Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Karijini and Homeward Bound

I must admit, since we left Broome, I've struggled a bit. I think we have all struggled a bit. The dirt is seeping into everything; our things are no longer neatly packed in the trailer, instead they are strewn all through it; the kids are tired; the same five DVDs we bought with us have been replayed time and time again, and are setting our teeth on edge; we are all suffering from too much convenience food; and we have been lacking space and alone time.

The day we left Broome, we drove all day until we got to Port Hedland, where we had McDonalds for dinner. Miya had a belly ache, I was resenting eating more junk food, and Eden was swinging between performing Fairies' tunes to the diners, and melting down under the table. We dressed the kids in their pjs, piled them back into the car, and decided to keep driving to a rest area the map promised was 50km Newman side of Port Hedland.

Fifty km, sixty km, seventy km, and still no rest area. Meanwhile, an orange glow that started on the horizon was becoming larger and larger, and there was no way I was camping within burning reach of a scrub fire. We kept driving until we were well out of reach of the fire, and at about 9:30pm we pulled up in the scrub behind a truck assembly bay. Up went the tent, and we all piled in together, exhausted.

The next morning, we woke early, and packed up camp. I was so tired of travelling, I could easily have driven straight to Northam and been done with it. I was snappy, the kids were crabby, Nath was trying to keep things ticking over. The destination for the day was Karijini.

I had forgotten the magic of Karijini. It has always been a magical place for me. So hard to put into words, the majesty of this place is unrivaled. We took the kids down into one gorge, and they were captivated.

Some pics from our time in Karijini:

Our scrub camp - morning light.
Karijini camp - Dales Gorge campsite.
Brannen is crawling now!!
Happy boy on Dad's back.
Ready for the hike down into Dales Gorge.
Miya became quite the adventurer.
Walking through the gorge.
Looking down into Dales Gorge.
Fortescue Falls.
Brannen enjoying the walk.
One of the amazing trees in the gorge.
The roots seeking out the water tricking down the rocks.
Fortescue Falls.
Fern Pool. So worth the swim out to under the waterfalls.
When the dirt gets too much - embrace it by having a red dirt fight!
Grubby Edie.
I got 'got'!
Afternoon light across the ranges.
I love how the sun catches all the Earthy colours.
Dinner - nice and easy.
We are homeward bound tomorrow, and very much looking forward to it. I am craving a simple life again. While we have enjoyed the excesses of holidays, excesses are only enjoyable if they are just that - excesses. Not the norm.

See you on the simple side!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Last Day In (This Particular) Paradise.

How to fill your last day in Broome....

Go to an icecream stand for breakfast, and order every flavour on the menu. Get bellyaches from eating too much icecream. Report back to the icecream lady on what each of our favourite flavours were. 

Go to the Courthouse markets. Give the girls $5 spending money, and visit each stall twice while they try to decide what they are going to buy. 

Drink coconut juice straight out of the coconut, and suck honey straight from the honeycomb.

Go driving on the tidal flats, trying to find a back way to Crab Creek. Turn back when you realise how quickly the tide is coming in, and you begin to have thoughts of cars floating off into the ocean.
Go out to the Organic Cafe at Twelve Mile for a lovely relaxed (delicious) lunch instead.

Have one last play at the water playground, and get thoroughly drenched.

Come home for dinner (takeaway), last minute packing, a few final beverages, and an early night.
Tomorrow we drive out, and plan to camp at De Grey River tomorrow night, then drive across to Karijini National Park to check out the beautiful waterholes in the gorges there.

Only a few more days left of our holiday, then our attention will turn to moving house. We are so excited about the direction life is taking us in, and feel so blessed to have been able to enjoy this precious family time together before things get too chaotic.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Life's A Beach.

We've been back in Broome since Sunday night (from Cape Leveque) and will be here until next Monday. We've been filling our days with lazing around Luke's house and going to the beach - fishing, paddling, swimming, canoeing, baking in the sun. I even went for a run along the shoreline the other night. It doesn't make for exciting blogging but boy has it been relaxing.

Nath has been working on the trailer. We are waiting for parts to arrive from Perth. If they don't come, well, we may just be stuck here for a while longer!! Apparently, five cars/trailers were towed off the Cape Leveque Road the day after we drove out. Thank goodness for bush mechanics.

We went to a little girl's birthday party today - a family we met in Cape Leveque - their daughter turned three. They are travelling around Australia so we were in the right place at the right time, their girls and our girls all became friendly, so we helped celebrate her birthday today at Broome town beach.

