Thursday, August 13, 2009

To Catch You Up On Places I've Been 2

Road Trip New South Wales: Frederickton and Crescent Head

Near where I worked was the town of Frederickton, a small humble town famed for their pies. The locals turn their noses up at this establishment, but I thought it was pretty nice. But I am a tourist, after all.

They had really interesting pies, there, not least their signature "Crocodile" and "Kangaroo" pies. Australia is indeed one of the few nations to eat the animals that form their national emblem(Emu and Kangaroos, anyone?).

Trust them to put it into their national food, though - the Aussie meat pie!

(Warning: Eating a Kangaroo meat pie will cause so much patriotism that you will attend a footy match in your green and gold tracksuit with an Australia flag around your shoulders, sunblock on your face, sunglasses, a VB in your right hand and the meat pie in your left, chanting "Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!")

The Frederickton Pie Shop: Notice that they have not only learnt to put kangaroo and crocodile meat into pies, they have found a way of putting dead truck drivers into pies as well. Being the coward that I am, I went for the safe option of curry chicken and peas. At least I hope it was chicken.

Crescent Head is the nearest coastal beach and is one of the more beautiful beaches of the New South Wales region.

The first thing that you see is the sign declaring Crescent Head: Population 1209 and you can see where these 1209 residents are living – some of them have houses on ground level, but most of them live on the houses peeking out from the foliage on the slopes of the hill, granting wonderful views of the ocean beneath them.

These numbers swell over the holidays as tourists crowd in to surf, take a walk on the beach or the rolling hills, or just to picnic. There are at least two large camper grounds here inviting caravans and tents to park and take in the view and the sun.

There are enough shops for local needs – a Foodworks, a local fruit, vegie and gelati shop and all other things organic, a pharmacy, a police station and a few restaurants.

In order to live here as a retiree, you must have saved hundreds of lives and feed the hungry and clothed the poor in your past life. This wonderful self sufficient town is really paradise on earth on good days – the waves that lap the shores invite all to surf and swim in it, there is a wonderful walk up to a lookout point that gives you breathtaking views of the ocean beneath you, and there is a – try and top this one – golf course that slopes on the hills approximating the ocean.

KS and I walked into Crescent Head today and there was a wonderful carnival going on for the long weekend. Many shops were set up, selling everything from noni juice to opal jewellery, random curios to bawdy apparel.

KS and I stopped by the quaintly named ‘Shelf Respect’ a second-hand book store – it was filled with old books, leather bound volumes with yellowed paper, sitting alongside boxes full of Sidney Sheldon, Stephen King and Robert Ludlum.

I ended up buying Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, one of my most favourite reads as a child. It contains the story of The Yellow Face, one of the few stories where Sherlock Holmes makes a rare mistake in his deductions, which really bowled me over as a young reader. My absolute hero showing he is human after all – I grew up really quickly after reading that story!

We then took in the awe-inspiring views (“It’s pretty! Okay, I'm done watching this. Let’s go!” KS said, being the practical appreciator of God’s handiwork that she is) before heading off to the local gelati shop for some ice-cream.

There was this peak which you could walk up to on Crescent Head, and it offered you beautiful beach views below and also a great vantage point for the surrounding area. They went all the way to put a park bench there just for you. How wonderfully considerate!

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