Saturday, October 24, 2015

Carpenter Rocks - Coorong National Park: AWD Learning

It was a dark and stormy night. The rain came down in torrents. And there were wolves on the mountain.
Naa, more along the line: It was a dark and stormy night. The condensation dripped from the bivi tent in torrents. And there were Roos on the hill.
The night was pretty chilly and windy, considering all things, and I woke up about five times just due to being cold. My sleeping bag is just a bit to short for me, so I'll see how I end up with it. After packing everything up I made a mental checklist of what I needed and continued on to the next large town with a supermarket. Being Australia that can be quiet a distance away. I drove through an area named the German Flat and wondered as to how that got it's name. Once I got there, I saw why. Dozens of windmills, all plastered along the coastline.
I reached a town called Millicent and did my shopping in Woolworths. Bought a heap of Baked Beans and other canned stuff. Also some fire lighters and an apple for breakfast.Got a road map of Australia, with a few off-road tracks shown in it, too. After re-fuelling I drove towards Beachport. On the way there I saw some indications that you can drive on the beaches, but only with 4WD. As my car has got power to all wheels I thought I'd just give it a go and a few moments later I was cruising along the beach instead of the main road. A few minutes later I was bogged in deep sand with the tide coming in just a few metres away. Shitshitshitshitshit.
Let down the tire pressure to about 20PSI and wouldn't come out. Dug out the wheels, wouldn't come free. At about that time a local surfer who had seen me came along and helped to get it out. In the end we dropped the pressure down to about 10PSI and dug out even more sand than before. Reversed out at high speed, did a U-turn and drove the surfer back to his car. If he hadn't had to go to a basketball game of his kid I would have brought him a beer. After saying many thanks and getting the tire pressure back up I carried on along the main road to Beachport and had a brilliant scenic drive along the coastline. Stopped at a rock called the Post Office Rock and had a climb around it. Carried on towards Robe after that and the temperatures were rising. Considering Robe is a beach resort town it was surprisingly empty on the roads getting there, even if it was the weekend. Hot and empty I was happy to have lots of water with me. In Robe I had lunch at a bakery and enjoyed a cool drink before heading of to Kingston SE. Once again empty road. Driving at 80km/h I only met a few people on the Princes highway. Went to a beach somewhere between vineyards and had a swim. Tons of cobwebs were coming in somewhere from out at sea with baby spiders on them, so I got back to the car as soon as I could. Carrying on along the highway it was the same as before: long, hot and empty. The Outback is even more desolate, thought. After checking in on a free camp site near some stones sticking out of the water called the Granites, and finding out it was all concrete so I couldn't pitch a tent I carried on to the next camp site in the Coorong National Park. The 32 mile camp site was no where to be found, not on the internet and not at the actual place it was supposed to be. Only a beach acces road which I had a go at and failed to get up the last ramp of sand. Getting there I met two emus, a stubby locking lizard and a deer hoped out five metres in front of the car. The deer surprised me, would have thought of kangaroos, but not deer. 
After getting back on the main highway I carried on to the next camp site, labelled 42 mile camp. After failing to book online and them not taking the phone to pay the fee I just went in and put up my tent. I am not going to be driving in the dark unless it is absolutely necessary. Walked 1,8km to the beach with the fishing gear on the back, hoping for some free dinner. The beach was filled with fishermen and a family of them (Grandad, Son, Grandson) invited me over for a beer. Had a good dinner, fun chat and some exitment when a massive something hooked up on one of the lines in the middle of the night (which broke the line in the end). In the end one of the guys drove me back and we packed up my stuff and I followed him back. It's different when you have someone with a 4WD and a tow rope with you than being on your own. Built up my camp near theirs and had a few more beers and a stingray on the line before heading of to bed with the ocean just a bit away.

Total Distance: 518km

1 comment:

  1. Wow. What an adventure. Did more or less the same thing as you at your age, but people kept shooting at me.