Fishburgers but 'sno pasta

Trip Start Oct 29, 2003
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Australia  ,
Sunday, January 28, 2007

After a hearty fried breakfast at St Mary's - a first for the Italians and probably the last - we hit the dirt road again and continued north. Just before Christmas this area had been caught in a serious bushfire which had come within a couple of hundred metres of the Seaview Farm. Fortunately it survived but as we descended down to the coast we passed through acres of burnt forest and the occasional destroyed house. Some of the roadsigns had melted in the heat and those that hadn't were now shiny metal as the paint had burnt off.

There was no danger of fire today as the rain continued to fall. We were headed to the fishing village of St Helen's and the gateway to - ironically - the Bay of Fires. We drove up to Binalong Bay where we didn't fancy joining the hardy locals swimming in the surf but instead walked along the beach and went for a clamber - and occasional slip - on the rocks.

Back in town we dried out at the rather sparse hostel (no TV, radio, oven, couch or sauna) where there was nothing for it but cards and goon whilst Rob prepared his famous Stir Fry a la Wigan followed by apple pie and melted ice cream (there was no freezer either).

It was back to breakfast normalcy for the Italians which consisted of muesli and honey followed by toast and honey washed down with honey tea. Continuing up to the Bay of Fires I took Norris on a bit of an expedition down an unsealed road. For over an hour we bumped along and at times we couldn't go more than 10mph over the potholes. With no radio reception (not even McDonalds adverts) it was only the shaking of Norris's old bones that prevented me hearing the Teutonic whining from the backseat. At least the sun was out. After a quick look around the Eddystone Point lighthouse we hit a white deserted beach and went for a blimmin' chilly dip before getting lacerated by a sandstorm.

Somehow the Italians survived another night without pasta (this time Left Over Veggies and Tatties a la Wigan) and onwards we went along the north coast. After a brief stop at Penguin and Boat Harbour Beach we made it to Stanley, home of The Nut. The Italians were very excited to cook but then disaster struck! The hostel was full and the only available place to stay didn't have any cooking facilities. They tried the campsite across the road but that kitchen had no pots or pans. Mein Got! Now they were getting desperate. Eventually calm was partially restored and we talked them into getting a takeaway from the only place that was open. Eva was fairly happy with her cheese sandwich - after she sent it back to be toasted. Sophie ordered a fishburger, and soon wished she hadn't.

Aussies like to put interesting things on their burgers, such as carrot, beetroot and pineapple. Sophie's fishburger came with a fried egg on it. The look on her face was priceless. Up until two days ago she's never had a fried egg and she'd certainly never had a fishburger. These facts, coupled with EPD (Extreme Pasta Deprivation), would no doubt lead to an uber-strop of Alpine proportions. Me and Robbed were braced but somehow it didn't happen, probably due to her lack of pasta-based energy.

The next day was fairly uneventful except for a long drive through the mountians to Strahan on the west coast. During a pasta dinner (happy days!) we bumped in to some cricket fans that Rob knew. They told us about a campground at Mole Creek near Cradle Mountain where we could get a caravan for only 15 quid for the four of us. That's how we ended up eating pumpkin risotto and drinking goon in Chesney the (1970s) Caravan.

The next two nights we had booked at Cradle Mountain National Park where I hoped to do a couple of hikes. Unfortunately, the rains came again and we ended up walking for 3 hours around the Lakes getting wet and windswept. Back at the bunkhouse we stoked a big log fire to dry our gear, and talked to other travellers. One said that snow was forecast for the morning which would mean that there wouldn't be any point in attempting the six hour hike to Cradle Mountain as I wouldn't be able to see anything. And I'd probably freeze.

We awoke to a dusting of snow as predicted. I couldn't sit around doing nothing all day so with the Italians I did an easy guided walk for a couple of hours in the sleet and rain with Ranger Bob and a few fat Aussies. It was disappointing not to get to the mountain - or even see it - but strangely it was nice to feel cold again, although I was more than happy to spend the rest of the day in front of a big log fire!
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