Day 109 - 30th July
Yambuk to Carpenter Rocks
Distance Travelled - 324.1 km
Had a fairly disrupted night waking up at 1am after going to bed at about 9.30pm. Couldn't get back to sleep for ages, eventually falling asleep sometime after 2.30 am. Woke another couple of times between then and 7 am when I finally got out of bed. Went for a wander and saw a magnificent sunrise creep out from under a cloud ridden sky.
Had breakfast and set off towards Portland. Just before I pulled up last night the fuel light came on and the car computer indicated that there was still 150 km of fuel left. As I travelled the first 25 km the computer readout dropped to 110 km. I stopped on the side of the road to take a quick photo of a fence full of shoes and when I returned to the car the engine was off. The engine wouldn't start even though it was turning over. Tried a second time and it came to life coughing and spluttering and then settled. As I drove along the next 5 km or so the car kept surging and losing power. Concerned that I was going to completely run out of fuel I pulled over, put on the hazard lights and popped the bonnet. I had just popped the bonnet when a guy pulled up behind me to see if he could help. He took me into Portland with my jerry can so I could get fuel. He was most apologetic that he had an appointment he had to keep otherwise he would have taken me straight back out.
As I finished filling up the container a guy came into the service station and was fuelling up when I asked him if he was heading towards Yambuk. He replied no but asked why. After explaining my predicament he said he was happy to take me back to the car anyway. I said not to worry as he wasn't going that way but he was adamant that he would do it. He dropped me off and left on his way, smiling and waving as he went. Emptied the fuel into the car and tried starting it with no luck, managing only to flatten the battery after two attempts at starting. Got out the jumper leads and started trying to get someone to stop and help me. It was very overcast and threatening to rain which ruled out the possibility of using the solar panels.
I was surprised to see a woman stop but did not want to worry her so I said I was uncomfortable using a new car to jump start mine but thanked for being prepared to stop. A minute after she left a guy in an old Telstra ute stopped. We decided we needed to prime the fuel and worked out how to do that and then set up the jumper leads and fairly soon got the car going. About 2 minutes after he left the rain came down and stayed with me for the next few hours.
Drove through to Portland and dodged the rain to take photos of the 2 lighthouses close to the town, Whalers Bluff lighthouse and Cape Nelson. Grabbed some lunch and posted the blog at the local library before heading off towards Mt Gambier in SA.
Drove through with strong winds and persistent light rain. Went to the visitor centre and got some info about lighthouse locations from a very helpful lady and then went off in search of them. Passed a fire station on the way so decided to call in and see if I could get a quick squiz at the station. 1.5 hours later I got away having had a really interesting talk with the station officer and a very in-depth tour of the station. Came out of the station to rain absolutely pelting down and wind whipping through, most unhappy tenting weather.
Headed out to the Cape Northumberland lighthouse and pulled up, sitting in the car for a while waiting for the rain to ease. Should have gone out sooner because just as I was getting out another car came in. The guy got out and asked what I was doing there. I explained what I was doing and asked if it was okay to take a photo of the lighthouse as there was a chain across the short road leading to the lighthouse. I was told in no uncertain terms to get lost and no I could NOT take photos of the lighthouse, it is on private property. He reiterated my need to leave and turned and walked off toward the nearby house, an old keepers cottage. I turned and took a quick snap of the lighthouse from where I was just to spite him, even though it was not the best of shots. I don't mind being told I can't access places but there is no need for that level of rudeness or hostility.
Left there and headed to Carpenter Rocks and the Cape Banks lighthouse. Dodged the rain and got a few shots before finding a place nearby to camp the night. There is a shelter that should offer adequate cover but I will wait until nearly bed time before setting up to see what happens with the weather and decide then whether to sleep in the car or tent tonight.
Tomorrow I will head towards the next set of lighthouses, starting with Cape Martin at Beachport, then Robe and then possibly Kingston Foreshore, Cape Jaffa and Point Malcolm. I doubt I will get all of them done tomorrow but who knows. Saturday I will head towards Adelaide I am guessing and then it will be the beginning of the final leg back to Southern Cross.
Cape Northumberland lighthouse (stolen photo)