N.S.W. ~ December 2012 

Lead me not into temptation, I can find it by myself.

Saturday 1st December 2012

We awoke to a dry but cloudy day, not really the best weather for an air show. We arrived in plenty of time for me to get the coffees before the flying started. A Tiger Moth and a Ryan took to the sky first. They flew around a bit but because there was some turbulence and they had to go higher to avoid it, it wasn’t the best of displays. Then the Spitfire and the Kittyhawk followed, again not the best of days for flying. Then the heavens opened and we had a downpour. People scattered to find shelter; I went in search of a loo then bought some lunch for us. The rain continued so once we had eaten our sandwiches I headed home. Pete Mate stayed to watch a Catalina take off. He was home not long after me as the Catalina had broken down and wasn’t going anywhere. It did, however, fly later in the day. I guess whatever was wrong was small enough to be fixed there and then.

Sunday 2nd December 2012

We set off for Batemans Bay around 10.30am; we enjoyed an easy run through arriving late afternoon. I asked the receptionist for a drive-through site which she assured me was no problem. She marked on the mud map where we were to go; I queried that we would be on two sites. She said no, we would have to unhook for the night as someone else might want the adjoining site. She obviously did not know the meaning of a drive-through site!

Once we found our allotted site we had a look around. Sites were plentiful and caravans scarce. Guess what, Lady? We stayed hooked up all night across two sites. We couldn’t get any TV and Pete Mate said he thought we should have been given an aerial cable as there was a socket for it in the power box. We didn’t bother going back to the office as it was only for one night.

Monday 3rd December 2012

We left Batemans Bay around 10.00am and had a leisurely drive through to Eden. We received a very warm welcome from Chris, the manager. He walked me over to the site and we chatted as we went. During our varied conversation I mentioned that Pete Mate had hurt his back. Chris immediately offered his help if we needed it setting up. Nice man. The weather was not looking good so we decided to set up a basic camp until tomorrow.

Tuesday 4th December 2012

A lay day; Pete Mate needed to rest his back and the weather is not the best - very windy and cold. I cannot believe we have to switch the heater on in December.

Wednesday 5th December 2012

We decided to go and see what Eden has to offer us for the month that we are staying here. The information centre was very helpful and we came away loaded up with leaflets regarding the whole area. We then found a nice little café which is also a book exchange place. We enjoyed a tasty snack and bought a couple of books. We then walked down one side of the main street and up the other before it started to rain. We hurried home as I had washing on the line. Once home the rain stopped but it was still windy and cold. Our first impression of Eden (weather excepted)? 10/10.

Thursday 6th December 2012

The sun has decided to return so we sallied forth to do some exploring. We followed the map to a lookout and the seaman’s memorial.

Rocky Cove
Very picturesque - as long as you can keep a safe distance back.

Seamen's Memorial
Many fishermen from Eden have been lost over the years.
This memorial is dedicated to all seamen who failed to return.
Then we did a very short walk to another lookout which was also the home of a communications tower. There was a man high up on the tower, I suppose doing some maintenance work. Rather him than me but I guess he enjoyed a marvellous view from up there.

We drove down to Snug Cove, Eden's fishing port which had been aptly named by Matthew Finders; ships are safe and snug from storms here. It was very pretty and we saw lots of boats all snugly tied up. These, however, were not explorers but fishing boats.

Fishing Boat Rubicon
The fishing boat Rubicon. An odd name in view of the picture above it.
Rubicon means a point of no return.
As we walked along the jetty the boats groaned and creaked against the wharf and there was a very strong fishy smell. We thought it might be interesting to come back one day when the boats were returning with their catch.

We saw a few cafés with views of the water and chose one to have a very late lunch. Pete Mate reckoned we should try the local fish as we were in a fishing port. We did and it was very nice indeed. It had been a rather pleasant day.

Friday 7th December 2012

We had heard so many good things about the resort town of Merimbula that we decided to go and have a look. We first had a look at Pambula which was a beach a few shops and lots of houses. Merimbula, however, has lots and lots of shops and even more cafes. We had a wander around; it seemed a nice enough place but I prefer Eden. We ate a sandwich in a café that kept us waiting a very long time and wasn’t even busy.

