Tuesday 20 February: Sourdough, Seals and Sunshine…

Author: Mrs A

Location: Narooma, NSW

Well I kind of fibbed about the sunshine, as it was fairly overcast all day, but at least it wasn’t torrential rain and wind. We had a busy morning ticking off tasks, with washing done, new battery fitted to the vacuum cleaner and then the call from the Airbag Man to walk us through a work around for our misbehaving suspension.

The aim of the airbags (other than providing suspension while driving, for those who are not in the know) is to enable us to balance out the caravan when we are parked up, allowing us to park on quite uneven sites and still ensure that (inside at least) everything is even. It’s a bit of a luxury – when we were travelling around in France a couple of years ago in a motorhome, levelling meant carefully driving onto blocks of wood or sloping pieces of plastic, not flicking a remote control!

The work around meant unplugging some of the hoses and connecting them directly to the manual inflation – bypassing the automatic system. It means a little bit more work when arriving and departing from campsites, but at least will tide us over for the next few weeks until we reach Zone in Coolum Beach for a service, and hopefully a full replacement of the control panel and all hoses.

We also decided to get started on making our first sourdough loaf. Just before we left Sydney we were treated to a masterclass by our friend and expert sourdough baker, Andy, and were entrusted with a little pot of sourdough starter to keep alive. The starter was extremely happy to be on a camping trip and at one point got so enthusiastic it almost left the fridge by itself, bubbling out of its pot and covering most of the fridge contents. We knew it was ready to be baked.

We took our baking task very seriously, with timers going off throughout the day, reminding us to fold the bread every hour and other important stages. We wanted to go out in the afternoon, so the dough came with us for the ride, sitting in the back of the car, allowing us to return when the alarm went off and complete the next task!

We drove the 3km into Narooma, and parked down by the town wharf. As we got out of the car we noticed a man gutting and cleaning his fish at a set of sinks down there, and close by, a photographer with a huge telephoto lens. I wondered why the fisherman deserved such photographic attention, and soon realised that he was not the attraction. He was surrounded by wildlife – pelicans, cormorants and even huge stingrays whizzed around the water’s edge, just incredible, accompanied by the star attractions, two wild fur seals playfully chasing around the water and even jumping out on to the water’s edge for selfies with the visitors. Amazing!We hung out with the seals for a while before continuing on our way around the water’s edge, walking 6km return along the foreshore. We spotted oysters for sale fresh from the farm, so of course had to buy a dozen. Absolutely delicious – definitely up there with some of the best oysters I have ever had, for sure.We returned to camp via a quick grocery shop and got the sourdough tucked up for its 4 hour proving stage. I got out our curry cookbook and decided to tackle another interesting meal for dinner, this time a Myanmar chicken curry – Kye thar hin – a very tasty recipe. The sourdough finally made it into the oven, and is now cooling ready for breakfast in the morning. Looking and smelling good – hope it tastes good too!

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