|Bay of Fires and the Tasman Sea|
Bay of Fires here we come! -- but not before some unplanned stops. It was the road trip shuffle.
|Miles of vineyards overlook the sea in this part of Tas|
We pulled out of Devils Corner and headed toward Bicheno. But first we turned off for a gander at a historic stone bridge with formidable stone spikes protruding from the top. No one knew if they were for livestock or people. The bridge's function remained a mystery.
I turned the pages of Lonely Planet for lunch places in Bicheno. We were passing places left and right when I spotted a familiar name: Pasini's: "antipasto plates, wood-fired pizzas, homemade pastas and 'Ooomph' fresh roasted coffee. We'd just dropped into heaven. I ordered an antipasto board that was, hands down, one of the most flavorful meals EV-aaa. I asked to buy their fresh ground coffee and even though they didn't sell it tthey fixed me up a container. We topped off the lunch with a lemon cheesecake so light it floated down the gullet.
|Fresh smoked salmon, fresh-made mozzarella, homemade bread, prosciutto, ham, fresh calamari, a dolmada, marinated olives, spiced marinated tomatoes ... every taste a foodie high|
Up the coast we continued, pulling off once more to take a short beach walk. It was a nondescript pullout with a narrow path to the sea. A few steps revealed one fisherman, an unforgettable sea view and shells like that I have never seen.
We arrived Bay of Fires late afternoon. We searched out the boondocking area beyond St. Helens, north toward The Gardens. After a couple unsuccessful tries (campsites maxed out,) we pulled into Cosy Cove and found a primo spot with privacy. Bay of Fires was described as 18-mile long "sweep of powder white sand and crystal-clear sea." I could not believe the scene that unfolded before me as I topped a small knoll. In all my world travels I'd not see a beach this spectacular. Fine white sand like gypsum. Lichen draped rocks that glowed like neon.
Greg sat and breathed in the sea while I walked up the beach. I spied a couple on a rock taking photos and was curious what they were doing. A twenty minute walk and climb delivered me to their sides. I asked if they were rangers. The man smiled. No, he said, he was an aboriginal descendant. His wife pointed her camera into a cleft in a rock where she photographed a sea rat. Rare to see them, she said. We began to talk of our passions for the planet and the wild as I shared a bit of my life. He explained that Bay of Fires was named for the line of fires lit along the shores by his people when the Bay was first seen by explorers. He began to tell me a near by aboriginal site he had discovered, looked in my face and asked if I had time ... he would take me there. Time? Linear time would not get in the way of this meeting.
It wasn't far. We hiked inland up a sandy wash and around a couple of curves to a circular area that unfolded before us. He explained how he was certain this was a permanent settlement. He pointed out the trees and bushes by name and how they would have supplied food and medicines in addition to the bounty from the Tasman Sea. He described cleared out spaces in the center of the area, and how they would have been used. I was in awe; deeply thankful for his time and care. I could tell you would appreciate this, he said, I saw it in your eyes. I did not want our encounter to end as the sun slipped down. We hugged our goodbyes and I turned and walked down the beach, drinking in the magic. From penguins to Aboriginals, synchronicity was in play.
|Tasmanian Black Swans|
|Black Cockatoo, Greg's spirit bird|
|Cockatoo in flight|
|The Gardens: from calm to raucous|
|Who goes there??|
|Imagine fires burning as far as the eye could see: Goodbye Bay of Fires|
Goodbye Aboriginal Friends