Explore your backyard. We have all heard it. But I seem always to find more interest in exploring far away places. Wrong, isn't it? Especially since I love my backyard and champion its beauty whenever I can.
Well, this years October long weekend marked the fourth year in a row of holidaying at Port Elliot Caravan Park. After spending many summers there as a child and living in the neighbouring town of Victor Harbor for my teenage years - I finally decided to discover some new things.
Here are some of my fave places...
Instead of heading to Horseshoe Bay, we veered left and wandered along the Coast path to find ourselves on an untouched, semi-deserted beach. We spot a little (4-5ft) shark playing in the shallows. Watching for five minutes, we saw it twisting and turning before disappearing, only to reappear in another spot and repeat. Swim? Not today, thanks.
There are rocks to the right of the beach, at the headland, where a man is shark fishing. And there is a surf break called chicken run right there - which I'm told only breaks in a large swell. I do see some surfers, and the wave is nice. I wonder why it's called Chicken Run? Playing chicken with the sharks is my guess.
I continued walking up towards Middleton, on my left, is Bashams Beach, or as my dad likes to say, Lewis beach. He's re-named it after the land he owns just back from the shore - just not sure if anyone else knows. A man can dream.
Go further, and you hit Middleton, my fave surf spot. This long stretch of beach is popular for surfing but beware of rocks under the water level while swimming, bodyboarding or surfing.
Retro Vibe Cafe - a casual cafe decked out in, you guessed it, retro furniture and furnishings. It's near the train line and quieter than the main Victor Harbor to Goolwa drag. There's a kids corner too to keep the little ones entertained while you enjoy your coffee. A trip down memory lane is inevitable.
Too much indulgence? Bike ride through the backstreets and headland near the caravan park for a bit of exercise. Or if you are feeling more energetic, cycle the Encounter Bikeway that runs from Encounter Bay to Goolwa. It's 30km long, reasonably flat and well made. Do as much, or as little, as you like.
Of course, there is much more to do, but that is the beauty of the Fleurieu. You can do as little or as much as you like.