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In my bizarre search for the free photo print, I drove south to Merimbula. As always, I made a picnic of it and enjoyed introducing a friend to some of my bush and cultural pleasures along the coast road between Bermagui and Tathra.

We began with coffee at Bermagui, sitting on the deck in the morning sun at the fish and chip shop my friend knew as a child. We looked down into clear water squirming with fish, and out to the presence of Gulaga, looming in clear sky without its cloud cloak.

 

 

Grand plans for a grand tour into all the segments of Mimosa Rock NP and Bournda NP shrank under the pressure of time. We only managed a walk through ti tree and kunzea from North Tura to Bournda Island, along the edge of the lazy-waved turquoise ocean. The bush creaked and groaned and squeaked above us, reminding me of the imaginary hahas my children invented to terrify their friends – the creatures who made those eerie tree-noises.

 

 
 
 
 

 

After a picnic in Bournda on the other side of Bournda Lagoon, we visited the exhibition of Janet de Boos porcelain at Narek Galleries in Tanja, an oddly pleasing mix of simple and highly decorative styles on the same vessel: rough-textured earth colours and high gloss vividness.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The camellia at the door ushered us back to the natural world and the drive home up the coast.

 
There was time for a quick detour into Handkerchief Beach, just south of Narooma. I've only just started visiting it. Thirty years ago a friend was threatened there by a madman with a bit of 4 x 4, shouting “Get off my beach!” My imagination has always peopled it with that man and that threat, and my timidity has avoided it. Recently (yes! It took me thirty years!) I realised how silly that was, and found a place of tranquillity where Nangudga Lake merges with the sea and where we ended our day of sun, friendship, bush, aesthetics and south coast tourism.
 
 
 
 
 

 

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