What is the deal with these newer cars that have friggin military grade 50000 lumen searchlights for headlights? Are the drivers bloody blind? I’m all for lighting up the road but it’s really not necessary to light up the next suburb as well. One of them sat behind me as I recently journeyed down the M1 towards the southern coast of Victoria, hell bent on sending me into complete visual impairment, from Point Cook to Little River. That’s 20 odd kilometres of me changing lanes so the car wasn’t directly behind me, only to have it follow me into the same lane. The first time was annoying. The second time was a bit spooky. The third time had me resolve to go to the Geelong cop shop but the plonker turned off at Little River so we were both spared the disruption.
Lucky. I had a place to be.
Well, here’s a thing. When I was young, I loved summer but I wasn’t into hanging around the beach baking in the sun because that way madness (and melanoma) lies. Did you know that melanoma kills a lot of Aussies? The sun out-does venomous spiders, snakes and bugs in the killing department. Basically, it’s an extermination machine disguised as a necessity to life. Water’s the same. A little is good for you; too much and it can kill you.
But some of it is mighty purty!
I know it’s a bit unfashionable to say it, but I love Radelaide. It’s easily navigable, there’s really good beaches and parks, year round festivals, great buildings, it’s close to wine country, the roads are wide enough to land a plane on, and Rundle Mall’s got balls. What's not to love about all that?
We enjoyed the gig (remember, there was a reason we were here), AND sleeping in an actual house AND not being woken pre-dawn by squawking birds. The morning after the gig suggested a little lie-in and a lazy breakfast, followed by a drive out to Victor Harbor and its environs for a day of sun, exercise and culture.
Oh my gawd, you are going to be so over pictures of the sea by the time this blog is finished! And guess what? There’ll probably be more!
Backtracking a little, yesterday we also visited Loch Ard Gorge, so named for the ship that beached itself on an island close by in the 1870s, tipping out two survivors who found themselves washed up on the beach in the gorge.
What would you do if there was a band you wanted to see, but the gig was interstate? You’d turn it into a week-long girlie road trip, wouldn’t you? Course you would, you’re only human. Unless you’re a bloke, in which case it would be a bloke-y road trip probably involving less loo stops (because, you know...trees). Anyway, so it was that me and Flashie decided we’d have a crack at camping our way to Adelaide via the Great Ocean Road.
The other week I took myself out of the People’s Republic of Moreland and ventured to The Coast. Being the pale skinned, sun allergic tragic that I am, this isn’t something that happens often. Or at all. But I was bored of watching hipsters drink coffee and eat watermelon, and some members of my family had stupidly put themselves within driving distance, so I set off to annoy them for a couple of days.
Kennett River is about two and a half hours drive from my place. Unless someone decides they want to pull up a sizeable chunk of the Great Ocean Road in the guise of ‘roadworks’, in which case it takes about a week. Fortunately, I had brought pumpkin seeds and crisps, so I wouldn’t starve. It turned out that I wasn’t the only one who likes crisps.
There’s something very magical about the dawn before a scorching hot day. It’s the time of the day when you can move without dehydrating in 2.3 nano seconds, the colours in the sky are pretty special, and there’s no-one about. Well, apart from the axe wielding homicidal maniacs that usually just live in my mind but might actually be lurking on the dark streets, probably near bins. No wait...that’s polar bears.
I was a bit stir crazy from spending most of my time indoors and my general apathy towards anything other than sitting on the couch eating popcorn was threatening to take over. So I defied orders: ditched the moon boot, scarpered out at 4am and ran away to the sea!
Point Nepean is a coastal park containing buildings remaining from Fort Nepean’s use as a defence fort during World Wars 1 and 2, before people realised that Australia was so far away from anywhere, jet lag would stop invaders from bothering to attack.
My companion on this walk was generally fit and healthy, but had the tail end of the dreaded lurgy that had swept like the plague through Melbourne. That she could breathe and talk at the same time was a welcomed return to form. I’m distance challenged (ie: I have no idea how far 2kms really is) and I was getting over a dodgy foot ligament, so we thought it best to tackle a couple of little walks before deciding if the long walk to Fort Nepean was on the cards or not.
Now when I say ‘long’, I mean “this will take longer than half an hour but probably less than 4 hours”. Anything under half an hour is a short walk. Anything over 4 is not worth naming because I’m never going to do one.
