554. Sunday 21st May 2017. Early mornings, meetings, a birthday and on to Sydney…

Monday 15th May

Another early morning. This time I was at Wollongong Harbour (Belmore Basin) before 6am. It was quite chilly so I needed a beanie and gloves. The regular early morning walkers, runners, cyclists and pram pushers were out in umm err, a few. Hmmm! They wear lights on their backs and hats and beanies some even had lights on their arms. Curious. I left without knowing why, as none would slow down for a chat. ( I suppose if while running a man in a trakkie daks, hoodie, beanie and gloves joins you in the darkness and asks silly questions, nobody is going to stop and talk – Wollongong is security conscious – lots of security screens on doors, windows, high fences, remote controlled gates and grilles on shop fronts)

My main reason for being here at this time of day on the cusp of winter was to photograph the lighthouse and harbour with the sunrise in the background.

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Wollongong Harbour Breakwater Lighthouse. Built in 1871 and decommissioned in 1974. Restored by public support in 2002. It is now an historical landmark and no longer provides any guiding light.

Yeah right! Just like yesterday the sun refused to rise. It probably did not like the cold and cloudy conditions and probably went back to bed. The apprentice made sure light was brought into the world albeit slow and not spectacular in any way. It just gradually got light.

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Flagstaff Hill Wollongong Lighthouse. It is still operational. Seen here at almost first light.

Dinner was again $5 chicken schnitzel at the Corrimal RSL.

Tuesday 16th May

With an early morning the last two days I picked up a head cold. Dunno where I picked it up from as I prefer not to pick up somebody else’s cast offs. Damm head colds make for miserable life conditions for a few days. Harrumppf.

It was Nicoles — rd birthday today. We had a chocolate, coffee, caramel etc etc etc type birthday cake and sang happy birthday. (It’s funny how I was surrounded by adults who claim an aversion to sugar but managed sugar loaded cake for breakfast!)

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Birthday girl Nicole surrounded by Errol, Amelia and the living vacuumcleaner, Walter keeping his eye on the cake while waiting for crumbs.

Errol offered to take us all to the harbour for breakfast as he is leaving at midday to drive to Melbourne. I declined the offer as I had accepted an invitation for coffee. To me it was a special event as the other people were two past CEO’s of the IMB, the retired secretary, the retired treasurer and the retired IT manager. Wow! To me that was a power meeting with people I once worked with and respected for their business acumen. They once ran one of the biggest building societies in NSW and guided it through the process being very successful. It is now the IMB Bank. Thank you for your time and acceptance Wayne, Peter, Gordon, Ellis and Tony.

By midday Errol had left, we had a quick lunch and then on our way to Gymea – in The Shire” ( it is worth a look here to understand The Shire   http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/about-town/shattering-the-shire-stereotype-20120625-20y4c.html  )

Donnis and I will be house and dog sitting for 10 days while my sister Bev and husband Peter go swimming with whale sharks at Ningaloo on Western Australia’s mid north coast.

Wednesday 17th May

Today we shopped for groceries at Miranda Fair Shopping Centre located at umm err Miranda (in the Shire of course). It was once touted as the largest shopping centre in Australia. Many years and many extensions later it is now ranked 24th!!!

Thursday 18th May

The sun was shining although the wind had a chill factor enough to ensure you did not stand in the shade. We drove to LaPerouse to visit friend Geoff and Margaret. They took us for a short drive to Molineaux Point Lookout. The Molineaux Point lookout and monument celebrates Sydney Port’s sister port relationship with Yokkaichi Port from the Mir prefecture in Japan which was formed in 1968. A delegation of about 30 Japanese dignitaries attended the opening.

The point was created by Sydney Ports Authority at around the same time as Sydney Airport Runway was extended into Botany Bay. A huge area of land was created for Port Botany where cargo ships laden with containers come and go with such frequency they even have a marine version of an air traffic control tower. Port Botany is the second busiest port behind Port Melbourne. Container shipping means lots of containers are stored here ready for use. It is amazing to see huge pyramid shaped structures stacked seven containers high.

The lookout itself gives a great view of the entire Botany Bay including aircraft landings and take-off, Kurnell, LaPerouse

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Bare Island La Perouse seen from to Molineaux Point Lookout.

and the remains of huge sandhills of Cronulla and Greenhills Beach.

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Kurnell, landing place of Captain Cook in 1770 with sandhills of Greenhills in the background.

Geoff and Margaret put on a fine dinner of a Chinese Steamboat

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Steamboat sizzling and waiting for food and diners.

where you cook your own food in a bubbling broth. After all the meats have been eaten you then use the broth with all the vegetables swimming around adding flavour as a finishing soup. The idea is to sit around and talk and eat and drink wine over an extended period. We got back to Gymea at midnight. Thanks Geoff and Margaret.

Saturday 20th May

Nicole, Amelia and Hannah arrived for a visit. We went to a delightful spot called Gymea Bay Baths.

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Gymea Bay

Very steep hills heavily wooded crowd all the way down to the water.

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Public swimming baths at Gymea Bay.
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A little bream ready to thrown back to try again another day.

A friendly Japanese lady showed us how she caught Yellowtail scad. There is no minimum legal size but the bag limit is 40 per person per day. The fishing method she used was a small plastic tube with holes which is filled with a fishmeal mixture. A gang of several hooks is suspended below the “basket” the yellowtail snap at the spreading burley like fish meal and get caught on the hooks. She cleans and guts the fish, then deep fries in coconut oil or uses it for a raw fish sashimi. Amelia and Hannah were fascinated and stayed talking, in awe, with the lady.

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Hannah loved her afternoon watching people fish,
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Happy hour at one of the hundreds of private boat sheds at Gymea Bay.
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Bush boat storage at Gymea BAy.
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Brilliant sunset colours on cloud beyond Gymea Bay.

Sunday 21sy May

Geoff and Margaret arrived early afternoon so we had a full house of visitors for a few hours. As often happens Geoff and I found ourselves involved with making improvements to laptops or swapping hints or photos.

Thanks again Geoff and Margaret. I have a steep learning curve for some new apps Geoff installed while he has a gentle learning curve from what I supplied from my library.

Tomorrow we begin a little Sydney exploring.



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