Wednesday, November 9, 2011

EDEN to BRUTHEN via LAKES ENTRANCE Sunday 6th November 2011

Up early this morning – to thick fog!  We didn’t have too much to organise before we headed off, so we took our time, but still left just before 9:00am.  The fog just disappeared while we were getting ready.  One minute I stepped into the van and it was foggy, a couple of minutes later I stepped out to beautiful sunshine.
We stopped at Cann River as usual, but had morning tea at the Pelican Point café and filled up with petrol at the United service station.  The Caltex was still operating, but Bill decided not to go there this time.
We arrived at Mum and Jim’s in Lakes Entrance about 1:30.  Had lunch there.  Gave Mum the pottery ‘love birds’ I had bought for her at Fitzroy Falls, and the chocolate ginger I’d bought (as thank you presents for looking after Salty Dog) and handed over the leather dog I bought on her behalf.  She liked the swaggie I bought, and liked the sound of the two girls which I didn’t buy, but am now wishing I did.
Left Mum’s at about 3:45 to head for home.
This holiday is now officially over – it was a good holiday, and we did lots of new and different things.
Next holiday won’t be until next year now, as it is getting too close to Christmas.

EDEN and MERIMBULA Saturday 5th November 2011

We went for a drive to Merimbula today.  Bill wanted to see if he could get a spool for the Penn fishing reel that the man from Metung gave him because the spindle was bent.  Unfortunately he didn’t give him the spool too, because he gave that to Craig, because Bill got the spindle straightened and the reel working again.  Doubly unfortunate that the man in one tackle shop told him it would be cheaper to buy a new reel than just the spool, and triple unfortunate because the man in the other tackle shop thought he had a spool that would fit which Bill could have for $20 – but it turned out to be the wrong size!  (Update - 16.11.2011 - Bill found the spool from a spare parts place on the internet, sent for it last Friday and picked it up from the PO on Monday morning!  Only cost $50 with postage, so much cheaper than buying the same reel new.  Reel is now completely re-assembled and working like a treat.)   Anyway, I went to Everything Earthy and bought three Christmas presents.  Won’t say who for, or what, in case they read this.
We had lunch at Poppy’s Courtyard café, then went around to Short Point to see if we could see any whales.  We were there for about an hour and a half and were just thinking about leaving when Bill suddenly declared “There’s a whale!”  Sure enough, right under our noses so to speak was a whale flapping its tail in the water.  We only saw the tail, but boy could we hear it too! It made a real ‘whoompf’ as it hit the water.  Great excitement among the other people watching from the car park but the spectacle only lasted about five minutes before the whale disappeared.   
We waited for a while to see if it reappeared, but no such luck.  Drove around to the wharf to see if we could see it there – everyone on the wharf was looking at something, but they soon gave up so I’m guessing they might have seen one and were waiting for it to return.
After we left the wharf we headed back to Eden, but stopped at Yowaka River where Bill had a bit of a fish, to use up the bait he still had left.  I knitted.  Bill didn’t catch any fish – oh, hang on yes he did, he committed child abuse and caught a tiny bream about 6” long if it was lucky!
Back at Eden we drove up to the lookout so see if we could see a whale there.  No such luck.  There were a number of other people who came to the lookout.  One lady was busily taking photos over towards Boyd’s Tower.  Beneath the tower there was an outcrop of rocks which obviously continued out under the water, because the waves kept breaking over it.  I must admit that it looked as if it could be a whale – except that it was always in the same spot.  As she turned to leave the lookout the lady said “She’s not coming any closer” and I realised she thought the splashes were from a whale.  I mentioned that I doubted it, because the splashes were always in the same place, but she was quite adamant she had watched it travel from in front of the yacht (which we could also see) to over near the point.  Oh well, I guess some people just can’t be told.  Bill was sure he could see something near the yacht, but I was blowed if I could see it. We finally went back to the van after what had been a lovely day – the weather was quite warm.
Went to the Golf Club for dinner.  Bill had fish and chips again, and I opted for Chinese pork and plum sauce.  Very nice, but I got a container to take half of my dinner home.  Had a last flutter on the pokies, but did our dough this time.

Monday, November 7, 2011

GERROA to EDEN Friday 4th November 2011

We were up fairly early this morning to finish packing the van before we headed off for Eden.
Left Gerroa at about 9:00.
Stopped at Mogo to go to the loo, then at Moruya for petrol.  We stopped at Narooma for lunch.  Had it at the Montague Coffee shop.  I had a piece of date and honey loaf, Bill had a ham and cheese croissant.  We both had a coffee.
Arrived in Eden about 2:30.  Got the van more or less set up and then headed to the art gallery, Art on Imlay, to get a little leather dog for Mum.  I also bought a swaggie with a little dog for me.  I was keen on what appeared to be two little girls together, (appeared as in I think they were part of the same sculpture, not separate and just displayed together) but Bill liked the swaggie so that was what I bought.  This photo is of another swaggie, by the same artist - Sue Spink.
We went to the Eden Fishermen’s Club for dinner. Bill had fish and chips, I had roast pork.  Bill’s was OK, I was a bit disappointed with my roast.
Had a small flutter on the pokies again, and this time Bill won $45.

