to pay $10 for day entry to the park and then $4 for a shower! - even the showers at Eucla only cost $1.00.

Left the Visitor Centre and went to Cape de Couedic lighthouse which I think is the nicest looking one so far. Took a few snaps and then headed down to Admirals Arch - a coastline feature made by the sea eroding the rocks. As much as I wanted to think it was grand it really paled into insignificance with stuff from Antarctica. I hope the trip to Antarctica has not spoiled me for appreciating other sights around Oz. Lots of signs about the sea lions which were mere specks compared to how close I was to them in January.

Left the arch and went to a place called Remarkable Rocks which I did say imp\pressed me somewhat. Lots of weird shaped rocks caused by the erosion but I struggled with inconsiderate tourists who kept walking in front of me when I was trying to take photos. One in particular was lucky not to get a serve from me. I had waited about 10 minutes whilst a tour group went through and had tried several times to sneak the shot I was wanting in hoping to snap it in between people moving through but no such luck. This family could, I think, clearly see what was happening and after the group had moved off and I was about to take my photo they moved right into my frame - see attached picture. Then to really top it off the father turned around and asked me if I would take a family shot for them. I smiled and obliged, uncharitably thinking the whole time how I could accidently fumble the camera after the shot to cause some sort of damage to the camera or cause the shot not to work. Fought off the urge and after they had finished their next set of poses for each other I got to take my shot some 20 minutes after I first tried.

Leaving the rocks to fall on annoying and inconsiderate people, I started heading back towards Penneshaw, stopping at the Kelly Hills Caves for the tour of the cave. It was very well set up with minimal lighting showing off particularly good stalagmites, stalactites, helitites, columns, straws and other decorations. The guide was very good and we spent a few minutes after the tour discussing various things.

Left the caves and headed out to Cape Willoughby were I called in to the Zest and Thyme Cafe for a  coffee and chat. If anyone comes over here I heartily recommend the Cafe, great food, good coffee (albeit from a minimist coffee drinkers perspective) and wonderful hosts. Eventually left there at closing time and headed the short distance out a side road as far as allowed ready to trek in few kilometres to last of the lighthouses here on Kangaroo Island. Cape St Albans is on private property but I have been given permission to drive in as far as the gate and then walk in so hopefully that will go ok.

Just before I left the Cafe, got a text from the ferry company informing me that due to forecast extreme weather conditions they may have to cancel trips tomorrow but will confirm at 6am tomorrow so I might be here longer than expected. Anyway, enough drivel for now - time to get on with sorting some of todays photos.

                                                           Cape de Couedic Lighthouse

                                                                      Admirals Arch

Just as I was getting ready to shoot, camera to my eye, this moron walked in front and called his  
                                                                 family in for his shot.

                                                                Remarkable Rocks 1

                                                               Remarkable Rocks 2

Original Entrance to Kelly Hill Cave
Cave Formations 1
                                                                Cave Formations 2

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