Friday, 5 December 2014

Point Turton and the Bragging Grounds

Crossing over the top of the Eyre Peninsula we rounded the Spencer Gulf, past Port Augusta and made a stop at Port Germein, half way to our destination, Point Turton. On the map of course it looked like a stone’s throw, but on actually setting out and counting out the kilometres, it became clear that South Australia is a bloody big state, even if it looks tiny compared to Western Australia.  We were heading to the Yorke Peninsula, or God’s Own Country as espoused by the Braggs. Apparently it is here that the fish “flock like the salmon of Capistrano and the beer flows like wine”(Lloyd Christmas Dumb and Dumber). The Braggs also talked up Port Germein, but my guess is they weren’t camped next to the bogans from Adelaide when they were here last. Oh, and the blue swimmer crabs were probably plentiful too.
Port Germein Jetty.
Port Germein has a very long jetty (over 1.5kms) and the blue swimmer crabs are so keen to end up in a chilli sauce or cooked with lemon that they just walk into your net and you can hoist them up and cook them in the caravan park’s purpose built crab cooking kitchen. Oh, didn’t you know? The crab season actually starts next week. Of course it f*&%ing does. This is the Uyshuis, where the ‘season’ is always next week.
View from Port Germein to the southern Flinders Ranges.

We didn’t catch any crabs despite walking for hours to get out to the jetty and get some, but we were treated to a delightfully nasal rendition of “If Youse Kids Don’t Go to F*^&ing Sleep I’m Going to Come In There and F*&^ing Smash Youse All” until about 10pm. Interspersed with wafts of cigarette smoke and belched Jim Beam and Coke can fumes. Mmm, good times.
Port Germein playground.
Port Germein playground. 
So we decided against a second or third night and headed straight down into Yorkes, passing through Moonta (a Cornish town selling Cornish Pasties), Broughton (a beautiful little fishing town) and through Minlaton (more Tim Winton country) until we got to Point Turton and its caravan park. Unbeknownst to us there was some particular caravanning pensioner association’s biannual fishing competition on, so not only was the campground almost full, but it was also full of well meaning but actually really annoying people. Example: “Did you know your child has his helmet still on?” “Yes, he’s going for a ride on his bike.” “Oh, make sure he keeps his helmet on.” etc etc.
Yorkes lighthouse.

Agriculture meets Aquaculture.
Having said all this, we still liked it. Yorkes has that wonderful agrarian romanticism about it, with some salty seafaring activities thrown in as well. Mr Bragg was so kind as to put Fiela out of his almost suicidal state (after fishing for three days straight and catching bugger all) by organising him a ticket out on a boat with one of the local professional fisherman. Enter Kim, the man who helped to realise my husband’s dreams by taking him off the coast of Point Turton and landing 170 King George Whiting in one day. Kim is also a fairly shrewd businessman and canny enough to recognise a fishing nut when he sees one. My beloved (in scenes akin to the Great Lime Farm Sales Pitch of 2013) came back with facts and figures on how awesome it would be to have a professional fishing boat and live on the Yorke Peninsula. Specifically Kim’s boat. This went on for a few days.
Point Turton Caravan Park over looking the water, the Uyshuis in the foreground.

We had dinner that night at the tavern overlooking the bay with Kim and his beautiful wife, and for the first time in months felt like we were part of a community greater than the one on our particular campsite. The folks at the Tavern on Turton are friendly, the food is pretty good and they have an awesome kids’ room. Of course being there with Yorkes Royalty helped us to feel like we had stepped into an extension of our own friendship circle. It also helped that we dropped the Bragg brand around a bit; we missed their smiling faces even more on hearing about their antics in their natural environment.
Galah at the beach.

The local copper was also incredibly friendly, enquiring about our missing number plate, cracked windscreen and dented back bumper bar and being only slightly menacing as opposed to outright hostile in working out who we were and how we came to be on Yorkes. We drove away without any tickets but a booking in Adelaide to get the windscreen fixed.
Point Turton jetty.

Little coves, white beaches, clear blue water, golden grain fields, lonely roads and people who wave if they drive past you. Yes, the Yorke Peninsula is pretty awesome.

1 comment:

  1. Even Geoff, back in Brisbane, was privy to the lets leave our lives and run a commercial fishing boat operation pipe dream.