Day 76: 13 August  – “And that sounds like rain…”

Author: Mr A

We woke to the sounds of rain splattering on our dusty roof, hopefully it will clean up those solar panels! It wasn't a rush out of bed sort of day, but when we did we wandered out for lunch amongst the banana trees. Now I've never eaten lunch on a banana plantation, but I did think a banana smoothie might be the right way to start…and it was…delicious.

We drove around these small local farm shops picking up fresh veg, it was all so shiny and obviously right out of the ground. Tonight Mrs A's pad thai was full of these crunchy veg and herbs….OMG amazing. Such a lovely sweet and sour type of taste she conjures up. A good old Taylor's Shiraz from the Clare did us proud alongside those robust flavours. 

Not much else to report today. We showed some lovely folk who were staying on the caravan park around the van. They were interested in what the "Best Off-road Van of the Year" looked like from the inside. Splendid of course :) 

So, our fridge is bursting with fresh veg, our water tanks are all topped up, we are ready to hit the road in the morning…Ye hah. We are leaving the coast and heading for the hills. The Kennedy Range here we come. 

Day 75: 12 August – Market day in Carnarvon

Author: Mrs A

Location: Carnarvon

Distance cycled: 20 km

Saturday morning meant the long awaited market day had arrived. Carnarvon is the centre of the fruit and vegetable growing region, and today marked the final day in a week long celebration ‘Food week’. Just by chance we happened to be here – usually we arrive a week after these events, hearing tales of how good they were. So we jumped on our bikes and rode the 5km into town and the markets, with mediocre expectations. They were good! Not quite as good as the Forestville farmers markets we experience in Sydney, but also not as bad as the ‘markets’ in Derby with three market stalls, two of which were selling doilies…

Incredible varieties of home made jams and preserves (we bought a green mango chilli jam – yum!), plus well priced vegetables and fruits freshly picked.  There were some celebrity chefs cooking chicken, meatball and catfish dishes, all served up for free, and even the TV cameras there to interview blokes in jackets – presumably regional Western Australia celebrities.

We purchased as much as our fridge could cope with and jumped back on our bikes to continue exploring Carnarvon. We rode down to the water and across an old jetty, still sporting rail lines. This, we then learned, led to a 3km ride across salt marsh to one of Carnarvon’s tourist highlights, One-Mile-Jetty, where you can ride an old train out to sea, around a mile for $5. We gave that a miss and rode back to camp with our purchases.

With 20km under our belts we felt a little peckish and decided to try out some of the local seafood. We picked up some fish and chips, bringing them back to the mobile apartment to consume. By now the wind had picked up and we had heard rumours of bad weather approaching. We weather-proofed the caravan. The fish and chips were ok, but nothing to write home about. Very average.

The afternoon was spent competing tasks – washing bedding, washing the car, supermarket shopping. The wind got stronger and the blue sky disappeared.

A very chilled out evening eventuated as the wind dropped and the rain arrived. It is still warm, and the rain seems to be in showers only – just enough to ensure our sheets don’t dry!