If we were having coffee I’d tell you that we went deep sea fishing at Kalbarri. It was a 4am start and the weather was bleak. Still, we weren’t about to pike on the adventure, even though the early start was more shocking than trying to keep warm against the wind. Then I’d have to front up and tell you that despite our best efforts we caught little that didn’t have to be thrown back; either because it was undersize or not good eating. In fact, I’d have to tell you we caught … nothing.
Others on the trip were over quota, and the crew fairly divvied up those fish amongst the
fishing failures less skilled. So we have a freezer filled with fresh fish to last a month or more. Freezing cold and wet we may have been, but we had a great day out.
I’d tell you we’ve finished listening to John Grisham’s The Reckoning and were disappointed with the way it ended. I think John ran out of fizz and pop and wanted it done. Seriously, the main character was sent to the electric chair in the first part which as you can imagine, as a reader, made it hard to find any kind of redemption through the remainder of the novel. It was way too long and if it weren’t for the brilliant narration, we would have put it aside and moved on.
As we near the north of Western Australia (WA) and the weather warms up, there is less wind but more flies; we haven’t had to use our head nets yet but we have started thinking about where they might be, along with a bunch of other stuff that has gone “missing” since we’ve been on the road. No doubt, sequestered someplace safe.
I’d tell you that we spent some time in the Karijini National Park, walking, swimming in the gorge pools and taking in the gorgeous (get it?) scenery.
Then I’d tell you that we had a day of mishaps in the park. With few exceptions, the dusty red roads are badly corrugated and within three km of the drive into Weano Gorge we were forced to turn back, unhook the caravan, leave it parked up and continue with the truck. When we pulled into the parking area we noticed the rear tyre was flat.
It wasn’t easy to watch Basil lie in the red dust as he retrieved the spare wheel from under the truck; and then kneel, for however long it took to change tyres in 30+C. It put a damper on the day and we did not venture further than the gorge lookouts. But we had our fresh fruit salad and ice cream for lunch while we regrouped and rediscovered our humour.
If we were having coffee I’d share with you how our troubles were by no means over with the flattie. We opened the caravan door to find all kinds of chaos waiting our attention (and dismay). Collapsed pantry shelves, coffee spilled everywhere, screws of the glass stove top lid had loosened – one more bump over the corrugations would have dislodged it – not thinking about the repercussions of that scenario; the stove handrail hung by one screw and several door hinges had broken … you get the picture.
Then I’d tell you how grateful I am to travel with a handyman who, over two days had things more or less reassembled: hinges replaced, homes found for several loose screws and the pantry shelves returned to their original state. While Basil fixed, tapped and screwed, I mopped and wiped up messes from one end of the caravan to the next.
Life sure is an adventure but we are grateful that particular episode is behind us; no doubt waiting to be logged in the annals of funny stories. But we’ve moved on and I’d have to agree with Seneca who took the view that: the place to do your “work”, to live the good life, to live your best life, is here, right now, where you are.
I’d tell you that we’re now at 80 Mile Beach and today we saw a sea snake and – those who would know say – it was a large one and that they usually leave the water to die. However, as we stood pondering how something so sluggish on land could be so deadly in the water, it slowly shimmied itself towards the sea and later in the morning it had disappeared.
The beach stretches to the horizon in each direction and people are lined up along the water’s edge, hopeful lines cast out. While we enjoy tinkering about with fishing rods, hooks and smelly bait, our preference is to swim in the ocean, but because sharks “patrol” the waters and saltwater crocodiles have been sighted, swimming is not recommended.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you that the speed with which the second wave of COVID cases has spread is alarming. Our plans are always flexible but we had hoped to be home during December. However, while other states in Australia come to terms with how to manage, and curb, this second spread, we have decided to remain in WA rather than cross into the Northern Territory and press on further east.