The strip of coastline between Moruya and Batemans Bay is rich in beaches I’ve never visited. I had wide choice on Sunday afternoon and I chose to drive along Lilli Pilli Drive to the beginning of a dirt road where there was an easy track down to the beach, the steep bit taken care of by a wooden staircase.
At the bottom of the staircase was a sandy path beside a rather foetid creek, bordered by a carpet of what I’ll choose to call beach shamrocks. As the track curved away from the beach I came across a stash of surfboards amongst the trees and one of a number of overgrown stairs leading back up the hill.
I returned to the beach and the welcome relief of middle-of-the-day shade, rare on Australian beaches.
It’s becoming more and more common to find human makeover of beachscapes, in this case a line up of pebbles on a low rock.
The tide was high so I couldn’t poke my nose around interesting corners. I found a flat rock and sat down to write the scene, something I’ve been intending to do for a while. I even scribbled a few inane sketches.
Rocky outcrops gleaming under high tide … an offshore island rimmed by waterfalls from breaking waves … surf carrying an underbelly of sand instead of crystomint green … dead branches rising above a layer of trees and clumpy bushes on the headland … small pebbly beaches … clusters of people on picnic blankets … houses set back amongst the trees … rock outcrops angled towards the sea.
The rock I was sitting on? Surprisingly flat and smooth … light creamy brown with slightly darker lines and squiggles … a few darker intrusions of rock in sharper ridges … in front of me a rock with small rounded protrusions … narrow avenues of quartz … draped seaweed residue.
The cliffs were quite degraded, tree roots shoving their way through. The scene offered me no geological insight: it’s been too long since geology has been at the centre of what passes for my thinking.
Time was passing. I had a 3 pm appointment with a four-handed piano concert, so I went back to car and settled on my chair to eat lunch. A couple appeared, and then set off north along an almost hidden track, around the headland to Circuit Beach (the fourth of the walks in this post)
It’s probably only on this part of the coast that I could strip and change in a beach car park on a summer Sunday afternoon.