Saturday, 2 May 2015

Day 17  29th April

Yorketown to Point Troubridge via Minlaton

Distance Traveled - 129.9 km

Woke early to a slightly drippy tent due to condensation but not too bad. The outside was fairly heavily covered in moisture so I sat in my chair and spent a beautiful few hours watching the sunrise and fill the sky with a nice soft light. Eventually there was enough warmth to dry off the tent and then it was time to pack away and head off. It was about 9 o'clock by the time I left.

Backtracked a bit into Yorketown proper and then went about 30 km to Minlaton (stopping on occasions to take the odd photo or two) where one of the main tourist information centres are so I could post my blog and try and get more info on the lighthouses of the region. They were of some help supplying me with a pamphlet about the lighthouses but could not tell me any specifics about them other than what was in the pamphlet. Spent a bit of time walking around the town looking through the occasional shop and generally just meandering around.

Left Minlaton about 12ish and made my way back through Yorketown and back toward Edithburgh and then along the coast to Troubridge Point. On the way stopped to look at Wattle Point Wind Farm and some ruins of an old farm house. Took a quick look at the lighthouse and then went to one of the nearby rest stops and sat and read for a bit whilst I gave the solar panels a workout charging the Engel Fridge Battpack. Even in semi-overcast conditions it appeared to be working fine.

As the light began to fade I went back to the wind farm and farm ruins to take a few photos and then back to the lighthouse for more photos. It is very windy tonight, to the point that it blew out the gas burner about 4 times whilst I was cooking in the most protected spot I could find. Have set the tent up with the car as a shield as best I can so hopefully it wont be too blustery tonight. It appears the light for the lighthouse is not a beam but more of  LED lantern so no night photography tonight. Will try for some sunrise photos in the morning.
                                                           Sunday Lake Station ruins

                                                           Haybales near Yorketown

                                                             Wattle Point Wind Farm
                                               Farm Ruins near Wind Farm, Troubridge Point

                                                            Troubridge Point Lighthouse

Day 18  - 30th April

Troubridge Point Lighthouse to Cape Spencer Lighthouse

Distance Traveled - 106.5 km

Awoke a little later than usual lately to see the beginning of a wonderful sunrise and managed a few snaps - still to be determined if they worked or not. After enjoying the changing light I packed up and started the early drive to Cape Spencer. Stopped for a quick looksee at a place called Marion Bay but nothing of real interest to me there.

The drive was quite pleasant, with rabbits, emus and kangaroos all out and about in the early morning light, mostly obeying road rules and looking both ways for cars before crossing. There was also at least 5 or 6 different birds to be seen as well. Arrived at the campsite just before 9 o'clock and went straight to the lighthouse. It was still very pleasant light with a few clouds hanging around from the rain here last night although it was totally dry overnight where I was. Took a few snaps and headed to the campsite. Chatted to an elderly couple, Phillipa and Alan, from Victoria for a while and then began setting up. Got the solar panels out and connected it to the battery for the Engel and set up the table and chair and sat down to enjoy reading my book in the sun.

Had just started cooking lunch when another couple turned up. Who knew that you had to book particular bays at the campsite with the Visitor Centre and apparently I was in the one they had booked for their friends. 9 empty sites when I arrived and I picked one out of the two that were booked. So began the packing process to shift about 25 metres to another site so they could be close to their friends (now they would only be 20 metres away).

After re-unpacking and setting up I spent the rest of the day either reading, listening to music or walking through the bush - all very relaxing. Eventually made tea and then after eating visited the lighthouse to see if night shots were in order. However, the lighthouse light isn't really suitable and the near full moon makes it difficult to catch the light in sky so back to camp for computer work and then bed. Tomorrow I will travel to West Cape Lighthouse which looks like only a short travelling distance.

Troubrigde Point Lighthouse at sunrise

Cape Spencer Lighthouse

Cape Spencer Lighthouse

Althorpe Island Lighthouse as seen from Cape Spencer Lighthouse

Day 19 - 1st May

Cape Spencer Lighthouse to West Cape Lighthouse and Return

Distance Traveled - 34 km

Woke up in time to do some sunrise photos at the lighthouse and returned to a welcome  cup of coffee and set about drying off the tent from the overnight dew. Spent a pleasurable hour and a half enjoying the morning light and reading. Spoke to Phillipa and Alan and they suggested that the walk around an old town-site, Inneston, was well worth doing. Walking from the campsite to the old town-site and back, including time looking around the site, took just over an hour and a half. The town-site has some restored buildings, some of which you can rent out (minimum 2 nights) and others that are still ruins from when the Gypsum mine was there. For all you teachers out there there was also a chalk factory here which supplied a lot of schools  Australia wide with chalk for a long time.

Came back to camp, finished packing up ready to head off in search of West Cape Lighthouse. Called in to a few spots on the way to see pieces of the wrecked ship Ethel still very evident on the beach and a few other beaches and campsites. Found the West Cape lighthouse, built out of stainless steel in 1980, and took some photos in poor lighting conditions and headed back to the car. None of the new campsites looked as appealing as the one I had left so I decided to head back and camp there again.

Fire season finished yesterday so Alan had decided to have a small fire at their campsite and use it to cook tea over and asked if I would like to join them using the fire. I happily accepted and enjoyed a nice meal of chops and potato whilst they ate their fish and vegetables. The rest of the evening was spent chatting around the fire until the diminishing fire and cooling air forced them into their van.

Road closures just past here mean it is a little bit of back tracking tomorrow morning before heading to Corny Point for the next lighthouse.
                                                       Cape Spencer Lighthouse at sunrise

                                                                  Chalk Factory Sign

                                                            Chalk Factory, Inneston

                                                   Wreckage from the 'Ethel' shipwreck

                                                               West Cape Lighthouse

Day 20 - 2nd May

Cape Spencer to Corny Point Lighthouse

Distance Traveled - 61.8 km

Woke up to a cloudy sky with little chance of good sunrise light so turned over and managed to sleep until 7am. I had woken several times during the night to the sounds of rain and reasonable winds and was surprised to find that the tent was dry - guess the wind dried off the rain. There was also very little in the way of condensation. Had a coffee and spent time reading and enjoying the peaceful morning. Eventually got motivated to pack and left by about 9.30 am.

Drove over to Corny Point and arrived there by late morning. Even though I had taken the signed scenic route there was not really much scenicness to it until the last couple of km when you drove along the coast. The rest of it was pretty much non-descript farm land and a bit of scrub.

Took a few photos in deteriorating light and spent the rest of the until sunset listening to music, reading or walking around the lighthouse and surrounding areas. Only did a little bit of walking as my knees are really sore after climbing lots of steps yesterday - over 300 down and then up again in total over 4 or 5 different locations.

Around sunset went and took a few more photos before cooking some tea and waiting. The night sky is very clear and with a near full moon in a reasonable position to maybe illuminate the lighthouse a bit I might be able to so some night photography tonight.

Tomorrow I will travel to Wallaroo to try and see the lighthouse near Warburton Point. It seems to be officially called Tipara Reef but there is some confusion between what is on the map and articles / ads in the Yorke Peninsula Tourist Brochure from the information centre so I will have to wait and see what I discover, maybe there are 2. After Wallaroo it will be Port Pirie and then into the Flinders Ranges. 
                                                     Night shots of Corny Point Lighthouse

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