Sunday – and David didn’t have to work. What a treat – especially when he had Saturday free as well. And with a car now – just three weeks ago, what was to keep us home? The sun was shining, the gas tank was full, and the road led from Yuzhno in all directions. Hmmmmm – which to choose? Been south and west – looks like the road north is calling. So we packed Snoopy into the car, and off we went.
The highway runs straight through Yuzhno along Mira Avenue – the main street at the end of our road. Driving through town on Sunday morning isn’t nearly the hectic adventure that it is on a weekday. Soon, we left the city behind. The open fields and beautiful fall foliage were just what we needed.
There were lots of trucks on the highway, but soon we were through Dolinsk, and at the coast. David hadn’t been there before – and I only once, but we found the beach with no trouble. The sea lions were out, sunning themselves on the rocks. Until you see them move, you would thing that they are rocks themselves, although they do look funny with their tails stuck up in the air.
They stood in the water, and one man put shovels full of sand into a sieve. They seemed to be finding bigger pieces than we found on the beach…….. I wonder if we will need hip waders when we go out again.
Just north of Стародубкое (Staradubskoe), the highway follows the coastline. Mile upon mile of beautiful white sandy beaches – 56 km without a break. It was wonderful watching the waves roll in and crash upon the beach.
Along the first bit, there are ponds along the highway, with a dyke between them and the beach. Blinds dot the edge for the duck hunters, and even decoys left in the water close by. The trees are stunted by the cold winds off the ocean.
We bought three of the smallest ones – they looked pretty puny at the stand, but are about the size of a dinner plate. Perception really is comparative, isn’t it?
On the road again, and still heading north. Here, there are mountains between the highway and the ocean – rugged, rocky ones like we are used to back home. Not as tall as the Rockies, but with the same look to them.
About 25 km along the road, we turned off to the right just before Тихая (Teehaya). I didn’t think there was any way to get through the mountains to the ocean. We crossed the railway tracks, where a very old water tower still stood, a relic of steam travel times.
The road wound around past a quarry site where they crush rock. All of a sudden – there it was. Quiet Beach. The road along the beach had washed out since David was there in June, but there was a trail in the sand, and several cars on the beach.
The cliffs were incredible – very unusual rock in sedimentary striations showing how the earth had been heaved folded.
Sakhalin Island is beautiful. I’m so glad that we have the opportunity to live here and to explore it.