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  • Writer's pictureClaire

28/01/24 Mallacoota to Narooma

Gutted not to have heard the Koalas during the night, as I really wanted to record them. The kangaroos were absent as well this morning, so didn't get to see them again. Packing up took next to no time and then we were on the 20km of holey road to get to the main highway. We entered New South Wales a new state and drove the short distance to Eden. It's another old whaling town. It they now have whale festivals instead of harpooning them. We were stunned to see how busy the town was, every single coffee shop was jammed to the rafters along with the pubs. Driving through the pretty little town heading towards the lookout we had the answer as to why it was so busy. A massive bloody boat was tied up in the wharf, and the vast amounts of goddamn tourists we'd seen in town belonged to it. There were bus loads of them like bleeding ants. We opted to go to the look out and take in the views, well worth it, and I bet during whale season it's incredible. It was a good job we did it that way because as we were leaving a bus load of people were coming our way, so we jumped in the camper and made our way back towards town and the Whaling Museum. Parking was excellent, the number of people waiting to go in was not. You know how grumpy I get in a que!!! We left the van where it was and went up town for a brew and something to eat. The one side of the road was still really busy so we crossed over and finally found a little cafe for a brew. It too was busy but we got lucky, the table was still full of the dirty cups and saucers, but we couldn't have cared less, we had seatage, and potentially drinks and maybe a bite to eat. The table was cleared really quickly given how busy they were, and an elderly couple asked if they could join us. They were lovely.... even though they'd come in on the boat! They had sailed from Brisbane, to New Zealandand were going on down to Adelaide. It sounded like they were seasoned cruisers and I don't think think there is anywhere they haven't been. They were in the UK in October and just love it and Europe at Christmas time, for them a cold winter is just the dream. Personally I can't think of anything worse. They live in an over 50's community village on the Gold Coast and seem to love life. We were chatting about various places that we both knew which was lovely. It was good chatting with them because they said that main beach is much quieter than surfers now so that's where I shall be looking for accommodation for us. By the time we get there it will have cooled down a bit and hopefully won't be so humid. We have yet to decide how we are tackling that leg of the expedition.

Once we'd finished our drinks we said cheerio to them and they went to catch the bus back to the ship and we returned to the whaling museum. To my great delight all the coffin dodgers had left. Being lunch time, probably headed back to the ship for their food. Why would you eat anywhere else if you've already paid for it???

Handing over the Princely sum of $30 we were allowed entry into the museum. It wasn't enormous, but oh my days it was fascinating. They have the preserved skeleton of an Orca whale called old Tom. It seems to me that Old Tom was a bit of a shitty kind of whale, as were his buddies. The orcas used to corral the other whales in the area into the cove, and then old Tom, the sneaky bugger would gain the attention of the whalers to let them know the whales were ready to be slaughtered. The whaling boats themselves are tiny, and they used to row them and harpoon the whales from the bow. Old Tomand his buddies would sometimes grab hold of the rope on the harpoon and pull the whaling boats along aiding them in the hunt. With the whaling, the first boat to tie on to the whale gets the catch. If anything happens, like they loose it or the boat capsizes then the race is back on for the other whalers. If any of the whalers ended up overboard, the Orcas would swim close to them look them in the eyes and hang around until they were rescued. There is only one person on record as being killed by a whale which is quite an achievement. I'm just going on the documentary The blackfish about the Sea World Orcas, and from what I can remember their whale has killed three if not four people. Nasty Pasty. It goes to show how intelligent they are that they were able to signal and work with the whalers so well and effectively. Old Tom is believed to have come home to die, he was seen in the bay leaping about like a mad thing and the next day he was found floating in a secluded bay. He was taken ashore and the process of preserving him was begun and he now hangs in the museum. Old Toms age has been put about as being between 50 and 90 years old but they now age whales by their teeth and they had him at 35 years . He could have been any age but he was a sneaky wily old bugger in my opinion. The museum was fabulous and you could easily spend a couple of hours in there as they also have videos that play which have been out together about he history of Eden as a whaling town.

