Bundeena. Not a synonym for Cowabunga but a small place south of Sydney, between the National Park and the sea. It is an odd place. Cronulla is only a twenty minute ferry ride away but to get there by road there is a long drive along windy roads through the National Park. Thus it feels incredibly isolated but is in fact quite close to Sydney. Being on the edge of the park it cannot expand and so retains a village-like feel.

It has been ‘discovered’ fairly recently so we have 2.5 million dollar waterside mansions mixing it with old fibro shacks. Some friends of Pamela own one of the latter and it was available for a week so we took advantage of the opportunity. School holidays made it simple for Robert to be with us.

For anyone in the northern hemisphere it is worth noting that it is the middle of winter here so swimming and sandcastles were right out. Fibro provides a less than perfect insulator as well so the nights were a bit chilly. Fortunately the owners of the place had provided electric blankets. These are usually unnecessary in Sydney but they were very welcome.

The weather was most fine so we had plenty of nice walks in the National Park and visited a few local places of interest. The Symbio animal centre is not, as you might imagine, a place where exotic animal biosynthesis occurs but rather a small zoo where you can get close to the animals.

Robert got to pat a barking owl (again not a biosynthetic dog-bird). I got to stare at some freshwater crocodiles. It was a cold and miserable day so I had some fellow feeling with them. Lying in a warm place and snapping at anyone coming close sounded good to me.
There was no internet. In fact there wasn’t even a phone. Add to that hot water on tap and not going to work and you have civilisation. Of course, mobile phones mean you can never get away completely but you can always turn them off.

I had loaded the laptop up with games. There was a television. We had monopoly with us (almost obligatory when travelling with children) so even on the wet days (Friday and Saturday) we were occupied. Could have taken more of it really.

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July 2006
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