Day 38 Tumby Bay to Cowell

The last couple of days have been pretty full on so it’s not surprising that we are both feeling a little lack lustre. The constant wind is wearing us out, both because it usually makes riding rather difficult and because there is dust everywhere. Trying to draw and paint is also a challenge with paper blowing up and materials flying, ho hum.

My neck and shoulder are bothering me, which doesn’t exactly make for being jolly, though with the medications collected yesterday from Hibble’s Pharmacy there is improvement. As we weren’t in any rush to get to Cowell, Steve decided on a late start and we went for a short ride along the foreshore and then parked our bikes to go on a nature walk and mangrove boardwalk. I love the way the coastal areas around here have such diverse plant life: there seems to be at least four distinct regions…though I forgot to note them down so am a bit hazy, but there are mudflats, samphire saltmarshes, mangroves (now these are even more southern than at Bunbury.. see Day 2’s post) and areas of sand dunes that are covered with a huge variety of plants. A truly remarkable environment.

Being fascinated by the saltmarshes that we were seeing quite frequently, I decided I must record one, especially when there were examples of a pink leaved variety of samphire (?), well I think it was samphire anyway! Regardless, the contrast between the pink leaves, the white salt and the ochre coloured soils, often with olive green trees and other vegetation dotting these landscapes create such picturesque scenes I wanted to attempt to capture the beauty that we are experiencing. Samphire is also great for cooking I have just discovered, perhaps we will collect some and give it a go, especially as it seems to be a good match for seafood. Here are some recipes

Well, I started a watercolour pencil drawing, but as conditions were not ideal (I was sitting out the door of the passenger side of the car with board resting on my knee and pencils in the footwell next to me) things were not progressing too well, and feeling pretty crap I took lots of reference pics, packed up and went on my way towards Cowell. When there is some spare time (hahahahaha) I will try to work something up. I think it will make a beautiful oil painting too. I can dream.

 Arno Bay stopover

Steve and I meet up at Arno Bay, about half way. While he doesn’t have a headwind today, the cross wind is pretty strong and together with the white line safety corrugations on the side of the road, riding is hard work so far – he is quite tense from concentrating on riding on the 300 mm or so width of bitumen between the rumble strip and the edge of the road. We replenish while looking over yet another jetty – they are everywhere on the peninsular, and I resisted the urge to photograph this one! My cousin Natalie, who at one time worked as advisor to the State Minister responsible for Agriculture, tells me that the numerous jetties are due to SA’s agricultural history (sheep & grain) & shallowness of many bays – they were only way to get goods/produce in and out for many many years.

Off to Cowell, or more properly, Harbour View Caravan Park, which is on the other side of town. It is a rather nice and quite large park which plenty of choice of spots amongst the gum trees. Not so in a month: apparently there is a huge influx of fishermen for the crabs and whiting etc during February and March with (as the owners said) the grey nomads descending from places like the gold coast to take advantage of the good fishing. But for now it was pretty quiet, though the wind persists…

While waiting for Steve I got back to – you guessed it – some blogging. We are determined to catch up, and as I write this, I can tell you that I am writing about yesterday! Whoopi, nearly up to date…and Steve has to write up today’s effort.

It wasn’t too long before he arrived, and it had been a much better second half for him thankfully. When we went back to our site, we had some new neighbours, John and Donna plus 9 yo twins who very kindly offered us beers and chatted to us for a while as we sipped away. Turns out they were from Port Kennedy WA and had been holidaying in Victoria. They had seen the pod in Cocklebiddy on their way there and were now heading home – a slightly quicker trip than ours!

2016-01-06 14.51.18

After a dinner of, wait for it, jaffles with vegie stew leftovers (actually delicious, and becoming quite a staple) we turned in. We are sure the wind will subside one day – soon.

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