Firstly, I just want to say, how beautiful is Mission Beach.
Steve and I decided that seeing as we had moved practically trackside that we would leave town for the V8 weekend to avoid the noise and the crowds. All these pictures were taken at a family friends house, just after sunrise on Sunday morning.
In the end we only managed to get away for one night, but what a night. As soon as we left town it seemed like time slowed down. I usually don't really enjoy long drives, but as usual the North Queensland scenery was out to impress. Seems like Townsville must be under an invisible dome because as soon as we got past Rollingstone everything was green as far as the eye could see. It had not long stopped raining and the sun was shining through the huge storm clouds. Everything was alive.
We took the long route into Mission Beach, driving through Tully for the first time in the 3 years I have lived here. It had a certain charm cultivated by a lack of good design and an affinity for puns as business names. The giant gumboot should be on everybody's' must see list.
Eventually we arrived at Bingil Bay, where Sebastian and I were going to wait while Steve dropped in on a friend. The wait ended up being a little longer than expected, because Steve locked the car keys in the boot on his return. Far from being annoyed, we had a beautiful few hours on the beach with a ball and the camera. Luckily I had gotten supplies out of the car before hand, always prepared! Sebastian seemed to really discover the joys of playing with sand, like how you can pick it up and throw it in the air. Or drop your food in it then eat it anyway.
When we escaped this terrible situation we dropped in at our friends to touch base, then headed back to the beach, this time for a long walk. We went to a different beach, North Mission, which for anyone who doesn't know, is many kilometres of pristine, flat and very hard (at low tide) sand, perfect for taking the pram on. Sebastian was getting tired by this time and I was running out of biscuits to placate him, so in the pram he went.
I haven't posted a picture of this, because I haven't got one that would do it justice, but the amount of work the soldier crabs had done on the beach that day was absolutely amazing. I have been on the beach before and seen the little balls they leave here and there, sometimes very large patterns that look like fireworks bursting all around you, other times just little mounds, on this day, the kilometre that we walked down the beach, from the shoreline to the soft sand, was entirely covered with little crab balls. We wondered how many of them there were scurrying around below our feet, how deep were they down, and could they feel it when we stepped on the sand above them?
After this Sebastian was really getting tired and grumpy, so we went to Bingil Bay cafe for dinner. The Bingil Bay cafe is a bit of an institution from what I can see, for good reason. The food is delicious, the atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming, the surroundings are picturesque and the staff are friendly. We shared a pizza between the three of us. Sebastian was more interested in talking to the neighbours and playing in the dirt (which he also seemed to really discover on that day), and I even picked up a super cute second hand peasant skirt for $3 from a wheelbarrow out the back.
With a sneaky ice cream for dessert later we headed back to Jaynes to put the little monster to bed. It was all a bit too exciting for him and I don't think he wanted the day to end, he put up a good fight before falling asleep that night.
Steve and I stayed up late talking with Jayne, and finally went to bed in what felt to me like a luxurious hotel. A strange comfy four poster bed surrounded by a mosquito net, our own little dream tent. and cuddles. lots of cuddles.
The next morning we woke up fresh and freezing! The sunrise was a gift too good to refuse so while Steve and Sebastian had their morning shower together I took a little wander up the road and got a few pictures. Most of these have barely been edited, just a few crops. Then the journey back began.
One last delight was when we stopped for takeaway and saw a man out for breakfast with his parrot, who was drinking coffee.
The drive home gave Steve and I time to talk about things we don't usually talk about. Silly and embarrassing memories. Friends and lovers.
We arrived back before lunch and separated, the rest of the day still ahead of us but heading in different directions. I felt good and grateful and connected.
It was a beautiful day.