The Santa Ride is now an annual event in Jervis Bay. Running from the boat ramp in Vincentia to the Huskisson Hotel the route covers about 5 kilometres. Not exactly a huge task but there were all ages taking part; some of them very young. We actually had to cycle from the other side of the “finish” line to get to the start. So Dani and myself did this route twice. Once in each direction. We arrived early at the starting area, although we were not quite the first…
Safety helmets were (so we were informed) compulsory , hence the sewn on Santa hats. But there were plenty who did the ride without.
For anyone interested here is a video of the full roll out of cyclists at the start of the ride. It goes on for 6 minutes. Daniel and myself appear at about 2 minutes 10 seconds just in front of The Grinch.
Video: All the Riders heading off at the start.
And here we are approaching the finish line – the Huskisson Hotel. Where we had a well earned drink (or two)…
After The Ride…
As part of the ride entry fee you get a “free” beer and hot dog at the finish in the Huskisson Hotel. As you can imagine it was fairly busy in and around the hotel.
A little later we changed out of the Santa suits and visited a cocktail bar where it was ‘happy hour’ (or 3). Dani insisted on trying one so we ordered a mocktail. It was the ‘Lost at Sea’ cocktail without the alcohol (rum). It still tasted great and he lapped it up.
Its funny how when you get older the simpler things seem to please you. We spent another week (and a bit) in Jervis Bay before Christmas and (for me at least) it doesn’t really get any better than this…
Dani always seems to enjoy himself there too. He spent a lot of time on his bicycle including some off road biking in the National Parks. He also got some good use out of his skateboard and bodyboard. He also tried something called “boom-netting”. In case you don’t know what that is, it’s basically being dragged along behind a boat in a glorified netted play-pen. I had never tried it before although it was always on offer whenever I had visited various places around the world in the past. It just never appealed to me. I just thought it was for drunk back-packers – which of course it is! But I just discovered that it is also for old dads with nine year old sons. Rather reluctantly I agreed to audition to be shark bait.
As it still hasn’t really warmed up that much down-under yet (another cool, wet summer has been forecast) the water was definitely cold enough when the dolphin watching cruise ship dropped the net into the bay. Those stupid enough to have paid for the experience – there were only ten of us – took our places in the net. Then boom! The ship raced off while the cold water covered us. I was just getting used to the water temperature when it was time to get out. Typical eh? Anyway
They say that the beaches in Jervis Bay area are among the best in Australia (of course they do) – and therefore along the best in the world. I would not want to get into that debate but I certainly wouldn’t waste any time arguing against that little piece of local sales tourism.
We went to a few new beaches on this our 9th? 10th? visit to the area. (But who’s counting?)
Then his hair came off…. Haircuts long overdue for both of us.
Just before leaving we had one more full day that included the now annual Santa Bike Ride in aid of the local volunteer fire fighters. Hundreds turned up dressed as Santa and various other Christmas themed characters. But that one is worth a post all of its own… Stay tuned…
We have reached that point again. Today is (was) Dani’s last day of school for this school year (4). His third school year in Australia. By the end of next January he will be in year 5. How time flies.
But before that we have some summer holidays to enjoy. This summer we will be heading to Jervis Bay – yet again! – for a week. In fact we waste no time and head off tomorrow. And I make no apologies for it. Jervis Bay is almost certainly my favourite spot. I know. That’s a very hard thing to judge and quantify, but I simply love it. For me – and I appreciate it must be largely an age thing – it is perfect. Busy (relatively) at this time of year but never over-crowded. You can always find a quiet spot on the many beaches in that area. Beaches galore in fact. There is also enough in the way of shops, restaurants and bars to keep all ages happy – yet amazingly still as far from being a “built up” area as you could imagine. And it’s not just the place itself either. The location is perfect as it is only a few hours drive away. Ideal.
Then after Christmas we head off to Perth in Western Australia for a bit of a tour of the bottom left corner of Australia. A road trip around part of the most sparsely populated state in the country.
The plan is to see one of the most remote big cities in the world (Perth) then head inland, into the outback, for the frontier town and gold mining capital of Kalgoorlie. From there we should be heading south to Esperance where the beaches are (supposedly) even more perfect than those in and around Jervis Bay. Then west to Albany for a few days at the very southwestern tip of Australia, before heading back to Perth via Margaret River and the southern west coast.
It’s a huge road trip for a 9 year old covering over 2000 km. The map below shows the the planned route(s).
We – like many others – have waited some time to be allowed to travel into Western Australia. The state was the last to unlock its doors (so to speak). It promises to be every bit as exciting as our New South Wales outback adventure. That one was two years ago!!!
So, expect more fantastic beach photos in the next few weeks. Also some more outback adventures which will undoubtedly include the quirky and bizarre as well as the scenic…