Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Gone fishing.

In the very beginning when we were charting our itinerary, we decided to road trip down the West coast of Australia instead of the East because we dreamed it would be more of an adventure. Less built up, more rugged, less touristy, more natural. 80 Mile Beach, the second WA beach we've camped at so far is most certainly that. A 10 kilometer drive down a corrugated red dirt track and there is nothing but a caravan park and beach at the end.

The caravan park is low key and friendly. It feels old school even though much of it has been rebuilt since a cyclone came through and destroyed it in 2009.

Some people come to 80 Mile Beach for a holiday and don't leave. Many people come for seven or eight months of every year, every year.

Without the distractions of Internet and phone coverage and with a looooong stretch of gorgeous but shark infested beach, there is not much more to do than fish. And collect shells, walk on the beach and read and fish some more.

We are not fishing people. Farmer Bren kitted himself up with a rod and some stuff before we got there, but other than that all the different hooks and sinkers and knots and tidal information is a bit of a mystery to us.

According to local lore, us blow ins with no experience and brand new rods should have caught a meter long King Salmon. But we didn't. Actually, we didn't catch anything but a small non-descript fish we used as bait.

But don't worry, we didn't go hungry, we were given lots of fish to eat by friendly neighbours.

But all the catching and gutting and filleting was a bit confronting for a vegetarian of 20 years. I know that if you are going to eat fish, which I have chosen to, then this is the fish to eat. A couple of hours out of the ocean, caught locally off a rod, one at a time, by someone fishing it as a hobby to catch enough for a meal or two.

But still, the blood and guts, the smell, the sound of the flesh being ripped off the skeleton and those eyes that seem to follow you around the fish cleaning area. Ugh! (sorry!)

It would probably have been exciting to have reeled in a great big fish or two, but it's probably more ethical to cook up and eat some one else's excess.

I have hundreds of photos and stories in my journal from 80 Mile Beach. I loved it there. I think if it weren't for the sand flies and the need for groceries, I could have easily got stuck there for a while longer.

Happy travels you guys. x


  1. "How do you know?"
    "Well there's a sign upon your door."

    Bing and Louis. Gotta love it.

  2. I couldn't have cleaned that fish either.
    By the same token, I eat beef and ... needless to say ... I'm relying on the behind-the-scenes folk there too!

  3. You're braver than me. I'm a veggie too and I really can't abide raw fish, even though at a pinch, if it's all there is, I'll eat it.
    That beach looks like a fisherman's paradise ... pity about the sandflies though. Where next?

  4. That first picture is beautiful. The colours of the earth, the sky,the little splash of blue on your van. Glorious.
    PS My non blogger husby is really enjoying reading your posts over my shoulder:)

  5. I am so enjoying your posts. I thought I would comment and tell you thank you for sharing your adventure. Lisa L., Ontario, Canada

  6. Love that shot of all the fisherman lined up along the beach. Is it the first time you've eaten fish since going veggie? I cook it for the kids as I think it's good for them (and they don't get meat unless their dad cooks it for them). I don't mind cutting it up but couldn't stomach cooking meat.

  7. It looks like paradise Kate and your girls look so happy. What lovely neigbours to share their fish.x

  8. over this way we love fish. Mr loves fishing and we love eatings it. It is divine when cooked straight from the ocean, best way to have it. There is no way I could do anything even remotely close to gutting it however. But because I married a warrior - he loves it.

  9. Fishing is not all about the catching. It's the experience of the time waiting, contemplating and anticipating the catch;) love the shot of all the fishermen lined up. Have a great day - oh - our post card arrived too! Thanks!

  10. Well it looks like it was a great experience - whether they were biting or not. cheers Wendy

  11. We don't fish either, but we are determined to have a go this summer when my fisherman brother comes down to teach us all the tricks. I always drive across the bridge admiring the peacefulness of people fishing..

  12. Not. a. care. in. the. world.

    Gives the 'gone fishin' signs a whole new meaning. I didn't think I liked to fish until my dad gave me a rod last year when we were on holidays and I could have stayed knee-deep in water for the entire day. Something about it... x

  13. I never prep the meat that I eat- that's my secret.

    Sand flies. Ugh! Memories from beach visits in a childhood past...

    Safe travels x

  14. Thanks for sharing the photos of your travels. The beach looks awesome!

  15. looks amazing kate. i think i will have to jot it down in the book of "another trip for another day. enjoy and safe travels to you all

  16. Oh wow. Scaling fish. Urk. Good on you for giving it a go - I think.

  17. What a unique part of the world... and equally unique lifestyle to match. It looks thoroughly inviting... except for the fishing, don't care much for that and your description of prepping a fish confirms this fact for me.
    LOVE the photos, I can imagine you would fill a great many pages with such a picturesque subject xo

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