Day 161: 7 November – Locks Well Beach and its natural treasures

Author: Mrs A

From: Streaky Bay

To: Locks Well, just south of Elliston, Eyre Peninsular

Distance driven: 145 km. Distance walked: 3km. Flights climbed: 30 floors

We farewelled Streaky Bay and continued our exploration of the west coast of the Eyre Peninsular. The drive south took us through fields of corn and abandoned cotton farming villages, the scenery stark yet beautiful. Our destination for today was Locks Well, basically a beach and a free camp above it. We pulled in, wowed at the stunning view across the wild southern ocean, a pathway down the cliffs literally starting at our front door.

After lunch we decided we ought to get out and see the beach, a 1.5km walk down the cliff below us. We followed the path down which eventually led to a lookout and a staircase of 250 steps down to the sand below. I felt very grateful I could breathe as we hiked down.

The beach was only short (a half a kilometer at most), but the scenery breathtakingly beautiful. Strolling along the warm sand, sheltered from the wind (of course it was still breezy here!), we spotted a flock of crested terns resting on the waters edge, and a pair of Australian Kestrels swooping in and out of their nest, a hole in the cliff walls, where we could see three Kestrel chicks looking out at us with curious eyes. A fantastic afternoon was whiled away watching the beautiful birds as they worked hard to feed their family, disappearing over the coastal scrubland and returning with mice, crickets, lizards and snakes to feed their hungry brood.

We eventually tore ourselves away and climbed back up to the mobile apartment for hot showers and to cook dinner – tonight a Beef Rendang curry accompanied by a Plantagenet Pinot Noir – one of our purchases from Mount Barker in WA. Delicious. The evening was topped off by a fine view of the sunset and an incredible clear starlit night unspoilt by any man-made light.

Chatting to friends on the phone this evening we felt a whole world away from Sydney. Today everyone is celebrating the Melbourne Cup, as we too would have done for the past 18+ years.  No sweepstake here, no bets on random horses, no bubbles and fancy clothes…we have no idea which horses ran let alone which ones achieved a place or won! I wonder where we will be this time next year?

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