Australia, Beach & Coastal Walking
Comments 15

Dawn, the Way I Dreamt It

Hello again, folks. Well, I’ve been home almost a week now, and with the aid of strategically timed beer, my favourite coffee place and 1-3 naps per day, I’m adjusting pretty well to the numerous climatic and cultural shocks.

There have certainly been challenges…


A day or two after I got back

..but it’s been a beautiful week.

Actually, the Summer heat, after the endless balminess of Autumn in Gimhae, really only knocked me off my feet the first day back, when jetlag and insomnia had me stumbling up the street in a pleasant and almost pharmaceutical daze to Mug Shots and much-needed caffeine. The lady claimed to remember me but admitted, quite sweetly, that she didn’t recall how I took my coffee. I was just grateful they were still there (and thriving — they’re just a hole in the wall, no real seating, but soon after they open at 6:00am there’s a line of grateful addicts).

Out here on the coast, in Brisbane’s northern suburbs, it’s always a couple of degrees less lethal than downtown. I’m in a ground-floor apartment under my parents’ place — they back onto a creek, and the Sandgate waterfront, with its reliable onshore breezes, is only 20 minutes’ walk away. I’ve been busy with an ongoing and quite urgent project since getting home — more on that down the line — but between bursts of activity, mixed up with aforementioned naps, beer and coffee, I’ve also found time for some wandering and short cycle forays with my camera.

This was the first real one, the morning after that spaced-out ramble. I wanted to head up to Sandgate for sunrise, and in Summer that means rising at 4:00…


Dangling arachnids at dawn, a favourite theme the world over! reach the waterfront in time for this:


Distant Shorncliffe & its famous pier, from Sandgate



I was lucky that my return after two years in Korea coincided with optimal mudflat walking conditions: sunrise and sunset at the time occurred at low tide, which means miles of wet sand to stroll, twice a day. These windows don’t last long, with the tide times changing by an hour or more each day, so I wasted no time getting the shoes off, dangling them from my pack, and heading out onto the flats:


Leaden sand snail egg-masses, very common in S.E. Queensland


The former Baptist Church, now a child-care centre


Blue blubber jellyfish — schools of them abound on this coast


Not everyone makes it back alive.

I employed a number of fantasy excursions to keep me going during that long second year in Korea. Walking the same grimy streets I’d walked several hundred times, I’d increasingly revisit my mental to-do list — one of those lists that just won’t stop growing. Sandgate at dawn was right at the top:



With the tide already marching resolutely shore-wards, I did a big loop, loving the space, the calm and quiet, the feel of the sand between my toes, but watching for the odd sharp shell that can (and often does, in my case) slice a toe or heel.

I did have a bit of company, canine…



Stingray feeding holes -- there are always hundreds here.

Stingray feeding holes — there are always hundreds here.



..and even alien:

A Close Encounter on the Mudflats

A Close Encounter on the Mudflats

As I began to circle back, I even had a magical encounter with a cute young lady:


A victim of incompetent supervision.

I’ve done a few more of those little fantasy expeditions in the last week. Oh, and I also wasted no time catching up with my old friend Chris — next day, at a tiny Sandgate bar that wasn’t there when I left Australia…

With Chris at the Cardigan Bar, Sandgate

With Chris at the Cardigan Bar, Sandgate

..and Martine, another friend from Griffith University days, the following evening.

Chris and I are hoping to do a three-day walk next week. Much too hot for it really, but there’s a time factor, as I’ll explain soon.

It’s so bloody good to be home — and to be publishing posts in the “AUSTRALIA” category again! I’ll have a couple more lazy, summery posts like this coming up soon. Now it’s time I got to bed — 11:30pm, and I have an early start in the morning…

And that’s all the Goat wrote



  1. Welcome home. I look forward to reading about your walks. I’m a Brissie local too so I’m sure you’ll give me ideas for my own walking adventures

    • It suits my lifestyle too. One less grooming challenge to deal with each day. Enjoy the beard, a rare example of a reward for doing absolutely nothing!

  2. Hey Goat, picture perfect location again and full marks to your early morning diligence in catching the sunrise! Sandgate looks great and if I’m ever up that way I think I’d give it some investigation. Not sure if I want to cross the border right now though, with Chief Newman in charge!

    • Yes, Herr Newmann has not exactly helped the state shake off its rep for authoritarianism and thuggishness, but there’s tons of good walking up here — just don;t come in Summer if you can avoid it! Sandgate and its sunrises have been a pleasure and I’ve had to accept that my brain wakes me up daily at 4:30am now. I do hope I can shake this habit.

  3. Alice says

    Welcome home and sweet dreams. For the record, dangling arachnids are fine as long as they stay dangling. Lovely vistas, and I am excited for your new ventures.

    • Thanks, Alice! I’ve been a terrible blogger and reader these last few weeks; hope to rectify that in the next phase of my latest adventure, coming very soon (as in tomorrow)…

  4. What a relief. A bit of brightly coloured flotsam on all that pristine sand. 😉 A gorgeous place – my kind of beach – empty and peaceful and wide.

    • I was mentally walking those tidal flats for weeks before I actually felt the sand between the toes. Was not disappointed in the least. Very happy with how much wandering through old haunts I managed to squeeze in between sessions with the boxes, Sharpie and rolls of tape!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s