Monday 30th July
A quiet day at Bomaderry. We did a grocery shop and visited a fresh meat market. All meat, chicken and seafood along with a huge variety of sauces, herbs, spices, marinades and preserves are presented under the one roof. Once a purchase is made it is paid for at a check-out counter. The person who serves you the product wears gloves and never touches money or your credit/debit card. All purchases are handled by the check-out person. We bought 1.5Kg of Green Banana Prawns at $9.99 a Kg. We also bought some seaweed pickled in garlic and chilli. Tonight we had chilli garlic prawns cooked in individual pannikins on a gas burner on the table. Geoff prepared the garlic, chilli and salad. We peeled the prawns leaving the tail on. Once the pannikins were hot we poured in olive oil, garlic, the chilli and returned the pannikin to the heat and added a handful of prawns. Within two minutes we had a steaming aromatic and tasty prawn feast. Once the prawns were eaten the olive oil juices and garlic and chilli was soaked up with thickly torn sourdough bread. The pannikins were returned to the heat for another and another serving. It was a wonderful social meal. Thanks for the suggestion and preparation Geoff. It’s a pity I did not take photographs. I was too busy eating!
Tuesday 31st July
What is the story with the Teddy Bears? On the weekend as we were driving the highway south of Nowra I spotted a large Teddy Bear sitting on top of a roadside cutting. Hmmm! I thought. He ( I am giving this bear a sexual orientation by calling it a “he”) looked too comfortable just sitting there. Too comfortable to have been thrown and landed in that position. I thought no more of it until later on Sunday when we were at Currarong. There were two Teddy Bears strategically positioned on a power pole. They were too strategically posed to have landed there in a couple of moments of whimsy. Somebody had to make a valiant effort to find a large ladder to climb the pole and place the bears in just exactly the pose most likely to attract more than a casual glance.
Hmmm! Come to think of it, the first bear was placed high up on a cutting in a prominent position. Today while Geoff and I drove to Nowra to visit Bunnings Hardware via circuitous back roads to avoid road-works along the highway I spied another bear in a position almost guaranteed to be noticed. Somebody in the Shoalhaven has a fondness for Teddy Bears and a penchant for mystery. I would like to know more. The bears then reminded me of my childhood when I sometimes found the word ETERNITY written in a copperplate hand in chalk on footpath corners. The man responsible for this one word was Arthur Stace who became famous as the ETERNITY man. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Stace
Was a new Arthur Stace in the Shoalhaven and posing Teddy Bears with a message?
I will be looking for more Teddy Bears as I travel around the area.
Wednesday 1st August
Geoff and Margaret drove us to Belmore Falls today.
The falls are above Kangaroo Valley and included within the huge Morton National Park. The falls are a double cascade and a large cave has formed at the base of the first falls.
The cave is filled with ferns which thrive on the moisture laden air.
The mountains here are a part of the Great Dividing Range which stretches from around Cairns in north Queensland and down into Victoria. The sheer sandstone cliffs are a feature of the valleys and peaks formed by the range. Looking across the valley at the sheer sandstone cliffs is reminiscent of looking across the valley at nearby Fitzroy Falls. The falls are formed by the Barrengarry Creek which cascades near 700m to the valley floor where it meanders through the valley until it joins the Kangaroo River.
On our return trip along narrow country roads we stopped at Myra Vale to inspect the historic Wesleyan Methodist Church built from local sandstone in 1874.
The cemetery across the road has headstones from at least 1874 and many of them were made from the same sandstone as the church and all covered by red lichen.
Anybody interested in buying an historical church for a mere $750,000?
Returning to Kangaroo Valley we turned off to Bendeela a free campsite owned and maintained by Sydney Water. The park is on the banks of the Kangaroo River which rises in Budderoo National Park and joins the Shoalhaven River travelling a mere 51 klms.
The Kangaroo River must be one of the shortest rivers in Australia. On arrival at Bendeela we were greeted by Kookaburras, Kangaroos and a creature which seems to be becoming a habit in our adventures this week, the Wombat.
For some reason they are difficult to photograph in sharp clarity. Perhaps it is just me. The free camp is huge and can easily accommodate thousands of tourists.
We had a wonderful afternoon and we thank Geoff and Margaret for their hospitality and tours.
Thursday 2nd August
Today we drove from the Shoalhaven district and returned to the Illawarra district to spend a final night with Errol before we resume the highway and travel south. Nicole and the children are visiting family in Melbourne so Errol is home alone and working on the house.
Friday 3rd August
We spent today working with Errol to get a few jobs done around the house before Nicole and the children return from Melbourne on Sunday. We drove to Bomaderry after dark.
Saturday 4th August
After a cold night we started to pack WWWGO and left the home of Geoff and Margaret at 1pm but stopped the Fish/Chicken/Meat Market at Nowra to have a late lunch of fish n chips. We also bought some Atlantic Salmon and two dozen Sydney Rock Oysters. We travelled south along the Princes Highway calling in at Lake Conjola to meet with a couple who are looking for house sitters in October. It was getting late in the afternoon when we started to look for Rest Area’s for a place to stay the night. We finally stopped at a place called Mogo, a once thriving gold mining town, about 10Klms south of Batemans Bay. There was a parking area and toilets off the highway so we had an entrée of a dozen Sydney Rock Oysters each followed by red salmon and a salad. Not a bad meal for being on the side of the road after an afternoon of travel.
It was a cold night so after watching a movie from the comfort of our bed and a warm doona it was lights out at 11pm.
Sunday 5th August
It must have been the cold night. We both slept in until 9am and the temp inside WWWGO was 6°! After a stroll around Mogo a town similar to Berry or Berrima in that it was in decline and has sort of re-invented itself as a trendy place of eateries, hobby shops, antiques and wine and cheese outlets and artistic shops. We drove on to Moruya Heads and had lunch in WWWGO overlooking the sea.
From our vantage point high on the cliffs we watched two men swimming in the sea near a reef. Further out we saw several pods of dolphins cruise past. The men were leaving the water when they saw another pod swimming to where they had been. The men swam out again trying to join the dolphins. Without success. As we walked further around to Toragay Point headland an Echidna waddled out of the bush, crossed the road and disappeared in the bush before I could get the camera ready.
From another vantage point on the cliffs we watched several seals “resting” in the water below.
We walked to Shelly Beach and it was so warm and inviting in the sunlight we ran barefoot along the sand and into the water. Oops. The water was too cold for that sort of activity but the feel of sand between our toes in the warm sunlight was a welcome end to a relaxing day.
We have seen dolphins, seals, an echidna and some new birds, the New Holland Honeyeater and an Osprey. It is wonderful to have days like today which make up for several days of no adventure at all.
Tonight we are parked at Shelly Beach and listening to the sounds of the waves to lull us to sleep. Being on the coast it will not be so cold tonight.