Bathed in glory at the lo­cal pool

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - COLIN CAMP­BELL-FRASER GWELUP, WESTERN AUS­TRALIA

At the end of a long and beau­ti­fully sunny day driv­ing along Vic­to­ria’s Great Ocean Road, a dip in the chilly au­tumn ocean at Apollo Bay had some ap­peal.

The swim would mark the cul­mi­na­tion of a week driv­ing across the Nullar­bor Plain, tak­ing in the vis­tas of the Great Aus­tralian Bight and then en­joy­ing the of­fer­ings of the Clare and Barossa val­leys in South Aus­tralia.

We checked into a car­a­van park high on a hill, tak­ing a front-row cabin with won­der­ful ocean views, donned the shorts and bathers, grabbed a towel and wan­dered down the steep hill to a fan­tas­tic broad beach and took the plunge.

The wa­ter was ex­tremely re­fresh­ing and I felt 18 again. How­ever, the long off­shore break lines tossed me around like a two-year-old and did not al­low me to stretch arms, legs and back mus­cles over any dis­tance.

On to Plan B. I picked up my towel, clam­bered back up the 60-de­gree hill and headed for the park’s so­lar-heated swimming pool.

I was a lit­tle dis­ap­pointed to find the pool overly pop­u­lated with school-age chil­dren of all sorts and sizes. The love of my life has­tened to re­mind me that those were the breaks you got when choos­ing to travel dur­ing school hol­i­days.

It was a tough de­ci­sion. Should I risk be­com­ing em­broiled in a mael­strom of shout­ing and scream­ing teenagers, tots and tod­dlers, or should I call it a day and re­treat to the rel­a­tive peace of my cabin bal­cony with the grand vista and en­joy a crisp white wine or cold beer?

I’m here now, I thought, so I dived into the clear blue and warmish wa­ter think­ing a few sim­ple strokes over a cou­ple of laps would suf­fice, stretch­ing the al­most 70year-old mus­cles stiff­ened by a day driv­ing that very scenic but wind­ing coastal road.

As my head sur­faced the clear voice of a red-headed boy, who was sit­ting on the pool’s edge and looked to be about 10, rang out a very loud warn­ing to his mates in the wa­ter:

“Look out! Old man com­ing through!” I took in a mouth­ful of wa­ter chok­ing on my laugh­ter as I also saw my wife watch­ing on, dou­bled up with glee. Send your 400-word con­tri­bu­tion to Fol­low the Reader: travel@theaus­tralian.com.au. Colum­nists re­ceive a set of men’s botan­i­cal skin­care prod­ucts from The Aro­mather­apy Com­pany in­clud­ing face and body balm, nat­u­ral soap bar, hair and body wash, face cream and shav­ing cream. $120.70. More: shop.david­jones.com.au.

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