Back to South Australia: Victor Harbour and Granite Island

We had a two day drive to get to our next performance in Victor Harbor, South Australia.  It would have been lovely – driving along the Great Ocean Road, as promised in the last post, but I came down with a 24 hour “wog”, which made the twisty road impossible to contemplate.  We drove on the straighter highway and spent the night in Keith, SA (driving past our friendly giant koala again).  We took the ferry across the Murray River at Talem Bend.  There aren’t many ferries that are this small in the world. It is across a much bigger river this year, thanks to all the rain, but it is still cabling itself along, carrying about 6 cars per trip.

This is a wine area (isn’t most of Australia?) and I loved the sign outside the Bleasdale winery.  Never heard of it?  Maybe there’s a reason….
It’s such a remarkable year for rivers flowing here, that we had to visit the Murray River mouth for a look.  This river often doesn’t make it as far as the sea.  It waters many crops upriver and keeps southern Australia’s fruit, grain, and vegetables growing.  Most years there isn’t enough flow and they have to dredge the sand out of the mouth so it keeps open to the Southern Ocean. That is not the problem this year, and they have stopped dredging for the first time in years.

Our performance in Victor Harbor was booked after we sang in Adelaide a month ago, and we are very happy to return to the area.  It’s autumn now, and the colours are fabulous.  We are enjoying apples and other fall produce.  The Victor Harbour quilting guild is a lively group, with some fabulous quilters.  I found someone who is crazier than I am with hexes.  Jacky Eldred is working with 1/2 inch hexagons. Each rosette is fussy cut with either bugs or flowers, and each bug rosette is happily surrounded by flower rosettes.  She is planning this to be a queen sized quilt when she’s finished, with over 5,000 hexes.  Beautiful!
When we first met Kerryn who, with her sister Michelle, organized our appearance at the guild, she told me of the wedding quilt she had made for her daughter in Canberra.  But when she brought it to deliver it, she realized the quilt would be subjected to direct sunlight on the bed (no window coverings).  Her daughter loves the bright light!  Kerryn packed it back up and took it home again – her daughter couldn’t take care of it properly!  I finally saw the quilt, and I understand. I wouldn’t have left the quilt there either! Isn’t it beautiful?

This morning we took ourselves out for a walk on Granite Island.  This is one of the places in Australia famous for Little Blue Penguins.  Since I recorded James Gordon’s “Sweaters for Penguins” I’ve been fascinated by them.  It was the wrong time of day to see them, but we enjoyed the walk. These were the only little penguins we saw…

Most people get to the island across a 630 metre causeway. There is a famous horse-drawn tram for visitors that has been a tradition since 1894.   I hope that horse gets lots of carrots at the end of the day!

The outer side of the island is spectacular, but was very windy today. There was nothing between us and Antarctica.  We had a great walk!
We now have a couple of weeks off before our next gig in Jamberoo, NSW.  Have a happy Easter, everyone!

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