The west coast of the Eyre Peninsula faces into the prevailing weather of the Southern Ocean. It is close to the desert to the north.
There is an uplifted and battered cliff face along much of the coast. This is a dry and salty place, made habitable and farmable by the fact that this uplift prevents runoff to the sea. So at Cummins Lookout we looked to the sea and saw this to the north west:
and this to the south east
then turned around on the spot to see this inland
These coastal lakes may be salty, but we learned of a place called Bramsfield where the underground water (trapped local runoff) was 20 parts per million of the things which rainwater contained at a rate of 40 to 60 parts per million. We went in the evening to camp there. With such water quality, you could, observed Kim Gillette, local grazier, grow anything. "If," said Marlene Slater, out at Bramsfield, "there is any soil. That," she said, "is why you have those funny shaped plantings of grain - only where there is soil."
The general dryness and absence of soil also explains why Kim runs 7000 sheep on 80,000 acres and the market price of sheep this day was $7.
Up the coast in Elliston we were confronted – our timetable confronted – by having arrived a week early for Annual Country Market week and the Sculptures by the Sea exhibition. We went out to find some of the sculptures along the Great Tourist Ocean Drive, but first came upon stunning scenery at a place famous among surfers.
The picture above looks up the coast to the north-west, in late-in-the-day haze.
You can see two surfer down below in the next picture (fly specks to the left of the breaking wave)
These pictures taken at the end of a hot and almost still day. A surfer explained that you carry your board over the cliff to the left but have to come up on the right. We took his word for it, did not go to the edge!
There is a table, a lovely monument to a young man eaten by a shark coming back in past the reef in the picture above, a few years ago. Another mosaic.
Continuing along the cliff drive, there were some exciting signs
and then we stopped to see an amazing sight...
When he drove on, we took this picture of
and then to our greater amazement we saw a few steps away this view
but it was time to bid farewell to Elliston
... it was getting cold by the sea
Proceed to camp at the Bramfield Cemetery