Monday, April 30, 2012

To the End of the World.

We had finished the hike and left the national park around 2.30 so by the time we go to the coast around Albany, we were quite famished and worn from the heat of the sun. We drove in silence with the loud sound of the wind whipping through the windows filling the car with warm air as we realized it was too loud to bother talking and we were equally too tired to bother exerting any more energy.  Fish, the guy I had met at the half way point, had mentioned seeing some places called The Gap and The Blowholes, so with map in hand, I directed us there, with the hopes of a sea-side restaurant. The prospect slowly diminished as we drove past the turn for the town-center and veered down the Frenchman Bay Pennisula. As soon as we did, I knew there would be no eateries from previous beach-side adventures, but this was withheld, unbeknownst to the driver. As soon as he realized it, when we turned into Torndirrup National Park, the mood turned sour. Luckily, for me as a saving grace, and for both of us as an unforgettable experience, the stop was well worthwhile. 
The Gap is, literally, the end of the Australia. The rocks we were standing on were once connected to Antartica.
 The rocks were smooth and climbable, but everywhere were signs posting danger, warnings of swift winds blowing you away and unexpected rushes of waves that could sweep you away. And rightfully so. The wind was forceful and the sea was crashing against the coast – the combination resulting in the reason for the smoothness of the rocks and the formation of the gap. 
 Brave tourists shimmied to the edge, as close as they dared for a photo opp, while others stayed to the built footpath and scant guard rails.

As close as I could get, I peered over the edge and the cliffs just dropped directly into the tumultous sea – there would be no saving if you went over. 
It was late afternoon and the sun was starting to set, casting a gorgeous light over the coast.  I found it, despite all the potential for danger, incredibly peaceful. I imagined bringing a good book and laying on the smooth rocks, basking in the warm sun with intimate thoughts about the world while sitting at the very edge of it. It had a familiar reminiscence of Ireland – of Giant’s Causeway matching the same rocks in Scotland as they do here in Australia and Antartica, as well as the natural beauty of Horn Head with it’s coastal winds daring to blow people off into the cold Atlantic.

But then the pangs of hunger and the fact that I couldn’t remember the last time I was in a place with so many tourists (and it really wasn’t that many) reminded me that we needed to refuel before heading back in the dark. 

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