We are going to the Courthouse markets on Saturday, and maybe to the Broome Races too, but on holidays, plans change! We are also planning to go mudcrabbing on low tide at some point.

Some photos:

Camping playpen (Miya did this!)

They bloody well all left me here with the fishing rod!

Nath and Eden on the kayak.

Gold medal!!!!!

I loved having a paddle - my arms were killing me though.

Our 'suspension' at the end of the drive back.

Brannen's new hobby - eating his nappy inners.

Watching the girls swim while we had breakfast this morning.

The girls found a new tribe of friends and a tidal pool to play in.

Beach baby watching all the fun.
Miya and her Cape friend Bethany.

The kids found a starfish today.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Let Food Be Thy Medicine.

When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. 
When diet is right, medicine is of no need.
- Ancient Ayurvedic Proverb.

The older I get, the more I realise how important it is to choose the right food to fuel my body. As the years go by, it gets harder to drop weight, easier to succumb to injury, harder to recover afterwards. It takes longer to build fitness, less time to lose tone, and greater are the effects of gravity.

Also, adding insult to injury, it seems that many of the foods I have always taken for granted as being part of a normal, everyday diet now cause unwanted and uncomfortable reactions. My pregnancy with Brannen, particularly, left me more sensitive than ever to lactose, for example.

You all know how much I love food. I love to cook, I love playing with new ingredients, creating dishes and flavours and memories. However, over the past few months, I have cooked less. I have felt uninspired. The kids' lunchboxes have not been filled with wholesome home cooking like they used to be. The evening meals have often been a throw-together affair nearly void of passion for good ingredients.

Part of the problem for me has been marrying the food ethics I have been carefully shaping for myself (and continue to do so, as I read more and more and talk with different people) with other priorities, such as the desire to lose some weight, or my love of sweet baked goods, or my hankering for iced coffee. 
When I think of losing weight, I think of the 'nutritional experts' advice' that has been drummed into me - low fat, higher carb than protein, a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. I have lost weight this way before - by counting points and eating low fat (but often higher in sugar and 'numbers') foods. However, my food journey has brought me to the point where I no longer feel comfortable eating low fat foods. I am a whole foods girl, and I am not okay with how low fat foods become low fat, or what is added back in place of the fat. 
When I think of warm baked goods straight from the oven, I think about all the varying forms of sweeteners, and how more and more research is suggesting that fructose is not only seriously overused, but could be responsible for obesity and a bunch of other nasties. I think about my own experiments with forgoing sweeteners, and how much better I feel, physically and mentally, when they are not a part of my diet. I think about the availability of sweeteners in our local environment, and how much processing and transport is required to get them to our table (honey aside). I think about wheat, and how it makes me feel bloated and heavy, and sluggish and vague. How much of our diet relies on that crop of wheat!! 
When I think about how my body reacts well to meat, that leads me to think about how reducing our meat intake can be one of the biggest ways we as individuals can reduce our environmental impact. I think about all the issues surrounding a carnivorous/omnivorous diet, and my own value of only eating local, grassfed, preferably organic meat (which is an expensive way to eat meat!)

So, what, then, do I eat? This question has been niggling away at me for a couple of months. I read, I read some more..... one blog clicks into another... one person's research is debunked by another's.... it becomes an impossible quest to find a settling place, where my soul meets my stomach perfectly. Add into all of this that food is a social medium, and entertaining in a healthy, ethical way is more challenging again, and it all begins to feel too hard.

I revisit my heroes. My food gurus, whose advice and philosophy I know to be sound. Jude Blereau, the queen of wholefood cooking. Sally Fallon, whose commonsense approach and skepticism of modern day nutrition/dietetics I find refreshing. Lesh Karan (The Mindful Foodie), who reassures me that I can eat in a way that nourishes my body as well as respecting the Earth. Jo Whitton (Quirky Jo), a fellow Thermomix owner, who wades through the territory of multiple food intolerances to provide good, wholesome meals for her large family. I learn from the principles of Weston Price and, following on from there, from blogs such as The Nourishing Gourmet.

I listen to my body. I learn more and more everyday about what my body is trying to tell me. I go a few days without eating a particular ingredient, then when I eat it again, I take notice of what happens. I don't assume that it is normal to feel uncomfortable, or headache-y, or tired. I also listen to my body when it is feeling good. I learn that protein in the morning keeps me going, makes me feel clearer and more energetic throughout the day. I learn that eating no sugar or gluten reduces my bloating and clears my skin.

