On the Queen's Birthday Long Weekend, we journeyed back down to Tathra. It was the first trip away where we got to take the WORK CAR! Ie - we didn't have to pay for petrol, or watch Dan's (Dan is my faithful, albeit slightly tired these days, Subaru) temperature gauge constantly to check that his engine wasn't doing anything evil. Although Stuart constantly grumbled about how he couldn't fit enough gear in to the work car (Rav 4), it was lovely and comfortable, and warm and I got to be a passenger for once, as only Stuart is allowed to drive it!
We couldn't leave Canberra until Stuart finished work, so it was a late get away at 5pm. We stopped at the Bemboka Pub for dinner. I like Bemboka (although not in summer's, it's a stinking hot and evil oven!), probably because it has a terrific Bakery/Pie Shop, and it has a horse named after it. He was a little grey horse and he won the Stradbroke Handicap in 1980, and he was called Bemboka Yacht. This was during the Kingston Town heyday, so I used to know most of the horses running around then, even though I was only 12. We arrived at Tathra at about 9.30pm. It was a slow trip, as the long weekend is the opening of the ski season. Naturally we saw our share of complete cowboys on the road, no wonder there are so many crosses and flowers on the highway. These idiots overtake on double yellow lines, flash in and out of traffic, narrowly missing killing themselves, and the poor innocent buggers coming in the other direction. All to gain about 6 car spots along what Stuart calls the long red snake (of tail lights).
We stayed in a cottage called Spotted Gum Cottage. It looked ramshackle and run down from the outside, but inside was lovely and renovated. The next morning, after the late arrival, we were a bit slow to get going. We drove up and had a look at some of the beaches along the route, because Stuart is interested in doing some camping up there. I have to admit to being a bit of a fair weather camper, and so was trying to act enthusiastic, but the lack of power, a hot shower, and the presence of pit toilets was making me feeling a bit reluctant. A woos, I agree. I had found the bird seed, and fed the birds before we left, therefore annoying Stuart a little bit, because of course I had to take some pictures of them, which meant we didn't leave the cabin until later than he wanted!
Later in the day, we braved the cold southerly wind (ok, not as cold as home in Canberra) and went down and did some fishing with the kids. I took the camera down, and took some shots of the pelicans coming in to land, as the light was nice, and I liked the way they skidded down onto the water.
Stuart, ever the reliable hook tier and baiter, and setting the hook in the fish's mouth, managed to ensure that the kids caught some fish. Jessica caught her fish, so was more than a little bit pleased. On her PINK fishing rod no less! They were only little, so of course all got thrown back, but the kids still had a lot of fun. Then cold through, we went back up to our cottage and had a nice dinner.
The next day the birds were more used to me, so I got some more nice shots. I was lamenting the fact though that I had agreed to take my 500mm lens out of the car, as we really were short on room (how many fishing rods and tackle boxes and bloody buckets can you use!!!!!), so couldn't get as close as I wanted unless I got in a bit closer than the birds were happy with. The light was a little tricky as it was backlit, which made the exposures more complicated. The shots were the nicest when the birds perched up in the tree, as the plank and garbage bin wasn't exactly the aesthetic setting I had in mind! It all reminded me of my birds that I used to feed in the early days of working for CSIRO. I had crimson rosellas all year round, and then during the winter months, the king parrots used to come down as well. It is interesting that the females (actually, no surprise really, girls are gutsy!) were far less worried about me than their more brightly coloured boyfriends.
We had a look at some more beaches the next day, and at Picnic Point, I saw my first whale! Goodness me! Exciting! Of course I'd wandered to the beach without my camera (it's big, draws attention to itself and me, so I'd left it in the car), and Stuart saw the whale first. Then as we watched, up it came and I saw it, and the water spout! I couldn't help myself, and went back for the camera, and of course didn't see it again, but did take some nice pictures of the kids, nonetheless. I thought the rock climbing effort carrying some $15,000 of heavy and bulky equipment was to be admired!