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"Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints"

Chief Seattle (1786–1866) leader of the Suquamish and Duwamish Native American tribes

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A Remarkable.Place

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Criss-crossing the York Peninsular and now working our way north along the East Coast of the Spencer Gulf towards Port Augusta, we have dropped in on some beautiful locations and 'frontier-like’ towns that both intrigue and interest in equal measure. Jetties reach out for long lost trade, almost appearing dejected in their wait for a ship, any ship, as they bare the bruising brunt of the oceans attempts to wash them away, their only custom these days coming mainly from anglers and crab fishers; small communities reliant, thankful, for any passing trade ‘their’ jetty attracts.

Long, empty, beaches draw the eye as they stretch away, white in the bright heat of the day, gently rolling surf, lapping at the extremities of this vast coastline. Sand, talcum-powder-soft, massages the soles of the feet, testing the ability to walk as it deepens.

Warily I ease our caravan-home around every bend, conscious of recent surprise encounters with Emu strutting casually along the roadside with as many as nine youngsters in tow, the land-cruiser, patient as it effortlessly puts up with our crawl-like progress. An encounter with the ever-present threat of a crossing kangaroo thankfully yet to be realised.Amongst the trees and bush further inland, but still in sight of the ocean from a lookout, Kookaburras vie for attention as they laugh at each other from a favourite perch. Here in the cool oasis of Mambray Creek in the shadow of Mt Remarkable, an Emu, almost the same height as me, makes eye contact as it haughtily passes by. A Kangaroo or two, sometimes three, hop past; stopping occasionally to forage.

A walk along trails both new and old reveals ancient red gum trees, hollowed by age, sometimes fire; the wood valued for its depth of colour and carving. The creek, just a trickle topping up and maintaining the standing pools of deeper water, provides the elixir of life to all manner of thirsty creatures and plant life. Always on the lookout for snakes amongst rocks almost oven-hot from the sun, I absent-mindedly walk into a spiders web spanning the trail before us. No easy giving way of the spider silk I was used to, instead, stretched taut it parted with an audible snap as I turned my back to it unsure of the threat its inhabitant might be. Thankfully no-one was home.A three foot Goanna lopes along the trail ahead of us, tongue flicking, tasting it's environment. Only this morning the tell-tale, almost imperceptible sound of dry grass and leaf litter being disturbed caught my ear, and looking out of our caravan window a Goanna appeared tail swishing, tongue busy, searching. I reached for an egg and rolled it gently, but blindly, away from the underside of the caravan, which the Goanna was now exploring, and within seconds was upon it, our cameras busy trying to take in as much detail as possible of this new experience. After a while, snout glistening, the Goanna made off, testing the air once more for the chance of another meal.

Tomorrow we move on, what next we ask ourselves?
2nd Jan 2017, 07:17