Friday, March 8, 2013

Nelson Bay to Wingham

Last night we headed out to eat, looking for a sunset, but there is a hill in the way and no clouds. So just a bit of glow.
We found out an interesting factoid. Aussies usually eat chips (fries) plain. That is why the wait staff will just drop off your plate of fries without asking what you might want with them.  A growing fad at fish and chips places is to have your fries with chicken salt. Our hostess at Nelson Bay says she finds it tastes really bad. A chicken flavored salt. Ugh!
William ordered fish and chips and I ordered a rather expensive dish. The Carpet Bag. I thought the idea sounded delicious. Oysters stuffed in prime beef and wrapped in prosciutto. The meat was tender and delicious, but I kept looking for the oysters. Finally I found one tiny little oyster up against the prosciutto.  Hmm, definitely not what I had envisioned.
On the way back we pass a large yacht for sale. We could buy it and hire Captain Ron to sail it back to California for us. We could berth it in Lake Tahoe. Plans, dreams.
Only $649,000
I said to William that this blog is getting to be less like a travel blog and more like a Seinfeld Show. Lots about nothing.
The next morning we head on to Tomaree Park thinking to  walk to the view point. The nice brick path heads straight up. Not my idea of an easy walk. We get half way and turn back as the path turns up again.
One reason the path heads up is it has to go around Tomaree Lodge, a state facility for the intellectually disabled. Makes me wonder about this. The USA makes such an effort these days to help the "intellectually disabled" to be self sufficient not warehouse them.
Off to the lighthouse where I spend my time trying to take the perfect picture of a tea room beggar. The wait staff squirt him with water, but he keeps coming back. He has a serious yen for scones with clotted cream.
overlooking the bay

Overlooking the bay and the tea room outside the lighthouse
The tea-room beggar. Some Australian birds have a real black and white thing going. We've seen another moderate sized bird with a distinctive white tipped tail and huge pelicans that are white with some gray/black.
We drive up to see some million dollar homes with bay views and notice a very odd one with a tipped appearing front room.
We stop at Birubi Beach to look at the waves and the giant sand dunes.
the waves

the dunes
We turn into Aussies.
On to the Lakes Highway. A scenic roadway that has little traffic,
We stop at Boomerang Beach, The tide is up. Lots of surfers. A lot of houses have a curved look to match the beach. What's up with that?
just a nearby house.  Lots have curved roofs or roof-lines.

Boomerang Beach toilets
 On to Wingham.  We are the only guests in this antique 8 room guesthouse in the heart of Wingham.
Last week the area flooded. Not right in town. But enough was flooded that sporting events scheduled for the weekend cancelled and so guests cancelled.
We learn that there are nets on the mango tree in the back to protect from flying foxes which sound like a type of fruit bat. But these creatures carry a virus that is fatal to young and old. Also there are many poisonous snakes here. But the red-bellied ones are good even though poisonous, because they eat the other poisonous snakes including the cobra-headed one that chases after you.
Yikes! We hear a clatter in the trees but it is just some very large white birds. They look like cockatoos some had their crests up when they landed, but this 12x photo shows a few in the top of a huge tree with their crests down. There were at least 30 who took off with a lot of noise. They are natives of Indonesia, but I have seen a lot of parrots around and tropical Australia could certainly feel like home.
We dine again in a members only club just down the street. You sign in as a temporary member and are free to enjoy the food and beer just like a member. The prices are low, the food is good and the beer is cold. What more could you ask.
Not only are there no other "foreigners" in town tonight, I don't think there are even any Australian tourists.

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