The Great Eastern Road took us to St. Helens, where we picked up some snacks and 10 liters of water — we’d learned our lesson! Though we had originally planned to camp at the Jeannette Beach campsite, it was raining at Jeannette Beach and it was not raining at Grant’s Lagoon, a campsite just up the road. Go figure. The Grant’s Lagoon campsite was free and no one else was there that night. The rain seemed to have noticed where we were, because it migrated from Jeannette over to where we were at Grant’s Lagoon and started sprinkling. We set up the tent first so that we’d at least have a dry place to sleep, then got to cooking under the light rain.
We staged the food under the Micra’s hatch and ran Hayden’s stove in the rain. For our first night after completing the Freycinet circuit, we had purchased pasta and sauce and even Parmesan cheese. The purchase of Parmesan cheese had been completely unnecessary, but it was packaged in a miniature version (so cute) of the Parmesan cheese that my family always used. I had to have it!
The pasta took quite awhile to cook, since we had to do it portion by portion in a very small pot. Hayden was worried that our little fuel container would run out of fuel, but we finished up the pasta and ate a big, yummy meal in the front seats of the Micra. For some reason, pasta with red sauce tastes so much better when it’s made in a tiny pot over a camping stove while it’s raining. The Parmesan cheese definitely added that extra something to the meal.
I read my book before bed again. It was getting even better! The front cover offered a endorsing quote: A cinematic experience. It sure was! There weren’t just invading aliens — the aliens had brought monster bacteria with them! That part was scary. And when the aliens arrived, so did the Strange Lands, a place on Earth where the laws of space and time don’t apply, where magic happens! As I read my book, Hayden kept peering over my shoulder because he wanted to read, too. I’m pretty sure he’s going to read it after I’m done and after he finishes his Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance book.
We woke up to the sound of crows croaking and climbing all over our car. For breakfast, we had more oatmeal! This time, both Hayden and I tried the Creamy Honey flavor. I liked it.
We figured that we should see the place where we camped, so we took a brief look at the actual lagoon.
Satisfied with the lagoon, we went back to Jeannette Beach and relaxed on beach towels and read our books. The weather was great and the beach was beautiful. I had really wanted to make grilled cheese sandwiches, so we attempted (and failed) to use Hayden’s stove to make them. It was supposed to be fun to have grilled cheese on the beach, but instead, a lot of sand got in our food and the grilled cheese sandwiches weren’t very grilled. The last sandwich used what was left of our fuel, which was a bummer since we’d bought rice and beans to eat for dinner, but there were lots of restaurants near us.
After our slightly-warmed-cheese-and-sand sandwiches lunch, we left Jeannette Beach and went to The Gardens, another beach area where the trademark red color of the Bay of Fires rocks was really visible. The red comes from some sort of lichen growing on them. It was fun to explore without our huge backpacking packs, and the rocks were really cool. Everything was so peaceful, with very few people around.
We drove down the road and stopped at another beach area in The Gardens, and found a tiny alcove in the bay. This marked the end of our dirty, camping days, so we took off our shoes and put our feet in the water. It hardly counted as a bath after four days without a shower, but it was amazing nonetheless.
After that, we thought we might head up to Anson’s Bay to see more Bay of Fires up at Eddystone, but then we decided 5 minutes into the drive that we’d seen enough rocks and would rather head to the hotel in Launceston and rest. Though we had originally planned to camp in Eddystone that evening, earlier that day we’d decided that we’d had enough of camping and booked a hotel last minute. We got on the Northeastern Trail (all the roads have names here!) and headed towards Launceston.
This hotel gets its own post because it’s a hotel that’s very special to us… we found a Peppers Resort in Launceston!