When we woke on Sunday morning, we ran over the dunes to the highest point to watch the sunrise. As I ran up one of the dunes, I looked down to see small paw prints that lead back to the campfire, looped back around, and far away.
I reached the top of the dune just in time to see the sky turn yellow and orange, before the sun rose over the ocean.
It’s not like I’ve never watched the sunrise before, but maybe I’d never actually thought about the sun when it’s rising.
I mean, holy shit, how quickly does it rise? From the moment it pops above the horizon, it takes about 15 seconds before the whole thing is in the sky.
As the sun rose, I felt the air turn cold, and a gust of wind wash over us on the hill. The sun might be up, but it’ll be hours before we feel any warmth from the rays.
We started the camp fire again, and began cooking breakfast, while warming our fingers beside the butane gas burner.
Mist covers the ocean all around us, leaving a magical blanket of fog that stops right before the sandy beach.
On the topic of sand, and that chicken carcass, we found a large mound of sand that’d been flicked up around the hole that we’d buried the barbecued chicken carcass the night before.
“MILLY, A DINGO STOLE OUR CHICKEN.”
Mark had a huge grin on his face. He couldn’t believe that a dingo had actually come onto our campsite while we were sleeping, and stolen our leftovers that we’d buried – at least the length of the shovel pole underground!
We set up the table, cracked open our Dare Iced Coffees, and began cooking the mushrooms, bacon and eggs over the heat. We have the habit of cooking the absolute crap out of the mushrooms, until they are so small and golden that you could mistake them for $2 coins.
After breakfast we carried our deck chairs up to the top of a dune, and watched the waves crash, hoping to spot some dolphins or whales.
With full tummies and a clean campsite, we drove into town, and fetched more groceries for dinner and a cheese platter – only to find that the town is so deserted, there’s no longer a grocery store there.
When we returned to Hawks Nest, we drove through the back of the dunes, to reach Little Gibber headland.
Mark mentioned that years back, this spot was shut off from four-wheel-drives, and nobody could drive or walk over there. But now, we had a secret campsite all to ourselves.
We parked the ute facing the beach, and carried our deck chairs and a picnic rug to the top of a hill looking over the beach. With a cheese board, South Cape Cheese, cabanossi, strawberries and dipping chocolate, salami and plenty of crackers and dip, we sat and ate until we could hardly move.
As the sun began to set behind the dunes, I decided to go searching for shells along the beach.
Vivid memories from my childhood flooded back as I picked up the small shells and dusted off the sand for the first time in years.
From half way up the beach, I heard Mark yell out to me,
“When the first star appears in the sky, I’ll start the fire.”
As he turned to walk back to the campsite, we both looked above and saw it – the first star.
Without a moment of hesitation, he began chopping up the wood, and preparing the fire.
With a full platic-cup of shells in hand, I gave up shell hunting when the sun set behind the dunes. A beautiful rainbow sunset was above us, with all colours in the spectrum spread across the sky.
We had a barbecued chicken again for dinner, but this time, we buried the carcass deeper – almost twice as deep as we’d buried it before.
Fun fact: dingoes don’t like smoke. If you keep the fire burning through the night, they’ll be less likely to come near your campsite.