27th January 2006 -Port Fairy in Victoria

Hello again.
I hope everybody had a good Christmas and new year. While England was freezing, we baked in record temperatures just north of Adelaide.

The day after enduring temperatures in the 40's, the weather changed to overcast with low 20's. We couldn't believe that such a dramatic change could happen. Joan even got her fleece out from under the seat.

We have not been putting so much on the website for two reasons. Firstly, public internet access is not so easy to find here, and secondly it is generally expensive at about 2.50gbp an hour. During our travels, internet price and access has always been better in poorer countries.

After the very high temperatures, the weather settled to nice and warm but very windy. Our route now took us westwards in South Australia around the Eyre peninsula. All the campsites were very busy as the children are still on holiday until the end of january, but we never had problems getting in. The campsites vary in price and amenities but charge about 7gbp on average. This gives us a large site and amenities such as camp kitchen with fridge etc. and good showers and toilets. A site with electric is about a pound more but we don't need it as we an use our 12v light for a few days.

The beaches around here have many crabs. These are bright blue and called blue swimmers. Australians catch lots of them in baited nets and by raking them from the sand at low tide. Aftereight minutes cooking they are ready to eat. We bought a crab rake and tried our luck. The technique, we were told, was to paddle around in knee deep water and rake the sand for the crabs which bury themselves just below the surface. David found that the best technique was to wait until a scream indicated that Joan had trodden on one which latched itself to her foot. He then raked the area and caught it. After half an hour of this we had caught six nice crabs and cut our feet to ribbons on sharp razorshells. Still, they tasted good with a salad.

We have also caught squid from piers using a dead fish with a many spiked attachment called a aquid-jag. As the squid attacks the fish it gets caught on the spikes. Although not eaten much in England, squid is very tasty and those caught around here are quite big - about a foot long excluding tentacles. Other fish David catches are Garfish, mullet, sea bream and whiting - all edible.

Eventually we made our way inland back to Port Augusta and travelled around the Yorke Peninsula which is opposite Adelaide and home to large commercial oysterbeds. Joan has never eaten an oyster and still hasn't.

As usual on our travel we pop into antique shops to see whats going and find here that most of the goods are from England and are more expensive. By the way, if anything is described as Victorian here it doesn't have to be old - it just comes from Victoria. In fact, some people we meet proudly introduce themselves as Victorian. We reply "Really, you don't look that old!" Wherever we go, there are many different parrots of all colours and some we have seen are quite rare. Wedge tailed eagles frequent the outback.

In S.Australia we saw many Stump tailed lizards or skinks but still snakes are not often seen. Joan had a large Praying mantis land on her which David had to remove. We still haven't seen a wild Koala yet. At the moment we are near the border of South Australia and Victoria where the main wine areas are.

Regards,

Dave and Joan Wooldridge