After lunch we did some more wandering and I called in a communications shop to check out a SIM card to make cheap calls to the UK. The young man started to serve me; he said he had to check the price and that was fine. However, when a man walked in behind me he abandoned me and proceeded to serve the man, talking to him over my head. I told him not to bother, he had little or no idea of customer service and he had just lost a sale. Then I walked out. These are the type people that moan about online shoppers. I did some Christmas shopping and then went off to do the grocery shopping whilst Pete Mate rested his back in the car. Then it was home for us and feet up.

Saturday 8th December 2012

I did some washing and cleaning and then we put out the awning and the shade. In the afternoon we sat outside reading until the cold breeze became a wind and we retreated indoors. Again we switched the heater on and soon became snug and cosy.

My usual Saturday Skype call to my family was a disaster as either the connection is rubbish or our WiFi is faulty.

Sunday 9th December 2012

We were unsure whether to go out or stay home, the weather kept changing from sunny to dull on a regular basis. We eventually decided to stay home; a good decision as by afternoon it was cold, wet and windy - a perfect afternoon for curling up with a book, drinking tea and eating chocolate. You just have to have chocolate, don’t you?

Monday 10th December 2012

We had a drive out across the border into Victoria today. We wanted to have a look around but the primary reason for the drive was to try and find somewhere, not too far away from Eden, to stay when we leave here. We found a couple of possible parks but we are not pinning our hopes on those. We might well have to travel inland for the New Year. Mallacoota, a small fishing village, was nice enough but apparently people book a year in advance.

Tuesday 11th December 2012

We are experiencing Victorian weather and we are not even in Victoria. One minute it is beautiful, warm and sunny; the next it is raining. The washing received a heavenly rinse which didn’t make me happy at all. So what did we do today? Not a lot.

Wednesday 12th December 2012

We returned to the nice little café we had discovered and had lunch. They do all their own baking so we bought some nice fresh mince pies to take home. They were on a par with my pastry-making efforts . . . flaming awful. We did a little shopping and sent off the remainder of the Christmas cards. Once home we had nanny naps and read for a while.

Thursday 13th December 2012

Pete Mate’s back was giving him gyp and as the weather was not the best we decided to postpone our day out to another time.

Late afternoon he was lying on the bed reading when there was a knock on the door. It was a woman requesting that we move our washing line as her husband needed to drive on to our site to give himself room to reverse onto theirs. By the time I got out of the caravan she was busy trying to move it herself. I told her it was pegged down; it was not just a matter of picking it up.

Pete Mate slowly emerged, gingerly descended on to all fours and started to remove the pegs which had been hammered into hard ground and did not want to come out again. Meanwhile our new neighbours drove off. We thought they were going to come around and try and drive through their site. As Pete Mate continued to struggle with the pegs I noticed that they had gone to another site and were busy reversing on to it!

I had a Doc Martin moment of wrath. I walked over and asked if they still wanted our washing line removed. When she said No I was so cross! I told her - quite politely - that it would have been nice if she'd had the good manners to mentioned it before driving away. Doc Martin then receded somewhere inside my head to wait until he is needed again.

Once on their new site, which I might add took them ages of shunting backwards and forwards, they went to inform the manager of their new location. He told them that the new site was booked and to return to the site he'd originally allocated. They eventually settled opposite us but not on the original site. To his credit, the chap did come over and apologise.

Later he saw Pete Mate taking the toilet receptacle - the potty - to the dump point and told him that was a woman’s job. I just wish I had heard him! I would have told him a woman, THIS woman, could have done a far better job of parking a caravan. Maybe it was best I hadn’t heard him.

Friday 14th December 2012

Another miserable day, weather wise. So, what to do? Go out or stay home? Pete Mate then had an excellent suggestion - a fairly rare occurrence. Why didn't we go out for breakfast?

Did I need asking twice? No, I did not. I was in that shower and ready to go in record time. (Err, that doesn't sound right. I did leave the shower, dry myself and dress.)

We revisited the Wharfside Café where we enjoyed a lovely breakfast which was HUGE so we didn’t have to bother with lunch. We can highly recommend that café; the food is excellent, the staff friendly, the service is good and of course you have the ambience (pronounced as in French, of course) which is complemented by the fishing boats tied up along the wharf outside.

