A turning point, and the World’s Best View from a Loo!
Friday 13th March 2020. Unlucky for some, they say… But today I felt extremely lucky. Being welcomed into the community here had a lot to do with that. Last night we were introduced to so many smiling faces, several belonging to people who had once been migrants themselves, and they could relate to my mother’s story. It was Mollie and Eric Veale who had been the unlucky ones, and the residents here today had every sympathy that, for them, the dream had not materialised.
Our plans for today were also discussed, and as Saturday would see us heading back to the airport for the next leg of our adventure, it made sense to enjoy a gentler pace. That was the sensible conclusion (for one of us) after an evening enjoying alcohol at the equivalent of £1.50 a glass. (I’ll say nothing more, as one of us was conscious of driving 7 kilometres on an unlit, unfamiliar road…)
Chilling out at Sue Mac’s that morning brought an incident that was totally unexpected – but hugely welcome: Cats are intelligent creatures, and Kato is no exception. His experience of the new visitors had so far been limited to a cautious bit of physical contact from the male half. The female was curiously distant, and Kato wasn’t happy about that. ‘Treat humans carefully but equally’ his mum had taught him, so there was no way she was going to miss out on his charms. Seeing her sitting on a kitchen chair with an empty lap was the perfect opportunity, so – Gotcha!
Friday afternoon would see the Barringtons at the Cape looking after the grandies (grandchildren to non-Aussies). But Linc had an idea to temporarily escape from these duties. Last night the conversation had somehow turned to lavatories. Or was it to spectacular scenery? (For some reason I forget) Anyway, an idea for an unusual excursion had come to mind, so Linc had suggested we call round at his house and let Lyn take sole charge of the little ones while he took us ‘off piste’ in his 4 x 4.
We headed back up the road, past the Coles’ house on the hill, and turned off to the right – into ‘Veale country’ near what had once been the Talisker silver and lead mine. Now we were into serious dirt tracks, threading our way to the southern coast past a steep gorge on one side, and rolling hillsides on the other.
A couple of gates barred our way, but with typical ex-police sagacity, Linc shrugged aside any caution – he knew the chances of arrest were as likely as finding a kangaroo in his sideboard. So, we went on almost as far as the cliff edge without spotting anyone else on two legs.
The wind was gusting strongly, straight off the sea. Kangaroo Island was almost hidden in low cloud. We could not have picked a worse weather day for what Linc had in mind, but he had promised us something unique.
Here on the cliffs sat a couple of tin shacks that served as toilets for local workers. Their particular appeal lay in that they had no door, and looked out over the sea. Truly, each was “a loo with a view”!
We inspected one of them very carefully. It was fortunate the wind was coming off the sea, otherwise edging down the path on such a steep slope would have been too dangerous. As it was, it needed a strong nerve to take these photos!
Yes, that bucket needed emptying… and my written inspection will reflect that, but I can testify that the view is indeed spectacular (or it would be on a better day). See for yourself, and that’s Kangaroo Island in the distance, while the water in between is called ‘Backstairs Passage’…
It was a relief to return to the relative safety of the Barrington household, where Lyn was bravely holding the fort. On the way we took a sneaky peak at preparations for tomorrow’s big charity event at Cape Jervis: Lawnmower racing.
Linc’s son Mark and his wife were part of the organising committee for this new venture, hence they’d had to deposit the rest of their brood (four-year-old Reuben and three-year-old Madeleine) with Lyn. We rescued her just as Madeleine flooded the bathroom, prompting a call for mum Lauren to return to base with a change of clothing.
Back at Sue Mac’s we had one last task to consider: how to re-jig our luggage so that we could put all we needed into two small bags. Tomorrow we would be travelling a good bit lighter – to Sydney!
What's it about?