Deepwater Point to the Riverton Bridges and back, 14km. 1hr 40min
After a few efforts from Point Walter it was time for a change. Mean Gene and M4P were elsewhere, so Bad James, Westy and I thought we'd give the Canning a bash. We met just north of the dreaded Deepwater Point Cafe (dreaded because of the ordinary food/service at ridiculous prices) at Applecross and set off into a 15kt Sou'easter. Our launch point is a pearler because firstly it's in a well-to-do suburb, and secondly because a riverside walking path in a well-to-do suburb means that there is a bevvy of top sorts pounding the pavement. Apart from us, of course.
Last night I had been fishing until stupid-o'clock with Boy Wonder - we would have come home earlier but I had caught a couple of tailor and a few stingrays and he was yet to bust the cherry of his new rod (fnarr) so we had to stay until we had used up all the bait or he caught one. He finally did catch a nice tailor which I obviously declared to be the biggest by a country mile, so sated, we went home and hit the hay at 11pm. What the meant to the paddle was that when I rose at 6am after Mrs Blue had been on her morning walk to the Promised Land, I was dead-set rooted. It also meant that my lack of prior preparation saw me reading the owners manual of my Garmin watch at 0610 to avoid a repeat of last weeks debacle where I had no idea how to start the bloody thing. Perhaps, in hindsight I should have read the manual for the Go Pro as well...
|I'm not sure if you can see, but somewhere in this photo is a dickhead who can't use his VIDEO camera.|
Anyway, we set off, threading our way through the rather large rowing boats of the Hale School. It was a bit different where I went to school in Sydney - the school boat was whatever one somebody stole on the weekend. At least ours (usually) came with a motor - unlike the poor rich kids at Hale, who had to 'man' an oar each whilst being accosted by a screaming Harpy. Then again, the Harpy was the only one facing the right way...
"Skyfall" was an early topic of conversation. Despite Mrs Bad James being as keen as mustard to see it, Bad James kindly gave her more quality time with two very young children and selflessly went to see it on his Pat Malone. The verdict - "Not as good as Quantum of Solace".
The Mirage sea kayak (the Purple Junket Pumper), Westy's Green Hornet Endorfinn and the World's Slowest Epic (something to do with it's powertrain I believe) pushed through the wind fairly well, having narrowly avoided being Hale sea?kill and thundered through the lee of Bull Creek. I'm glad I'm on the Epic, because if I were still on my Endorfinn, Westy and James would be leaving me for dead - I seriously need some paddlefitness. Or even just run of the mill fitness. Before we knew it, we were under the Riverton bridge, watching a chap on a mountain bike towing a home-made trailer with a white Endorfinn on it down to the river bank. What a great rig! It was good to turn around and get the wind behind us, and the splits on the way back proved it. Before we knew it we were back off the Deepwater Point Jetty, festooned in all its glory with signs that said "Dangerous - do not use" - signs that someone obviously walked along the jetty to nail in. As we rested off the shore before coming in, a vision of loveliness (that each of us obviously mistook for our respective wives if they are reading) appeared on the path and someone may possibly have muttered 'Yes (insert wife's name here), of course I love you, but I covet her...' but if they did, the identity of such a person is in 'the vault' and none of us will give up their identity. Staunch as a...err...staunchion.
Mental note to self and punters - when paddling the Canning, pay attention to the red and green markers and know what they mean. Especially with a surf rudder.
It was absolutely time for fried porcine product. I had been researching this whilst watching the young Bonobos at work at Gorilla Biscuit. Today we were breakfasting (if that is, in fact, a verb) at the oddly named Ootong & Lincoln, South Fremantle.
Ootong & Lincoln, 258 South Terrace, South Fremantle, WA 6162, 08 9335 6109
|Tried to get a better picture, but some bloke parked his car in front of the place...|
If you were to put every one of your preconceptions of South Freo into one place, this would be it. But it would only be telling half the story. This place is seriously good. It's not just the formica tables that everyone over 35 grew up with, or the chairs last seen at Nanna's place. It's the crowd, the pooches tied up outside, the waitresses, and, above everything else, it's the raw atmosphere in the place. As soon as I sat down I felt a strange sensation that I'd never experienced, and no, it wasn't puberty. I felt...cool.
