Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Escape to the South Coast: Summer 2012

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? (Sonnet 18)
by William Shakespeare
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow'st.
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Well, what have we been up to since Christmas Day?  So long ago it seems.  I need to think.

Ah yes.  The spontaneous trip to the Shoalhaven coast to pop in on relatives on Boxing Day. 

We simply upped and orffed.  Packed the kids, clothes and inflatable beach toys and box of turkey sandwiches for the inevitable roadtrip.  After calling on some old school friends of the Strong Silent One's in lovely Cambewarra, we de-camped to the in-laws empty house. 

Next day we headed off to join the rest of the gang at the tiny beachside village of Currarong.  The children played with their cousins in the rockpools searching for sea creatures and weeds to create an aquatic version of Masterchef in between games of backyard cricket and failed fishing expeditions.  All a bit same-same for me, so I'm looking forward to the possibility of escaping to a different part of the coast by ourselves later in the month.

When we did manage to escape on our own expeditions, we set off to previously unexplored locations such as the Illawara Fly - a hair-raising tree-top walk which includes a scarifying, spiral tower precariously balanced on the concrete and steel platform and a gut-clenching cantilevered contraption which sways in the breeze especially with the holiday crowds tramping and bouncing over it.  I found it more alarming than the Tahune Airwalk in Tasmania, but the single bush walk for accessing the site was quite disappointing by comparison.  (Tahune has a far more extensive web of walks to add on to the airwalk.) 

The Illawarra Fly

On the way home we had a brief detour to the Carrington Falls where the Kangaroo River plunges over the escarpment.  A picnic lunch in the rest area followed by a short bushwalk is my idea of holiday heaven.  Not so for the Strong Silent One, who I suspect may have preferred to have stayed with the rest of the extended family to watch the cricket on telly.  But being the trooper he is, he indulged us.   It was a very pretty site with well marked paths and lookouts over the falls.


Carrington Falls

Flushed with success, we headed down the mountain via the Big Potato at Robertson in the South Highlands, a pretty historic agricultural town was the setting for the film, "Babe".  In keeping with Australia's fascination for kitch, roadside 'Big Things', this improbable, rusty ediface is a must-see ... along with the local pie shop and my favourite kooky Winter retreat, Fountaindale Manor. 

The Big Potato, Robertson, New South Wales.

Our final pit stop was the typical Aussie seaside town of Kiama for ice creams (and coffee!) and a stroll along the esplanade to the famous Blowhole - an impressive water spout which occurs when large waves enter the mouth of the hole and compresses the air within the inner cavity. 

After oggling the site along with the teeming hoards of international visitors and holiday-makers like us, we headed back to the car for the journey home...

and pizza for tea.


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