Life’s a beach

Summer is sizzling along here but I can’t cool down in the sea as all our local beaches have been closed for six days now due to a five metre great white shark cruising close to the shore. A couple of dolphins have washed up with chunks taken out of them and hopefully the next body washed up won’t be a human as some people take on the – it won’t stop me from going into the water – attitude and continue to swim.

It’s annoying really because what’ll happen is some idiot will go out and get killed and then they’ll have to go out and kill the shark when all it was doing was what comes naturally.

You expect to find sharks swimming about in the ocean, you can’t be surprised when one shows up or attacks someone if they’re known to be in the area.

What I do have a problem with is this. Last week a brown snake came swimming out of the ocean on a popular beach a couple of hours up the coast. Now that’s just all kinds of wrong. Deadly animals should just stay in their appropriate zones.

Brown-Snake-Forster-619-386

(don’t know who took the photo sorry – it’s all over the web)

Advertisements

Bluebottle invasion

About a month ago we had an invasion of bluebottles on one of the beaches.

bluebottles

They were thick like this over the whole beach, I’ve never seen this many clumped together before and I certainly didn’t venture on to the beach without my shoes on.

bluebottles2

They were swept in during storms and the thought of being out swimming in the water with them all brushing past made me shudder, don’t want to think about how many stings you could have endured. Probably enough to send you into shock.

It’s the tentacle that stings you and they can be metres in length and they have little barbed hooks on them so once they wrap around something they dig in and release a poison that hurts like hell I believe. I’ve never been caught by one and this sight has really put me off going in the water this summer.

They’re pretty things though – prehistoric looking. You can see the long tentacles here, they don’t even need to be attached to the body to latch on either, they can just float around on their own. Ouch.

bluebottles3Council had to clean them up in the end with tractors as they were getting a bit rank.

Junk Food Junkie – it’s all about the chips

What’s your biggest junk food weakness? Tell us all about it in its sugary, salty, glory.

For me it’s all about hot chips. Not fries – chips. Fries are what you get at McDonald’s or KFC or other places like that and they’re just little worms and scraps that are usually either too soft or too crispy. Chips come from a fish and chip shop, or a corner takeaway or from the kiosk at the beach. They’re thick and actually have potato in the middle and they come in a cardboard cone and they’re good with just a bit of salt. My daughters like to cover theirs in tomato sauce or gravy, gravy is ok but you have to be in the mood and it has to be good gravy – not tinned stuff.

These ones came from Nobbys Beach kiosk and had a bit too much salt and a few too crunchy but they did the job. I had some really good ones a few weeks ago from Bar Beach Kiosk – they were really chunky, lots of potato.

hot chips

Daily Prompt: The Happy Wanderer

What’s your travel style? Are you itinerary and schedule driven, needing to have every step mapped out in advance or are you content to arrive without a plan and let happenstance be your guide?

Funny you should mention it. I was trying not to think about travelling today as I’m getting on that cruise ship tomorrow. A great big heavy ship, with lots of people on it, floating about out on the seas – in the dark. Not permanently dark obviously but it departs at night so we’ll be straight into night-time.

I don’t like being on boats; I like the idea of being on one until I’m actually on it and out in the middle of a large body of water. It’s the large body of water that I’m really afraid of so I should be grateful that I’m in the boat.

But you can’t let your fears mess with your mind and I really do expect it to be a lot of fun and at least this way I’ll know if it’s a sailor’s life for me.

When our kids were small and we travelled I used to map it all out and have a plan because kids like to have a plan; they need snacks and a spare set of clothes and activity books and drinks – but now that we travel mostly without them we wing it more.

This cruise ship came into our harbour a couple of weeks ago and it was pretty impressive. Maybe not for the passengers though as they don’t pull into a nice terminal, they pull in at our coal terminal, which I myself think would be more interesting.

Here it is coming around the lighthouse past dog beach (which is the beach where you can take dogs). It looks like it’s floating by in about 6 inches of water – it’s always amazing to stand there and watch them go by, you feel as if you could just about reach out and touch them.

Bon Voyage!! (There doesn’t appear to be a lot of life boats does there)

cruising

sleepless in spring

So last night I dreamt that some people were injecting me with a sedative so they could take me away and kill me. The only thing that saved me was Chicken Little who (in real life) was on the end of my bed and howled in her sleep and woke me up scaring the crap out of me.

