All this Summer I’ve had a hankering to go to the beach and revisit a childhood memory. Every year we would holiday at Torquay in the caravan park (now gone and replaced with a “resort”) and every year we would have one evening where Mum and Dad would buy fish and chips and we’d eat them on the cliff top of the surf beach and watch the surfers as the sun went down.
After a day at the beach we’d come back to the caravan park, shower and dress, and with our skin tingling from sun and sand and our bodies pleasantly tired from body surfing we’d get in the car and drive to the top of the (small) main street to the fish and chip shop. Inevitably there was a queue but once our order was placed Dad and LittleBigBrother would wait outside the shop for our number to be called and Mum and I would go over the road to the ice-cream shop that also served drinks for the milkshakes; banana for Mum and LittleBigBrother, chocolate for Dad and blue heaven for me (I’ve always been a blue girl!). Then it was off to the surf beach, parking the car where we all had a good view of the ocean, windows down to hear the surf and let in some breeze, then happy munching on hot fish and chips and slurping down cold flavoured milky shakes while watching those magical guys and girls on those seemingly flimsy boards navigating waves and currents and displaying extraordinary balancing skills as they rode the ocean waters.
As it was my birthday on Wednesday, I put in a request to head to Torquay to relive this memory, albeit for lunch not dinner, and assuaged the hankering. So we picked up Mum along the way (so lovely to be able to do that) and hit the highway to the Surf Coast on the perfect Summer’s day – not too hot and just the right amount of breeze.
The fish and chip shop was empty, no queue, so it didn’t take long to order our lunch and while The Golfer waited, Mum and I headed out to see if we could find some milkshakes, or coffees for the grown-ups! The ice-cream shop is now a dress shop, but a cafe nearby gladly made up our order and with our lunch ready we wended our way to the surf beach, parked the car in just the right spot, wound down the windows and enjoyed the views and our meal.
We wondered idly if the headland had changed much in the years since we holidayed there, whether the water and wind had eroded the rock by much.The tide was well outbut there was a bunch of school children learning to boogie-board and some surfers as well, all having a brilliant time judging by the squeals of delight we could hearAnd the fish and chips? Must say the chips weren’t as good as those from the Sorrento fish and chip shop, but the fish, potato cakes and dim sims were very goodI even did what we did as kids, tearing off a bit of the paper and wrapping it around the fish as a “handle” so we didn’t burn our fingersand, of course, I had a blue heaven milkshake – hmmmm, heavenly!After our repast I asked if anyone was interested in a paddle or walk along the beach, or both. The Golfer wasn’t keen, but Mum and I clambered down the stairs to the beach and after a walk along the sand decided a paddle would be just the thing. We took off our shoes, rolled up our trouser legs and wadded in. The water was deliciously cold and refreshing, making us both gasp as the first waves lapped our feet and legs. The Golfer had picked up the camera and from the cliff top took the following two shots (I think he might have to be in charge of the camera now!) We forgot to count the waves and the seventh wave caught us by surprise as we were watching the surfers and we both ended up with wet trousers, which we didn’t mind a bit!Mum and I both so enjoyed our walk and paddle, breathing in deeply the sea air, feeling the sand between our toes, the cool lick of water around our legs, the obvious delight of the school children as they were tossed around by the waves on their boogie boards. I could have stayed all day, but we did have to head home.
The Golfer decided he didn’t want to battle the traffic on the Geelong Freeway so we high tailed it to Queenscliff to catch the ferry over to Sorrento. We made the next sailing with just a couple of minutes to spare and settled ourselves in the loungeSoon the ferry was movingwe’d left Queenscliff behindhad a view of the headsthen Sorrento was in sightcoming closer and closerThe Captain then announced that over the last couple of days there had been a pod of dolphins near Sorrento and the lounge area was deserted within seconds as everyone scrambled to get a good viewing post. We went to the stern and leaned over the side. It was so exciting to see the first splash of dolphin!I took a ridiculous amount of photos, just pointing the camera in the general direction and clicking the button while I looked with my eyes as I didn’t want to miss seeing them by looking at/through the camera.
They ducked under the ferry so I raced to the other side, still clicking madly, and was rewarded with these They are such graceful creatures and swim so swiftly. It was such a joy to witness their frolicking. They didn’t follow the ferry for long but seeing dolphins just topped off a perfect day!
This was definitely one for the memory box, and now it’s been done as a post I can revisit it here too. Hankering assuaged…….until next Summer!