We walked along the length of the beach. It’s not so long, perhaps a kilometre or so in length, but it was one pretty stretch of coastline.
After half an hour downhill, we arrived at Maitland Bay Beach. The bay was named after the steamer, Maitland, which was wrecked off the coast one stormy night in 1898. 24 people died that night, but the weather was calm on this early April Sunday, meaning there were a few groups on the pristine beach and a few boats on the water beyond.
The craggy headland I think is very interesting to look at, too. The sandstone is cracked and coloured by the elements. The bay faces due south so it would get its fair share of wind and rain.
Recently we had a group of overseas visitors stay with us at Umina, and took them on a walk in neighbouring Bouddi National Park. BB had been told of an ‘easy’ walk with ‘great views’, and had been hankering to explore it for weeks. Being male, he of course had no idea of the actual length or difficulty of the walk – I never quite believe it when an Aussie says a walk is ‘easy’ (not when you’ve got little legs and dodgy feet) – and in the end it was a 3 hour affair with quite a few sizeable, undulating hills, and the last bit along a busy road.
You, however, get an armchair ride. And the first stage was the walk downhill from Killcare to Maitland Beach. We walked through an area that had been very recently back burned. Our visitors being European, we discussed the lack of back burning in the Mediterranean areas of the continent – the consequences being large, uncontrollable fires every summer.
The result of back burning might be ugly, but I’m sure new life would sprout up very soon here.
It’s bedtime, and the beagle is in a huff. You see, she thinks she’s human, and so expects to be treated like one. When her ‘parents’ disappeared all day, she was so very disappointed.
“You’ve ignored me all today.”
“You haven’t fed me enough.”
“You haven’t walked me enough.”
“I’m so unloved.”
If she knew her problems were miniscule compared to a human’s, perhaps she won’t be so eager to be one?
As I mentioned before, the other dishes that we ordered on my latest visit to Satay Inn were Chinese, or I suppose Australian-Chinese. First came the sizzling chilli lamb, that came on a hotplate. It wasn’t overly hot, and although tasty, not a dish that really got me excited.
That wasn’t the case with the salt and pepper calamari, which was really wonderful. I’d tasted their salt and pepper eggplant before, and the calamari was cooked in the same way – lightly battered, perfectly spiced, with a little crunch. My friends were quite impressed and the whole dish was devoured in less than ten minutes.
It had been several months since I last visited Satay Inn, my local Malaysian restaurant. But although the best dishes here (in my opinion) are the Malaysian ones, the menu also encompasses Chinese and Thai. During my latest visit, my dining companions ordered from the Chinese side of the menu, while I ordered from the Malaysian side.
Malaysian first. I really should have taken a photo of the satay chicken because it was fab. But as always, my stomach ruled my head and the portion was demolished before I’d even thought of my camera.
The mains were a mixed bag. I’d ordered kapitan chicken the first time I came here and remembered it to be a flavoursome, fiery dish. This version was a whole lot milder, though the flavours were still good.
But the star of the night was kangkung belacan (or kangkung cha terasi, as the Indonesians call it. It’s simply water spinach stir fried with shrimp paste, garlic, and lots of chilli. It’s tasty and very addictive. Not a boring vege dish, that’s for sure.
Tomorrow, the Chinese dishes.
One of my favourite places to sit and contemplate is by the rainforest creek that borders the pasture. I’ve sat here many times: when the creek was dry, and when the water simply trickled. During Easter there was a rush of water due to a wet few weeks, which was a joy to the senses.
We’ve come to the end of our rural Easter. Hope the experience has been a contemplative one.