Today , 16 December, we got out of bed at 9.40am exactly when we were woken by Jennifer Parsonage who made us all a brew. We had decided to go to the beach for the day, so in preparation we made a pile of sandwiches and then about lunchtime we headed off. First stop was the post office where I posted home an envelope of stuff for my mum and dad and Andrea sent a few postcards of her own. Back in the cars I was navigating, but the map we had was shite and we had a lovely tour of the lesser known areas of Jervis Bay. It was a 20 minute drive to the small national park where the nicest beaches are and we arrived in lovely sunshine. After a short walk through the woods we turned a bend and there in front of us was the beach. It was almost deserted and arched its way along the coast for about a mile. The sand was the finest, whitest sand that any of us had ever seen – Andrea described the sand as 'Whistling sand', as it made a strange squeaky whistle as we slowly strolled along. The ocean was just as unbelievable. A bright turquoise colour slowly descended into a dark clear blue as it got deeper. Behind the beach there is a forest made up of eucalyptus trees and bushes. A few of these trees had fallen onto the sands and added to the atmosphere of the place as well as giving us somewhere to hang our bags and clothes! The view across the waves to the close by island was stunning. It was also a perfect day – about 28degrees and clear blue skies, with just a hint of a breeze to keep us cool.
The afternoon was spent lazing on the sand, reading, chatting and swimming in the cool sea. Although Jennifer Parsonage decided she didn’t want to swim when she saw a massive jellyfish floating in the sea a few feet from the shore. It was an idyllic afternoon. I went for a wander around the paths to a viewpoint and came across some Australian geezer was in the woods with a pair of binoculars. I thought he was looking across the bay at the view, but when I looked at the beach below where he was, I saw the girls and realised he was probably looking at them!
After eating all the sandwiches and sunbathing a while longer, we all took the same walk I had and enjoyed the views before getting back in the cars and heading home. On the way we stopped at the supermarket and bought enough food to feed the whole bloody town – even though we still have plenty of food left in the lodge. Wine was also on the shopping list!!
Back at the lodge, we started dinner and I took myself down to the BBQ area with the sausages and chicken kebabs that we had bought, plus the Hallumi cheese for Andrea.
The sausages were massive and took a a while to cook, but the Hallumi got a little burnt, but I think that it added to the flavour. The wine came out during dinner and continued to flow for the next few hours. We had agreed on an early night before we leave tomorrow, but that went out the window as we all enjoyed a few drinkies! After midnight, we had tidied up and prepared a few bits to leave in the morning, but continued to drink the wine! Jennifer Parsonage, Liv, Donna and Lisa, decided to walk down to the bay to look at the views and used Big Ricks advise on approaching the water – basically walking like a bear on tiptoes! Strange women! There was a small boat about 6 feet off shore, so it seemed perfectly acceptable for them to climb across to the boat and sit in it for while. When me and Andrea followed them down, we found them stranded and trying to get out! We didn’t want to get soaked and left them to it. It was a wise move as a few minutes later they all arrived back at the cabin – Jennifer Parsonage with soaked jeans and Lisa with a wet dress! But all happy and full of smiles!
It was then time for a bit of sleep before an early start in the morning. Unfortunately they couldn’t remember which bed they should be in so Jennifer Parsonage, Lisa and Donna all shared the big double.
Amazingly, after last nights antics, we were all up and out of the cabin by 8.30. Today is a four hour drive south to a place called Eden. We don’t really know what’s there but are hoping that is as nice as Jervis bay has been.
I piled in the white car with Andrea and Lisa and we set off in the rain.
It was a good enough journey with Lisa sleeping most of the way in the back of the car. The roads were clear and even though it was raining it was a good days driving shared between me and Andrea.
We arrived at Fountain Caravan Park in Eden just after lunch and were once again pleasantly surprised to move into a nice big cabin with two good sized bedrooms.
After moving in and having a little bit of lunch (Sausage and chicken left over from last nights barbecue!) me and Lisa headed into the town of Eden to have a look around and visit the Killer whale museum, while the rest of the gang - Jennifer Parsonage,Liv, Donna and Andrea stayed behind for a rest.
The Killer whale museum was pretty weird!! It tells the true story of how in the late 1800's a group of killer whales used to bully and goad other types of whales into the bay around Eden. The killer whales would then slap the water in front of a house owned by whale hunters, who would then row out in boats, led by the killer whales and harpoon and kill the whale that had been trapped by the killers. The Killers are then allowed by the whale hunters to feed on the lips and cheeks of the whale, before it is taken to land to be cut up for blubber and oil. It is an amazing, strange but true story of the co-operation between man and Orca! There was also a theatre production to watch about the story and the local marine life that is found here. The strangest part of the museum though was about how dead whales were once used to cure rheumatism – Basically, people were stripped and a hole was cut into the freshly killed whale, into which the patient was put for an hour at a time. Supposedly people noticed a significant improvement after the treatment and returned time and again for more – The only downside being a smell of death, that lingered for a week or two!
After the museum, me and Lisa had a walk around the lovely little town – It is a really strange place and is full of 'local' people. A friendly but unusual place where everything closes early. It is worth a visit though, just for the whale museum.
The evening was pretty uneventful – Lisa and Jennifer Parsonage went out for oysters for dinner (A local delicacy) whilst the rest of us stayed in the lodge with a glass or two of wine. It was yet another night chatting and planning in where we are going next.
This morning we got up, got ready and left just after 10am. We decided to drive towards Lakes Entrance, where we are staying tonight and just stop off on the way for a quick walk or lunch.
Lisa took Jennifer Parsonage and Donna into town to do a bit of shopping while me, Andrea and Liv drove out of town and away. After about an hour and a half we stopped at a tourist information place and found a nice short walk around a 'rainforest' and a coastal walk further down the road. But when we called the others to find out where they were, their shopping had gone on a while and they were over half an hour behind us. We decided to continue on and they actually caught us up not long later in the rainforest walk. This walk has bridges and raised platforms around a lovely little walk through the forest and was an ideal way to spend half an hour out of the cars.
On the way to the next stop, Andrea decided that I swear too much and so made a bet that I could go two hours without swearing – I did really well and now the bet has been enhanced to see if I can go the rest of the day without swearing more than twice – If I do it I get a shoulder massage!! I have used my two lives already though and have a couple of hours left to cope!
The coastal walk was delayed a little by a down-pouring of rain, but when we did get out we had a lovely hour climbing over rocks and wooden raised platforms and steps. The path led to some beautiful little bays and beaches with rock pools, crabs and mussels all living there.
Lisa and Andrea took themselves for a walk along the sandy beach while the rest of us waited and then it was back into the cars and off towards Lakes Entrance. Andrea and Liv fell asleep while I drove and I loved the peace and quiet of the road for an hour.
When we arrived at our new cabin, which was tiny!! It has a double bed, 4 bunk beds, a kitchen area, dining table and sink – all within a 15 foot square cabin!! It isn’t half as bad as some of the hotels we had in India and is actually pretty comfortable once we all got in! There isn’t any internet though and so we 'stole' some wifi internet from somewhere down the road that wasn’t locked. I actually spent an hour booking our next few days hostels and working out what we are going to do. We also booked one of the hire cars for a few more days so five of us can do the 'Great Ocean Road'. Unfortunately Jennifer Parsonage is going to Melbourne tomorrow and is hoping to find somewhere to stay for 3 months, so she isn’t coming along. We will miss her though and I’m sure we will keep in touch. Ill probably see her in Melbourne anyway as I’m there for the cricket next week!
In the evening we had a big bowl of cheesy pasta and a few glasses of wine, before hitting the sack.