Friday, January 27, 2012

The Banksia Walk and Fishing off the Jetty

"Not very far way a number of Banksia men were sitting
in a Banksia-tree, basking in the sun and planning mischief.

'Bunch and scrunch 'im!' shouted one.
'Hit and spit 'im!' growled another.
'String and ring 'im!' snarled a third.

Then they all jumped about, grunting and chattering
and shaking the bough till the leaves rattled."

May Gibbs, The Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie


On one of our day trips from our base at Malua Bay, we took a detour to do the Banksia Walk at Guerilla Bay.  It was a pleasant, easy stroll until the sharp grasses (under the malicious influence of the Banksia Men) started scratching our legs.  Little Wanna moaned and I had to admit that wearing a sarong and thongs on a bushwalk was not the most sensible form of dress.  (It was only meant to be a twenty minute leisurely stroll.)

We found some strange man-made edifices amidst the natural beauty. 

One of the most special excursions, full of nostalgia for me, was our fishing expedition off one of the Bateman's Bay jetties along the Clyde River.  The quintessential Canberran experience, I suppose.  We motored around everywhere to find a sandy expanse ripe for fishing, and even asked at the Bait and Tackle shop, but couldn't any spots other than the jetties, that didn't have treacherous rocks.  We weren't so concerned about falling in; it was more about losing our lines on snags.  There is only so much re-threading of swivels and hooks that one parent can endure (and it wasn't me!).

Even with our five dollar fishing rods from KMart and a packet of frozen prawns, we managed to catch some under-sized perch and leatherjackets.  We threw them back of course.  That made the whole exercise seem pointless.  The children loved it though.  The thrill of the chase evoking some primal hunter instinct.  The quiet contemplation. All part of the holiday experience, but not a sport I'm about to take up seriously. 

We weren't the only mugs throwing out a line.  There was a fair bit of competition to find the right spot on the jetty.  But as we didn't catch our lunch, we retired to the fabulous Innes Boatshed Fish and Chip Shop.

It was truly scrumptious.


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