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Fair Dinkum?

December 4, 2012

The advice from the Lancastrian renegade bar man at the Penneshaw Hotel was that the capital of Kangaroo Island, Kingscote,  was like Bradford. This was likely to be as far from the truth as his claim that the food in his pub was the best on Kangaroo Island, as every other meal we have had on the Island has been superior. Anyway, we set off with the air of great explorers, battling towards the edge of civilisation.

Before setting off, we thought we should try out the breakfast at our hotel, the Waterfront,  and hustled down at 8.45, only to be told that they had let the chef go because they only had 4 people staying. I drew myself up to my full height and in what I thought was an irresistibly commanding manner said “But you advertise breakfast until 9. Summon the chef again, I am hungry and ready to eat”.   You will be astonished to learn, as I did, that my imperious tone was ineffective. Australian economics were to the fore; the obvious commercial strategy for anyone with half a commercial brain would be to look after the few customers you have otherwise you will get fewer. The idea that you reduce the range of facilities available when there are less customers is, of course, ridiculous. I would certainly not bother with the place again. The logic of closing up and sending customers away because you don’t have enough customers is the financial logic of the madhouse.

Much the opposite was true of wildlife farmstead Paul’s Place, where for Az$15 (some £10 at today’s exchange rates) you were able to feed the animals, including kangaroos, wallabies, emus and various other wildlife. Yes, you paid for their food. This makes much more commercial sense. The fact that Paul himself was covered in animal detritus of the most aromatic kind did not detract from the attraction of seeing all these local critters close up, including the koalas, for which we had searched for some 3 hours in the wild the day before. That Nice Lady Decorator was able to cuddle a koala. It has no idea how lucky it was.

Fair Dinkum

Quality at prices one can still not afford

Kingscote, the capital of Kangaroo Island, was like Whitby after a nuclear attack. No one there and no one wanting to be there. Seldom have I encountered a less exhilarating place, although I was able to get this picture of one of their most upmarket stores offering cheap goods. A seaside town with shops stuck rigidly on the 1970’s in unseasonably cool weather probably did not help the cause, so we drove to Stokes Bay, which was totally different. An unpromising rocky beach masked a lovely sandy beach reached by a trail through giant rocks, which we found after an excellent lunch at the surprisingly quiet Rock  Pool Cafe. Garlic prawns of the highest order.  As we had been told with total conviction by the owner of the only pub in Penneshaw that his was the best restaurant on the island, it was quite a shock. Perhaps he meant worst?

Regular readers of this column will know the identity of the man who lives near Valbonne who has recently released his book “The Autobiography of A Somebody”. It is now available on Amazon and Kindle. He has feature on numerous occasions in this column, where I have mercilessly pilloried him. He is kind enough to dedicate the book to me for giving him the inspiration to write it, clearly of the opinion he can do better. What is clever about his marketing campaign is that he does not identify himself, and I have already seen it on some shelves in book shops in the “Best seller” Lists, but how can that be? Check it out.

Chris France


2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 5, 2012 4:19 pm

    As we say in England – spiffing!


  2. December 6, 2012 9:15 pm

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