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Friday, December 9, 2016

Some more of WA...

'Beaten by tempest and stormed by drift
Steady I keep my post
And laugh at the southern rollers large
For I am guard of the southern coast!'

And so goes the first verse of a poem that my class learned off by heart in Grade 6; 'The Song of Cape Leeuwin'. I loved that poem so much, I taught it to some classes during my time as a classroom teacher. 
This land feature is in Western Australia and on our recent visit there, I knew I just had to visit Cape Leeuwin! 

The European history of Western Australia features mainly British and Dutch explorers with the Dutch dismissing the area as pretty inhospitable. And this is true of Cape Leeuwin. In the poem it is 'the Cape' telling this the second verse states...

' I watched the Dutchmen on their way
In the days of long ago
But they set no foot on my rocky shore
Where the billows break in snow.'

It is indeed an area of big rocks and rough seas and it's an area where two oceans meet; the Indian and Southern Oceans. 
The poem continues and explains how it was that the Dutch named the cape...

'They gave me my name and sailed away
And then the English came
With their straining sails on their plunging ships
And their flags flew out like flame'.

I've always thought that the poem needed another verse, but that's just me; the poet obviously thought not!! 😉 
So on our WA holiday I waited patiently for the day when we would visit Cape Leeuwin. My plans were...I would walk up to the lighthouse and go to the lookout area behind it and look at where those two oceans mingled. If there weren't too many people around I would recite the poem...😆.

We started the audio tour...look at that lighthouse! 

Steadily we climbed the hill...I stopped to take a photo of the part of the slope that we'd already climbed. ( good excuse to stop for a breather lol!) 

And then as we rounded a bend in the track...
Now to get to the lookout you have to walk around the back of the lighthouse...
No chance of that! There was a security guard standing at the base of the lighthouse. The reason for the barricades was maintenance on the top part of the tower.

So all we could do is make our way downhill again...

There are a number of old stone building on the site...
And a great view out to sea...

One of my friends sent me a photo taken of her standing at the lookout behind the lighthouse when she visited there a few years ago...

Cheeky aren't I??? But that's the view I missed. Oh well, we all have similar stories. 

(The poem 'Song of Cape Leeuwin' was written by Ernest Favenc, possibly 1936?)


Kate said...

Loved this, Maria - thank you.

Australian Gardening Granny said...

Love the poem Maria. What a wild stretch of coastline. But beautiful.

angela said...

Gotta love photo shop lol
You would think they would put a sign at th bottom of the hill to let you know that you wouldn't be able to get to the lighthouse.
That might save a few people the walk!
Once again you have whetted my appetite for a trip to WA

Jackie said...

I love light houses!! Wish you could have seen the mingling of the two oceans.

God bless.

diane b said...

Sad that you couldn't get to the lookout this time. We visited there some years ago. It is a beautiful but wild place. Love the poem.