To the lighthouse
Umbrella and winter woolies weather - ideal for visiting an imposing beacon on cliffs surrounded by grey sea. It was a two-hour hike there and back. A cycleway along the waterfront became elevated decking (signposted as a "rainforest walk"), then a hazardous game of "Frogger" up a winding road with blind corners. Was I the only tourist without a vehicle? On reaching the summit, I spied a commotion in the ocean that revealed itself with a flipper slap and a spout to be migrating humpback whales! I glimpsed several more of the creatures as I continued past the lighthouse, down a slippery paved path to the patch of ground that is the easternmost point on the Australian mainland. Captain Cook christened this spot Mount Warning, which is kind of appropriate given it's the "plug" in the caldera of a monstrous prehistoric volcano. Koori legend says there's a cave six miles out inhabited by an all-father type being. I saw no trace of him, only a spectacular view of Byron's misty mountains and sandy shores.
My morning meal had been at the boho-est cafe I could find. At One One One - motto: "a jug of wine, a loaf of bread and thou" (Omar Khayyam quote) - the service was random, but the homemade baked beans and slow-roasted-until-almost-creamy pumpkin were a treat. Dad woulda loved what I had post-trek at the bustling Beach Hotel: pale ales for what ails me and a chunky rabbit pie! While I'm on the subject of food and beverages... Blood orange juice is appropriately reddish and yummier than ordinary OJ. And a big tick for the new Magnum Equador Dark ice-cream, especially if, like me, you prefer excess cocoa to sugar.