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We hadn't had a lab trip for a little while, so we thought a retreat might be in order. This seems to be the thing to do for fashionable labs about town. Actually, it really just meant going away for the weekend - calling it a retreat just makes it sound a bit more legitimate...

After a bit of scouting around, Hyam's Beach was decided upon as a suitable location, even though I don't think any of us had actually stayed there. Looked good from the photos though, and it was supposed to have the whitest sand in the world, or galaxy, or some such claim. So Flyp booked us a couple of houses next to each other, and about 20 or so of us headed off down there on the first weekend in May.

We got there on Friday night, and the houses were nice enough - the pyromaniacs soon got stuck into lighting fires (in the wood-burning stoves...) and after the ordering of some pizzas for dinner, the board game action started in earnest. ?? was quite popular - as was Pictionary.

Next day, the beach was discovered - about 50 m from the back door - and it was absolutely stunning. Incredibly white, fine sand in pristine condition, with hardly anyone else around. Several expeditions to other beaches and walking tracks on nearby headlands took place, as did a small beach soccer game - which even featured Flyp as the star import.

Sat night was bbq and more board games, with Ingrid's fantasy-type game taking the prize for having more rules than all of the other games put together. Joel took a beating from Thilo at chess (who then promptly left for Germany, preventing a rematch! - well, actually he didn't leave for several months...), and a lot of general dice throwing and piece moving took place.

Sunday entailed a lot more beach exploration, reading, Scrabble and sundry other activities, as everyone was well into "beach house weekend" mode.

The local bird life was amazing - very tame parrots, cockatoos, kookaburras, lorikeets and more all vied for attention and seeds on the back verandah. There was a resident three-legged possum as well, who made an appearance at dinner time.

All in all, it was a great location for a weekend away - very secluded, great beaches, and great weather. I reckon we might be back in 2007...

[Click on the thumbnails to get a caption and a larger image]
We had someone there to greet us when we arrived at the house! (57kb) Hmm - this doesn't look like too bad a beach, to be 50 m from the back door! (95kb) 'Will anyone come and play soccer with me.?' (42kb)
'I'm patient - I can wait.' (48kb) Ah - that's better - game on. (72kb) The action heats up as Roland gets the ball in defence. (73kb)
Joel shows some of his fancy footwork. (81kb) General looking around going on. (115kb) We can think of better things to do than play soccer on the beach.. (62kb)
Belinda, Daniel and Roland off on a walk. (67kb) 'Hmmm - I wonder where we are exactly?'. (73kb) No wonder they were concerned about where they were - they were just about to walk off a cliff! (78kb)
Not bad views. (90kb) Gratuitous scenery. (73kb) More gratuitous scenery! (83kb)
More gratuitous scenery! (69kb) You never told us we were going to get our feet wet! (88kb) Socks and Mugda enjoying the view. (69kb)
Hmm - that looks worth a visit. (66kb) Fionna, Chu Kong and Arwen find a beach to themselves - except for that photographer. (37kb) Not a bad place to contemplate life. (70kb)