Friday, February 13, 2009



We are off to a very slow start this morning. The water pressure failed at the cottage and the owner had to come down a reset an electric pump. We had a very nice visit with him.

We drove back over to Hahndorf, a village originally settled by German immigrants in the 1840s. It reminds us of Fredericksburg, Texas with individual shops made of stone and timbers with the home in the back. This town definitely has a different look than others with their more English-Australian rugged look, We walk the main street, up one side and down the other, and explore shops of interest and an old school that is now a museum. There is one craft shop that handles a number of South Australian artists. We find several things of interest, but will wait until we have explored some more of the area before making a purchase. It is a beautiful day and quite cool.
Once done with Hahndorf, it is about noon and we decide to make a trial run to Cape Jervis where we will catch the ferry to Kangaroo Island Sunday morning. We have been told to allow two hours to get there, but we want to explore the area between here and there and we want to see the road for ourselves. Plus we will leave the car at the terminal and want to check the parking situation out also.
This is a good decision because we go up and down the two roads between Hahndorf and Mt. Barker twice before we find the marker to Echunga (a regular looking street sign, about 5 by 14 inches, covered by a tree limb). This is not the direct route we will do on Sunday. Our plan for today is to head more westerly down to the coast then back over to the Cape.

From Echunga we head to Willunga, driving along the eastern edge of McLaren Vale, another pretty wine region running right down to the coast. This is a very hilly, rural area of vines and small wheat fields, with pretty little, English looking, very small villages along the way. At the coast we turn toward McLaren Vale. It is a pretty drive along the bluff overlooking the beach for several kilometers between Sellicks Beach and Port Willunga. We actually go down on the beach for a while, as cars are allowed to do so on this section. The water is a beautiful blue green with white sand beaches. Looking back inland, we can see the hills covered with vines, rising up from the shallow coastal plain.
Now we head east to Cape Jervis along the Fleurieu Way to check out the terminal. This is a pretty drive, very scenic, which is nice since we will do this part again on Sunday! At Cape Jervis, the "Spirit of Kangaroo" ferry is just loading a big tractor trailer carrying a large bulldozer on the back to go to Kangaroo Island. Carolyn checks on parking the car for two days. It is going to be very simple. We have a choice of free parking in the lot above the terminal, where the day tripper buses park, or for $19AU we can park in a well fenced locked area next to the public car park. Even with the less than direct route, it has only taken a little over two hours, so we feel we are good to go for Sunday morning.
From Cape Jervis we head east along the Fleurier Way to Victor Harbor. Here the road climbs up and runs along the spine of the coastal mountains and, at places, we look down the valleys to the ocean on both sides, gorgeous! This is wheat and cattle country that runs right to the bluffs overlooking the water. The owner of the cottage told us to be sure to do this drive and he was so right!

Victor Harbor is a colonial seaside town on an arch of Encounter Bay that has been popular with the Australians since the 1800's. It has an esplanade that runs along the seashore with a nice park and swimming beach. Its main claim to fame is its six hundred meter causeway to Granite Island and the Clydesdale drawn tram that gets you there. The island is home to Little Penguins and a good place for whale watching in the season.
Ok, so much for site seeing, its cocktail time and we are a little over an hour from the cottage. The drive back goes quickly. It is cool almost cold when we get back, so Dick lights a fire in the fireplace and we have drinks and a light dinner enjoying the roaring fire and good music provided by the cottage sound system.

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