Monday 11th March
Coledale Beach http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coledale,_New_South_Wales and
It must be very peaceful being camped beside the sea. Last week at Dalmeny and Potato Point I slept in past 7.15 on several occasions. Here, we are camped at Coledale Beach and I slept in until 7.45am!
The day dawned bright and sunny with calm to occasional breezes.
The day was hot but late in the afternoon clouds began to roll in although the day remained hot. Yahoo! That is why we are here on the coast. Errol Nicole and the grandchildren arrived for breakfast and spent most of the morning enjoying the laid back beach lifestyle.
At night we can see up to a dozen ships with lights ablaze anchored offshore waiting their turn to enter Port Kembla Harbour.
Tuesday 12th March
Early morning cloud and a storm at sea greeted me as I woke this morning.
Then the sun won the right to brighten our day yet again. I took a walk along the beach and around the cliff face to the nearby rock pool. We took a drive to North Mackay, did some grocery shopping, back to Errol & Nicole’s for lunch then back to Coledale for the rest of the wonderful afternoon weather.
Wednesday 13th March
It was another beautiful sunny day more akin to mid-summer than to autumn but hey, who’s complaining. In the morning the light wind was coming directly off the Illawarra Escarpment (part of the Great Dividing Range) providing a westerly offshore breeze which held up the waves perfectly. As the morning wore on the breeze shifted further until it became a north easterly which chopped up the surf. No matter as we enjoyed the sunny conditions anyway. Errol n Nicole and the children visited us again for a late breakfast then we sat around doing as little as possible. Good friends Geoff and Margaret C called in to see us on their way home from Sydney to their home at Bomaderry on the south coast. In the afternoon we received a call from Canada to advise Donnis’ friend since primary school had suffered a stroke while holidaying in Hawaii. She was on life support but the outcome was not looking good. Around midnight we were woken by a strong wind trying to rip our awning off the side of WWWGO. Working as quietly as we could the awning was safely rolled in and we escaped back to bed.
Thursday 14th March
We woke to a strong southerly breeze and overcast skies and the CO-PILOT has a heavy cold. Darn!
I took a walk over to the next headland, Wombarra and marveled at some of the houses perched on the cliff top.
Also on the headland was a memorial Winged Ship in memory of Michael Dwyer a local renowned for his community passion.
Errol, Nicole and the children called around for another breakfast by the beach. They also joined us at dinner time for an Indian Curry take away meal at our campsite.
Donnis cold got worse during the morning and she kept rugged up to avoid getting a chill.
During the morning two busloads of high school students from Camden over the mountain range arrived with high spirits, rampant hormones and changing boys voices brought new sounds to our quiet campground. The students broke into groups. Volleyball, touch football, surfboards, body surfing and spectators. Mostly the surfing group and body surfing group were beginners and the teachers and lifeguard were kept busy.
This afternoon we received the devastating news. Donnis’ lifetime friend did not make it through the night. Donnis takes solace in that she saw her friend only a few months ago when they attended a wedding in Mexico and spent a few days together. Surprisingly Donnis received an early birthday card from Darlene yesterday. The card contained a long glowing thank you to Donnis for being such a wonderful friend for more than 40 years.
Friday 15th March
Light rain fell overnight. This morning was overcast and a stead south easterly wind kept temperatures cool but not so cool that I needed to wear anything other than shorts and T-shirt. The cooler weather and increasing swell size meant the surfers have been kept busy.
In the morning I walked to the Coledale railway station just to have a look.
While Donnis was sleeping after lunch I drove to Wombarra and Scarborough (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarborough,_New_South_Wales ) to enjoy a walk around those suburbs. Scarborough is a small suburb nestled between the clifftops and the Illawarra Escarpment. The western edge of the suburb is halted by the south coast railway line. It was interesting to see old miners cottages little changed since they were built, rubbing shoulders with newer multi-million dollar houses. Most of the new houses are close to the cliffs and have 180° views.
The sun made a welcome appearance in the afternoon and the waves got bigger and lots of campers arrived. This place will be busy over the weekend.
Saturday 16th March
We woke to big seas pounding the beach and the camping area totally full with tent campers. Lots of family camping and all the picnic tables and electric barbeques in use all day. While Donnis rested to recover from a heavy cold I drove to Wollongong to have an LPG tank re-filled and as seems to be the case recently, relaxed.
Sunday 17th March
This morning we woke to a strong cold southerly wind blow and huge confused seas. Conditions were so rough no board riders risked going out.
We met up with old friends Wayne & Narelle M at their church in Calderwood near Albion Park and afterwards had lunch at Corrimal Leagues Club. The club seems to be on a downward spiral with the building and interior in need of serious maintenance. After lunch Wayne drove us in one of his wonderful tours over the escarpment to Appin and on to the Cataract Dam which was built in 1907.
Much of the crenelations atop the dam wall are made from locally quarried sandstone.
From there we drove to Winton, Douglas Park and then crossed the Nepean River below the huge Hume Freeway bridge
and on to the Picton Road and Cordeaux Dam. http://www.sca.nsw.gov.au/dams-and-water/major-sca-dams/upper-nepean-dams/cordeaux-dam
This dam was built around 1924 and differs from Cataract Dam in many respects one of which was having huge sandstone blocks in the dam wall fill.
Thanks Wayne and Narelle for once again giving us a guided tour through another part of the Illawarra.