Let me start with the first experience as I entered. There is a takeaway coffee counter. Takeaway coffees for $3. Drink 'em inside in the takeaway cup - $4. That was enough for me to like the place immediately. From that counter you can also buy muffins and Mexican softdrinks - don't scoff if you haven't had one, because they have a supercharged taste that you won't have had from any other softy. Like our parkwarb effort a few weeks ago, the Mexican Cola did the rounds of our group for a tasting, ensuring that the coldsore did as well...just kidding fellas. Really. But where else in Australia's most expensive city will you find a decent-sized coffee at this price without seeing a cat squat over the cup? Amazing. And I have to say, I enjoyed the double-shot MichelleBridgesSkinnyMilk Flat White more than I have enjoyed any coffee that I have had with any other reviewed brekky. Yes, it's really that good. And it came out quicker than Peter Slipper.
I had checked out Ootong and Lincoln online. Maybe I'm an internet spasmo, but I couldn't find a menu on their website, so I went to the tried and trusted Urbanspoon in a non-cross-promotional sort of way. I knew that I wanted the Smoked Salmon, Avocado, Sweet Potato Rosti, Poached Egg and Creme Fraiche before I even go there. At $19.50, it sounded great, and when it arrived, it was much better than that. It was the breakfast-version of being the only bloke served free beer by a nude Jennifer Hawkins in front of all your mates whilst watching the Beatles at half time during the Grand Final that your team won. In Bergen, Norway. And like that, after I licked my plate clean, I wanted more. The creme fraiche complemented the salmon and sweet potato like they were all products of the same ecosystem. In South Freo-speak. The egg (singular) was a bit lonesome, and could have done with a mate, but bloody hell, it was perfectly cooked so no points lost.The avocado was just a the right stage of ripeness and the sweet potato was unsurprisingly err...sweet, yet deliciously savoury at the same time. Worlds were colliding in my mouth but fair dinkum it was good. In fact, strangely, as I cleaned up every morsel, for about five minutes I was still hungry. And then I wasn't, but I had another coffee anyway, because I could and because the first one I had whilst I waited with James for Westy to get there was as good as I've ever had.
|I have nothing to say.|
|Westy's Breakfast. Tops.|
Westy had the Bacon, Potato Cake, Spinach, Hollandaise, Poached Egg and Mushrooms ($19.50) which also looked sensational, and from Westy's rolling eyes, involuntary spasms and frequent drooling, probably was. Bad James was also pretty happy with his breakfast with the exception that there wasn't much of it, and I was so absorbed that not only did I not ask him what it was, but I didn't take a photo.
I can't finish this review without adding some comment about both the waitresses and the punters. Firstly, the service was top-notch. About a thousand people went to the counter at once, and they were eased through efficiently and happily. There is a wheelchair ramp to the counter with walking lanes (up and down) marked on it - and people used them! The waitresses were friendly, chatty-in-a-good-way, and fast. Having observed one in a short skirt and Blundstones, I was about as impressed as I've ever been until another good sort came over in a "Stop Budgie Smuggling" T-shirt. MD - that applies to you - take the freakin' hint.
|"He's right. We're good looking."|
And one last thing. The punters - besides our party of three of course - were generally a breed apart. It's almost like a Boys From Brazil-type scenario where there is some South Freo Eclectically Dressed Beautiful People Cloning Centre set up off Hampton Road. One after the other trundled in as if on some conveyor belt. Even the dogs tied up out the from were good looking (and well-behaved - good effort pooches and owners!).
I thought about Ootong & Lincoln lots on the drive back to Chez Blue. There wasn't anything that I didn't like. The coffee was the best and most reasonably priced that I've had in Perth and oddly for South Freo did not have to pass through some exotic animal before it made its way to my cup. The portion, which at one stage I thought under-sized by 30%, was in hindsight almost-perfect. Go on, Ootong. Or Lincoln. Or Whoever - put just one more egg in there!
The waitresses (didn't see any waiters) were spot-on. The crowd was beautiful and numerous. And they let dogs sit out the front, which is a personal favorite of mine. It's settled. I'm coming back. Lots.