There has been a bit of hype around The Beaches lately as locals prepare for the Winter Stations. These are a series of art installations built around the life guard stations on the beach. I have been down a few times to investigate these strange structures. There is a square shape with ropes hanging down, inside you can climb to the top of the life guard station and look at the same view you can see from the beach two metres below. There is large wooden object that is supposed to be half a canoe. Lots of what looks like jacks made from wood. Some wood with sheets stapled to it. Most of them, I just kind of looked at and said “oh”. It has reinforced my lack of appreciation for art as I have no idea what some of this was all about – even when I read the signs!
The ones that did interest me… there was a big black ball that is to represent the belly of a bear. You can climb up inside it and it is lined with fur. The inside was a nice shelter from the cold, a chance to chat to random fellow beachers and seemed like rather a nice spot for a bit of a shin dig.
The sauna is the one that I enjoyed most. It is a fully functioning sauna! Fully functioning! On the beach! Amazing! There is a little log burner inside with rocks on the top. The walls are made from some sort of insulated plastic meaning that I still had to wear sunglasses inside as the sun was brightly shining in. After discovering it the first time, I went back with a flask of tea, a book and some crisps to have a little sit down in the warm. As it warmed up, the layers came off and I was quite cosy in there chatting to others as they came and went. When someone turned up with logs and filled the water bucket, things got a little crazy and it filled with steam. It was fantastic. I left to meet a friend for a warm beverage and then we headed back down so she could see what was what. By this time, there was a man in there in just shorts drinking a bottle of wine and smoking (in a sauna? who smokes in a sauna?). Things became a little weird at this point and we decided to go against his advice of taking our clothes off and retreated rapidly. For some reason, I didn’t believe his assurances of of “I won’t look”. I look forward to returning for another nice little sit down as it is there for a few more weeks, hopefully next time avoiding any uncomfortable boundary pushing strangers!