Thursday, May 1, 2014

Evan and Lie's Ocean Adventures

The first few days Evan and Lie were here, I actually had to work! Can you believe it??? Work really cramps my style sometimes. As it worked out, though, I let them sleep in for the morning, then took them down to the coast in Riverton when I went to work at the nursing home for the afternoon.
Little did they know I was dropping them in a Tsunami Hazard Zone:

Luckily, there were no tsunamis that day, and they survived. They also narrowly avoided what could have been mistaken as an abduction. One of the ladies at the nursing home was arranging for one of the residents to go out for a ride on a fishing boat with some local fishermen for about an hour that afternoon. She asked where my friends were and said that if she found them on their way to the marina she would stop and pick them up so they could go out too!  That's how nice the people are here. But the wires didn't cross for that to happen, but I think they still had fun exploring the Riverton Rocks coastline.
Lie certainly seems to have found a way to pass the time anyway.

I don't know what these are called, but they're pretty!

They also found this plush living room set on the beach. I think it looks awesome, and is a great idea.

Evan was a little less than impressed. Comments like 'soggy' and 'filthy' were the report I got after work.

After I finished up at 'the home', I patrolled the coast until I spotted the dynamic duo and we all went to Back Beack for a little more beach time before heading back to Otautau.

Not a bad was to spend an afternoon.

Continuing with the Ocean Theme, these guys obviously had to get a crack at musseling! Back to the trusty mussel spot! This was a couple days into their visit.

Evan opted for the 'jump across this big ravine from these slippery rocks to that slipper rock' route. Lie chose the 'scale this slippery cliff' route.

Once safely to the spot, they were naturals.

I hope there are enough mussels for our supper....

Lie was pretty excited about this.

Feeling accomplished after gathering their supper from the ocean.

(Side Story: we ate fried Bluff Oysters right before we went musseling. That same evening, we went through the Clifden Caves, which were really fun. They are about 20  minutes from my house, and are on private ground. You just get your headlamp and wander through on your own. It takes about 30-45 minutes to get through. There are even a few glowworms in there! Right at the end of it, I started feeling kind of nauseous. We debated on going back through them backwards, but luckily didn't because I started feeling REALLY sick shortly after and threw up a few times. There were some people that were coming through the caves behind us quite a ways back, and we later thought how funny it would have been if I had gotten sick in the cave on the way back through. Can you imagine the sounds that would have been echoing through there??? How terrifying if you are wandering through this tiny dark cave and then someone is making death sounds!   and I"m pretty sure it was the oyster that did me in.)

A couple of days of soaking and a good scrub-up later, it was showtime for these little mussels. 

They are actually really difficult to clean up. you have to scrape them clean and rip out their little beards with pliers, which isn't easy. Evan got one that actually came out really easily, and he proclaimed, "You're my favorite mussel. YOUR death with be quick!" The laughter that ensued really slowed down our mussel cleaning operation for a few minutes.

We cooked mussels two ways that night. We did my standard mussels and chorizo recipe, and Lie whipped up a black bean mussel recipe that was also amazing. 

Feasting like kings.

The final Ocean-themed activity was on Lie's last day. Evan had already headed back to the States. Lie and I had heard about a surfing competition that was going on down on the southern coast, so we headed down prior to heading to the Horse Races!

Colac Bay Surf Comp.

If you've ever seen the movie Blue Crush, it wasn't  much like that. We both actually said that simultaneously about 5 minutes after we got there. The waves weren't 50 feet tall, and the drama level was pretty low.
Everyone was just chillin on the beach. There was a sausage sizzle going, and an announcer was just making small talk and encouraging the surfers as they competed.

Five people or so would compete at a time. They would get prime placement. All the other people out there are either getting ready for their turn, or they are just surfing for fun. 

Looks easy, huh? It's not. I'm a terrible surfer.

This was a popular wave.

The kids had a bonfire going. They mostly used it to burn wet seaweed for fun.

Then off to the races to round out our day!

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