Gums at Chinaman’s Pool
On April 20th 2013, we left home intending to be back by November 2013 (for my son Mick’s 30th birthday). We flew home and then came back to Perth as by then, we’d let our house to our good friends and former neighbours Ben and Tomoko. They are living in our house until their new one is built, so we have agreed to keep travelling until it is. It doesn’t look like that’ll be any time soon, so for now, we are up north of Perth for 11 weeks, and after that, we fly to the UK for 10 weeks. In October 2014, we’ll finally head to Victoria, basing ourselves at son Daniels’ place and continue to travel.
Today, and for the next 4 weeks, we are in Coral Bay. It’s a bit of Deja Vu isn’t it?! It certainly is for us as we’ve been this way so often now.
We left Perth on Wednesday morning after saying goodbye to Leah and Cosmo and our home base for the past 8 months, and to Deb and Harry (who will more than likely have forgotten us when we see him again in 11 weeks). Todd and Blair were at work so we’d said our goodbyes to them!
Wednesday night was spent in Port Dennison at the Big 4 caravan Park we’ve often stayed at, then Thursday, we had a big drive (for us) to Carnarvon where we spent two nights.
We’d given ourselves a full day in Carnarvon so we could pull everything out of the cupboards, drawers and from under bed and seats so we could take stock of it all, then shop. I told Russ I was going to be much more sensible this time around at the plantations as I always come away with WAY too much fresh produce then have to work hard to use it all while it is still fresh. It’s actually quite stressful.
Capsicums, Bananas and a Few Mangoes
Anyway, it was a good plan but it didn’t happen! The minute we saw all those wonderful fresh goodies, we went nuts. Big fat glossy eggplants (yes please), crisp zuccs (of course) capsicums (they were growing in the paddock beside the shop), the first of the tomatoes (4 bags if I can’t have a box), bananas, limes, green papaya, snake beans, herbs, a whole pumpkin, corn, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, rocket……… and once again, the problem of using them all at their best.
Green Papaya Salad and Garlic Prawns
The day we bought all the fresh veg, Russ cooked us a leg of lamb and roast veg, Last night, I made us a fantastic (even the cook says so) green papaya salad topped with garlic prawns, tonight I’m making my most favourite Carnarvon dish-ratatouille to have along side a pot roast of beef that’s simmering gently on the stove outside. That’s about 1/4 of the fruit and veg gone!
In Carnarvon, we also found time to finally go visit the Space Museum (home to the big satellite dish that dominates the landscape) and Chinaman’s Pool on the Gascoyne river. I’s a really pretty spot and it’s the first time I’ve seen water flowing on the surface of the river (it flows under the sand for most of the year). The Space Museum was an odd collection of objects and photos and an awful lot of written information. I came away know Buzz Aldren visited Carnarvon and the dish, and that the Carnarvon site monitored the health of astronauts during the Apollo missions.
It’s nice to see that repairs to the huge floods in 2010 are almost complete-Service (gas) stations) have been built, roads repaired, plantation fencing and topsoil replaced and levee banks and channels made to stop future flooding (they hope).
Yesterday we drove the last 240ks to Coral Bay. As I was driving here, I hit a wedge tail eagle. I slowed right down when I first saw him feasting on a dead roo, and started blasting on my horn. The greedy bugger just stayed on his meal until I was about 50 metres away. By then I was doing about 20kph and he flew off to my left. THEN he veered back to my right and slammed into my side of the windscreen. I’m so glad our chipped windscreen didn’t break. He flew off a bit wonkily, so I drove off a bit wonkily, both of us a bit stunned and relieved it was over I reckon
Most of you that have followed this and my other blog know that Coral Bay is one of my favourite places in Australia. The caravan park is huge, it’s often crowded, we bathe in salty bore water and have to carry in drinking water, but the bakery is great, so’s happy hour at the pub (the view from the pub is pretty nice too), the winter weather is fantastic, and when we get out on the water fishing all the bad things are forgotten and forgiven.
We had intended to stay here for 3 weeks but arrived, walked into the office, looked at each other and asked to extend a week more. So now we have 4 glorious weeks here to fish, snorkel and swim.
A Happy Man Making Up His Boat Trailer
Today we went fishing for the first time in 5 months, and I’m pleased to report (gloat) I caught the first fish-a pretty small flounder which is a first in itself-we’ve never caught one here. We caught heaps of just undersized spangled emperor, a few Charlie Court cod and four really good sized golden trevally which are just the thing for smoking and pickling. I have already pickled my share, just waiting for Russ to smoke his. We had a pretty big shark (not one I’d like to meet snorkelling) circle the boat today, saw a couple of dolphins and caught a huge variety of other fish. It was so good to be back doing what we both enjoy so much.
The weather for the next week looks like more of the same as we had today (around 28c with very little wind) so I imagine it will be a week of fishing and finding ways to use all our fresh veg for us.