Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Commencing the trip west

After a short visit to Augusta Automall to thank them for the work done on the Nissan we headed west out of Port Augusta and truly commenced stage three of our trip.  The road takes us across the top of the Eyre Peninsula (where we had earlier gone down to Port Lincoln and Coffin Bay) and heads to Ceduna which is at the commencement of the Nullabor Plains.  The road was an introduction to what is ahead of us – very long straight roads.  There are quite a number of caravans travelling both directions and also two trailer trucks but no actual road trains as yet.

Our first stop was at Iron Knob which was the original steel mine in Australia but is now a very quiet run down town with the mine in the background.  The locals have built a free camping area with adjacent toilets and picnic facilities – they are the most modern structures in the township.  We stopped and had lunch and then continued on to Kimba where we again stopped and enjoyed a walk along the very few shops.  Back on the main road (Eyre Highway) there is a statue of a galah aptly named the “Big Galah”.  Australia has a number of these statues i.e. the big pineapple, the big banana, the big prawn etc, and we have seen quite a few and I guess that there are more yet to see.  The bakery by the big galah advises drivers that they are in the middle of Australia – the halfway point between the east and west coasts.
We continued on passing just two more small settlements.  The area is mainly grain growing (Viterra is the large grain company and regularly we see the grain silos) and we are passing large areas of desert type land.
We are staying tonight at Apex Park in Minnipa.  Minnipa is a very small settlement and this park has been set up for free camping.  The interesting welcome sign says “Welcome to Minnipa Apex Park home of the concrete crappa”.  This is because the toilets have been built in an old concrete water tank.  Fortunately they are well looked after and very clean.  Tonight we are with a group of four other camping groups (including a young couple in a van and three other caravans from WA, NSW and Vic) in a very pleasant park area with excellent shade.  Tomorrow we will continue to head west then divert down to the coast towards Streaky Bay.
 Mine digger at Iron Knob
 Something else to watch out for at Iron Knob
Straight road heading west
A busy Monday in Kimba
The big galah in Kimba
Half way across Australia at Kimba
 Welcome to Apex Park in Minnipa, SA
The concrete crappa toilets at Minnipa, SA
 Camp set up at Minnipa, South Australia

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