Published: February 27th 2009February 27th 2009
Out to Dry
This is us just arrived at Thornton beach holiday park making most of sunshine.
So after visitng the waterfall, we are absolutely soaked, the van smells damp, with nowhere to dry our clothes and it's still p**sing it down. We head to our next camp site sorely in need of showers and an undercover area to dry everything off. We park up and sit, in the pouring rain and wonder what to do first. After waterproofs, outside chairs and towels have been draped outside in the undercover area to dry, Paul goes to check out the kitchen area and shower block while I wait in the van. He comes back not impressed: "This place seems a bit of a dump", he tells me. Apparently, as we are near to some hot springs, the kitchen and shower block are riddled with flies. The kitchen has one of the electric blue tube things that attracts flies and dead carcasses litter the floor and the smell of burning fly hangs in the air (how poetic). The oven looks like it's as old as I am and hasn't been cleaned - ever and the showers are dark, dank, with flies and the odd squashed mosquito on the wall and smell of sulphur... Why?, I hear you ask, well unbeknownst
A pro at work
look at me go!
to us - they use the hot water from the springs for the showers and taps - ughhhhhhhhh. We weren't impressed. However, it was still raining heavily so we didn't relish the thought of driving about looking for somewhere else, and we'd already paid our $27 so we grinned and bore it.
The next morning, Paul was getting in a rage - he detests flies and until this point, I hadn't fully appreciated how much. "Ah you wouldnae fookin' listen so you're gunna die ya wee b*stard" was what I heard frequently (along with other worse threats). In the end, I waited outside whilst Paul was "clearing the area" in the van and listened to him swotting the flies with a magazine whilst swearing at them. Luckily it had stopped raining. "Let's get the hell out of here" was the all clear phrase and we left the campsite at 9am (which for us, was still the middle of the night as you can imagine). Paul had found another campsite not far from where we were which was by the sea and also had wifi (we have to touch base every few days). It also had the added bonus of
Still cool in the shades
us being able to pronounce the name of the place - it was called Thornton - nice and easy! The holiday park was right next to the sea also an estuary and it was great - lovely breeze, space, few people (and hardly any flies, thankfully). We parked up and got out all our stuff to either air it or dry it and then just chilled. We were there for 5 days and whilst there spent most of our time sunbathing or fishing. "We" also broke our lovely new rod (that we'd had less than a week as "we" put too heavy a weight on it and the rod had snapped when we'd tried to cast it) and lost countless lures too. So we now have 2 rods. A huge 14 foot beach caster which can take the big fish (Paul's) and a little spinning rod which can be used in the sea also (providing you don't take the piss when adding weights) (mine).
On our last day at Thornton, we were determined to catch something so after lunch, loaded up our gear and head for the beach. We'd been there for an hour or so when on my
rod, I reeled it in and it got stuck with the usual bunch of weed. However, when it got nearer to the shore, I noticed that after the weed, there was something else attached - the same colour as the sand almost. It got closer and turned out to be a flounder! Only, I hadn't caught it in the traditional sense - ie, it taking the bait - I had hooked it in it's fin. I think it had been lying on the river/sea bed minding it's own business next to it's favourite bit of weed when a lure had come past; hooked the weed and then the fish, therefore unceremoniously dragging it to the surface while it wondered what on earth was going on! Neither Paul or I could get the hook out so we asked a neighbouring fisherman to help. "Ah, that's a good sized flounder! Very tasty. Just cover it in flour and put it in the pan, just like that! Yep, very tasty!". I hoped the flounder wasn't listening and I couldn't see the flounder in this new appetising light - it just looked weird with it's goggly eyes on the top of it's head. "No,
we're not going to keep it"; I told the fisherman. I think he thought I was mad letting it go, but inspite of his help, I couldn't offer it to him as it didn't seem fair on the fish, if you know what I mean. Anyway, we resumed our casting and reeling in and a few hours later, a friend of our neighbour arrived and within minutes, he was catching allsorts of big fish - quite frankly, he was taking the piss! My handling of the flounder proved that I'm a big girl's blouse and wouldn't have a clue what to do on the eventuality of actually catching a fish - I mean, how on earth would you kill it? It's a bit different to catching tiddlers in a net or catching a perch or bream which you know you're going to put back. So after the friend caught his three hundred and seventy sixth fish, I went over and acted like the pathetic female tourist that I am and asked him if he wouldn't mind showing me how to kill a fish. Well what a nice bloke! He actually put that fish back as it was too small but
(Well same one but 10 mins later)
on the next one, he showed me - you kill it by hitting it sharply behind the eyes, but I should think that the insertion of a sharp knife behind it's gills to sever the main artery to bleed it also helps....He let us keep that one and let us use his weight, hooks and pilchards and then gave us a lesson how the attach the pilchard to the hooks so it wont fall off! Thanks Phil, if you happen to ever come accross this... Anyway, after moving up a notch from endlessly trawling the lure through water, we actually felt "bites"! Oh the thrill as you feel the nibble on the end of your taught line... (that almost sounds rude) it means that we're a step closer to catching one! Alas, inspite of Phil's help, it was not to be and we retired with our free fish to cook for supper. Luckily, Phil had also descaled it in the sea and given Paul a quick lesson on how to gut or fillet a fish. We get back to camp and Paul makes a heroic attempt at filleting the fish to have in foil parcel on the barbie. Personally, I
would have just gutted it and shoved it on whole but there we are.
We eat our fish, which is very tasty (but more fish like than the trout we'd been given previously) and dream about the day when we come to be cooking our own caught fish on the barbie.
There are more photos below