Coming out of there into burning sunshine, we climbed into the van and made our way onwards towards Narooma, our camp for the night. We opted to take the tourist route and were so glad we did. Breathtaking is an understatement! The trees weren't fire scarred and you could see where controlled burning had taken place due to the lack of bush around the trunk and just very slight blackening around the bases. We passed over wooden trip crappy bridges over massive inlets and by beautiful beaches. The part of the Coastline we travelled along is known as the sapphire coast, the ocean is clear, the sand is white, pure heaven in my eyes. The homes all along the way in the inhabited areas were stunning, two storeys balconies overlooking the ocean and beaches, surrounded by lush green fields and forests. I suspect it's pretty close to perfect as you can get. Except for the long glass balconies, there is no way I'd want to be cleaning those bad boys. I think I'd have to employ a person to do that for me. Whilst I was on the beach, looking for shells or something equally as inane. The driving today has been short, and enjoyable, although there is a particular bird in the forests that makes a noise like aomething breaking on a car, most off putting when you're driving along in something of a shed!!! We flew past our campsite, quite by accident, the stupid sat nav was giving us the silent treatment, don't know what we've done to offend her I'm sure. It wasn't too bad we just went into town and got a bit of food to top up the supplies and then made our way back. However, as we were making our way to the checkout in the store, we were approached by a young guy wanting advice on bandages. His girlfriend had been surfing and took a tumble into the rocks and is badly grazed. He'd located bandages but was worried they would stick to the grazes. Si helped him find some dressing that wouldn't stick until they can get to a chemist in the morning. Being a Sunday they're all shut.

Check in at the site was straightforward, and there is a pool just by reception. They gave us a lot of written information about the surrounding area and events that were coming up. The night with hook up and water was $25 which is an absolute steal and for that our spot is by the amenities and under a eucalyptus tree. The shower block is clean functional and even has a bath! Unfortunately if I get in there ain't no way I'd be getting out without some assistance! When we got to our spot there were two jet skis on a trailer and a big old truck parked in it. The family next to our site were packing up ready to go home tomorrow and used the space as it was next to their caravan. Oh my days what a beauty!! Si and he got chatting, and he was saying he had the caravan built specially as they do a lot of travelling, the beast he had towing it was mighty impressive too! We just parked in the next spot over, as it was empty, but he was insistent on moving so we could have the allocated place. He very kindly gave us his wifi password, it's with Starlink, and he said it runs rings around any others particularly regular wifi. He has a portable dish he takes around with him and logs in to the app, switches it on, and is instantly connected. Before we came away, I'd done a lot of research into it, and had decided that when we return we'd make the switch because our wifi is bloody shit! Now Si has heard about it, I'm not sure I'll get a look in on the signal as he's thinking about it for the big shed!! We'll just have to have one each.

I love that the Aussies are so friendly, and in conversation he asked where we were headed and when we said Sydney and the blue mountains he told us about some amazing caves about an hour from the blue mountains. As a result of this insider information, we've changed our route slightly. Instead of following the coast all the way to Sydney we now plan to go inland, skirt Canberra, we're not feeling cities at the moment and head up The Kings highway towards Oberon and the Blue mountains. So that's an exciting development in the plans. Si has access to the starlink Wi-Fi but It doesn't even show up in my phone so I'm without wifi, and as a result we are without accommodation for the next few nights. The signal and wifi at this site is very very poor, but on the upside, we are close enough to the ocean that I can hear the waves so it's actually quite perfect. Every cloud and all that. This blogging is getting a bit behind so I'm trying to do it as we go along, then I find I'm missing quirky things and fab photo opportunities. I've decided we need to stop twice, once in the morning so I can update and once in the afternoon, then all I need to do in the evening when we're set up is just finish off.... We'll see how that works!

Much love


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