GERROA Thursday 3rd November 2011

Still raining this morning, as it had done most of the night.  Decided we’d stay put today. 
TV reception had gone wonky yesterday afternoon.  Bill thinks it might be interference from a transformer in a van that pulled in over the way yesterday afternoon.  Doesn’t seem to be a problem with our aerial, as this morning he swapped back to our older aerial and it wasn’t any better.
Bill was going to do the washing, but decided against it as they were working on the doors of the laundry.
Later on it appeared the repairs were finished, so Bill did do the washing and dried it in the drier.
Late afternoon we went for a drive to Gerringong to have a look at the couple of shops we hadn’t previously perused – some nice things, but very expensive.
Went back to the van for a little while, then back to the Fisherman’s Club for our last meal before we headed home.  Bill had a lovely lemon sole and I had prawn cutlets again. Not quite as nice as last time, because the crumbed coating seemed to be a bit thicker and more gluggy.
Had another go at the pokies and this time I won $50.

GERROA and MINNAMURRA RAINFOREST Wednesday 2nd November 2011

The weather was a bit of a mixture today – couldn’t quite work out what it was going to be like, but settled for warmish.  Decided to go for a drive to the Minnamurra Rainforest.  Went out through Kiama and Jamberoo until we got to the rainforest.  It cost us $11.00 (per car) to go into the reserve, but it was worth it.  The walk is all on boardwalk.  It says part of the walk is wheelchair accessible, but even that part would be pretty hard going pushing someone.  However it was a fairly gradual incline so we decided I’d go as far as I could and then turn back.  As it was I got about halfway round, so if I kept going I probably could have completed it distance wise, but the section on from where we stopped was pretty steep before it started its descent.  It turned out a good choice anyway, because on our way back we saw an elusive water dragon sitting on a rock in the creek, and also an even more elusive lyrebird.  I saw the bird scramble under a rocky outcrop beside the boardwalk, then Bill spotted it where it came out the other side.  It went down to the creek, scratched around a bit and then had a bath in the creek.  We stood watching it for quite some time.  Unfortunately it didn’t spread its tail feathers so we didn’t see the lyre.  Actually it was probably a female.
We bought a lovely owl in the Visitor’s Centre, and Bill bought himself a peaked cap with a lyrebird on it.  We then went down to the Lyrebird Café and had lunch.  Bill had a pie and chips and I had wedges and sour cream. Nice.
Back to Kiama where we stopped to have a look at the Old Terrace shops – some nice things, especially in the antique shop (which was absolutely crammed to the gunnels with mainly small objects and books).  She had a lovely, tiny owl – but wanted $85 for it, I don’t know why.  It was about the size of the top half of my thumb.  MacRobertson Golly badges were $45 each.  Apparently the shops were original houses for quarry workers in Kiama.
By this time I was quite knackered, so Bill walked back to where we’d parked the car and picked me up at the end of the terrace.
Back to the van where I rested for a while and the weather decided it was going to do what it had tried to do on and off during the day – rain.
We decided to go to the Seahaven Café for dinner.  Unfortunately, despite what it said in the guide book it was locked up tight as a drum.  So we went to Jack’s Grill at the pub again.  Bill was going to have flathead fillets again, but they had sold the last, so he had a beef burger and I had the risotto balls again.  Both meals were lovely.  We had our usual flutter on the pokies, and after spending 50c I scored the feature and picked up $23 dollars or so.  This was helped by picking up the feature again during my free spins.  I kept playing until I had $20 left, at which time I pulled it out, up $10 on our original investment.
It began pouring rain just as we got back to the van.

GERROA and ALBION PARK Tuesday 1st November 2011

Today is Melbourne Cup Day – didn’t have a bet, and not in a Sweep anywhere.
We drove to Albion Park to have a look at the Air Museum at the airport.  Got there about 11:30 as we’d had a slow start to the day.  In fact Bill took down the annexe in case it decides to rain before we leave.
We had thought to have a wander around the museum by ourselves rather than join a guided tour, but apparently one must be ‘escorted’ so we opted for the tour.  Joined in a tour already in progress.  The man had told us it was about an hour long, but it was closer to two hours all up, maybe even longer, because it was nearly 2:30 before we finished.
Saw lots of old aeroplanes – it was more of a day for Bill, but I still found it quite interesting and the guide told some amusing tales.  It was also quite fascinating to hear how much it costs to repair and run the big metal (or in some cases wooden) birds.  They also had lots of engines on display.  Some planes were used for flying, others will only ever be for display, and some are awaiting parts or funding to make them flyable.  We joined the tour just as they were coming out of the Super Constellation or “Connie” so that actually became the last thing we saw.  We were able to go into “Connie” and actually sit in the first class seats.  A big plane for a relatively small number of passengers.  And room to swing a cat in the on-board loo.
We also saw a restored Catalina, like the one at Lake Boga (or is it Bolac, as I wrote in my Mildura holiday journal?  No, Bill tells me it is Lake Boga.)  The guys from this museum (the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society – HARS – Museum) went down to Lake Boga to paint the Catalina there about a month ago.  There was also a reconstruction of Charles Kingsford Smith’s Southern Cross – from what I gathered it wasn’t a modern reconstruction.  It is being repaired at the moment because the last time it flew it crashed into the ground because the undercarriage collapsed.  It is made of plywood and canvas.
When the tour finished we went to the Aviator Lounge across the way at the airport for a late lunch.  I had a lovely ham and pineapple sandwich, Bill had roast pork.
Back to the caravan via Gerringong where we stopped at the station to see if we could find out about going to Wollongong on the train, then to the supermarket to get a few bits and pieces for tea which we had decided to have in the van.