My December Mini Break
So an some of you may be aware, I recently went away for a few days. Fortunately for me, a friend of a friend owns a private beach, so I went to stay there for four nights with Conor and our friend Lachy. I was pretty excited about it, and imagined that it would be a bit like camping (which I love) but more upmarket, as there is a house. I found out shortly before we arrived that there’s power there too due to solar power.
The beach is located where the rainforest meets the sea and is only accessible by boat. I enjoyed the 20 minute boat ride over, and was very impressed when I saw the beach and the house. It had a few extra luxuries that I wasn’t expecting such as a TV and a stunning outdoor yet private shower with hot water. The beds were comfortable with mosquito nets as the house is open on one side. Outside the house were two hammocks and a wooden swing hanging from a tree. Down a little track there’s a big outdoor table with seats and another swing – I can imagine that a lot of big nights of drinking have occurred there.
One thing that I loved was how sufficient the place is, with energy coming from solar panels and the dam. Fish can be caught nearby and eaten for dinner, and there are trees outside growing strawberry mangoes which we ate for breakfast. If you’ve never tried strawberry mangoes, they’re the best – my new favourite fruit for sure!
Once we’d arrived bright and early, Lachy cooked us up some breakfast. I should mention, another little luxury is that he’s an executive chef, so we ate very well for the few days that we were there. After brekkie I settled into a hammock and instantly felt the most relaxed that I’ve felt in months. I seriously considered leaving civilisation for good and settling down somewhere remote and self-sufficient like this.
However if you thought that private beaches were all sunshine and rainbows, you’d be mistaken. I was woken from my snooze in the hammock and told to go inside as it was beginning to rain, which I didn’t mind. However the rain got worse. It turned out that a cyclone that we’d heard wouldn’t hit us had changed its course and we were now going through it in this little beach hut. It was pretty terrifying to be honest, with 100km winds blowing rain into the house, and thunder and lightning above us. I’ll let you in on a secret – i’m a bit scared of lightning.
When we woke up the next day the storm was over, but unfortunately we still couldn’t go out and fish as the visibility in the water was significantly reduced. Still we enjoyed a pleasant and relaxing day in the beach house. That evening we were watching TV when the power went out. It seemed that due to having a few days of overcast weather the solar panels hadn’t been able to charge up enough to keep up with our electricity usage. Did I mention that there was an insane amount of mosquitoes, beetles and other bugs in the house? Well, when the power went out I put my phone on as a torch and instantly felt insects falling allover me as they flocked towards the light – that was pretty awful.
Even worse was when Conor and Lachy headed up to the shed to try to fix the power, leaving me alone. I have to admit I was terrified, sitting alone in the pitch black, with only the sounds of the rainforest. I knew that there were all manner of dangerous things out there from huge wild pigs to deadly cassowaries and wild dogs. The guys were back and forth over a couple of hours until we eventually got the power back on. That night we were kept awake by another storm – this one was less intense but we could still hear the thunder and rain, and see the lightning. Needless to say no one slept well that night.
For the last two days we had beautiful weather, thankfully, and enjoyed the beach for what it was. We paddled in the ocean, caught some fish, lay in hammocks, and collected shells on the beach. It was relaxing and lovely as a beach break should be.
Overall I did enjoy my experience and will definitely go back one day. But it wasn’t as relaxing as I’d hoped and I returned to Port Douglas feeling exhausted and beaten – not to mention sunburnt and covered in mosquito bites. I realised that whilst there are plenty of perks of private beaches, when things go wrong it’s pretty terrifying being out in the sticks.
I’m back in Port Douglas for Christmas now, and will spend the big day itself eating and drinking with friends. Whether you’re going away or staying at home this Christmas, I hope you all have a good one. I’ll be posting a few Christmassy and end of year posts in the coming days, so look out for them to find out what I get up to in the last days of 2018.