Monday, February 26. Today was a great day. Fiona picked me up at about 9:45 AM, and we drove first to a big surfing beach, Gunnamatta. Finally, I got to see a really nice Australian beach, with wild surf. There were a few surfers out there but they weren’t taking in any of the really big waves further out. We didn’t stay very long because we had bigger fish to fry. We went out to Portsea, all the way out to the very end of the peninsula to Point Nepean National Park with big old deserted Fort Nepean at the end. This is where the ocean meets the Bay, and you can stand at the Fort, look one way toward the very pretty peaceful bay, than look the other way toward the roaring ocean. To get there and back we had to walk 10 km, but it felt exhilarating. Because I was carrying a pretty heavy backpack, my back started hurting on the way there, but then after we had our lunch that I’d trucked along, I felt rejuvenated and we could easily walk back. Part of the way, we walked barefoot along the beach on the Bay side. But right at the Fort, which happens to be the place where, oddly, the first shot was fired beginning World War I and the place where Australia fired its first shot in World War II, we couldn’t get down to the beach because there were signs all over the place that prohibited us from going down there because there are apparently mines buried in the beach that could still explode. It was beautiful out there; the water such a beautiful color. Big dunes. Very special place. It was also where a former prime minister, who was apparently an excellent swimmer, drowned. After we walked back, we stopped and got ice cream bars and sat on a bench to eat them. We left to get in the car, drove all the way back, were driving near Fiona’s house and I asked Fiona if I could take a picture of the beautiful view by her house. She pulled into her driveway, I went to look for my camera, and it wasn’t there! What?! I looked through everything in the car six times, still not there. I couldn’t believe it! I must have left that camera where we were having ice cream. That camera was very, very special to me too, as my former partner had given it to me for a present. Plus, I’m flying to Sydney first thing the next morning. Fiona then had the foresight to call the Park Ranger information station at Point Nepean. Sure enough, someone had picked up my camera and turned it in there! The Ranger who was behind the desk when we got there originally and when we got our ice cream, said the park was closing in five minutes, but she said she lived in a town half an hour away from Mount Martha, and said she would bring it to us if we met her there in a half hour. The only problem was Fiona was supposed to bring her kid to a basketball game right around then. So she called her sister who gladly offered to pick up her daughter and take her to the game. Then we zoomed to Boneo, met the park ranger woman, she handed me the camera, and we were on our way. Whew! I couldn’t believe so many things had to line up serendipitously for the camera to be back in my hands. First, if we hadn’t stopped at Fiona’s house to take a picture, the Ranger station would have closed, that Ranger would have left, and even if we had driven back to two hours to get there we wouldn’t have been able to get it. Secondly some kind soul picked it up and turned it in instead of stealing this really nice camera. Third, this really nice Ranger offered to bring it to us. I was so grateful! My faith in humanity restored once again. Fiona dropped me off at Mount Martha so she could run back to the basketball game, and I ate dinner at the Indian restaurant in town, which was very good. Then I walked back another almost 3 km through the boardwalk to get back to my house. I then had to pack up all my stuff, took a bath, wrote this entry, and fell into bed. What a day!