Ashleigh woke up with her little boy to buy Scott some essentials for his day of hopefully spotting whales in Fitzgerald which is just around the corner from Hopetoun where we are staying at the moment. He arose from his pit at 9 am and was presented with a birthday card, Swiss roll, Ferrero Rocher (9 pack), a musical candle, a coffee and a yellow fluffy duck toy. Needless to say he was blown away with some of the best gifts he has ever received and gave off some big ‘thanks’ haha.
Today was all about whale watching at Fitzgerald nature trail so we jumped in the Jeep with Ashleigh and Aiden and hit the road, just after we had had the classic scrambled eggs on toast and awesome hot shower. The drive is only about ten minutes from Hopetoun but first we had to go and use the local convenience store (which is also a petrol station and post office) to draw out some money for the day. There is no ATM in Hopetoun so you can either withdraw the money from the post office or buy something from the convenience shop and ask for cashback,those are your two options. I was there for 15 minutes because for some reason, in Australia everybody moves at a much more relaxed pace and will probably take me some time to adjust too. Finally I got my hands on the $50 and we darted along the coast to get to the trail with birthday boy Scotty. You can only really drive around Fitzgerald trail stopping off at various scenic locations as it is too far to walk; to take on the walk would probably take you the best part of two days! We visited some monster waves on a very quiet beach, a tranquil lake and viewed the Hopetoun and it’s surrounding areas from a great height (You can get a better idea from the pictures).
After about three hours we returned to the house to take on some lunch and talk about plans for the rest of the day, I’m not sure about the other two but I had the mildest of red wine hangovers so was easy to go with the flow. 30 minutes on and I found myself driving with Scotty in the Jeep to the local bottle store to get some more wine as it is only open from 1:30pm-2:30pm everyday. The time window was small but worth it as you can actually get great deals on wine out here due to the abundance of grapes in Australia. The box of Hardy’s wine contained 36 small glasses of wine and cost us just $24 and this is with us pushing the boat out. You can get down to about $16 for another brand for the same quantity and you can go even lower-rock bottom actually-and get some ‘goon’ which I believe is strong cooking wine made of reconstituted all sorts (may contain egg and/or fish) and is the budget traveler’s drink of choice.
We haven’t tried it yet but it will only be a matter of time before it passes our lips, probably when we start doing seasonal work next week actually around Adelaide area.
The next chapter of the day involved me taking part in Rummikub with Ashleigh and Scotty in the 20 degree sun out in the back garden drinking the wine we had just purchased. Scotty was adamant to win at least one game before leaving the table but as the day unfolded it turns out that even on his birthday he was still the world’s worst Rummikub player and could only win by default on the final game because we were distracted by the newcomer to the table- A black Staffordshire bull terrier/Labrador. This dog came out of nowhere and was probably the most excitable dog in town. It was jumping all over the place exuding energy and showed no signs of giving up until finally a horn went off in the distance. Presumably it was that of it’s owners because he was extremely responsive to it and darted back off around the side of the house after 20 minutes, never to be seen again. I miss that dog haha.
The evening was spent at the local where we enjoyed a few small beers as we were full of wine whilst we sat down to a civilized slap up meal. Scotty had the ‘red emperor’ fillet of fish whilst I had the lamb on the shank. Mine was ordered due to recommendation so I wasn’t gonna argue that at all and mine was the first to arrive to the table. Now this is where the green eyed monster came out to the left of me. Scotty is a bit of a gravy and mashed potato junkie, so when he saw the amount of both these things on my plate he realized he may have made the wrong decision and immediately shotgunned half of my gravy. As it was his birthday I decided to let it slide and instead allowed him to take some bits from my plate and even saved him a little nit of lamb. The review of his own meal was’ Really nice but I always order dry food!!’ haha. It had been a long day so the nest sensible thing to do was to get out of there and head back to Ashleighs. We did just that and passed out within the hour, how rock and roll are we!!:) Happy Birthday Scotty Dogg!