Backpacking Pensioners travel blog


Jeff; Whyalla to Port Lincoln

At the start of the day we expected to travel the 166 miles to Port Lincoln and be resident that night. The journey travelled through bush lands and farmlands which were mostly growing wheat, and had some views of the coast. Each town had a fishing fleet and the nightly news gave a resume of the catches for each one. We broke our journey to visit the main towns, none of them very big; missing out the small villages which were at the end of a few kilometres of unsealed roads. A feature of the journey was the very large groups of silos for storing wheat which was clearly a major product of the Eyre Peninsular. It was a rare day when the weather was overcast and there were numerous showers. These were very welcome to the locals but did not show the towns at their best.

Whilst looking at the local scenery and visiting the harbour towns, we checked for garages which might be able to perform our needed 10,000 k service. Eventually, at Tumby Bay, 29 miles short of Port Lincoln, we found a garage which promised to do the task at 8.30am the next day.

Tumby Bay proved to be a very nice place and the camp site was at one end of what at home would be called the esplanade. We talked with two very experienced motor homers in the centre of the town and learned we were addressing the President of the Cairns branch of the club we are members of. Information was exchanged and we have promised to contact them when we eventually are in their area. What nice people, unfortunately their main rally known as 'Christmas in July' may not fit in with our schedule and we may not be able to attend this rally of the Far North Nomads of Cairns.

It is now Friday. Getting to the garage for 8.30am proved to be a chore; retirement seems to make you lazy, or maybe I always was and nothing has really changed. The owner informed he was unable to obtain the necessary oil filters and did not know when he would be able to do so. Disappointed, we travelled on to Port Lincoln. Where would we spend Christmas? We wanted the van to be serviced before we crossed the Nullarbor desert, a total journey from Port Lincoln of 1,187 miles to our next destination.

Whilst visiting the Tourist Information Centre at Port Lincoln we learned of an internet service at the new Sports Complex on the edge of town and a caravan/motor home repair centre. A telephone call learned they only did the back part of the motorhome and a garage was recommended. A further telephone call and a garage visit brought the promise of the necessary oil filters being procured for Monday and the work carried out at 8am. Surprisingly we actually felt grateful at the thought of being at the garage at 8am.

The Sports Complex was a very big place with various sports fields which shared the new facilities in the big new building in the middle; there were loads of car parking spaces. This Centre was only opened 6 months ago. We used the internet wireless facility in the spacious dining/function room and was told it was free and could also be accessed from our vehicle in the car park. It was a very impressive place and we booked a table for 6pm for an evening meal.

Sylvia had badgered me for days about a bus, van, what ever you drive self washing facility at a garage in Port Lincoln, which proved to be near the Sports Centre. I will have to stop her reading up in advance of where we will be travelling. There was no way out for me and with bad grace I pulled in to the garage. Two dollars, (83 pence), for 4 minutes; change to which ever service was required and the time continues whilst you do this. When using the 'high pressure' you must be very careful and keep behind the jet as it could injure.

Well, I armed Sylvia with some 2 dollar coins and placed her beside the machine which selects the service required and was situated near the back of the van. The 'high pressure wash' was not working; I tried the pre-wash which proved to be an ineffective thin jet of water which wetted the front, back, and one side of the van. Sylvia then pressed the buttons to switch the service to the left hand side and armed with that hose I did the remaining side. 2 dollars down and we have a wet van. We tried the soft soap brush and 4 minutes later we had a wet soapy van. So far so good!

Next the high pressure rinse. What a jet of water. The soap began to disappear from the van showing the bits I had missed with the soft brush. After doing the back of the van I needed the jet to be switched off and changed to the left hand facility. Sylvia had gone; where was she? I later learned she was messing with the soapy brush on the bits she could reach which I had missed. I could not move from the back until I knew where she was. The back of the van got a very good high powered rinse and another 2 dollars were exhausted. When the time ran out and the water stopped I located Sylvia and insisted she remained by the machine. She thought the situation very funny and I was pleased our camera was inside the van as I don't think the water rinse had managed to remove all of the soap I had acquired during my labour. (A video of my attempts could have been a best seller).

After spending 10 dollars and having a much cleaner van and driver, we found our camp site which was in a very picturesque area; it would be difficult for it not to be at Port Lincoln. After a change of clothing we returned to the Sports Complex and each had an excellent meal of locally caught fish. This is not a bad place to have to spend the weekend.



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