I still call Australia home

Culburra Beach Travel Blog

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Crookhaven Heads.....we call this bit Smuggler's Beach!

Having been privileged to see so much of this planet during the last 10 months, we arrived home on September 28th.  Through the challenges of the airports and airlines, my telescopic flagpole made it's way off it's 7th flight and some said that it would never make it! Perhaps they said that about us too?! Both of my girls were at Sydney airport to meet us but just as we made it out of customs and immigration they had both disappeared  to Angela's vehicle to put Kate's bags in so there was initially no one to rush up and hug us madly!  Lucky I had decided not to wear my spectacular Indian outfit for effect!  We got our hugs and kisses and then repacked the back of the ute to fit in all the bags and the two dogs.

This goes all the way to Penguin Head and Tilbury Cove
  Hadn't slept a wink on the flight in so everything seemed a bit surreal as we drove through the suburbs.

Soon out of the city headed south with Kate looking for somewhere to stop for food as she had flown up early that morning from Melbourne.  Angela had driven down from the north coast arriving in Sydney the night before and was still muttering darkly about negotiating the city.  The glorious vista of the south coast swung into view with the much anticipated panorama over Wollongong and the Illawarra catching our breath as always.  About an hour later we arrived in Nowra and stopped briefly at one of the supermarkets to get some staples in the food line but the ute was bursting at the seams so we couldn't collect too much.

Another view of Crookhaven Heads
  Our first big surprise was in the supermarket.  When we left bananas were around $AUS 1.99 a kilo.  Now we had heard about the cyclone devastating the banana crops but it hadn't impacted us and we do have a lot of bananas in Australia, but $12.99 a kilo?  Even in London they are not that dear!!  Thought of the poor Indian farmers selling their bananas for a pittance.  It is now said that if someone is seen eating bananas people talk about them as they must be rich!  Bumped into the girl's Nan and Pop ( my ex-in-laws) in the car park and said our hellos.

As we drove through the seaside village of Culburra Beach we eagerly scoured the place to note changes and the things that had stayed the same.

My beachwalk
  Swung into our driveway and found the keys where they had been hidden for our friends to find during our absence so they could take a break by the coast.  Judy on one side came out to welcome us back and we briefly added our thanks to them for caring for the lawns and keeping watch over the security of the house.  A little later Beb came from the other neighbouring house with a whopping cream filled strawberry sponge cake to welcome us back!

Couldn't wait to go over the road and walk along the river beach with the two dogs so we did, and the sun sparkled on the crystal clear water, the sand glistened gold and the small boats with their fishing owners headed out from the boat ramp in search of a days fishing.  All was peaceful.  Next day Andrew's three daughters, a son-in-law, our car and our cocker spaniel, Tia arrived from Canberra and we tried to catch up on all their news.

across the river mouth to the ocean
  New jobs, new boyfriends, how Tia had behaved during our absence.  Next day we all set off (eight of us) with three dogs to walk the short distance to the surf beach splitting into a group of walkers along the water's edge and a group who wanted to explore the rocks.  Tia just didn't know who she should attach herself to anymore and opted to go with the group with the other two dogs in the end.  Two days later my eldest, Jamie arrived with his girlfriend Ryoko to spend a day catching up with us as they told us sadly that Ryoko was going back to Japan soon and he was headed to Melbourne with work for a few more months.  Andrew's youngest Jason hasn't made it here because of work commitments yet but we will see him soon. 

We knew this place was pretty special before we began our trip and we needed to put it into perspective amongst other special places around the world to confirm just how lucky we are to live here or to be born in one of the affluent nations in the world.

Coolangatta Mountain in the background
  I don't just mean financially affluent, but a quality of life that is up amongst the best it could be.  I was born in the UK and came here unwillingly with my parents at the age of 18 years having lived a nomadic life of a British Forces child in many countries around the world.  My parents knew that there was a good life in this country to be had for all of us if we went out and pursued it for ourselves. We now live nearby to them as they enjoy their retirement.  I am indeed fortunate that I hold citizenship in two great countries (one by accident of birth and one by choice), though I now know that it is here that I really belong.  I have become a little too irreverent and too flamboyant or casual in my dress to fit in with the British way of life anymore. Now I love to drive long, open roads, to see the rugged, harsh beauty of this challenged landscape, occasionally enjoy places of solitude, crave the openness,  marvel at the bright sunny days and the amazing star scape of the southern hemisphere, thankful for the lack of pollution,  hate crowds and cope better (when I have to) with the pace of  Sydney over London.

October 15 2006

So what is in store for us in the future?  My first ambition is to spend at least a full year here growing vegetables and fruit in the frost free environment.  We plan to have a no dig vegie garden to make things easier for when we get old.  Andrew, I think wants to spend at least a year playing tennis with his new/old friends and re-gaining fitness levels he thinks he should have and maybe studying something in the tax or retirement investment advisory area..  I would like to learn Spanish, reflexology and yoga.  We have begun making our house more environmentally friendly with solar hot water being installed in two days time.  Collected my worm farm from my brother so they can re-start munching their way through our household scraps. There are a couple of good folk festivals coming up in the next few months so I think we might try our hand at  volunteering (stewarding) work at one to get in some practice so we can caravan around Australia and follow the folk festival route!

We will keep you posted about this country when we do................... 

pacovera says:
Enhorabuena Allison, por tantas experiencias que has vivido y que nos has contado.
Posted on: Oct 15, 2006
travelman727 says:
Being from Kansas, Dorothy, Toto and I say, "There's no place like home!"
Posted on: Oct 13, 2006
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Crookhaven Heads.....we call this …
Crookhaven Heads.....we call this…
This goes all the way to Penguin H…
This goes all the way to Penguin …
Another view of Crookhaven Heads
Another view of Crookhaven Heads
My beachwalk
My beachwalk
across the river mouth to the ocean
across the river mouth to the ocean
Coolangatta Mountain in the backgr…
Coolangatta Mountain in the backg…
Culburra Beach
photo by: clearviews