Tuesday, October 13, 2015
If Middle Lagoon gave off the vibes that the world has passed it by, Kooljaman has the air of a campground/resort that respectfully combines nature, a variety of camping options and a good restaurant with a warm welcome with an extraordinary beach, swimming and views. Can you tell that we felt as if we’d arrived in another paradise?
The receptionist, noting our address, blurted, “Midland? I’m from Seaforth, just south of Goderich.” In conversation we discovered that we’d both been at First Light at Ste. Marie among the Hurons where she takes part in the survival display. We promised to see her there next year.
Because the local elementary school, mostly aboriginal kids with several non-aboriginals, was having a school trip to the campground to learn traditional skills (we saw them arriving back with spears sticking out the car windows later) we were given the option to take a beachfront hut. Oh my… dreams of an idyllic life of sand, aquamarine seas, deserted beach and privacy made this an exquisite experience. Three sides of the structure and the roof were woven with the fourth open to the sea. As if this weren’t enough, we had our own simple shower to rid us of salt and sand.
Kooljaman is on land owned by local aboriginals who have hired a company to run it for them. As a point of land surrounded by rocks it has been the location of a lighthouse since the early 20th century. I was fascinated to read a letter by the wife of the lighthouse keeper from 1979 – 1985. Having raised three older children in the city, she raved about the pleasure of raising their last two in isolation at Cape Leveque. She said that the children who were I believe, 7 and 9 when they arrived, were more mature, competent, self-sufficient and happy than the first three who grew up in town. They attended the local school with the other children of the peninsula and helped with the gardens, baking, preserves and animals. She wrote that it was hard work but satisfying.