Sherwood Diary: Port Pirie to Whyalla, then on to Cleve

Our overnight in Port Pirie was noisy due to being in the town and next door to a shopping centre. Nevertheless, we slept well and it was good to feel safe in the RV park. It was cloudy when we set off, but became a mostly sunny day, and a bit difficult driving north towards Port Augusta.

We had a lovely experience in the late morning. We had parked up to enjoy some savoury treats from Baker’s Delight (took advantage of the shopping centre) when Foxy, another Sherwood camper arrived. They had called into the rest area specifically because they saw our camper. We chatted with Peter and Jill for quite a while and even showed off the interior of our Sherwoods to each other. Theirs was one year younger than ours, with some design differences, but they are mostly the same. Jill and I discussed what we liked about the Sherwoods and the men discussed choirs, they are both in four choirs, and the finer points of tyres, etc.

Peter and Stephen ended up exchanging phone numbers. The whole thing sounds a bit crazy, but we had more shared interests than just the Sherwoods. They live in the Adelaide Hills, but actually bought their Sherwood secondhand in Perth. We will have to ask them for their photo of the vans and us.

We went the rest of the way to Whyalla with only a couple of short stops. We knew that some bad weather was coming, so first went to the foreshore and lookout, then out to our RV park. This was a little different to the last one, with designated bays and a flushing toilet that is open all night. The key is stored on a key tree and they ask that we don’t share pictures of it on social media. A tree has been wrapped with some tape and the key on a large metal bar (it’s Steel City afterwall) hanging on a nail (ouch!) on the tree.

This morning we went to the Maritime Museum. There is a ship that was built at Whyalla, spent it’s working life around Australia and New Guinea, including being a mine sweeper in the 2nd WW, then when it was being sold for scrap it was bought by the Whyalla Council, with funding from the Federal Government and it sailed home, then was dragged 2kms across land to it’s resting place near the Visitor Information office. The ship has been restored and gardens and trees planted, plus there is an old building used as a museum for the town. All very interesting, including the tour of the ship.

The rain and wind came in just as we were leaving, and we followed up on our plan to go to a cafe that had been recommended to us. We had been warned that the servings were huge and would easily do two people, so we ordered a serving of chicken, chips and salad. It was indeed a lovely meal. However, the cafe was open air and with the rain and cold and concerns about rain leaking into our camper it was a bit rushed. We bought a cake to have later, and I’ve only just remembered it now and it’s 6.00 p.m. We can have it after dinner.

View from the cafe before the heavy rain

We had a windy and wet drive to the little town of Cleve. We originally thought we would stay at Cowell on the coast, but felt itmight be less windy inland. In addition, this campground offers power, water, dump point and a new campers kitchen for $15 per night, a bargain really. There is mention of showers, but the one in the Ladies is a bit basic, so not up to my standards.

There are a lot of vans parked here, but we still managed to get a powered site. With the lack of solar we felt having power would be sensible. On arrival we set up in the rain, putting our van on it’s usual slope so water drains off the side and not onto our bed. Once we settled down the rain stopped, of course! It’s much colder than it has been up until now, and we are running our little electric heater. Very cosy.

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