After my annual visit to the accountant to organise my tax return, I need a treat, so I head over the road to Broulee Beach. It’s different from beaches closer to home – a long beach, backed by low dunes, cliffs and a grassy headland at one end, and an isthmus connecting to a low island at the other. I’ve circumambulated the island a few times after other tax events, so I head towards the northern end. The rubber-matted track to the beach suggests more use than the familiar home beaches. I crest the hill into the middle of a group of bleached-headed surfie lads sussing out the surf while they wait for the school bus, shiacking and trying to coax a dog back home. There are three people out on stand-up boards, and five or six lots of walkers. The sand is a melee of footprints, human and doggy.
There are numerous indications that this is a busier beach than mine: a vibrant mural, featuring sea creatures (shells, starfish, anemones, seahorses, octopuses, a whale, and human beach paraphernalia – a surfboard and thongs); information boards, a shared walkway / cycleway behind the dunes, a series of shelter sheds for picnics, and a warning against chopping down trees to improve the view.
I walk along the beach and climb the root-stairway to the headland, grassed and daisied to the verge, where I have an unimpeded view out to sea and then back to the island.
Now it’s time to explore the rocks and the rock pools, as the tide slides in, carrying a small wedge-shaped fish with bands of dots back and forth, back and forth.
I admire the shapes and patterns and the shimmer of ripples; the sharp ridges of rock and the peepholes through to the next long shallow pool.
As I return to the car, I look back across the creek to the sea and the island, and end my walk revisiting the painting and the mosaic on the toilet block.
For the story behind the toilet block mosaic read this