18-19 April 2002
Minnie Water was great. I spent much of yesterday in the surf with Clare, who is easing into this travelling lifestyle. The surf was rough and full of rips, so I stayed within a depth of 5 feet.
We had a nice soup for lunch cooked in the Dutch oven suspended from a tripod overhanging a fire. After more swimming in the afternoon, we sat down to a very Bellingen dinner of marinated tofu and vegetables. It was vaguely interesting fare, having been cooked over an open fire. We sat up late singing songs around the campfire.
During the night there was a torrential downpour, which was a good test of the canvas tent. No water found its way in, apart from the rain that blew in the side door which I had forgotten to close before settling down. It was lovely lying in the tent listening to the rain belting down and the waves crashing on the shore.
This morning Ruby and Clare and David and I went for a walk through the bush to a rocky headland. Ruby has frequent mood swings, which I attribute to the onset of puberty. Clare is a bossy little gem, and always good company. Susan and Cate stayed behind and talked about relationships.
Minnie Water was curiously manicured. The tracks were immaculately maintained. They had hardwood borders, and were backfilled with sand where the ground was boggy. The place had been burnt out by a fire in recent years, and so was fully of lush new growth. Lovely Banksias were everywhere, although David told me a nice grove of paperbark trees had been destroyed in the fire. Only their dead skeletons remained.
We set out rather late from Minnie Water and left part of the tent with Cate and David. It was an add-on that we called ‘the kids’ room’. We’ll have to retrieve it somehow at a later stage. In the meantime, we have less stuff to carry around.
We arrived at Byron Bay after dark, which meant another difficult session setting up. We’re getting pretty good at it, however, and the kids are getting more helpful. Susan threw together a quick dinner of beans and tortillas, and the kids put themselves to bed pretty smartly afterwards. I think the travel takes it out of them.
Broken Head Caravan Park is a bit of a let-down after Minnie Water. At Minnie Water, we were camped on a beautiful spot looking north right up an enormous beach. We had a view of the breakers through Banksia trees and sea spray. It was breathtaking. This is just another caravan park. The sites are level, but set close together with a view only of other sites.