Check their site out but remember to come back. http://www.wharfsidecafe.com.au

Once home the weather had brightened up a bit so we sat outside for a while reading and knitting. We spent some time watching the birds and feeding them biscuits. If you are imagining exotic, brightly-coloured parrots let me disillusion you; they were sparrows. Pete Mate threw them a whole biscuit and it was quite funny watching how they ‘shared’ . . . because they didn’t. In the end one of them took what remained and flew off.

Pete Mate then decided he would wash part of the ‘van. Now, did he know he was spraying water on me, my knitting and the pattern, or was it just an accident? Either way I retreated indoors.

Saturday 15th December 2012

Not a lot happened here today except the office told us they had had a cancellation and we could stay an extra three weeks. We were very happy about that as we really do love it here. As I am in the mood for recommending places I will put a link here for the caravan park. http://www.edentouristpark.com.au. It is a lovely park, clean and well maintained and Chris and Dianna, the owners are really friendly and helpful.

Sunday 16th December 2012

The weather is still a mixed bag so the moment the sun came out we decided to take a short walk around the lake. From the walking path we only saw parts of the lake as the bush surrounding it was dense. (Ideal, though, if you are taken short.) We walked to a lookout and then decided to turn back. There were plenty of black swans on the lake plus we saw ducks and some other birds. Some idiot had lit a fire on the wooden boardwalk and had burnt a hole in it. Euthanasia for people with less than two brain cells has a lot to recommend it.

We found a track leading up to the road and then on to the path along the ocean beach front. We decided to walk back this way.

We came across two 'women' having a picnic and one had bright blue hair. I asked Pete Mate whether blue hair would suit me. I told her I liked her hair and Pete Mate asked if he could take a photo so he could superimpose her hair around my face to see if it suited me. She agreed and posed for him.

Let me reassure you, I know exactly what this man is like but on this occasion he had no ulterior motive! When he'd transposed her hair onto me I decided I looked terrible, even without the nose ring and the black, hairy armpits of the blue hair owner. I ‘requested’ that the composite be deleted at once. It was. He will continue to be fed.

As I said before, the weather is crazy. Strong winds had blown up and Pete Mate spent some time battling to secure the awning. By the time he had finished the wind had dropped (as usually happens) and his back was hurting.

Later we went out to dinner at the pub recommended by Chris, the caravan park owner. It was a very nice dinner, large and reasonably priced. We sat at a table near a couple, one of which was a very loud Pom. (To explain - people from the UK are English, Scottish, Irish, and Welsh . . . and then there are POMs.) This particular Pom was explaining to his dining partner how he battered rats to death with a plastic shovel, a subject we would have preferred not to hear whilst eating our dinner. And someone should tell him it is rude to dine wearing a cap even though it has England plastered across it.

On the way home we had a drive around to look at the Christmas lights adorning some homes. Actually we were lost but we did see the lights which would have to be a bonus.

Monday 17th December 2012

We went into town in the afternoon to do some shopping and collect the mail. That went without a hitch, that is until we got back to the caravan and I unpacked everything. We had left a bag behind at the supermarket. Back into town we drove and sure enough they had our bag waiting for us; apparently someone took it home by mistake. However, they were then missing a bag, did we have it? Well, no, if I had it I would have returned it. The girl looked at me as if she did not quite believe me. Her problem not mine.

As we were out and about, Pete Mate suggested we check out the tyre depot as Billy needs new back ones. We pulled into this place, the chap came out to look and said he didn’t have them in stock, he would have to check. Pete Mate followed him into his office where he proceeded to do something on his computer. He then looked up, looked at the clock and said, We are closed. You will have to leave. We couldn’t believe it! We then tried another place and they were open he said the first chap was their best customer as he sent everyone to them. It took a moment for it to click. The tyres were ordered and hopefully they will be here soon.

Tuesday 18th December 2012

We didn’t do much; the weather was not that good and neither was Pete Mate. He has come off some medication and it is having unpleasant symptoms that are making him feel rotten.

Wednesday 19th December 2012

We went into town to do a couple of things and then we had a drink at the pub - a soft drink.

Thursday 20th December 2012

The weather was dull and overcast so we decided not to go out. Then the sun came shining through so we quickly got ready and drove out to Bega. Bega (the town) was okay but nothing special. I imagined it to be a small village similar to Tilba Tilba but it was a large town with lots of shops.

