Travel Day

We were on the road by 9:48 this morning. A testament to a great night’s sleep after a great day in the city of Adelaide. While I shopped, lunched and completed tasks in the city yesterday, Basil took over the role of Domestic Goddess: he chased two loads of washing around and fitted a new filter to the truck. I have to say he has a more versatile skill set than me and I appreciate his talent as he moves between the laundry Sadie, Bob the Builder and Mike the Mechanic.

Emily, the lady who lives in our GPS, took us through Adelaide and north to the open road of the Adelaide Plains and beyond. It was slow leaving the city as roadworks frequently held up traffic and there was a motor accident on the other side of the road that held our side up (how does that work?). However, Adelaide is a growing city which the State Government recognises hence the need to upgrade the north-south roading corridor to keep pace with current and future planned growth.

The dual carriageway is in reasonable condition although we stopped to check the tyres of both the Colorado and Coddiwomple as there was an unsettling sway happening. We decided it must have been the road condition as the tyres were good, no wind to cause concern so we continued without further problems.

Central Adelaide Plains, South Australia

The Adelaide Plains start in the south from the Adelaide CBD (Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia), moves through the central and non-metropolitan subset of the plain from the Gawler River in the south to the Wild Horse Plains and Grace Plains north of Dublin. This central-plains region is considered the breadbasket of South Australia with market gardens and wineries responding well to the area’s climate. Despite arid conditions, the northern plains region is well suited to grow cereal, wheat, barley, canola and sheep farming.

Country South Australia

We plugged in our audiobook – Bridge of Clay – and settled into a comfortable towing speed and watched the landscape change from the built-up metropolis to vast dry plains that stretch beyond the horizon. By mid-morning, we were ready for a stop and pulled into Port Wakefield to boil the billy for a hot cuppa and loo stop.

Depicts Matthew Flinders, the local Kaurna people at the time of his visit on 30th March 1802. The tent marked the first settlement in 1850, with the salt works and opening up of farming land being the first local industries. A rail link to Yorke Peninsula was established between 1867 – 1870.
During the 1850s the local port developed into a major export point for copper ore from Burra Burra and local grain and wool. “Jack Brabham” won his first Grand Prix on 10th October 1955 at a track at Port Wakefield and “The Roadhouse trip” was born with the Shell Roadhouse opened in October 1955 and only the second in South Australia.
The final mural depicts the transition to modern times and the establishment of the Army Proof Range in 1926. The growth of the local fishing industry and development of the wharf area took place and in 1999 the Primo Port Wakefield Abbatoir heralded a new era of industry to the local area.

It was a short stop and we had our hot drinks in the cab and rejoined the road. By this time, the road had narrowed to two lanes and road conditions had deteriorated considerably. The 4×4 truck is not the comfortable ride of our previous vehicle and every bump and lurch along the road tossed us about the cab. But this is outback Australia and there will be thousands of kilometres to cover before road conditions improve.

Out of nowhere, we came across the town of Kadina with a substantial shopping complex where we restocked with fresh fruit and vegetables. At this point, we were travelling parallel to the ocean to our left.

Water Tower Art at Kadina. The steam engine represents the rail line that ran alongside the tower and poppies for a soldier memorial. 
This Water tower is in Frances Terrace, Kadina and was painted by mural artist Resio. It depicts an image of a young maypole girl holding copper and wheat, signifying the Cornish history of the area

We stopped for lunch at a town alongside the picturesque but windy coastline at the western end of the Yorke Peninsula.

Wallaroo is a port town: one of the three Copper Triangle towns famed for their historic shared copper mining industry, and known together as “Little Cornwall”, the other two being Kadina, about 8 kilometres (5 mi) to the east, and Moonta, about 18 kilometres (11 mi) south. In 2015, Wallaroo had an estimated population of 4,010, so it is a reasonable town. Sourced from here: Wallaroo

We gazed out the caravan windows and remembered our two weeks on the Yorke Peninsula last year. It was the wind that drove us away then and it would be the wind that keeps us moving again. Basil assures me “the weather is on the improve” but his perspective is limited to sunshine and temperature. Mine is rather broader and no amount of sunshine and heat minimises the impact of wind. I’m amused by the variance in reports between our phone apps yet between them reality can be a surprise.

With the two young blokes camped at Alford we have increased the town square population to 49: apparently 45 others live on surrounding farms. The town/village takes its name from one of South Australia’s leading police officers, Henry Alford. Lentils and barley are grown here and what stubble there is on the ground is kept in check by sheep between growing seasons.

Breakfast with the Galahs

There is a 6-hole golf course and I’m betting the 7th hole is a lively place when the town turns out for golf day.

It is an hospitable small country town and the Recreation Park where we have a one-nightery is located on the site of the old Alford Primary School which closed in 2004 due to declining numbers. With the exception of one building, retained for historical significance, the old school buildings were removed. A BBQ shelter has been constructed and significant plantings will, when mature, make this an oasis for other campers.

There is a large flock of Galahs, full of antics, to amuse the camping breakfaster

The townsfolk have thought of everything to encourage campers, caravanners and visitors to Alford. The facilities include a well maintained toilet block, including a toilet for those with a disability, an electric BBQ, shade shelters and picnic tables, a lawned area, and clothes line. There is even a dump point, something every caravanner appreciates as these can be hard to locate in remote areas.

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am excited to be riding alongside Basil sitting high in the cab of the truck as we take to the open road again. The past two and a half weeks have been spent getting to and attending a wedding but we have started our road trip 2020 today and I am looking forward to being away from the hustle of the city and routine. I am grateful to have a safe place to stop for the night and the thoughtfulness of the local community.

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