Yesterday, we left beautiful Bermi and made the 4 hour track to a place called Shellharbour after a strong recommendation to come here from some people we met at Regatta Point. The thing about Shellharbour is that it is still coastal and it’s still beautiful and although it is a little busier that what we would like there is a lot of construction going on here including housing estates, a new marina and a big block shed (at the park we are staying at). We hope that Ben will find some work here and we will be able to build up the finances again before we move on. At this stage we are booked here for 10 days but if there is work to be done we may stay longer.
Shellharbour is about 15 minutes from Wollongong and about an hour from Sydney. The park here is located conveniently, there is a pub and the main street within walking distance and even closer is the local pool, which is outdoors, located right on the rocky shore of the ocean and is free.
As we walked Chev and Brock down the main street and peered into the cafes and shops lining it, I thought, how lucky are these dogs? How many dogs have gotten dirty in Cobram, waded in the pristine shallows at Mallacoota, chased the waves at Eden, been given free meat and dog biscuits at Regatta Point and walked the streets of Shellharbour with their owners? They are both very happy boys at the moment.
Looking to the left from my chair I can see the blue ocean and you can hear it as it crashes on the rocks the white water recede and bubbles back into the blue. You could see this endless motion even more closely when we went to the nearby town of Kiama today and looked at a popular attraction called The Blowhole. For those of you who haven’t seen one before it’s where the force of the waves pushes through a tunnel in the rock and then sprays out of an opening toward the sky. The rougher the waves are, the bigger the spray. It’s amazing how sea water shooting into the air by natural force gets people ‘oooing and arhhing’. It does give you a good perspective of the force and strength of nature, even when it’s not really trying. There is a rock pool just down the pathway from The Blowhole, they have made it into natural swimming pool, with concrete stair access and a shower and toilet block. It looked inviting but there was too many people in there today, maybe we’ll go back on a quieter day.
The coast is a constant reminder of how small we are, there is the rock edge and then the ocean, which is bigger than any imagination and then the sky, not to mention the atmosphere and the rest of the solar system and whatever is beyond that. Humans are small and weak compared to all of that.
Ben is happy because we have a belly full of fresh prawns from the wharf, he has a cold Wild Turkey in his hand and the weather is warm. There isn’t much better for lunch than good, local Aussie prawns with seafood sauce. Warning… stay away from the imported ones, they’re taste is ruined by the salt brine they soak them in. You can definitely tell the difference.
Things I thought of and had to remember:
- Pack up and set up days are the least fun
- You know you are travelling around Australia when you leave your thongs in the sun for five minutes and then the soles of your feet burn when you put them back on
- Smile even when you don’t feel like it, you’re in a better place that lots of other people
- The best type of sleep comes with fresh air, a careless mind and the sound of the ocean easing your thought