Bathed in glory at the local pool
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: email@example.com. 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.