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Friday, August 19, 2005

(*) Kiama Break

I had a really relaxing, refreshing break away in Kiama over last weekend. It snowed on the way down - not just a loight powder but a good coating thru Trunkey and Crookwell - it looked really pretty. The bush is so quiet when it snows... it's not something I see too often in these parts. Thankfully the roads were quite clear and my trip down to the Southern Highlands was relitavely incident-fee. I enjoyed the gentle country driving. After a short detour (okok... I took a wrong turn slightly! D'oh!) I found "Little Forest", the Bead-&-Breakfast country property at Alpine near Bowral in the Southern Highlands - the gravesite of my fav Aussie writer George Johnston. I couldn't believe I'd actually found it. I knocked meekly on the door, and I introduced myself meekly to the lady who lived there, telling her what I was looking for. She was more than happy to let me have a look and take some photos. It was a very very surreal experience. I've been reading his writing and biographies for years now, but it was very surreal to actually touch a piece of actual reality in connection with this man's real life - I mean, I was like 6 when he died. It's a very pretty quiet spot, and I stayed for about 20 minutes just saying over and over, "This is really weird! This is so weird!" It was a special moment, making a real-life connection with someone I'd only ever experience thru his writing.

From there it was only about a slow hours' drive across to Kiama, down the amazing Illawarra Escarpment (no, an 'escarpment' is not a rare Aussie bush creature either, as in 'Beware of the Escarpment'... mind you, I did see a Lyrebird standing in the middle of the Jamberoo Pass road! Amazing - they usually are rather elusive, but I saw one! nah nah nah! lol) thru Jamberoo. I couldn't help but pull straight up at the address my searching had found for George Johnston's wife's Charmian Clifts' first home, and took some pics. Kiama's a pretty little coastal town, but very touristy in its small way too. I stayed in an en-suite cabin about 100-feet from the ocean's edge - a gergeous spot with breathtaking views... I realised how much I missed the sea, with it's smell and sounds and feel.

I did lots of walking - just taking in the endless ocean views, cooking BBQ beside the beach at dusk, fluked a bit of whale watching too (2 humpback whales migrating north about 1km out to sea from the bench on the headland I was sitting on!), and managed to watch the sunset from a heated spa at one point - laughing at my outrageous decadence! pmsl! Both the main Blowhole (and the lesser-known 'Little Blowhole') were 'working' delightfully the two times I dropped by... what an amazing sound of the 'whoosh-thud' of the compressed air exploding out thru this small hole in the rock platform - very kewl! I took lots of pics of the area - usually in relation to Charmian Clift's childhood and youth spent growing up there, and had some great conversation with some very interesting contacts thru the local library, Visitor's Centre and museum. After the snowfalls on the way down, the weather was amazing for mid-winte - warm, light winds and endless blue skies. The surf was freezing tho - it's easy to spot the European tourists, pretending to enjoy splashing about in the ocean when the water's only like 12c or something - fools! lol I got my toes wet, but apart from the heated spa, no surf for this little black duck.

On the slow relaxed drive home on SundayI dropped past the Carcoar Dam Sailing Club and happened to meet the 'Commodore' - it's a lovely rural relaxed place where formality isn't at all neccesary. There's a working bee there this coming Sunday, so I'm planing to go and meet the others there then - along with some snags and a cold beer to boot, I'm sure. Half-way betwen there and home I re-visited a lovely little cottage 27km's out of town that's for sale... [sigh!] It's be lovely, but in the long run it'd be too far out of town. But the reality is - mum's place hasn't sold yet, so it was nice to dream all the same.

On Tuesday I finally got around to print out some of the digital pics I'd burned to CD recently - some beauties of the boys, my brother - and one of my new boat too [blush!]

I'm still pretty excited about my new little sailboat, you know... I had a special stick-on name for the stern so I can name-and-christen the 'Wyreema' sometime soon, and I went to the local Op Shops and got myself some old wolly jumpers to wear while I'm out on the water (wet-bum sailors don't dress for fashion just practical warmth, alrite?! lol) And I've been hunting for a Life Jacket thru eBay too... I might be able to get one cheap thru the club tho - I'll ask on Sunday.

Hey, by now you've realised that the Photo Galleries have been updated, but did you know you can also report those awful sick websites you accidently stumble across too?

Mal :o)

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On August 23, 2005 2:04 PM, Blogger caroline said...

Sounds like you had fun!!! It's good to get away


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