TUESDAY 23 JUNE ROLLINGSTONE
It was a fine day. The islands out in Halifax Bay appeared hazy, but maybe that was normal, here.
After breakfast, drove to Rollingstone PO again. Still no parcel.
From there, explored three pockets of housing development along and off the Balgal Beach Road, which went to the coast, south of the Rollingstone hamlet. Each pocket of housing was separated by little creeks, swampy areas and mangroves.
First of all, there was Mystic Sands, where John already knew there was a bowls club. No getting away from them, was there? Of course, he had to call in there, and booked himself in for a game on Thursday, and maybe another at the weekend.
Balgal Beach itself was in two clusters, one part way along from Mystic Sands, and the other lot where the road ended at a sizeable creek. This was where the Fishermans Landing was, and the well-known free camping area, where there was, supposedly, a 48 hour stay limit.
We spent some time having a good look around the free camp area. The camp area was incredibly crowded. In several instances, gensets were going less than a metre from the next rig. New arrivals cruised round, looking in vain for a space. I suspected one had to be here very early, and be lucky. There were not many free camping areas to be found along the coast, that were right by beaches and a fishing creek, hence the popularity of this one. But it would be far too squeezy and unregulated for me. And, given the mangroves around the inlet creek, probably too many sandflies too.
There were a number of rigs parked along the Esplanade that led to the free camp area. It was hard to tell if they were there for a short visit, like us, or hoping to stay there overnight, despite the signs banning camping along there. I suspected some of the home owners of the houses along the Esplanade might be rather disgruntled by the rigs getting in the way of their lovely ocean views!
The signs at the camp area – and at Bushy Parker camp area – state the 48 hour stay limit, and also that there was only one such stay per week – but I wondered to what extent this was enforced? Certainly, some of the set-ups in this free camp area looked to have been there longer than just two days.
The store at the Fishermans Landing was very busy doing its take away trade. The fish and chips looked very tempting – but the battered fish was listed at $8.50 a piece!
Having now seen Balgal Beach, I was pleased we were in our more expensive caravan park. Much less crowded. No generators chugging away right under our windows. Much less dust. Safe swimming. Worth the money!
The road from the highway to the park passed by a pineapple farm. I’d never really thought about how pineapples grew on their plants – if pressed, I’d have said in clumps, up the tree, like bananas. So I was really surprised the first time I saw the fruits standing up on the end of stalks, on low plants. The farm had roadside sales, so we stopped in and bought a pineapple.
After lunch I went for a swim in the pool. Around 2pm was seeming like it got me in ahead of most other people, so it was a very tranquil swim and laze about under the waterfall. I couldn’t interest the other half, though – computer games were much more his thing.
After the swim, I sat outside the van and sewed. It was really quite a tranquil place, for a caravan park.
The campground water supply was off, intermittently, from mid afternoon, until after dark. There had been a warning notice posted, saying “Water off from 3am to 12pm” – hmmmm…..not much help.
I cooked BBQ lamb chops for tea, in the electric frypan. They were extremely tough. I had expected better from the Emerald butcher.