The hot north wind

Cliched cycling photo

Tuesday January 17th.

Yesterday was marked by hot, hot, windy, windy weather.  Somewhere in the very small hours after midnight the north wind began to blow, and by the time the sun was up the Adelaide hair dryer was working full strength.

The morning ride headed north and west, more or less into the wind, making a circuitous route on quiet back roads to the top of Old Willunga Hill, before a speedy return ahead of a ridiculous tail wind.  What with the quiet country roads, the scenery, the occasional roadside wildlife and the turn around point at what must be one of the most famous landmarks in Australian cycling, and notwithstanding the heat and the wind and the puncture on the way back, it was a great ride.

Scenery schmenery.

Anyway, 100 or so kms later we I met up with (nearly) everyone in town for a coffee or two, and a muffin, a few bottles of water, and it was time for the beach.

What had the rest of them been doing while I was out selfishly indulging my need to ride?  I’m not sure, to be honest.  Stalking wildlife is my guess.  My clever sons have crafted a bow and arrows out of bits of stick and some binder twine, and are intent on bagging themselves a rabbit, since there are quite a few hopping about the yard hereabouts.  One’s first impulse is to laugh, but then one remembers being the same age, and spending hours up at a friend’s farm near Woodend, crafting bows and arrows, slingshots, and other deadly devices designed to launch my career as a furrier and purveyor of wild rabbit meat.

I’m pleased to report that so far their succes is equal to mine at their age.  Score:  boys: nil;  rabbits: unaware that they are involved in a game.

So, the beach.  Already tired of the same old beach we’ve been going to at this stage for, oh, days, we jumped in the car and headed up the coast the Port Eliot.  This turned out to be a good choice.  Something about the location and the local geography meant that the Port Eliot beach was somehow protected from the hot gusty north wind.  The surf wasn’t up to much though.

Panorama of Port Eliot. I suspect if you click on the picture you will wish your screen was wider.

In the time-honoured spirit of the summer beach holiday the mid-day swim was followed by some serious couch time, a crossword, and the Australian Open.  If only the cycling was on SBS this would be close to perfection.  Curse you Chanel 9!

Suitably refreshed after time in front of the telly Jack and Harry declared a compelling if not urgent desire to go snorkelling, and so we did.  After a 45 minute drive we reached the Other Side of the Fleurieu Peninsula, and the pretty little hamlet of Second Valley, where we threw ourselves into the swirling waters to check out the life below.  There wasn’t that much.  Maybe a crab or two, and some seaweed, and some tiny fish.  It was, none-the-less, declared to have been an awesome snorkelling expedition.

We stopped at the fish and chip shop on the way home.  In some of the more refined parts of the universe one can dine in a la carte restaurants serving dishes drawn from around the gastronomic world, with wine lists like telephone books, and potatoes served 24 different ways.  It’s true – I read about it here.  On the Fleurieu Peninsula there is only one kind of potato and it is square cut and deep fried,  alright?

On the way back home I couldn’t help but notice the road sign, which I have now seen on a few roads leading out of Victor Harbour, thanking us for visiting.  It uses the word lifestyle, which may well be one of the most over-used words of the current era. In the local supermarket there is even a section, next to the soft drink section, cheerfully signposted as the lifestyle drinks section. From here one can purchase various powdered and pre-prepared drinkable things which I would more normally expect to be called sports drinks.  Gatorade, Powerade, that sort of stuff.  Lifestyle drinks?  Really?


Perhaps it’s just me, but each time I see one of these signs I think it would look better not on the road out of Victor Harbour, but on the road out of an ancient biblical city.  Maybe Sodom?

I suppose we have in some way tapped into the local community, but I still feel that what we’re living is life that is done very much in our own style.  How could it be otherwise?

Second Valley coastline



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