Where is everybody?
Trip Start Apr 13, 2011
32Trip End Jul 13, 2011
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We have been camped out at Red Bluff, about 120 km north of Carnarvon, for three nights and it seems we really have stumbled upon the end of the earth here
We had been lured in here by the promise of real beach and coral snorkelling that was apparently twice as good as what we could expect in Coral Bay, minus the Noosa atmosphere and queues to get into the caravan parks. Needless to say, we did not need much persuading to head out on the corrugated road to Quobba Station, where the lady took one look at us (too young and clearly not fishermen) and shooed us further up the track to Red Bluff. So, here we were, but it seems Murphy has caught up with us again. The atmosphere is tranquil and the setting idyllic, but we are not sure how we are meant to snorkel without shredding ourselves like human coleslaw for the sharks circling in the bay below us. The waves are crashing into the shore with such venom it’s a wonder the beach doesn’t split open under the impact. It’s a surfers’ paradise, and apparently they are in the know right up and down the coast, the population ballooning the minute the swell rises. On our first day here, there were some crazy dudes surfing off the rocks on some pretty amazing waves, but they have all slunk off now that the swell has died down. We have been in the water twice for a tumble-wash, as there is no water here apart from what you brought in, and I am not washing in my expensive cask water, no matter how dangerous the water looks!
Actually, the beach here is the best we’ve had yet – we have finally landed in a place where the sand really is white as snow, and the water really is that clear turquoise you expect of each and every beach on this coast
Speaking of which though, we have really eaten exceptionally well so far, which won’t surprise any of you who know me well! If you’ve been reading up to now, you know that the trailer is stocked with a few basic staples from north of the Yarra, and you know that we are both fond of a good feed. Turning camp food into gourmet dining has always been one of my special passions, and having 12 weeks to hone these skills is proving to be a very enjoyable pastime. There’s only one judge in this reality show, but Paddy, who often leaves food on the plate at home, is polishing off everything he’s given here, and the compliments are flying thick and fast, so I’m going to have to work hard to keep the standards up. It’s lots of fun working out which odd little leftovers might lend themselves to a new combination with whatever else is currently in the trailer, and having to shop judiciously for space and storage reasons at the same time as having to seize the moment in terms of what is available has elevated what is usually just a manageable obsession into a whole new art form. In Carnarvon, we went all out, dining on freshly caught snapper and red emperor with Asian greens and sweet corn so fresh the cobs were dotted with white sugary bits. Up here, we have discovered that the end of a salami combines effortlessly with the last of the Asian greens if you toss in some red kidney beans (they have to be Bio Nature, carted from home, though) and the last of Mrs Morel’s fresh basil
When I said we haven’t seen many fish yet, that wasn’t quite true. On our first day here, we had quite a few weird experiences with the wildlife, and one of them was decidedly fishy. We were walking on the beach, just soaking up the atmosphere, when out of the blue we spotted a school of small, blue fish jumping in tandem along a wave. We were so surprised that I forgot to even lift the camera up, even though it was hanging around my neck, but they were also moving way too fast to capture. They all moved together in formation for about 20 metres parallel to the beach, jumping in a series of arcs to get along the shoreline, then they vanished off into the waves. It was spectacular. About 50m behind them might have been the reason for their excitement, as the aforementioned sharks were cruising around that day, too.
We’ve had some similarly weird moments with the kangaroos, too. We arrived here a bit worn out from all the crazy people in Carnarvon – well mainly Barry (see my random rant about nomads elsewhere in the blog) – so as soon as we had pitched the tent, we both lay down for a nanna nap, surfacing just as the sun was going down
Then Paddy woke up on our first morning and unzipped the tent to find himself in the middle of another gathering of grazing kangaroos. Then when he went to the loo, he had to jump out of the way of a crazed roo that had somehow wrapped itself up in an entire roll of toilet paper in the dunny. It then shot off up the hill, slowly shedding its wrapper as it went. The loos here are 100% bush dunnies, but very clean and accommodating with their palm frond walls, so much so that the kangas obviously don’t mind ducking in for a bit of privacy, either.
A bit of a plan has formed since we arrived here in paradise. We have decided to camp rough until the fridge runs out of power and we have eaten everything in it, then we will see how long we can last on the dried and canned stuff in the trailer - that is, after all, why half of it is here...