TROUBLE IN PARADISE
Days 3-5, April 29-May 2, 2022
Sunrise Friday in Ulladulla was spectacular- clear blue sky with a sliver of a crescent moon high up in the sky. If that was not enough to get my hear racing, discovery an ocean rockpool nearby certainly did. It looked clean but strangely fenced in like a suburban backyard pool detracted somewhat from its appeal.
No time for a swim we had to make tracks and set up camp on this beautiful blue sky day. Travelling south we were like Goldilocks: Merry Beach, Pretty Beach, Pebbly Beach. Despite the white sands and crystal clear ocean, none were just right. All along Hammer had one destination in mind, Brou Lake a place we stayed previously on a recommendation from a friend.
So it was, the campground is in Eurobodalla National Park which has access to miles of coastline and the most serene lake imaginable. Due to recent rains the campground can only be access by a 4-wd vehicle.
The few campsites are sited in the most amazing Spotted Gum forest with towering ancient trees all around. Strangely a sign nearby our campsite warns that you are camping at your own risk – the trees can fall and kill you.
Sunshine, blue sky, clean ocean it all seemed unreal. After setting up camp we went for a swim and watched a seal hunting for fish in the shallows. Tiny plovers scurried around on the shoreline. Their tiny legs moving at lightening speed. A perfect location for beachcoming over the next few days. There was only one other couple camped a fair distance away from us.
We were serenaded to sleep by the sound of numerous fruit bats above us feasting on the gum nut flowers. So nice to be back sleeping under the open skies.
But paradise did not last. Heavy rain overnight which persisted until early morning put a damper on things. Eventually the rain stopped and we headed off for a long beachwalk south towards a small town of Dalmeny. Mild temperature and no wind made for quite a pleasant walk. The heavy grey skies added to the beauty of the morning. The shoreline was severely eroded in parts by the big seas we had earlier in the month. Quite a few sections of the beach would have been tricky to cross if the tide was incoming. Dalmeny looked like a nice small town with a caravan park facing the ocean and sloping down towards the shoreline.
Retracing our steps back to camp, the sky was clearing but with that came wind. Our afternoon walk north towards an interestingly named Potato Point was a bit more sandblasted but nice nevertheless.
A total of 20km of completely deserted beach walking, no rain and clearing skies made us pleased to have made this “Just Righ” choice of camping locations.
By the evening we both noticed a few itchy bites on various parts of our body. Didn’t think much of it at first, thinking it was mosquitoes bites. But by the time the itchiness intensified and bites multiplied it was too late. We had dozens of tiny ticks attached. By torchlight I removed about 50 of the tiny parasites from Hammers skin. I had fewer ticks but did have bouts of rising panic. Last year Hammer suffered an anaphylactic reaction to a tick bite. While we are carrying an EpiPen and Hammer did not show any really bad reactionsm to the bites, it still made me feel anxious.
An uneasy nights sleep followed trying not scratch the intense itchiness. Cortisone cream helped a little.
We woke up Sunday morning to clear skies and a freezing cold wind. Temperature had dropped at least 10 degrees overnight. This confirmed our decision to pack up and leave this usually beautiful spot.
We drive south a short distance to Bermagui. Despite the cold wind, a swim in the emerald green waters of the strangely named Blue Pool, followed by breakfast in the sun made everything feel alright again. It feels like eternity since we’ve swum in such clean ocean water.
The morning continued to improve when we sighted a small pod of seals basking in the sun while floating in the ocean not far from the pool. Such a beautiful sight, all is right in our world once more.
We continued driving south towards Eden. Made famous by being the last remaining whaling port on the East Coast. Now its main activity is timber export and some fishing.