Backpacking Pensioners travel blog

Paddeling on Christmas day in the Southern Ocean

Does my bum look big in this?

Harbour Mouth at the End of Our Beach

From the end of our beach

The Lazy Chef

Some action by the chef

Sylvia's Christmas Memories

Waking up on Christmas morning you could hear the children outside playing with their toys. It was nice watching them playing with their Santa toys whilst we had breakfast. It made me think that Christmas Day in the summer seems so much sensible as the children are able to play outside with their new toys.

Walking about the site people were wishing me a Happy Christmas. I felt foolish saying it myself yet have no problems saying it at home. Is it because it is so hot that it seems out of place?

I got to spend Christmas Day on a beach. On planning our trip I had wanted to be somewhere near a beach as that is how I imagined many Australian's may spend the day. When we did go onto the beach it was the most crowded beach that we had been on so far, yet there would not have been more than thirty people there. Those that were on the beach were walking, swimming or surfing.

On a site close by was another couple who appeared to be on their own. I invited them to join us for a drink and although they said they did not speak much English, they spoke it better than they thought. We spent a pleasant hour with them learning about German Christmas customs and discussing our respective travels around Australia.

Having a barbeque for lunch, we had Tasmanian Pate, steak and salad and to follow home made Christmas pudding which we bought in Tasmania. Like home, by the time we got to the pudding we were too full so that was kept for another day. Once again our survival kit that Pat and Hamish gave us (well I think it was all Hamish's choices) came to the fore as we used the lighter to set the barbeque going.

Opening a bottle of Leasingham Sparkling Shiraz and toasting all our friends' health. This was a bottle specially bought for Christmas which also gave us fond memories of our recent visit to the Clare Valley and our stay with Shirley and Andrew.

I think I like spending Christmas day in the warmth.

Jeff's Christmas Memories.

We were late getting up and when the blinds were lowered there were children riding bicycles and some attempting to with anxious parents following them. After a leisurely breakfast we went for a long walk on the beach, heading for a wall of large stones at the end of the sand, and discovered another beach and harbour beyond the wall that stretched out into the sea. It was breezy and very nice. With great restraint I did not give in to my urge to join those swimming in the sea, instead we walked the 1 ½ mile back after speaking with fellow walkers.

My task was to cook the steaks on our as yet untried barbeque; in fact it was still to come out of its box for the first time. I do not like barbeques. They take ages to get sufficiently hot and loose heat before I want them to. They also need far more cleaning than normal household appliances, and the meal could be cooked better indoors anyway. This was not my idea. The barbecue was put together far easier than I expected and it was non stick and fuelled by camping gas.

Before the meal we shared time with a nice German couple who brought German spicy ginger cookies, we provided the crisps and nuts. No, not Sylvia and me, these were salted cashews and Macedonia nuts. It was time to cook. Sylvia took about 5 minutes, (I may have exaggerated), to make a salad whilst I wasted time lighting the gas flame. The barbecue plate was already very hot from being out in the sun. With my spray Canola Oil and two large steaks thrown on top, I pronounced them done after a few minutes. I am not good at the chewing but as I was cooking, mine had a liberal amount of tenderiser on both sides. The meal was quick and delicious - and the pan wiped out easily with kitchen paper. This could be a prelude to future Christmas lunches.

With little to wash up, there was plenty of time to lay back in the sunshine and wish those who passed a Merry Christmas. Like Sylvia, it was unlike the Christmas Day I know, however it was clear on the faces of the children that it was very much Christmas day to them. In all cases Santa seemed to have done his stuff and would be eagerly expected again next year.

Did I feel guilty at doing so little on Christmas day? The chosen wine, saved special for the occasion was beautiful and the rest of the beverages were very nice. All of this was made special by my company, but don't tell her as it will go to her head. We just hoped that everyone else, most of whom are 9 hours behind us, would enjoy their Christmas equally well.

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