We set off on Monday morning - with a ridicuously full car - you wouldn't think two people could have so much stuff for two days camping, but it builds up quickly once you start with the cool box, tent and camping chairs. We drove down the coast (via a supermarket and petrol station to pick up supplies) and we had arrived at the campsite by about one o'clock. So we set up camp (with Charlie and Sue's new tent which was spacious and lovely) and then had a picnic lunch. The campsite was a lovely wooded area of stringybark trees so it was easy to find a site with enough shade that was flat and everything. The picnic was great - crusty granary rools with ham cheese, tomatoes, salad and grapes. Yummy.
After we'd eaten we drove to the top of one of the hikes we'd chosen to do - the Aaron creek circuit hike. We set off and at first it was a beautiful kind of rolling hill countryside which felt a bit like home and a bit like Tuscany too. It was quite windy which was so refreshing and the scenery just kept getting more stunning as we went on. At one point there was a huge hillside which had loads of kangaroos on it - just living on it - and some of them were really big. It's really dramatic when they are grazing and then they notice you and they all sit up - and when you get to close for comfort they all bound off.
So the walk continued to the top of a lovely hill where there was a gorgeous view out to the sea before wending down into a deep valley where there is a big river and waterfall - or there should be if there was any water in it! The rocky craggedy path was just the right amount of rocky and we met nobody else on the trail so it felt very close to nature. We saw a wedge tailed eagle, a few crescent honeyeaters and a white chested tree creeper. On the way back up over the hillside it was getting late in the afternoon and there were literally hundreds of kangaroos that had obviously woken up after their afternoon naps so they were beautiful.
We headed back to camp and had our picnic dinner while it was still light - cheese, biscuis, ham, salad, crisps, and grapes and wine :-). We had an unexpectedly close encounter with a kookaburra, as we had thrown a few iffy grapes into the bush and we realised that a kookaburra was coming down to fetch them - so that was really wonderful. We got so close and he was so big and beautiful. We also had crimson rosellas and a huge flock of galahs living in the trees surrounding the campsite so there was a lot of birding. So as it got dark we got ready for bed and fell asleep just about as soon as the galahs had stopped partying.
In the morning we were woken by the birds at about 7. We had a lovely picnic breakfast of yoghurt and fruit and OJ before packing up the tent and packing up the car and driving to another area of the park to do our second hike of the trip - the Deep Creek Cove Hike. We began the hike at about 9:45 which slowly wended through shrubs which were literally as tall as Jimmy. We could hear lots of birds but they were really difficult to spot and identify - though we did manage to ID a whole flock of Australian King Parrots which were beautiful. As the hike went on it began to get rockier and was slowly getting steeper as we went down into the Deep Creek gorge.
We saw a really cute lizard, called a skink, sitting on a rock too which was lovely. The last fifth of the hike was really quite steep heading down right to the river side and to the mouth of the Deep Creek. The view was hidden from us for most of the walk, but when we got down the view was spectacular. There were swallows nesting in the gorge walls - and there was actually some water in the creek! It was our first glimpse of the full power of the Southern Ocean (as Adelaide is in a gulf) and the waves were crashing in. In the storm of it all there was a white faced heron watching us. It was really beautiful. But eventually we had to drag ourselves away and get back up the gorge before it got too hot.
Back in the car we set off on a different route back to Adelaide (it was a roadtrip after all) so we went first of all to Victor Harbour and then to Goolwa. Victor Harbour was cool - we only stopped for a picnic for a short while but we saw Granite Island (where they have penguins living! - crazy I know, but you can only see them at dawn and dusk). We finished up the rest of the food and drink before stocking up on water and heading further along the coast to Goolwa.
Goolwa was lovely. We drove through the town centre and out the other side and drove over onto Hindmarsh Island to get a view of the mouth of the Murray River in Coorong National Park. The Murray River was one of Australia's biggest rivers, (though lots of it gets abstracted upstream) and there's a really big project trying to protect the mouth of the river. But the scenery is fantastic - there's a huge sand bar running along the coast and there's a break at the mouth of the Murray, and behind the sand bar is Lake Alexandria which has this gorgeous gorgeous turquoise clear water that makes it so beautiful. At one point we saw a strange shape in the water that was really dark and we couldn't work out what it was - and with the help of the binocks we managed to identify what we were seeing - a sealion!
It was lying on its back holding one of its flippers up in the air, almost as if it was trying to use its flipper as a sail. It was soooo cool. So the Coorong NP was a big hit and we hope to try and visit the other side when we set off on the drive to Melbourne next Monday. In the surrounding wetlands there are lots of birds, pelicans, black swans and ibises, though we couldn't stay long and had to get back on the road back to Adelaide.
Then in the evening we were happy just to get back for a shower, a dip in the spa and to a lovely homemade curry with barbecued Tandoori chicken with Charlie and Sue. We spent the rest of the evening relaxing on the balcony before crashing out into deep sleep.
So that is us fully up to date! (would you believe it!) We hope you're all having fun at home, we miss you all. Love to everybody xxxx