Friday, August 31, 2012

From Gerringong to Narooma

Our last week in Gerringong saw our friends from home come and stay for the weekend. Inda and Noa were particularly thrilled to spend three days with their little friend Zeek and Chris and I were grateful for some familiar faces. The weekend with the Lawlers saw us venture out in strong winds to the monthly Gerringong markets, wander through Berry and take a daytrip out to Fitzroy Falls and the town of Robertson; which turns out to be the home of the ‘Big Potato.’ We parted with the Lawlers after Salt Church on the Sunday and spent the last two days of our time in Gerringong visiting our favourite spots and buying our favourite treats, trying to sketch every detail into our memory so that we wouldn’t forget.

Our last destination before hitting the road, was a daytrip out to the whitest sand in the world, namely, Hyams Beach. Once again, we were mesmerised by the beaches around here. And the sand was indeed white and soft. So soft that I had no problem lying down in it to have a moment of serenity before a lively 4 year old broke into the silence by launching onto my back. We followed our visit to Hyams with lunch in nearby Huskisson where I hit up the local op shop and the girls played in the park whilst watching the tourists loading into the Whale watching boats.

The next day we arrived at Mogo Zoo with two very excited girls in the backseat. We had talked up the White Lion experience for Indie. And Noa... well, Noa and animals need no encouraging. The excitement simply explodes out of that enormous smile all on its own. We were very impressed with this little zoo and were grateful to have been wandering through when it was feeding time for many of the animals. We saw tigers and lions roar (frightening) and cheetahs trying to take down Chalkie, the South African zookeeper, to get to their food. I am always amazed at brave people like Chalkie. After watching him with the white lions, hearing him talk about hand raising them and entering into their ‘pride’ and seeing him calmly knock back a couple of ferocious cheetahs trying to get to their food, I came away in awe and secretly desiring that kind of confidence and courage.

Inda’s favourite were the giraffes and interestingly enough, the reptile house. Noa squealed over every animal but was most stoked when the dingo keepers walked them through the zoo allowing her to have a pat of the ‘woof woof’.

After wandering through the souvenir shop and resisting the urge to buy the girls a white lion stuffed toy, we instead opted for the Mogo icecreamery before heading on to Narooma.

As we drove over the hill and down into Narooma, our eyes were given a feast of different coloured blues. Narooma is Aboriginal for, ‘clear blue waters,’ and that is a perfect description of the place. Once again, a small friendly town where the local pharmacist knows everyone by name and is thrown off when a Sarah Harris rocks up from Springfield?

Our accommodation was affectionately named the ‘tissue box.’ It was a tiny little space in a beautiful location looking out over Surf Beach. The small space caused a few heated moments between parents and two highly excitable little girls but was also priceless memory making, with all four of us ending up in the same bed. It was really very special. We spent the days exploring the beaches and the local scenery, taking photo opportunities at Australia Rock. We also visited the nearby historic towns of Central Tilba and Bodalla. Central Tilba held their weekly market whilst we were there and Chris noted that it was the most authentic and organic markets we had been to so far on this trip. Small, intimate and held in the town hall, we purchased some fruit, hand knitted gloves and some gifts to take home.

My time at Narooma was hindered a bit by an incredibly painful wisdom tooth which had been getting worse for the past week. In desperation I had decided to visit a dentist and was helpfully informed by a lady at the Visitor’s centre, of a small clinic with a dentist that I was assured was ‘lovely’ (my only prerequisite for a dentist). After a diagnosis of infection, I was doped up with antibiotics and orders for regular salt baths. Gratefully, I saw the pain ease and the ability to lift my mood that much easier.

Tomorrow we move on to our next stop and our first stop in Victoria... Mallacoota.

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