I  was lucky  to spend  2 weeks at Golden Beach  on the Sunshine Coast.  My apartment was right on the water and  I got to witness the most  amazingly beautiful sunrises


From my window  through a view framed by Norfolk pines ,I looked  directly across the water to  Bribie Island  .Each morning when there was no grey cloud  across a calm  bay where the dark blue water  that stretched between Golden Beach and Bribie  rippled  like wrinkled silk, the sky over Bribie was  this bright transluscent orange heralding the arrival of the dawn  then as the sun rose further up over Bribie   the whole  bay was just flooded with beautiful golden light   making it easy to see  how Golden Beach got its name .

As the sunlight flooded my bedroom  I lay there suffused in  sparkling golden light feeling drifting in and out of sleep  listening to the laughter of  the kids below  and feeling all  wrapped up in heavens embrace …


Out to sea you might see a colony of Pelicans perched on a sand bar  or these magnificant birds gliding  silently  like sea planes coming in to land with such style and grace

From early in the morning  one or two kayakers  would be out  or the odd fisherman  standing knee deep  with his line cast into the water  waiting patiently  the odd jogger would pound by  then as the sun rose people would be out  and about in larger groups  laughing and talking  having picnics by the water   and as it  was towards the end of the school hols lots of  kids laughing giggling  zooming by on their bikes and scooters families making their Easter holiday memories as the school holidays drew to a close

I was on the top floor directly over looking the  footpath right next to the water and could enjoy the merriment  and  the happy vibes floating up without having to be down in amongst it  .. That suited me very well. I sat in my dressing gown  convalescing from a tummy bug  eating soup  and painting  and watched  some great movies .

Listening to the kids  took me back to memories of  summer holidays  with my family  in a little  caravan somewhere in Weymouth UK and Sunday  jaunts to Weston Super Mare where we walked on the pier and were allowed to buy giant sticks of striped pink candy rock  which played havoc with your teeth and when it rained which more often than not it did  you’d see all these sad dejected looking donkeys  lined up on the beach saddled ready to go with no customers  and our parents  felt so sorry for the donkeys they  handed over sixpenses to the grateful donkey owner and insisted we kids go for a ride  .

I got lost at Weston Super Mare once  as a kid on a crowded beach  when the tides went out they could be out for what seemed like miles  .As a litttle girl one day the tide was right out  I could see the sea glistening silver out on the horizon  a long way away so I set my sights on walking out to the sea . I decided I would walk out to meet it. I  would have been about 7 or  8 ,I walked and I walked and I walked and the sludgy wet sand I was walking through got deeper and deeper .I kept going and going  with grim determination to reach the ocean   but despite walking for ages   seemed to be getting no closer to the water and when the sandy muddy sludge I was walking through was up to my thighs I realized I would have to turn back  without reaching my goal  .As I turned to walk back I could see my father coming after me  with a non too pleased expression on his face .


Similarly  in later years in Tasmania I set out on a bush walk at Mt Roland not far from Cradle Mt . The brochure had said after a reasonable length of hiking one should reach  pastoral stretches of grassland where one could enjoy splendid vistas  above the treeline  I walked and walked and two hours later  was still trudging up through dense  shrubbery  with no pastoral grasslands or alpine views in sight but I pushed on with dogged  determination to reach the top  . Four  hours later  I stumbled out into the open pastoral stretches the brochure had spoken of  and it was quite magnificant  the rocks were pink and grey bauxite and crystalite that gleamed in the setting sun there were wild flowers  and the views ocean to one side and  the mountains  ridge after undulating ridge rippling away into the distance  in the other It was totally magical out of this world beautiful  .However by that time  the  light was fading I was exhausted and   lost my bearings and couldn’t find the track head to get back down so had to be rescued by the SES .

Mt Rowland

I had my mobile  and although the reception kept going in and out  I managed to get a call or text through  to the cabin park where I was staying  I had no idea for a while if anyone was coming  to get me .It was beautiful up there and I felt if I had a tent I could have stayed up there overnight and made my way back next morning but it was  so cold  and eventually cloud and fog set in and there might have been Tassie Devils running wild up there too .Eventually I noticed a couple of torch lights coming up through the scrub getting ever brighter as my rescuers grew closer and closer .They took several hours as they had to climb the track as I had .Eventually 3 guys arrived  There were a couple of SES guys and a local policeman .They were able to radio  the cabin park  and  apparently everyone at the cabin park  restaurant cheered  when I was found  . The policeman was none too pleased to be called out as he had had a late night  breaking up brawls  at Devonport  Cup racing celebrations the night before

When we got back down it was after 1 am and when  I got back to my  cabin the kindly proprietress left me a plate of cookies with a welcome back note and an invite to go down to the kitchen for a feed which I took her up on.After which I returned to the cabin and fell into a deep exhausted sleep

The next morning  I woke at ten  and can hardly believe it myself as I tell this story  I was so mesmerized and engaged and captivated  by that gorgeous otherworldy landscape at the top of the mt ranges and just wanted with every fibre of my being to be back up there . The desire to get back up there  was so intense it superceded  any  tiredness or sore and aching limbs I may have had from the previous days  exertions  It was something of a Picnic at Hanging Rock moment for me   and when I studied the map  I realized there was another track head a few ks down the road  at Mt Van Dyke   which was much shorter .I slipped away quietly eschewing any desire to bask in my new found noteriety and  even hitched a ride to the Mt Van Dyke  trackhead which is not something I liked to do  and within a couple of hours was back at the top of the mountain The Mt Van Dyke track being a whole lot easier and the route to the top much more accessible


Mt Van Dyke


I marvel at the photos   taken the next day on top of Van Dyke a slightly tired looking woman in a pink  windcheater with sun burnt  cheeks   looking dreamily  out across exquisitely beautiful landscape  with no hint of the misadventures of the evening before .

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