Another market day in the beachside reserve – another showing of my lack of willpower as I devoured two handmade spring rolls from the Vietnamese stall. What diversity – Indian one week, Vietnamese the next. Then a tray of coconut rough slices to take home for a treat. Well, I do try and support the local community as best I can! This week the entertainment was provided by an amusing chap called Errol Gray who describes himself as ‘The Backyard Balladeer’ (www.errolgray.com.au for a bit of a free plug) – his self composed songs were incredibly witty reflections of everyday life as an Aussie -
‘Thank God I’m Unemployed’ sung to the tune of the famous ‘Thank God I’m a Countryboy’ was very clever.
A chat to one of the stallholders revealed a piece of history I was enthralled with. A shipwreck along the beach – a timber, single deck 3 masted vessel known as a Barquentine – was blown ashore and beached during a violent storm in February 1893. Built in Nova Scotia, Canada in 1884 at a length of 129ft. I love these snippets of history, they add so much character to a place.
The only remnants visible of “Buster” are a few side rail posts jutting out of the sand. I’d noticed them in the distance on a beach walk earlier in the week – and thought how much my zany artist friend would love a piece to create some artwork – woops! So glad I didn’t pursue breaking a piece off for her!
I finally popped in to the local Art Gallery, where they had an impressive array of paintings, handcrafted items and a beautiful range of hand dyed silk scarves, all from local artists. A lengthy chat to the volunteer helper – I seem to have a talent for extracting people’s life stories from them – unwittingly!
A short drive along the road beside the beach brought me to another hidden gem in this beautiful town – the inlet and lake. Everywhere I go in this area, I’m finding areas of outstanding natural beauty. Take a look for yourself:
Sunday morning, and I finally meet Bob the neighbour. I am drenched in sweat as I ferret around in the boot of my car, rearranging the furniture so to speak. Everything I need for the next five months is in the boot of my car – I really am living the life of a gypsy.
I’m slowly warming to the idea of purchasing a camper van – this vagabond life is suiting me.
Bob’s parting words to me were “when you leave here, don’t tell anyone about this place. We try and keep this little gem a secret.” Oops, too late Bob!
Another beautiful sunny day so I take myself up to Arrawarra Headland for stage three of my beach crawl. Finally, a calm beach I can have a swim in. What extremes – wild seas one day, and a millpond the next. The surf reminded me of the very ‘civilised’ waves on Spanish beaches – no getting dumped or dragged out in a rip here. Loaded up with sunscreen this time, I spent a while enjoying the warm waters and a bit of swimming exercise.
A couple of photo stops were made on the headland – I have discovered that the south east facing beaches are rough and unsurfable, while the north east facing ones are calm and safe.
Another stop off at Mullaway Beach – number four of my crawl – had me contemplating how appealing life as a beach bum was becoming to me.