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Food Offerings, Parking Angels and Other Assorted Friends - Part 3 of Leonie’s Travelling Retreat
Saturday, Jun 16, 2012 at 22:43
Member - Lee & Arrabella A'Van
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Morning Saturday 16 June 2012
Here I sit watching the day evolve overlooking the sea… I can see this opening will eventually get pretty boring…but for now it will have to do…because that is exactly what I am doing.
Here I sit watching….observing…absorbing and very much enjoying the whole experience.
the view of 40 mile beach from Arrabella A'van
After a minor diversion and sidetrack, I finally arrived at 40 Mile Beach around 1.00 pm on Friday.
I can count 34 different shelters…be they caravans, campers, fifth wheelers. There are plenty of converted buses and even another A’Van. Arrabella seems pleased to have the company of a close relative.
Up until now I had been setting up in simple drive in- drive out sites. This time and because I intended to stay a while, the site selection, planning and set up took a little more time.
Kay my parking angel
I was so very fortunate to meet up with Kay when I first arrived. Kay was a wealth of information and helpfulness. Being a long termer at 40 Mile she was able to point out all the good sites. We talked for a while and then, after sizing up my rig suggested that I take up
51 …a couple of sites up from her.
Site 51 was considered ‘prime real estate’ at 40 Mile. It is perfectly north facing and settled right in the midst of the long termers. Perched on the edge of the rocks overlooking the reef it has a little shelter from the wind and full 180 degree views -well perhaps even a bit more as the bay sweeps around both ways.
The only thing is that site 51 is a little small for most of the rigs that come to 40 mile…but for Arrabella, Disco and myself it is perfect. Of course it was going to take a bit to manoeuvre into the site.
This is where Kay came into her own. Kay is a prime example of a “Parking Angel” having had years of experience with her husband Don (who is another keeper, but I’ll get to him a little later).
After a suitable discussion concerning van placement with regard to view, prevailing winds and sun it was decided that Arrabella would be best orientated with the entry away from the sea. Lined up on the east /west access it meant that we have a great view of the ocean and sheltered living on the leeward side when the winds blew hard and strong, which I had been warned that they would do.
Morning view to the island from 40 mile Beach
Craig’s timely advice saves me from assuming the sleeping position of a bat
At this point I have to thank my very good friend Craig for his helpful tips and advice he has imparted to me over the years…especially with regards to camping and caravanning. You see Arrabella was finally positioned correctly… the sun was in the right place, the winds would be manageable but there was no way I could level Arrabella. She was obstinately sitting one wheel in a sandy rut and the other perched on top of a mini sand dune. Even after running her up onto the levelling blocks I was still destined to sleep with the blood rushing to my head.
This is where Craig’s sage advice came to the fore. “Get out the shovel and undermine the high point . Carefully remove a little soil from around the tire and let the van settle” he’d told me.
Of course it worked, and worked well. No sleeping in an inverted, bat-like position for me!
The phone call you don’t want to get
The rest of the day was spent setting the van into some sort of order. Then the phone calls began.
Ben, my elder son was in the Emergency Department with a significant headache and a strange weakness down one side.
This is not what a mother wants to hear when she is 3 days drive from home. Even a mother of a perfectly capable 28 year old.
By way of a bit of background Ben suffers from chronic, rolling migraine and so when he says he has a headache he cannot handle…we are talking something particularly nasty.
Luckily Chris, Ben’s brother, had gathered him up and taken him to the hospital where Ben was pumped full of pain killers, muscle relaxants and was subjected to a huge battery of tests…including a lumbar puncture…OUCH!
Finally sent home after 8 hours Ben was happy to hit his bed and sleep off all the extra drugs. Chris and partner
stayed the night to make sure Ben was ok. Thank you guys – I didn’t worry …much!
Being a solo traveller means that much of your time you are on your own-some. In fact this is the very definition of solo. But being on your own doesn’t mean that you have to be always alone. In fact at 40 Mile Beach it would be an extremely difficult thing to be. The initiative though does lie with you. If I want to socialise then I have to make the effort…which is fine with me. Making the effort means little more than having the courage to approach someone and say hi…ask a question or make an observation. And at times it doesn’t even take that much.
As night was beginning to fall on my first day the ranger, Leon , called by on his quad bike.
Quad bikes are all the go here at the beach. It seems there are quite a few roaring about the place. They use the bikes to tow the dinghies down to the boat ramp, to go off collecting firewood and to generally run errands. They look like great fun, but after Eric’s run in with bike on Lembongan Island in Bali I think I will stick with the Disco.
Anyway when Leon pulled up we got the fees for the site sorted out - $7 per night, $45 per week or $150 per 28 days, and then we began to chat.
Do I like fish?
In the midst of conversation he asked if I liked fish… of course I said yes! A few minutes later 4 freshly caught mackerel fillets were delivered again to me via quad bike. Thank you to Leon and his fishing prowess I had my first feed of fish on the first night I arrived. A good finish to an interesting day.
Next morning I began what was soon to become a morning ritual. I got up with the sun, boiled the billy, made my milo and set myself up in my chair out the front of the van overlooking the ocean. It is easy to while away the time watching the sea change as the sun rose in the sky. Once again I was able to capture and experience those early morning magical moments. Such a wonderful start to the day.
Being close to the boat ramp I have a perfect view of the morning exodus of the fishing boats as they set off for the days catch. That morning was the first time the boats had been able to get out to fish. Apparently the weather had been abysmal for the previous 3 weeks with wind and waves making it very uncomfortable and nigh on dangerous to be out on the water.
The boats, mainly aluminium dinghies, go out early in the morning and then come back in just before lunch. Cleaning of the fish is done on the sea and it is fascinating to watch the seagulls take off to the closest boats as they come in to calmer waters. They know where an easy meal is to be had!
Do I like mud crab?
The rest of the day was spent catching up with emails, doing the bookwork and writing this epistle.
Then in the late afternoon I had a visitor…from up the cliff somewhere offering me a feed of mud crab. I would have loved to have accepted but am really quite unable to stomach any type of crab…must follow after my father there. After I explained my predicament, inspected the rather impressive crab and profusely thanked the visitor… who I did not recognise… he left for the next van. Apparently they gratefully accepted the said crab, which I understand tasted superb with a little salt and pepper and dipped in a little lemon juice.
Members Blog Index
The REAL adventure begins - Part 2 of Leonie’s Travelling Retreat
Flying Fish, Seagull Congregations and Cobb & Co- Part 4 of Leonie's Travelling Retreat
Lee & Arrabella A'van - the adventure wagon
A new era of adventure - tavelling solo uncovering the wonders of this land a little at a time.
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