Friday, 23 January 2015

East Coast New Year

During our Franklin River adventure we were very kindly invited (probably during a week moment) by Michael and Jenny to spend New Year at their “beach shack” near Sydney. Always looking for a free ride we of course leapt at the opportunity and they very gallantly kept their word.

We flew to Melbourne, were met by our British rafting buddy Tom and spent the next few days exploring the east coast on route to Sydney. The shack, was not so much shack as very comfortable beach side living in a beautiful spot with 6 beaches within a few minutes drive and a couple within a few minutes walk. Nestled amongst towering gum trees, miles from the main roads and tourist traps you could see what had drawn people to this cosy, peaceful hideaway. We were so warmly welcomed by Michael and Jenny and their daughter Anna and family friend Mike that we felt we had found our second Aussie family!

We were put up in the shed, literally, a very comfortable chalet-type room with enough space for a few more if needed and spent many happy hours swimming, surfing, crosswording, bouling and even playing croquet. Although the Ashes croquet matches were anything but relaxing!! We were 2-1 down, best of 5, when we left so the series still hangs in the balance!

All the neighbours were close friends and would wander over for a chat, cup of tea, or spot of lunch. Traditionally Michael and Jenny hosted New Year’s Eve on their deck, but this year it was their friends’ turn, boasting a newly refurbed shack and “bigger deck”!

So to Jenny’s delight the catering and cleaning was taken care of and we just had to supply the wine. We had a fantastic evening with around 30 neighbours and friends on a huge deck overlooking the Tasman Sea with the possums playing in the surrounding trees and the wine flowing a little too well.

Thank you so much to Michael and Jenny for a wonderful time. Happy New Year.

Beautiful east coast beaches at Mallacoota

Opening times are a little more relaxed over here

Orchid? in the coastal swamp gum forests

Boys out hitting the trail

Waiting for some decent surf off the point

Meeting the locals: "How's the water? Catch anything? Just a cold!"

A relaxing game of beach cricket...without a bat

Harvard vs Oxford!

The bluebottle jellyfish kept us out of the sea on this beach

Howzat sir...?

Never mind pigeons on the pitch watch out for the pelicans!

Howzat...oh damn it, well I could probably still play for Australia!

Tea break

Our wonderful retreat

Sarah and Tom with Jenny and dog Toffee. Our cosy garden shed (chalet) is just in the right of the picture

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