Turns out that other members of our Christmas Day celebrations did succumb to the dreaded gastro - but down at Victor Harbor, where we are almost on the beach, we were finished with it before the end of the year thank goodness. That freed us up to do, what apparently you do, when you are "down at Victor " (certainly what you do, when you stay with the Fritschs'!)!
If you don't get up to swim across the bay at 6.00 a.m. like Jane does, or surf (or go out to check on the surf) as Barry does then you get up anyway to be company for Simone or Mischa who are up with Jasper, who is always up at that time. Then when the swimmers and surfers return it's time to go the beach for a swim or walk along the beach into town for coffee.
An unusual photo of Jane and Barry Fritsch - sitting down!
For me the choice is obvious; swim or walk? the reward of a flat white wins. The walks can be either 4kms or 8 kms depending on whether you turn left or right and both are heaven unless you are the balls of my feet, in which case you find the sand just a tad abrasive. The sunburn on the back of my legs is a surprise because I wear a hat and long-sleeved shirt - urgh the sun is vicious - but I do one walk on Tuesday and the other on Wednesday and the coffee is good both times.
This is how far behind the other walkers I am!
But you can see how beautiful the beach is!
You might sit down for lunch, but after a LIGHT lunch, you either go swimming or if you're not Australian you go birdwatching, or if you are me you agree (why?) to a 12+ km bike ride that is not along the nice flat beach but on roads and bike paths that include the odd hill or two. I like my bike but I'm still getting used to the gears so the ride seems long… and this time It's not possible for the backs of my legs to get sunburnt but it IS possible for my knees and wrists to burn! Who has ever had burnt wrists? Urgh the sun is vicious!
So by now I am sunburned or tanned over most of my body and I can't walk because the balls of my feet need to recover and by now the benefits of being at Victor "because it's not only beautiful but always 5-10 degrees cooler than the city", don't count because it's 42c even down here! Thank goodness Jane suggested we sit out the heat at the movies and I find the movie (Life of Pi) so beautiful and enjoyable but I'm not sure if it's just because I'm relaxing and sitting in a cool old theatre?
Eating outside on the front deck
(note: that's not our van in the front - the Fritschs' have two of them!)
Then we did sit still long enough to celebrate the new year - out on the front deck with the other grandparents and a lovely breeze and the beach just a short (for them) walk away. Victor is a party town so we have music blaring from nearby parties and an endless stream of young partygoers streaming by in front of us, but we are very happy to be where we are; thankful in one way that 2012 is ended (it was a crazy year) and excited (joe) and curious (jill) for what 2013 brings, because unlike last year, and other than our camper van trip out west, this year does not have an obvious path at all!
For a change of pace - cockling!
You pull them out of the sand as the tide recedes (we cheated with a net that caught a lot more than you could pull out - there were thousands of them!).
They (not me) ate them the next day - after they the cockles had spat out sand from their shells - prepared much like muscles.
Happy 2013 - I hope it's a good year. It's going to be warm here for the first while - that I know for sure! After that ….