I am no expert. I am not even an expert on my own body. I am learning to listen, and that is more than I have ever given myself. I beat myself up, and feel depressed when I eat the wrong things. But I try to remind myself that this is a journey, and every mistake teaches me something new, if I take the time to listen. Being on holidays is a time of indulgence, and I have to be careful not to get too caught up in feeling guilty about what is going into my body. I look forward to returning to my kitchen with a fresh mind and some post-holiday inspiration, and cooking good food. I try to remind myself that the number on the scales is not a reflection of who I am as a person, just a gentle reminder to make sure that I am fueling my body in good, wholesome ways. I get excited about learning more ways to cook delicious, dairy-free, gluten-free, naturally sweetened food, and I look forward to feeling the benefits of such a way of eating.

Monday, August 13, 2012

35 Things....

Playing along with this fun little meme I saw on my sister-in-law's blog, which she found on Pip Lincolne's blog. Both these blogs are go-to faves of mine. 

The aim is to answer each question with only one word.  Here goes..
1. Where is your mobile phone? Bed.

2. Your hair? Messy.

3. Your mother? Kind.

4. Your father? English.

5. Your favourite food? Mango.

6. Your dream last night? Faded.

7. Your favourite drink? Chai.

8. Your dream/goal? Home.

9. What room are you in? Lounge.

10. Your hobby? Creating.

11. Your fear? Loss.

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Loved.

13. Where were you last night? Broome :)

14. Something that you aren’t? Reserved.

15. Muffins? Spiced.

16. Wish list item? Goats.

17. Where did you grow up? Perth.

18. Last thing you did? Ate.

19. What are you wearing? Underwear.

20. Your TV? Off.

21. Your pet? Cat.

22. Friends? Essential.

23. Your life? Blessed. (Sorry, Mezz, stole this one.)

24. Your mood? Relaxed.

25. Missing someone? Girlfriends.

26. Vehicle? Filthy.

27. Something you’re not wearing? Pants :)

28. Your favorite store? Bookshop.

29. Your favorite color? Blue.

30. When was the last time you laughed? Today.

31. Last time you cried? Forgotten.

32. Your best friend? Nath.

33. One place that I go to over and over? River.

34. One person who emails me regularly? Rach.

35. Favorite place to eat? Tav.

Cape Leveque (Kooljaman Eco Resort), One Arm Point and Beagle Bay.

We are back from a very eventful weekend on the Dampier Peninsula, north of Broome. We left at Thursday lunchtime, planning to arrive at Kooljaman mid to late afternoon. The Cape Leveque road is notorious for being incredibly corrugated, sandy, poorly maintained and costly for tourists. We tossed up whether or not to attempt towing the (on-road) trailer in, but decided to as we were not able to fit much camping gear in our car with the kids and the camping fridge in there. We lightened the load of the trailer and drove carefully. As it happened the road was actually a lot better than we had imagined it would be - heavily corrugated in parts but the Terracan handled it very well. Unfortunately, the trailer did not. Ten kilometres from the end of the unsealed road (and with no phone reception and about twenty kilometres from the nearest community), the suspension on the trailer snapped.

Towing would cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars from where we were. Leaving our trailer on the side of the road to drive back to town would undoubtedly result in the contents of it being stripped before it being torched (there were a few burnt out shells of cars along the way testament to this). The only option for us was to 'bush mechanic' it. Nath cut down a young tree and used the trunk as a new 'spring' and straightened the axle up by levering it with a rope and tying it off to the drawbar. It was an impressive display of bush mechanics that saw us good for another 300 kilometres (into Kooljaman and back to Broome a few days later) and saw him become the talk of the campground.

Some highlights from the weekend:

Bush Mechanics
Pulled up on the dirt road with the sapling ready to be stripped.
The tyre was hitting the wheel arch - we wouldn't have gotten far!
The new 'spring'.
The axle tied off to the drawbar.

The girls drying the dishes for Nath.

Our messy camp.

Our 'all in' tent - a taste of co-sleeping!!
Stunning Beaches

Brannen has had a healthy diet of sand and saltwater.

Crystal clear, turquoise waters.

White sands and private beaches.
One Arm Point

Local men polishing up Trochus shells for sale.
The Aquaculture hatchery.... this little dude is 15 days old. Cute!
Eden getting up close and personal with a turtle.
 Beagle Bay

Beagle Bay Sacred Heart Church - built early 1900s for the Beagle Bay Catholic Mission.
Fantastic pearl shell-decorated altar.
Stark and imposing on this red landscape.

Picnic in the church grounds.

A baani (goanna) wandered through our camp.

A shell-less crab wandering the beach.
A friendly green tree frog.
Wildlife that 'once was' - Miya found a clam shell.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...