Today we were going to have a relaxing day just chilling out by the beach in this sleepy township of Smoky Bay. We went to Ceduna to do some food shopping and to check out where we were booked in for New Years on our return leg at Shelly Beach Caravan Park. We drove around the Caravan Park and spotted the perfect site, which we decided was in the best spot as well as agreeing that we should treat ourselves to the en-suite. So I went into the office and confirmed our booking for new years and requested site 19. We both agreed that we would be happy with that park for a few days over New years and before heading back into civilisation and the Barossa.
We returned to the caravan late morning and decided to head to the smaller jetty, next to the boat ramp for some fishing/splashing around. The weather was perfect today – bright blue skies and mid 30’s – a perfect day to be relaxing by the water and having fun. Lachlan bought two hand reels for the girls yesterday, which didn’t get an outing due to the wind, but today I took control of one with Audrey, Ava showed no interest, and so Audrey and I cast off the jetty. Lach was standing at the end of the jetty and Ava was just watching adamant that she didn’t want to fish, then Audrey decided she needed a wee. So I took her off for a bush wee, and then I turn around and the local children who are swimming off the jetty are all surrounding Lachlan and Ava – I presumed correctly, Lach had caught a fish – a Trevally. Then we headed back to see what all the commotion was about and then I hooked on a pilchard and off I cast…. Caught a “don’t know what it’s called” fish – we think it may have been a mullet of some description, but it was definitely cranky and spikey!!! (top of the photo), then immediately after I caught a Salmon. I held up the Salmon and asked the girls if they wanted to kiss it, as it was opening and closing its mouth – they both said Yuk (I was also joking) and the local boy said “I will” and took the salmon off me and gave it a smacker! I think he was trying to impress the girls he was mucking around with. Lach and I then both caught a few Trumpet fish, known locally as “shitty fish”, so we chucked them back in. After about an hour, the girls wanted to then go swimming, and so we let them splash around with the other children (average age about 14) on the boat ramp – they loved it.
We then headed back for lunch – the girls had sandwiches and we had FISH!!!!. I went to clean the fish at the cleaning station back by the boat ramp, and bumped into our neighbours from the park, and he took the fish off me – passed them to his wife to scale, and then he filleted them for us, as well as giving us some Tommy Ruffa’s in order to make a big enough meal for us. He also asked “who was the one that drove into the tree yesterday?”….. I owned up and then he commented that my husband must be a panel beater as he has done an exceptional job. I said that Dr Google was the expert and my husband followed instructions and it worked…..maybe a new career Lach??(I knew there was a reason I reversed into the tree…to give you a job to do yesterday afternoon J). The pelicans at the cleaning station, were a bit too close for comfort – about 1m from my heels – waiting for the scraps. They literally would stare you in the eye waiting for food.
I headed back to the caravan and the girls were asleep and Lach had turned on the BBQ – so we kissed the fish on the BBQ and ate it straight away – can’t get much fresher than that (less than 2hours from catch to plate). We commented that the salmon is hardly pink and the beautiful, and the trevally was nice too, but the Tommy’s were very fishy and maybe should be in Fish ‘n’ Chips rather than just fresh with bread and butter.
We had a really relaxing lunchtime both of us reading our kindles in the sun whilst the girls slept – 100% on holiday now. The girls woke and after Ava’s tantrum, having woken up the wrong side of the bed, we headed to the playground, but that didn’t last long, so we went to the beach to cool down and play. I sat on the beach with my cup of tea, whilst Lach and the girls splashed and ran about and walked along the beach. We literally were the only people on the beach apart from 2 families about 200m away. The girls were having a ball – it made me smile from ear to ear just watching them running about without a care in the world. Lach had sat down and dunked himself, so took off his rash vest as the wind was making it cold. He then wrapped it around his shoulders to keep the sun off – so walking along in the water back to me from about 100m away, he looked as though he should be in the French Riviera striding down the beach with his girls chasing him, then I looked away and low and behold he had then wrapped it around his head like a turban – with his “captain grey beard” and his turban he definitely didn’t look like a European anymore!!! The girls then started making sandcastles and Ava was making sure once again that she was only picking up flat shells. They were having an amazing time and the sun and the sand just made it even more perfect. We then headed back to the van for showers before dinner. It was already close to 430pm and the sun was still stinking hot – even I felt like we had enough sun for the day.
Showers are an experience, most campsites have showers which are big enough for one, let alone 3. I took the girls and they have fun and wash whilst I somehow jump in and out and get dressed and then have to coerce them out. Audrey definitely likes hot showers, whereas Ava prefers the colder side, but if Audrey is in a hot one – she will stick it out. Funny watching the dynamics between these two. Every day I notice something different.
This campsite has been amazing, so quiet and in a stunning setting. There are lovely other residents staying here and they gasbag to us whilst in the camp kitchen every night. Last night a lady came up and gave the girls two Christmas decorations which she had made – the girls loved them. One thing which Lach picked up is that the Grey Nomads have a bad name and people moan about them, but one of them had made a comment to Lach that they are the ones that keep little communities alive by staying in places like this for weeks, the stay local and they buy local – I must admit I had never thought of it that way.
Tonight we were cooking and the guy next to Lach was from WA and was telling us about the quarantine restrictions going into WA – which I had been led to believe were only from WA to SA, and so we didn’t need to worry – UH NO!!!! – even more severe restrictions going into WA, so all of the fresh fruit and veg shopping we did this morning – could potentially have to be eaten or cooked before we cross the border in 2 days’ time. So having googled I have discovered that if fruit and veg are cooked we are OK, else it’s a pretty much 100% confiscation of all fresh food. So we have just planned our dinner tomorrow night at the Nullabor Roadhouse, and all of our snacks for the next 2 days! Once again our tummies will be full on fruit and veg before the cross the border!!!
We are drinking tonight our best wine yet of the trip – Short Sheet 2015 Cabernet Rose – exceptional. I think this vineyard will be getting some orders from the Beattie household!
Lachlan is going to make pancakes for breakfast tomorrow – yum – in the camp kitchen whilst I pack up the van ready for the road (so much easier when you don’t need to cook in the van!!!). 3.5 hours tomorrow before we get to the Nullabor Roadhouse and then we will likely back track about 50kms once we have dropped off the van to see the head of the Bight – can’t wait!!!! Hopefully the wind that has subsided today, stays subsided for the next few days, as crossing the Nullabor with a headwind will be expensive.
Late addition – whilst lachlan is walking around the inside of the van with a torch squashing all of the mozzies that have made their way inside (the wind in that respect has been a blessing as not may mozzies so far on our trip – whereas tonight I got 9 bites just whilst putting the awning in!!!) I have noticed that the blue night light makes certain colours look Fluoro – like my toes and our toothbrushes. I thought i would share 🙂