Friday, January 23, 2009


Hello from Eden, the little town right at the bottom of New South Wales where Andy grew up. I’ve been here once before, but this time has been a bit more fun. For starters, it’s much warmer now than it was at Christmas 2006. Also, I have my future Mother In-Law taking me to see lots of different places in the area.

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Eden is a funny place. It is very close to some major holiday towns that feel like every other suburb, with chain stores and fast food. Eden somehow missed that style of development. It’s a more working class town, and the people who holiday here are the sort that stay in caravan parks rather than resorts. The town itself has a history of whaling and fishing, which is told in detail at the Killer Whale Museum—which houses the complete skeleton of Old Tom, a killer whale who died in the bay. Its role as a fishing port is dying down, and the tuna cannery and abattoir closed, thankfully, several years ago. Now all that’s left here from its very environmentally un-friendly past is the wood chip mill (the chips are sent to Asia to make paper).

As you might have guessed, Eden is a seaside town. It’s located on the shores of the ginormous Twofold Bay, which has several really nice beaches.

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A bit out of the main town is the former settlement of Boydtown. It was started by a wealthy whaler who was supposedly hoping to attract the Australian capital to the shores of Twofold Bay before Canberra was chosen. It is just about equidistant between Sydney and Melbourne, and it has a nice deep port. But, for some reason, they chose to build the capital in the middle of the bush (which has given it a unique charm, even though a lot of people hate it). Anyways, a few of the buildings at Boydtown are still standing, and have been turned into a nice restaurant, bar and café with some accommodation upstairs.

On the other side of Twofold Bay, just inside of North Head, is Aslings Beach.

As we walked along the rocks, MIL pointed out to me the places where Andy went snorkelling, back in the days when he wasn’t afraid of the cold water.

I haven’t been game enough to go for a swim yet (the water is in the low 20s), but I have had my feet in the waves. And yesterday we went for a paddle around Pambula River in some cool little kayaks, which are powered by pedalling, rather than paddling.

Foodwise, I’ve been completely spoilt as well. I haven’t taken any photos, but I’ve enjoyed being back in a normal kitchen. Collectively, MIL and I have made a lentil loaf, steamed silken tofu in ginger sauce, and felafels. And as I worked on a paper before dinner one night, she secretly made a batch of vegan brownies which came out of the oven just in time for dessert. FIL went through the wine cupboard reading labels and finding a few vegan wines to have with dinner.

Needless to say, I’m very glad I came down here. It’s been a while since I’ve had parents around to take care of me, since mine are so far away. And while I don’t need taking care of, it is kind of nice every now and then. (Also, it’s given me a bit more time for writing, and I’m getting a lot done in between beach trips.) Plus, they have a tv so I could watch the inauguration.

I hope you all are having a week as good as mine has been!


Vegetation said...

It looks lovely down there and it's always nice to be looked after :) Glad you got a bit of a break away where you have access to a kitchen and some real food!

ŀĀŘ¡ŝ∫Á said...

what a cool place! and how lovely that andy's parents are spoiling you with yummy food :)

urban vegan said...

I can see why it's called Eden. I have got to get to Oz.

Bianca said...

Ah man, you and all your lovely beaches! I'm so jealous of your life. I'm surrounded by land (unless you count the muddy, polluted Mississippi River). A trip to the beach happens maybe once every 6-8 years for me!

Lisa said...

Hi there,
I am a Swedish reader of yours, and found your blog via a link from a vegan food blog. Haven't read all of it, but I like what I've read so far:)

Just had to comment on this post. I spent a wonderful year in Oz when I was 19 (back in 2002). Eden was one of the places i vistited, and it made a strong impact! Me and my boyfriend stayed in a hostel, which must have been a quite nice hotel back in the days. Now it was the home to backpackers and single elderly men. Even to an innocent 19-yrs old it was obvious that something wasn't right with this house. The tennants were much older than the usual 20-something backpackers, and we saw people getting it on though in their room (doors closed, but curtains up.

We left this small city in a confused state of mind. People had not been *that* open minded in Sydney. Now I realise that the "hostel" probably was a brothel too...

Theresa said...

Oh my goodness, Lisa, I think you're probably right! What an experience... at least you've got a good story to tell now!

With all the fishing boats pulling into port, I reckon a brothel would be more profitable than a hostel...

madaboutudon said...

Eden is such a fitting name! It sounds wonderful (but then again, I am a HUGE beach person)

Vaala said...

If the water is anything like it is over here at the moment it's cold when you first get in (and you wonder what the hell you're doing) but once you're under it's divine.

Eden sounds like my kind of town! Loving the scenery.