Sun is feeling shy to make it’s appearance. Dolphins feel the same way. Of course I am disappointed. But this is nature. It is a stark reminder that we don’t control everything. The water is choppy, wind is present. The Beach Cafe has it’s entrance to the beach side closed and operating through the garden side door. I find refugee inside the cafe and start my writing.
I have a 180 degree view of the beach and the Garden. And of my favourite tree. Met the gardener on the way to here. Finally found out the name and the possible age of the tree. It is a Fiscus Elastica, commonly known as a Fig Rubber tree. Whyalla seems to host a few varieties of these trees. He believes the tree could be as old as 100 years. It had it’s first stay at the cemetery. Due to it’s large root system and not wanting to disturb the residents they moved the tree to beach side location. As per one of the locals, the council had wanted to cut this tree not long ago. Fortunately the locals put a stop to it. I can never understand the logic behind these councils. When you want to cut down an infected tree in your backyard, they will make all the fuss, but then they will want to cut down a perfectly good specimen such as this. Anyway I am glad that this tree was saved from their ignorance.
More on the tree, as per my Wikipedia search these trees are mainly in Asia also in US the state of Florida.
The warm cup of tea comforts my frozen fingers. I smile at the waitress while adjusting my disheveled hair. No words spoken, but its understood that my hair looks terrible but she understands. The long bushy grass looks like my hair or my hair looks like the grass. It depends on which way you want to look at it. Same outcome different out look.
The above was all written a few weeks ago while we were still in Whyalla. Last day of our stay and the internet gave way and the post got drafted. I am home and in the real world now. As always writing took the backstage while I cleaned up and got back to the normal humdrum.
We stayed in Whyalla for almost a week. It was an interesting kind of holiday as hubby was working till late everyday, almost like when we are home, but this was different. When he got back, we either went out for a meal or at least a drive. There was just the one TV, so we had to watch what the other was watching. Made way for more cuddles. Somehow less was more.
During the day, I would roam around the town – taking pictures, and talking to the locals. It was a quirky little town. But so badly misunderstood by the rest of Australia.
Whyalla and was and is a town that was built by the Steel industry. Ironically the same industry became the ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’. Collapse of Arrium Mining nearly turned the town into a ghost town. The town is slowly being revived thanks to Sanjeev Gupta of Simex. Morale and outlook of the locals seem rather positive but none have forgotten the gloom days.
The signs of the collapse is still evident throughout the town. There is nothing other than iron ore in the region. As a very arid land, no farming or winery either to support the town. However, digging up iron ore and making them into steel was a very big industry. Along with the locals many professionals worked on a ‘Fly in, fly out’ basis. So with closure of Arrium Mining, many support businesses such accommodations, cafe’s and restaurants took a hit too. It created a horrible chain reaction. Those who supplied to the restaurants and hotels, anyone who works at these places, everyone suffered… it must have been so hard.
Thanks to an entrepreneur with a vision and the locals resilience the town is reviving again.
But there is more to Whyalla than just the steel industry. And that was a total surprise for me.
A strong sense of doing their bit for the environment, local pride and local Comradery is very evident. This is a shop I found on one of my outings.
Inside the shop was even more interesting.
You can bring your own container and fill up. Whether it be Dish Washing liquid or Tea bring your own empty Jam bottle or any other bottle or container and fill up.
This is just a small country town, and in the big smoke Sydney and Melbourne there is resistance for just getting rid of shopping bags. Who is backward now?
I want to write more. However, real life is nudging me. So I shall pen off now. Promising to return soon, knowing very well, that I might break that promise too. If not tomorrow, another day I will bring you more photos that would make you want to take a trip to Whyalla.