Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Travelling in Australia, part 8

Narooma, a well kept secret

We were sad to leave our marvellous hosts Marja and Peter and Canberra behind. Before we left Alex took this last photo of us together. How lucky we were to have been invited to your home as guests. But Narooma awaits…

The drive from Canberra to Narooma seems a short one – on the map. But once you start driving you soon notice that it will take a lot of time. The road is mostly very good but, my God, is it ever steep! And winding!
Here is an emergency exit uphill, if you are driving a road train or a truck or even a normal car and your brakes go, you will find it very useful, because otherwise you will be dead. In fact, this photo should be three dimensional for you to get the right idea. There are towns where you can stop and have lunch or a cup of tea with scones or do some shopping, so you will not be bored and once you are on the road again, there is just the hill up, hill down and another steep curve. No pumps, so you should make sure you always have enough petrol in your tank to be able to make it to your destination. And need I remind you that the distances are more than a stone´s throw from one city to another.
But after the long drive to have this scenery in front of your eyes, makes it all very worth your while.
It was like entering a totally different world. Another visit to a paradise --- Batemans Bay.

The Narooma sign really says it all. This place is just amazingly beautiful. The sea a special turquoise colour and you can almost touch the good vibes that it has. No wonder people come here to spend their summer holidays and even to live permanently after retirement. I know I would, if I could. It is lush, green, and a lot more than just a seaside town.
Oh yes, and the Montague Island is just 9 km off the coast here. More great natural beauty to be enjoyed.
A private beach? Empty at least for the time being. Why not spread a towel, splurge on a litre or two of the best SP 30+ sunscreen, and make sure you use it, and lie down and enjoy.
Even from the car window the scenery is just breathtaking.
A reminder of the fact that the sea is always dangerous.
Look carefully and I hope you see in the middle the shape of the Australian continent. This is the Rock of Australia.

If you are a fisherman, there is all sorts for you to catch.
Underneath you find the fishermen ready to clean the fish they had just caught. This is a beautiful place and had it not been for Heather and Col, we would never have found our way here.  When we arrived, it looked pretty peaceful, but after a while the word had spread and the two pelicans and ducks had more company than they would have wished for. Even a stingray had come to get his share. Actually there were two of them but with the splashing water full of pelicans and ducks, we were lucky to have even this on the film.
You see these guys in the nature programs, but you´d never think that they are so big. At least I did not.

If you ever decide to go to Narooma, make sure you go there when the dolphins and whales can be seen.
It must be awesome. We were about a month late. So go in November.
Our guides and friends Heather and Col deserve a special mention for taking us to all these beautiful places.

This is a flame tree and below you have a jacaranda tree. They are often planted next to one another for even greater impact. The following pictures are from Tilba Tilba. It is an old village making its living by selling visitors all sorts of stuff: beautifully carved wooden artifacts, antiques, clothes, soaps, wines, fudges, jewelry, and different kinds of local cheese, which easily deserve a special mention, and of course Devonshire (!) teas and scones.
A very good idea because without this sort of activity the village would stand there empty and the charm of the days gone by would have been lost.
There is also a hotel, should you so fall for the place that you´d want spend another day there.

This is Max, the cutest dog ever, guarding his home.

Heather had put out a birdfeeder and, sure enough, in the morning the king parrots were there having their breakfast when we woke up. Heather and Col also had a kookaburra nest in the nearby tree next to their house. We could see them with their chicks but our zoom was not good enough for a clear photo. But we most certainly could hear them at 5 o´clock in the morning when they started laughing their way through a new day. If ever there was a bird, anyone could recognize by its singing, kookaburra is one. No bird can imitate its laughing…
All good things come to an end but this time the end came way too soon but it all stays in our memories forever.