Drive to Thompson’s Beach

Off went the humans in convoy from Salisbury- Grumba and Spotrick in Vinnie, the blue Magna and Evangeline and Amelia-Jane in the Red Renegade (plus Kevin, of course). Armed with tasty goodies such as South Cape Brie and Maggie Beer Cabernet Paste cabernet paste, we set out for the wilds of Gawler, South Australia Gawler and perhaps, Thompson’s Beach.

Arriving in Gawler, we found it had at least entered the 20th century, with many new sets of traffic lights, roundabouts and the inevitable blocked familiar streets and route changes… uh-oh!

My instructions from Polly had been something to do with “Go to the end of Murray Street and keep going straight ahead to Clonlea Park and I’ll meet you at the information centre”… Hmm- well it wasn’t quite LIKE that!

We drove around in circles, Spotrick cursing and asking me (ME???) for directions and clearer instructions- which I didn’t have. Nor did we have my phone with Polly’s phone number. But- wait for it- of course we had Spotrick’s wondrous iPhone with GPS!!  Noooooo!!! Dang… no coverage with Vodaphone (or so we thought). After wondering WTF WTF WTF, I decided we should just get our gear, find a spot in the park and have the picnic.

We sat down and organised ourselves, Kevin having joyous encounters with numerous other excited and excitable pooches, usually attached to tiny children who didn’t weigh as much as their dogs! As soon as we started nomming into the feast, I spotted Polly and her sausage dog (Frankie) coming into the park.

After a few awkward and cranky-looking moments (poor Kirsten- we had stood her up badly through all the kerfuffle) we all settled down to start the picnic again. Everyone enjoyed the food and drink, including Polly, Kevin and Frankie.

Poinciana in Clonlea Park, Gawler

Poinciana in Clonlea Park, Gawler

After a short trot around the park- unable to ford the river because it was flowing too swiftly (miracle of the decade- drought had cut it down to a stinky reedbed for all of living memory)- we filled Kevin’s wool with corkscrew burrs and decided Thompson’s Beach was the next stop.

Cross country was pretty easy (actually on nice straight country back roads past barley fields and olive groves) and we reached the main North-South connection pretty quickly. We THOUGHT the road into Thompson’s Beach (Ruskin’s Road on the map) would be pretty soon as it looked just north of Middle Beach which had lots of signs. However, it proved quite elusive and we drove further and further North until Spotrick thought we’d end up in Port Augutta! SO a roadside confab ensued. Since there were signs to Dublin all along the way, the roadside meeting agreed we would go to the townlet of Dublin for a coffee then head home- the same sign to Dublin also said “Thompson’s Beach”. Yippee!!

Dublin barely existed, but we pulled up in front of the General Store and investigated- they had a kettle but no coffee. Problemo!! Ahhh- Nil problemo- the pub was opposite- surely a pub would have coffee as well as beer?? Well- not quite… the pub had poker machines as well as beer. BUT!!!!! The girl behind the bar said we could make ourselves a free tea or coffee in the pokies room, because the law said there must be non alcoholic drinks available for poker machine players at the pub so they weren’t compelled to get drunk in order to play! Problem solvered- we tucked into the freebies and each put a dollar in the pokies!

Amelia-Jane actually won $2 for her dollar- so 2 coffees were free; Polly, Spotrick and I all used our dollars in the machines, so theoretically 5 coffees cost $3- bargain! bargain!

Three notorious poker machine players hit the Dublin hotel

Three notorious poker machine players hit the Dublin hotel

Enthusiasm restored, Bridie dragged us to the back streets of Dublin to find the ex-church she once helped restore for habitation, having been enamoured of another gentleman who owned it when Amelia was only three. Obviously nothing further eventuated, but the church was cute and we took pix.

The Church where Bridie lived

The Church where Bridie lived

Then we choofed off to Thompson’s Beach. [The brochure tells you about the Samphire Coast walking trails and shore birds.]

Got lots of photos- will fill in the details later!

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