Saturday, March 8, 2008

Cowell - quite a cute little town.

Feb. 25th

Woke up under the mesh in my bivy - covered in flies. One fly in particular had my attention - a blow fly - a biting fly. This presumptuous little fella bit me through the mesh. I unzipped my bivy, caught the SOB, pulled off a wing, and flicked him to the bush. Two days – 400 km and no shower in between was really wearing on my karmic feelings towards the lowest forms of wildlife.

Fortunately, Cowell provided the shower and much more. It could best be described (and is we were told) as the kind of town that lends itself to movies set in Australia’s past. Cowell’s buildings are wonderful, tan, solid-stone, and are surrounded by large corrugated, iron verandas that are typical of classic Australian homes. It is the kind of town with two pubs and a town monument (in addition to the requisite ANZAC monument in every Australian town no matter the size) - a large and ugly black stump. It exists in memory to that time, some 40-odd years ago, of the Great New Year’s Prank of Cowell when someone put this stump in the middle of the street between the two pubs with the ambiguous sign of "best pub this side of the stump." I suppose they still talk of that day. Incidentally, the actual stump monument is not the original stump. It was stolen years ago and was replaced with an equally large and ugly black stump. No one knows what happened to the original. I suspect it sits in someone’s back yard.

The proprietor of the caravan park took pity on us and let us shower despite our not staying the night. The bathroom had music. David Bowie was playing. When you don’t travel with an i-pod, it makes all the music you hear that much sweeter. I threw in a load of laundry and explored the town.

The Ebb and Flow Cafe earned our business that morning. This up-market joint has, no doubt, been built in response to the ferry from Lucky Bay -14 km north that cuts off several hours of drive time from Adelaide; this was the ferry we planned to catch. Cowell has and will continue to have an influx of Adelaide’s money, and places like the Ebb and Flow will continue to be built. It was a classy establishment, still honest to the old building style charm with worn wood planks, classic molding and well-done country murals on the way to the bathroom out the back. We ate well and lingered a bit to long. We rushed, well-washed, towards the ferry.

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