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November 20, 2013

Dear Diary,

The idea was to make it to Little Musselroe Bay in the North East and look at the ruins there, somewhere.

We set off, heading in an easterly direction, little diary, and some distance beyond Scottsdale following the Tasman Highway is where you turn left onto the Gladstone Road. You can go another route entirely, diary, but this was our preference on the day. Once on the Gladstone Road you pass tiny places like Herrick and Pioneer, and if you have time you can call in to see the Blue Lake, at South Mt Cameron.

The Blue Lake near South Mount Cameron

This is a pleasant drive, dear diary, passing coastal flora, with at the right time of year white-blooming teatree lining the route. At the small settlement of Gladstone, you follow the route out of town across the Brown's River bridge, and a little way further there is a fork in the road. Now here you must be careful, dear diary, as you can find yourself heading in the wrong direction entirely. You need to veer left, onto the Cape Portland Road, which leads in turn to Little Musselroe Bay.

Having old ruins in mind, it's pretty mind-blowing to actually come onto the new wind farm in the distance as you make headway towards Little Musselroe - and the closer one gets the more awestruck one is at the size of these things dotted about over the hillocks and on the plains.

And diary, I'll tell you something, I think I'm a convert... No, not that kind of convert, but one to wind farms and wind energy... I have had hesitations, I have to tell you, especially concerning bird life and the dire straits they could be in when approaching these coastal giants. But, when a tiny swallow and a rather large pelican made their way through the wide corridors between the scattered towers without hesitation or harm, it was a moment of revelation for me. My eyes saw what my mind had been querying - was it safe for birdlife to venture near... My revelation may later be crushed, but for now I'm a believer.

In all directions, wind turbine towers can be seen

The other aspect I discovered, diary dearest, was that these huge beasts are not set out in regimented rows, but scattered, like huge triffids over the landscape as far as the eye can see, with two here, and groups of three or four over there.

And they do make a sound, close up, ah-voomph, ah-voomph, ah-voomph...

Wind towers in perspective to the landscape - equals BIG
The towers are impressive in any number
The livestock share the land with the towers
The towers are scattered in non-regimented number formations
Depending on the perspective, the towers appear immense - or slightly less so
Sometimes the blades appear to be sailing in unison

Now on to the beach (with no ruins) (need to find the turn, little diary, must have missed it). It was a good experience stepping down the timber steps and onto the pristine white-sand by the aqua water and catching sight of Swan Island on the horizon. Our nostrils were flared, gathering in the pure, clean air coming off the Tasman Sea.

An exploration of the little bay that's split in two at the shore by ancient lava-rock-formations and a photo op - then back to the car and away... Hey, hey...

Swan Island in the distance

Hmm... What's that strange noise... No it's not a wind turbine gone crazy, it's a car tyre gone flat! As a pancake and more ... to a liquorice strap... Thank goodness the spare was intact, with air and tread! Soon we were on our way again, happy we had not found ourselves stranded for the night, diary dear, with only some leftover cake for sustenance - and a useless phone without signal to keep us company... Ah, the dire scenarios one can conjure, but in this instance it was unnecessary to dwell on more than getting the operation completed and revving up again to go...


Next an old-fashioned water-pumping windmill captured my attention and I thought of the irony of this machine compared to its super-duper new buddies surrounding it, like in a way the city-slicker meets country-cousin.

And there was local flora to capture, with wonderful dagwood-dog spikes shooting out of the fantasia grass and covered with tiny white flowers...

To close, I pose this question, are these young xanthorrhea emerging? I am not so sure, dear diary, are you? Maybe someone will tell us both...

Signing off until another venture looms...

Beautiful spikes like candles in the landscape
Various kinds of coastal vegetation grow along these shores
The larger aspect of Little Musselroe Bay
The first introduction to Little Musselroe Bay is this smaller beach
May Gibb would have loved these

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