I’m up and ready here at Chris’s Beacon Point, a lovely spot perched high above Apollo Bay with fantastic views of the Southern Ocean. This place has a long history, first opening up here in 1979 and is all pinewood, with floor to ceiling glass walls that let diners soak in this amazing view. When it was first built it seated just 30 diners and eventually was expanded into two levels to accommodate 120. In 2003 it was destroyed by a massive fire, and later that same year it was rebuilt to the way it looks today.
Dinner had Chris Talihmanidis’ Greek heritage baked right in. An eggplant dish called Imam Bayaldi was slow cooked stuffed halved eggplant with onion, feta, herbs and pine nuts, subtle and redolent of that wonderful meaty vegetable’s delicious taste. Then a fillet of a New Zealand fish called harpuka, flaky and simply grilled. Marvelous!
I tossed and turned last night, thinking about when my guide would arrive and how much I should plan on carrying with me on today’s long-assed 22 kilometer trek. I don’t want to make my guide, Greg, be my porter, and Auswalk, the company that leads these hikes, will bring my luggage ahead for me. But I think it’s always a challenge to figure out the right amount of stuff you need to keep warm, to keep bugs off, and to shield oneself in case of rain.
One of my favorite things about Australia is that it’s in some ways a lot like America, it’s familiar, and most people are hip to what’s happening on our faraway shores, and often share their opinions and have heard about what’s happening in the US. Many of the people I’ve here lean to the left, so I guess it’s more like the America of Massachusetts and not of Alabama or some of our Tea Party influenced parts of the country.