She does this little Hound of the Baskervilles thing where she’s sound asleep but then puts her head up to the sky and does a long howl. She does it when she hears an ambulance or police siren in her sleep, must think it’s the pack calling her.

Anyway this whole sleeping thing is becoming exhausting.

In other news yesterday they arrested an 11-year-old boy who started that fire that was near me. So that gives you hope for the future of mankind doesn’t it.

I had my first swim of spring on Sunday; it was a beautiful day. I could’ve had it any time over the past month really as the weatherman told me last night that by the end of October we would have had 20 days over 30 degrees here (which is ridiculous) but most of them have been incredibly windy and not pleasant beach going days at all.

I don’t usually go to this beach but I was walking past and it looked nice. This is Bar Beach and it’s over the other side of the hill from where I usually hang but I’ve extended my walking route to 6.3kms so I go to it before I turn around and come back over the hill. It does get busy here but a lot of the people you see here are there involved with Nippers which is an activities programme run by the Surf Life Saving Clubs of NSW on Sunday mornings. All the beaches are packed with kids doing sporty water/beach things so I usually go to the ocean baths then instead.

bar-beach

I might go for a swim today before the wind picks up again tomorrow – I need something to clear my fuddled sleep deprived brain.

Surfers Paradise

Last stop was Surfers; funny name for the place considering I didn’t see a single surfer while I was there.

What you do see is a lot of blue water and white sand, just mile after mile of uninterrupted nature – well besides all the tourists. It’s a coastal town of high rises and we were on the 27th floor with a good view over the beach.

view

It’s beautiful but a bit boring really. Where I live there’s always something to look at on the horizon; ships, surfers, dolphins, whales sometimes, ferries, tug boats, hang gliders, kite surfers, here there was just a lot of water.

I figured the balcony we had was probably the sort you see those poor drunk people falling from every summer when they were trying to climb from one to the next.

balcony

Trouble with having a whole lot of tall buildings lining the beach is that come 3pm the whole area is covered in shade, which I guess is ok in the middle of summer.

beach-shadows

Big difference in room rates up there so if you plan on visiting – ring around. I walked into one place and asked how much for a room and was told $325 PER NIGHT so I walked acorss the road and said how much and he said $110 and I said – why whats wrong with it?

Nothing as it turned out although I did have to wake up in the mornings looking at this wall art which was always kind of surprising.

good-morning-art

and I had to be able to perform the limbo when I wanted to shower – as you can see it was designed for the very short as I fall into the short category and it was hitting my shoulders.

shower-for-short-people

The promenade there is lovely though, wide and clean with plenty of places over the road to sit and have a few bevvies and watch the world go by.

refreshments

promenade

Before going for a walk along the beach.

beach-tunes

beach

hello-spring

hello-spring-2

Have to hand the weather award to Queensland, it was spectacular and the sand was very, very clean. Even driving an hour or so back into NSW to Byron you really notice a difference in the weather.

 

 

Hello Yamba

I hadn’t been to Yamba before so we stopped on our way up to Surfers. There are so many little coastal towns along the Pacific Highway and I’m sure they’re all worth a look but I’d definitely add Yamba to my highly recommended list. It’s a small place but it had a really nice vibe to it and it had a comfortable bed and hot coffee which helps.

It’s another town that is surrounded by the river and the sea and it’s a river that you can use, we have a river here but you sort of see it when you’re driving into town but then it disappears off somewhere and you never see it again.

We stayed in a cabin in the caravan park in town that’s right on the river.

cabins-by-the-river

You can sit on your verandah and watch the river life go by

cabin-view

Or walk along the path

boats

to the breakwall where the river meets the sea

breakwall

Not sure how many beaches they have but this one has the lighthouse and there were a few people swimming even though the water must have been freezing. (Don’t let that blue sky deceive you).

beach

lighthouse

Back on the river near Pelican Perch

pelican-perch

there is a restaurant called Gorman’s that’s well worth a visit. Nice ambience, friendly wait staff and according to my husband, great oysters. He always eats oysters when we go out as they’re not something I’d bother to prepare at home. Here he had a mixed plate of 21.

gormans

oysters

So if you’re driving up or down the highway and need a break, stop in and check out Yamba.