Wednesday, August 5, 2009

In which Terry gets bogged, and some local colour

We left Jurien Bay Saturday afternoon and headed for Geraldton, to catch up with Colin. He and Trucky are old mates, hanging out in Broome together many years ago. We spent that night in Moonyoonooka (yeah, I couldn’t pronounce it either!!) before relocating at Colin’s suggestion to Greenough. We had a beautiful spot at the mouth of the river, where we spent the next three nights.

We climbed up and down the sand dunes, slipping and sliding and laughing lots. We took Terry out for a spin as there’s lots of 4WD tracks around, even onto the beach. We had an interesting moment when he got bogged on the shore as the tide was rising. We let the tyres down, and with a passer-by and I pushing, Trucky was able to drive the little car out reasonably easily. Back on harder ground, Trucky pulled out the 12v compressor kept in the boot for such emergencies, pumped back up the tyres, and off we went again. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the drive though! Even Jess has developed a taste for it. Alex can’t wait to learn to drive himself.

We took the boat and jet-ski out in the river, and waded and swam in the shallows right in the river mouth. It was such a beautiful spot – aside from several patches of thick, soft pond weed that felt very squishy underfoot and got caught in the motor of the jet-ski. The kids have nick-named the place “Grogan Pond”. (For those of you unsure about the word ‘grogan’ ask a bogan mate – they can explain…)

Colin spent as much time as he could with us over the few days we were there, even bringing one of his clients out for a trip to the river (he’s a carer for disabled adults). Col’s another very funny guy, and I was entertained with lots of stories of the two of them, back in the day. I’m very pleased I was able to meet him, and I know Trucky loved having the chance to catch up for a few days.

We spent one night 4WDing in the dark out to a fishing spot he knew about. He and Alex in his Range Rover, the rest of us in Terry, took off with several wrong turns and a bit of an issue with high tide, for the secret spot. Poor Tezza got bogged again, and this time we were hauled out by the Range Rover with ease. The fishing spot was pretty scary in the dark, with big waves breaking over the rocks. The two big boys got soaked but I was concerned they’d be swept off into the blackness. The rest of us preferred to make our own art gallery of sand pictures than get anywhere near the water. A few more wrong turns on the way out, but some very proficient driving from Trucky meant we got home without further (towing) embarrassment.

During our stay we also got to know several of the local Greenough characters. Each morning a delightful English chap came down to the river to photograph the abundant bird life. He took masses of photos of the osprey catching fish, as well as the pacific gulls with their bright red lipstick and various other birdlife. Unfortunately we never actually got to know his name, but in return for coffee each morning he’d show us his photos (even letting the kids hold his very expensive camera!) and regale us with tales of local life. He even brought us some home grown tomatoes (very yummy!)

Fishing one afternoon Trucky came across two more locals. John and Richard sat by their beaten up Falcon (complete with an old stick holding the boot open) and drank copious amounts of alcohol while espousing their theories of life, the universe and everything to the luckless fisherman. Later that evening they drove up to the bus, parked outside with Pink Floyd blaring, plied us with alcohol and continued their commentary. We all had a good time with these very funny, colourful blokes.

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