Langhorn Creek and The Bleasdale Winery
The campground at Mount Gambier was in a difficult location to find and when we did, it wasn’t the best place to stay. They let us choose our own site which was their way of not having to listen to us complain about the assigned site. We found no level sites and settled for one that was nearly level. It was at the bottom of a slope and back away from the road for some distance. This became a concern when I heard it start raining during the night. As the night went on, the rain continued in spurts. By morning I was quite concerned about the possibility of getting stuck. I rousted out Louise early that morning so as to get out before more rain made the ground even softer. As it turned out, we were able to pull out without difficulty.
I had promised Louise breakfast at McDonalds and programmed the GPS to take us there. It worked flawlessly. We found a parking place and Louise went in to order breakfast. I set up the computer to test the internet connection. McDonalds in Australia provides free internet. Yea! The connection was good and we could both get on at the same time. We ate breakfast and worked on the internet while sitting in the caravan for about an hour. Then we went to find a place to activate our phone. I went to a Coles Supermarket to ask how to do this. They gave me instructions and a phone number. Fortunately we had parked right by a phone booth and we got the activation done. I was now feeling a little better about communications here in Australia.
From Mount Gambier we continued on the coastal route but now needed to move on to our next stop, Langhorn Creek. We could get there in a day but it would be very late in the day so we set our goal for a town just a little short of Langhorn Creek. We covered 300 kilometers, about 180 miles and stayed the night at Meningie. Our top speed on these roads is around 80 km/hour, about 45 MPH. The roads are curvy, hilly, narrow, rough and have little or no shoulder. We are rocking and rolling even at that speed. Louise has done wonders finding rattles in the caravan and we’re traveling with mostly engine and tire noise. This trip also involved significant winds, crosswinds that shift the caravan side to side. The route is northward just inland from the coast and the wind is strongly from the sea to our west. When we have trees along the road it cuts the wind but when we don’t it is a constant battle to keep the cararvan on the road.
Meningie would be a delight once we reach there. The campground is right on Lake Albert, which is really a lake off of a larger lake which is behind a barrier island along Encounter Bay. The lady in the office is a delight and we book a site despite the note taped to the office counter that indicates their internet service is out of service. The note looks months old so I don’t think they are really trying to get it fixed. We parked so we could look out the rear window of the camper to the lake. Then the rain began. The far shoreline of the lake disappeared periodically as passing showers swept through the area. By night the rain had stopped.
Sunday we’re off to Langhorn Creek to visit the Bleasdale Winery. There is a long story to go with this choice of winery, suffice it to say that Louise has family connections to the Blasdell name and the family organization includes many variant spellings of which Bleasdale is one. Through the family association, Louise was advised of this winery in Langhorn Creek and wanted to visit there to investigate the connection. We’ve encountered a number of people here in Australia who when we mention Langhorn Creek know all about the Bleasdale Winery and its history. Founded in 1850 by … Potts and named for a Reverend Bleasdale who was a vinter and inspired Potts to try his hand at wine making. Potts named the winery for Reverend Bleasdale.
On the way we encounter one surprise, the road we’re following comes to a river and there is a ferry. We wonder if the ferry will accommodate us but arriving there we see several large camping trailers on board. Then on the far shore we see a tractor trailer pull onto the ferry, we’ll have no problem here. In fact, the ferry was free. We cross and are on our way. By 11:00 a.m. we’re at the Bleasdale Winery. We get a tour, meet the fifth generation of the founder who now manages the winery. After tasting a number of excellent wines we purchase a selection (including an excellent 18 year old Port) and set out on our way. Our next stop will be in Adelaide, a short distance to the northwest.
If you are counting states, we been in Tasmania, Melbourne is in Victoria and Adelaide is in South Australia. We’ve been here just two weeks and we’ve been in almost half the states in the country. It sounds more impressive than it is, we’ve only seen a tiny fraction of this very large country.
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