A girls weekend away on the Bellarine Peninsula: food, wine, drives and walks, games, sleep… rinse and repeat. One of our jaunts found us at Point Lonsdale at the very tip of the Bellarine. It’s one of the heads that form the entrance to Port Phillip Bay, the other being Point Nepean.
We had a relaxing lunch at Bellarine Estate where we sat outside listening to some tunes, partaking of beverages and food and generally enjoying the ambience of the vineyard.
My sister's dogs are neurotic. They bark at dust. Imagine how quiet I’d have to be to leave her house at 4am to shoot a sunrise without waking the entire household. I was resigned to an epic fail.
Once upon a time in a land far, far away there lived a little hill that was known as The Sugarloaf. Why? Did it look like sugar? A loaf? A loaf of sugar? What is a loaf of sugar anyway?
This is The Sugarloaf:
The following morning I headed out to Point Danger for the sunrise. It was cloudy and chilly and a light mist was hanging about, so I wasn’t expecting there to be much to photograph. And there wasn’t, although it did clear up enough to get a couple of pictures once the sun had cleared the horizon. Shortly after, the clouds gathered again and it started to rain properly so I went off in search of breakfast.
I recently spent some time working in Sydney with Nic Granleese at offices like these:
Tragic, isn't it?
Somewhat appropriately, this old camera was in the lobby of our digs. We're not talking "this is as big as your head" type of camera. We're talking "this is as big as you" type of camera.
There are times in my life when I’ve wondered how I can possibly afford to move to the coast, sustain a living and have decent internet. Such things were on my mind as I planned an overnight trip to Reeves Beach in Gippsland to photograph a perigee moon rise over the sea.
Before settling in for a quiet night (because of an early flight the next day...hateful!) we watched the sun begin its descent into the Arabian Sea from our cabin at Bogmalo Beach Resort.
The blue sky began to turn orange and small groups of people gathered on the beach. One by one, the boats on the water began making their way back to shore.
Before long, it was all over. The sun dropped, the light faded and our visit to India had come to an end.
Thanks India. That was mighty good fun. Even with the boy's day of spewing!
Dawn/sunrise beach happenings. Yoga, running....some people are just too energetic in the morning. It's easy enough to be upright at dawn when the weather's warm but I can't see the appeal during winter. Wait, but it's winter in Goa now! Perhaps I wouldn't sleep at all if it was summer time.
I walked for 2 and a half hours so I had two breakfasts that morning. That’s normal, right??
A walk along the river and beach at dawn is chilly enough for a light cardigan, but the temperature climbs quickly and the daily average temperature is around 30c. The water isn't much less than that.
It's a day of recovery for the boys, and relaxing by the sea for the girls. And margaritas. It's also a day of margaritas for the girls. Margaritas are our friend.
Waiter: “Would you like a tasty beverage while you’re hanging by the beach?”
Me: “Why yes, yes, I believe I would!”
Another day, another boat trip into serenity central...
We went on a boat jaunt to a secluded beach that the locals call an island but "it isn’t really an island...there’s just no easy way to get to the beach, so we call it an island”. Can’t argue with the logic of India! Situated between Palolem and Agonda beaches, it's a tiny little place called Butterfly Beach and is accessible via boat or a trek through forest.
6 go on an adventure!
A bunch of us headed off to India right after Christmas for Balders' wedding. We kicked off at Palolem Beach in Goa where we spent New Year's Eve (with about a million other people) drinking Kingfisher beer for next to nothing, and dodging fireworks.
Went on a girlie road trip with my bestie, Balders, who is truly fabulous and not just because she once got rid of a huntsman spider in my house while I hid in the local supermarket. She's also good at killing moths. My contribution to the friendship is that I will kick a wasp in the face if absolutely necessary.
We filled the car with petrol, snacks and good tunes and headed up to Eden on the Sapphire Coast (NSW) via Lakes Entrance, Lake Tyers Beach (just for a look), Nowa Nowa, Orbost, Cann River and Genoa.
Just after Easter, me and the better half went to Kangaroo Island in South Australia for a few days. We were rather chuffed to have some fabulous weather and it was relatively quietish tourist-wise. No queues, no taffic jams, no problems finding a park anywhere.
Also no finding a sandwich anywhere outside of normal lunch hours.