Onwards from Bandon

Written Friday (1 of 2)
We woke yesterday to a very overcast and cold day. We couldn’t decide what to do. First up though, we needed a fleece for Sharon; I had my waistcoat (yea!), so that we would be warm enough whatever we did. Then we called at the coffee shop for mediocre coffee and over an hour’s free Internet. What is it about coffee that makes it so hard to get a good one? I’d asked for their “…best coffee. I like strong coffee, probably dark roast – but flavour is of the essence,” and got their ‘whatever she called it’ best coffee that even with an extra shot in it lacked the depth of flavour that we both like. It was strong, but had no third dimension (hot, strong, flavour?) Perhaps I need to go on a coffee appreciation course, so that I can converse with ‘Baristas’ in a language they understand.

Anyway, as the coffee shop began to fill up with those wanting an early lunch (we didn’t – see previous post) we noticed that the cloud had lifted and that it was now sunny. Still very windy, but sunny. We set off for one of the many State Parks hereabouts: Floras Lake Park. We found the park easy enough and the lake, but it looked like it might be a trial of a pleasure to walk around the lake to see what Sharon had wanted to see – the volcanic headland at Blacklock Point.  So, following vague instructions from the guidebook, we drove further south to a non-descript airport just past Denmark and parked in an unmarked car park by the entrance.  On the map this area seems to be called Cape Blanco, but the guidebook had definitely suggested Blacklock Point. Outside the car park we picked up ‘trails’ for both Blacklock Point and Floras Lake and set off through the woodland. We walked for about two miles to the Point and it was wonderful. Because we were walking through woodland, it was sheltered from the wind, but the trails were open to the sky, so we got the sunshine. It was beautiful.

We met our first people when we reached the point itself. They had the one good spot, away from the biting wind but retaining all the magnificent views. Nevertheless we spent some time walking along the cliff edge (I did – Sharon kept away) and admiring the view. On our way back down the trail, we took a detour towards Flora Lake and looked at the Point from a different angle. All in all we walked about five miles, maybe six and had a delightful time. On the way back I saw my first live-in-the-wild snake. I’ve seen lots of snakes in my time but none of them in the wild. So how cool is that? It was about eighteen inches long, black with white and green or yellow stripes. I’ve no idea what kind it was.

FOOD

We went for dinner at the Wild Rose. We’d tried going last night but it was full. Tonight wasn’t so different, but we had a reservation. The menu is classy – the type of food we like, yet the restaurant is unpretentious. Two chefs: she in the kitchen, he doing food service. My choice narrowed down to Scallops or Quail for starter and Halibut; Crab Ravioli or Scallops for main. Obviously one Scallop dish would cancel the other but after talking to ‘he’ I went for Scallops and Halibut. Sharon had the Quail (stuffed with all sorts of lovely things) and followed that with Gnocchi Marinara. My Scallop was delightfully cooked and presented. The Halibut was juicy and tasty but a little light on accompaniment. It had said ‘served with a fried risotto cake and fresh seasonal vegetable’ and had been one of my deciding factors. But the fresh vegetable was a disk of fried courgette/marrow (too big for one, too small for the other) and the risotto cake was thinner than a hash brown and no rice could be discerned. So, although the fish was amongst the best I’ve eaten, the supporting act was poor. All in all though – the tastiest meal I’ve eaten over here.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Gail on July 25, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    You’re assuming that ‘baristas’ know what they’re doing and have a ‘language.’ Most just ‘work in a coffee shop’ and wouldn’t know a good brew if it bit ’em on the ass. I’ll take care of you in the coffee department. We shall buy lots of different beans and, if I can get organized, I’ll break out my roaster and we can do some roasting of our own. We also have a few decent coffee shops here that roast their own beans so we can sample there too!

    Reply

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