Wednesday, October 30, 2013

All in a Day at Coffin Bay!

We drove from Alice Springs for two days to get to Coffin Bay on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. We stayed overnight on day one at a roadside stop on Ingomar Station. Night two we stayed at the Kimba showgrounds where the council allows caravaners and RVers to stay for up to 24h, which is very considerate of them.

The first day at Coffin Bay we relaxed and regrouped in order to throw ourselves into the Coffin Bay National Park (CBNP) today, day two of three we have allocated to stay here before moving on to nearby Port Lincoln. We did go for a one hour walk around the bay along a walking track that also took us through the scrub and up to a lookout one km from Coffin Bay central. During the walk we run into a huge male emu with half a dozen chicks (the males look after the chicks)following it here and there. Not wanting to get too close and incur its wrath, we gave it a wide birth but took some photos.

Today we had a leisurely morning, packed a few items for lunch and departed for the CBNP It costs $4 per head to enter for concession card holders and $10 for younger adults. Kids are free. There's an honesty box for the money. You write your car registration number on a form attached to an envelope, stick your cash into the envelope and then lick the envelope flap to glue it shut. You place the envelope in a steel container and place a permit on your windscreen. They should pay us for spending the time ... I usually charge $48 per hour.

We visited several bays and beaches and looked from several lookouts (isn't that what you do?) staying at one for a while to have our lunch which we had brought with us.

While driving around we saw a pair of shingle back lizards (aka sleepy lizards because they are very, very slow). One of the pair was on the road service, so I stopped to take a photo. First it played dead with the hope I'd think it was just a stick or a dead leaf (yeah, that's right, a stick with four legs, a fat tail, a head that looks like a shingle back lizard's and two beady eyes). Then, realising how smart I was to identify it as a lizard, it curled itself into defence mode, opened it's mouth and hissed at me. Although I have a 100 kg weight advantage and stand much taller, it frightened me off, so I returned to the car and drove off making sure not to flatten it on the way.

Next, we saw another clutch of emus. Ho hum, they are as common as tourists here. I took a few shots and kept going, next stop the wharf at Coffin Bay. There we found all the things you would expect to find at a wharf, cars with trailers, most empty, some full; a boat ramp, a few boats and people.

Two women were filleting their catch and feeding pelicans with the remnants of the poor beings who will be lunch or dinner in the near future. We stopped by to have a look and one of the women asked Chris if she'd like to feed the pelicans, handing her the remnants of a filleted fish ... a head, tail and bones with hardly any meat. Not much use to you and me, but a wonderful treat if you are a pelican.

When Chris had finished feeding a few of our feathered friends, and after I'd taken enough photos of pelicans, we decided we had had such a hard day, we headed to the Oyster Bed Cafe for a cup of coffee.

We've booked a table for tomorrow night and plan to have dinner there at 7 pm ... oysters kirkpatrick, red wine and some other foods.
What a life eh?


Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Great Central Australian Midwives Gourmet Sausage Sizzle

Wow! That's a title and a half, but it says it all: Chris Henry organised a gourmet sausage sizzle on behalf of some of her midwife colleagues from the Alice Springs Hospital last night.

Held in our backyard, we had a variety of sausages including, kangaroo, boerewors (South African), duck and pork, lamb, turkey, chorizo, and tangy pork and leek cooked by son Dale, undoubtedly the best sausage cook in the Northern Territory (seen in action at left).

Dale carefully placed the sausages on the barbecue grouped by type so we could track which was what and label it for our guests.

Robin carried the cooked sausages into the kitchen where Christina cut them into thirds, with the exception of the boerewors which was one very long sausage packed in a circle and looked like a short, thick snake. We placed them into dishes and put them on the table with signs indicating the sausage contents.

With a collection of salads, salad dressings, dukkah, and some mushroom sauce with cream, everyone took at least one piece of each of the sausages, grabbed a bread roll and returned to the table to test the gourmet sausages.

To my surprise, everyone thought they were great and several discussions ensured about sausages, the pros and cons and how the kangaroo sausages are the least damaging to health because kangaroo meat is fat free with no cholestorol. While the midwives discussed cholestorol, and plant sterols (whatever the hell they are), the men discussed climate change, golf, politics, and women.

At left are four of the eight men who attended. The first left is my golf buddy Darrell with whom I get together with most Sundays to walk, hit golf balls, swear moderately and discuss how well our golf is progressing, despite our final scores and evidence that the truth is not always told among golfers.

After I'd taken the photos, I noticed that each of the four had a drink in their right hand and their left hands were either in, or near their pockets.

Hands in one's pocket! Is this a man thing that happens on cue when a photo is taken or is it just another coincidence? We'll never know, but there is a safe bet that each of our friends is right handed.

Before everyone departed around 11:30 pm, I managed to get the shot at left of the midwives, although two are hard to see. The tallest lady, whose face is partially obscured, Dianne, is the manager of the Midwifery Department and the remainder are various specialists representing perhaps 500 years of combined nursing/midwifery experience ... the cream of the crop.

Daily, numerous mothers and neonates benefit from their invaluable knowledge and experience which they are also passing to the new generation of midwives who in time will take their places in what is a very important profession.

By the end of the evening, everyone had consumed a nice meal, the sausages being followed by sweets including trifle and fruit, a few drinks either alcoholic or non-alcoholic and they agreed that each month they should get together in a similar fashion with a different theme.

With Christmas on the horizon, there will be ample opportunity for celebration between now and the beginning of 2014.