The cheese factory was interesting; the museum upstairs had all the old equipment and a funny looking cow. The gift shop was good and the cheese tasting was well done with lots of cheese cut up in containers and you could taste as much as you wanted. We bought some as it was nice and was much cheaper than the shops. We then ordered lunch; being in a cheese place you really want something cheesy, don’t you? We ordered ploughman’s lunches; they were expensive and awful, we reckoned they must have been prepared hours before, as even the cheese was dry.

When we left Bega we travelled out to the coast to a little village called Tathra. It was a lovely little place with a very picturesque coastline. A local lady, Rosemary Brittliff, decided that, as the town didn’t have a cemetery, it should have a memorial garden. She organised volunteers and the local Lions Club and between them they created a beautiful garden with plaques and a lookout with stunning views. When we left there, we called in at the pub for a cool drink before heading home.

Friday 21st December 2012

We went to the wharf for breakfast which was just as good as previously. Today’s trip was made special by a seal frolicking in the water near the boats. It is amazing how many people can get excited by something so simple. Seals are not very pretty either. Later we did some shopping and a few other errands before heading home for a rest.

Saturday 22nd December 2012

The sun is shining so the washing machine worked very hard and everything got dry. I did some cleaning and then read for a while.

Sunday 23rd December 2012

Today was pretty much the same as yesterday.

Monday 24th December 2012

We went to the wharf for breakfast; our favourite place was closed for a week so we tried another little café. It was different but very nice and friendly and the food was excellent. Pete Mate had a wander along the jetty and was rewarded with another display by the seals. We then went into town for a couple of things and to see if any more mail had arrived. Alas, my Christmas present was not there.

Tuesday 25th December 2012

Everyone imagines Christmas Day in Oz is hot and sunny. Our was cold and windy. The sun came out for a little while but not enough to entice me to sit outside. We enjoyed a nice relaxing day with some nice food and a bottle of wine. We were surprised how much our tastes have changed and were not overly keen on the wine at all. We still managed to finish the bottle, though.

Wednesday 26th December 2012

Today was pretty much the same as yesterday except I did sit outside for a while as the weather had improved. It was still a little chilly though.

Thursday 27th December 2012

A beautiful sunny day dawned which was just what we ordered because we were to meet Greg and Bev, our friends from Sydney. We met up at Merimbula in time for coffee; it was lovely seeing them again. We wandered the town looking at shops before deciding to go for a drive around. It really is a lovely spot on the NSW south coast and all the more enjoyable because we shared it with friends.

Bev on bench
Don't get too comfy, Bev
We then went in search of lunch; the first place we tried was a seafood restaurant and oyster farm which turned out to be fully booked so we walked across the road to the golf club which had plenty of tables free. We enjoyed a lovely relaxed lunch before driving back into the town centre. Here we did some more browsing - it is always more fun when you have a female companion. All too soon it was time to say good bye and go our separate ways. A perffick day with some lovely people.

Friday 28th December 2012

We had to be up and out early as Billy was having new brake pads fitted. We dropped him off at the garage and walked into town. We had breakfast at a little café we have visited before but will not be visiting again; it was awful. We then wandered around the shops, browsing until we received the phone call to say Billy was ready. Pete Mate went to collect him whilst I popped into the supermarket for a couple of things. Once home we did very little as we both felt less 100%.

Saturday 29th December 2012

A definite 'lay day' as all I wanted to do was lie down; Pete Mate wasn’t much better. What a pair we are. We did sit outside for a while to day as the weather was lovely.

Sunday 30th December 2012

Today was pretty much the same as yesterday.

Monday 31st December 2012

I thought I was feeling better so we went down to the harbour for breakfast. Big mistake. Pete Mate seemed to enjoy himself wandering around for a couple of hours chatting to people, taking photos and watching the seals. As soon as we got home I was back to lying down on the bed.

Later, much later, we saw the New Year in by watching a firework display. The display was at the sportsground but we could see the fireworks from just outside our ‘van - they were spectacular. Once they were over, most people retired to their various tents and caravans except our neighbours. They were so inconsiderate they played loud music and talked in loud voices until about 4:00am. There are three couples, probably in their late twenties. Wait until they have children (one is pregnant) and maybe they will appreciate how all the other parents around them felt. Not to mention certain great grandparents.

And so ends January.

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