Saturday, December 6, 2008

Inching up the East Coast

We are definitely on our way to Sydney now. We are camped at Greenpatch on Jervis Bay where Andy's and my camping adventures began, somewhat shakily (no clothes, no swimmers, mattress didn't fit in tent, rain etc etc) just under 2 years ago. Without a doubt more organised this time around.

*The photogenic pelicans of Mallacoota.

Mallacoota was a great little stop and the first of the crawl up the east coast towards Sydney. It was a bit windy to start with but as long as you got away from the absolute water frontage it died off really quickly and was lovely. I did a giant walk to get out of Payniac's hair so he could get some work done and saw my first pod of dolphins of the trip frolicking in the surf. It's always a good start to any day when you see dolphins in the morning.

After leaving Mallacoota we made for the stunning Ben Boyd NP. Nicole had tipped us of about Disaster Bay so we did some touring and visited the old lighthouse and various lookouts before camping at Bittangabee Bay. Choosing a camp site when the sky is dark at 3pm is a vital skill we have developed and being near to a shelter essential. It absolutely poured, non-stop from 4pm until about 9am the next morning. We are now fairly confident that the cubby doesn't leak. While sitting down to dinner a little wombat waddled past in search of his/her own victuals. Very sweet.

*Payniac at the Narooma Pub with million dollar view.

*The camp set up at Narooma Surf Beach holiday park - yep, that's the surf in the background.

We didn't have a concrete plan after leaving the soggy Ben Boyd NP and decided to follow our noses and the B.O.M weather reports up the coast stopping where we felt like. The rain was making things tricky and when we finally pulled into our "destination" for the night we couldn't make a choice on the flattest bit of ground for parking, and there was no shelter. We kept driving. After an already fairly full day in the car things can go awry fairly fast and we spent a good 5 minutes on the side of the road in the car in the rain waiting for accommodation answers to come from the blue, while not talking to each other. Not sure I believe in serendipity but the result was a 4 night stay (cos we loved it so much!) in Narooma holiday park right on the beach. It also helped that we were a stones throw from Narooma Golf Club which served hot meals and cold beer out of the rain.
After a lot of the other small towns we passed through on the south coast Narooma felt quiet and sleepy and less developed.

It's taken me so long to get this instalment done that we're now back in Sydney - had a bit of a reunion and the car has been serviced. Payniac filled in the activities up the coast although he neglected to tell you all how BRAVE he was while removing ticks from my head at Pebbly Beach. My head is still sore but am unsure whether that is related to the tick bites or the quantity of hair removed in the process. Have found that Swiss Army knife tweezers better at pulling hair than embedded bugs. Am starting to feel like a bug-pub, the one stop bug blood shop as they don't seem to bother Andy so much. No photos of the ticks you'll be pleased to know.

Thanks to CJ and Steffen for having us these few days and for coping with all the hilarity of Sunday night - still laughing! It's been great catching up with friends although we are both pretty anxious to get out of town again. Heading off to Scone to see the Johnno clan (and pick up the dive gear - YAY!!!!) before heading for the hills and the coast again before Xmas.

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