It’s past mid summer (summer solstice) and vacation calm has descended. People living in Stockholm are leaving town and are being replaced by tourists. Traffic is becoming civilized and it’s possible to find vacant park space! Time to leave town then, and, like so many other Scandinavians, seek peace in the country side.
The country hide-away
The cottage does not have electricity, no running water and mobile coverage is dismal. The lake is but 50 meters away though. There’s no sandy beach, but the granite is polished smooth by the last glacial age and a sun warmed stone ledge is surprisingly comfortable.
As the sun goes down, the air becomes a bit chilly and it’s time to get inside. I lit some candles more for comfort than out of need; at 10pm it’s still almost full daylight. The forest is all quiet. Bliss.
I’ll have to change the flavour of my blog since the project in South Australia is over. Still there are some images to share though. The digital gear was dead at the time of my visit to Fowler Bay, so the analogue camera got some use. I used t-max 100 for the images.
Fowlers Bay, few houses hugging a remote coastline of the far west of South Australia, some 900 km from Adelaide.
Fowlers Bay from the jetty
The township was surveyed in 1890 and as I walked the streets (all 4 of them) I tried to envision what it would have been like at the time. How long would it have taken from a ship to get from Adelaide to Fowlers Bay? How would the isolation have felt? Even in 2013 it felt like the end of the world.
It was and is a remote area, and there had to be some facilities for residents and travelers (but who would travel past Fowlers Bay at the turn of last century?). So there was a hotel built in 1892. It cease to operate in 1936 and today the only remains is the sign where the hotel once stood.
Fowlers Bay Hotel
In this small place, the Hotel was not the only place for social interaction. There was also a community hall. Fowlers Bay was not the only place where I felt utterly amazed at hard working settlers who, apart from establishing a life at the end of the world, also had the will and energy to build venues for social life.
Fowlers Bay community hall
About a mile from the township there’s a small cemetery. There aren’t many marked graves there. From those that are there, one can divine that life was hard in the early days.
Since I’ve taken to the roads again, I sought out a country PUB to stay at and ended up at the Poochera Hotel. It does not get much more country than this. In Poochera township there is all of 30 souls (on a good day). The surrounding area does probably have a couple of hundred living on farms. But there is a hotel and there I went.
I had not booked ahead since I figured that the hotel in a small inland township would not be full, and it was not (well, I never book ahead anyway). There was one other guest, a lady traveling by motorcycle. She was stranded due to rain, the first decent rain since August. Pretty welcome in a country that by and large lives off rain water.
The hotel is more or less in original condition I recon. If you want to experience an original South Australian country hotel – hurry! It did not have the feeling of a prosperous business really. But it was nice!
Poochera Hotel Front Bar
In the morning I met the Motorcycle Lady. I had expected a young woman and was somewhat surprised that it was not. It made me happy though! This lovely lady had been in Western Australia to see friends and was now on her way back to Tasmania. A round trip of some 8000 kilometers or so. One does not have to slump down in the couch in front of the telly when one gets older! There is hope for us all!