We woke to sunshine and it was very quiet. The wind had dropped after gusting quite dramatically in the night. At our review discussion (before the usual early morning planning meeting!) we both agreed we had experienced a very comfortable night. Apollo has done well! However, we have learnt a lot. Not to go into too much detail in deference to the delicately dispositioned among us, it was all about preparation for ‘overnight wanderings’ as it were. As it was, we had not thought it through and we are parked on sand….. need I say more. Anyway, that will not happen again. We have shaken the sand out of the sheets and have suitable clothing and foot attire to hand. We have also decided that there will be no late night or over imbibing of liquids. I think this may prove to be a very healthy period of the holiday!!! Bed by just after 8, up with the sun, one pot foods and the careful ingestion of liquid. We would pay a lot for it at a health farm.
At about 9.30 we set off for the lighthouse which is about 8 k away. The first 4K was along a coastal path, with the sea crashing in along the shore line just yards away from us. As we left the caravan park, a pelican was posing nicely for us on a rock, with his three cormorant buddies.
Just a little further along at the end of the bay adjacent to the campsite, we passed a cafe dispensing coffee, but which later does meals and more particularly sells the local fish. We decided that was to be our meal of the day, the timing dependent on what time we got back. It was bright and sunny but with a nice breeze that made walking very pleasurable. We passed various points where you could access the ocean.
There is quite a lot of development going on. Large houses overlooking the water. We passed Flinders Bay and the other Augusta caravan site that we were warned against by the tourist office because it is more or less on the beach and was likely to be even more blowy than where we were!
We eventually reached the new Augusta Boat Harbour, a new $34 million development that isn’t quite finished, but already has boats moored on it’s jetties. There were very few people about and it looked pristine and glary white. The harbour wall is pretty impressive but I fear it may need to be in the depths of winter when it must be a very turbulent spot.
We walked on. The footpath runs out at the harbour, so it was a bit of a slog to get to the lighthouse along the road. There was hardly any traffic, so it was not really an issue. Eventually we came to a lookout point when we could see the lighthouse quite clearly and the waves washing over what is obviously a reef of rocks that goes right out to sea from the lighthouse promontory.
There was a plaque indicating that the South Pole is 3,398 miles due south from this point. We had a chat to a chap who was sitting in his pick up watching the waves and continued on another couple of kilometres to the lighthouse. We decided not to pay the fee to go to the headland and after a drink, set off on our return journey dropping in to see the ‘water wheel’ advertised on the sign post across the road, almost opposite the entrance to the lighthouse. This was an old device apparently used to carry water when they were building the lighthouse. Although it was not in itself very exciting,
We retraced our steps and walked back. The sun was in our face, but the breeze coming off the sea was very pleasant. On the way back we passed an information sign we had missed on our outward journey, marking the site of the beaching of 114 whales on Flinders Bay in 1986. 500 people of Augusta worked day and night to keep the whales alive and turn them back out to sea. In the event 96 were saved, a tremendous achievement.
We made very good time on the last leg of our return journey and arrived in time to have lunch at the cafe and very good it was too. After walking 10 miles we felt we deserved it. Back at Apollo, after a bit of a rest, it was time for a shower and free time. Life on the campsite is fascinating! There are always people arriving or striking camp and there are some enormous and very exotic pieces of equipment! We are very much at the ‘small fry’ end of things…. but it seems to be working. There are obviously some very house proud ladies about. There is much sweeping and tidying and I saw one lady cleaning her windows! There are awnings with pot plants on tables and one area where the caravans have been there so long they have extensions attached to them and roses in the garden. A different world!
As early evening approached, the barbecuing fraternity gathered at the barbecue area, the drinkers collected with their bottles of wine, crisps and dips and the evening activity got into swing. We had silent reading, a bit of plannning in terms of stops over the next few days, and adjourned. I think we are getting into this now!