So I have been seriously bad about updating people as to my general comings and goings in Oz-Tralia. I thought it was about time I said something about it at least.
I am going to begin by blaming my silence on the totally different quality of time I have found here. Different quality of life also. Time here – has moved VERY slowly. I had every intention of beginning my time here with some hardcore chilling out and this has been well achieved. Beach life is quite a thing. And never has it been so accessible to me.
I am staying (on and off) at Palm Beach on the Gold Coast. This is just down the road from Surfer’s Paradise, the name of which tells you pretty much everything you need to know about the area. Think west coast USA meets Australia. There is some plastic-ness here, but the place REALLY is paradise. The sea is so blue and clear you can easily see underwater and it is so warm that one’s comfort when bathing for hours (as I am quite rightly prone to doing) is assured.
So I have been involved in a great deal of bathing, laying on the beach and generally getting my health back to scratch.
As soon as I arrived I had my baptism of fire. Extremely bad sunburn on basically my first day. I had to listen to constant lectures about the importance of wearing sun cream and no one seemed to listen to my pointing out that I was. And reapplying it. And I still burned. Very badly. My feet were so bad I had issues walking. But this was my baptism as I say and since then I have acclimatised rightly. I was even wearing jumpers last week. My notion of what is ‘cold’ has changed somewhat.
The first month was spending time with Micheal and our Vipassana Meditiation retreat (read my other blog on that bad boy). We got in some Love Policing and handing out Infinite Love Truffles in Brisbane. It never ceases to amaze me how suspicious people are of random kindness. Even more suspicious of unidentified truffles in the hands of dirty hippies. But we got plenty of smiles and all love truffles found new belly shaped homes eventually.
I have given surfing a go too. Actually on my very first surf the friend that took us out came over and suggested “paddling closer to shore”. As we got to shore we noted a mass exodus of surfers. A shark in the water on our very first time out. It was the first shark he had seen on the coast for ten years. I felt kind of privileged. Wish I had actually seen it. On my second surf venture I got wiped out in amazing style. Felt like I broke my neck as the whip cracking wave smashed my face into the body board and then turned me for a little while before spitting me out without my board. Now being very far from shore feels fine when you are bobbing about on a flotation device but seeing very tiny people and suddenly realising how far out to sea you are whilst being dragged up the beach by a very strong sweep current after just being crashed and smashed under the water and not feeling tip top is less appealing. It took me at least ten minutes to swim back to land and I ended up a good kilometre down the beach. Seriously scary stuff. Putting my foot on the floor for the first time was a pretty special moment. The power of the waves is unbelievable. But the sea is so wonderful and majestic I cannot hold any ill will. I look forward to my next try!
And yes I caught one wave all the way to the beach. No. I don’t imagine I will ever be able to stand on the board. I think just being out at sea floating over the massive waves is one of the best parts.
I have been here for 2 and a half moons now (I landed on the night of the new moon so it seems an appropriate way to count my time) and have used Palm Beach as a launchpad. I really want to go much further afield but I am waiting on Toby being sold so that I can afford to buy another camper over here. Still I have got out and about locally. There is the most amazing mountains and rainforest very nearby (like under 30km) and this only helps to add to the feeling of Paradise. I have seen plenty of wildlife, including kangaroos (see picture – my own photo) and a pretty much over my fear of insects. I have also finally got over my enormous aversion to bananas. An important shift I feel.
There was some good fun had around my birthday. Seems like a good excuse to be a bit touristy. I hired a car and got out to see some more of the local beauty. Including a short stop in Woodenbong. Yes. Woodenbong. I never will get tired of the rainforest here. I intend very soon to go on a 57 km hike from one national park to another straight through the rainforest. Very exciting. I also went to see Frank Turner at a gig here for birthday fun and it was great. Just him and a guitar with a handful of people. Also there are quite a few theme parks here, its a pretty touristy area generally and you see them off the highway every time you drive to Brisbane and back. One of them seen constantly from the highway is called Wet ‘n’ Wild: a water slide theme park! All kinds of hell yes! They even have a loop the loop water slide and its a total blast! The experience of standing in a pod waiting for a trap door under your feet to spring open and drop you into a mega steep slide is the rush of the day and comes highly recommended.
On my birthday itself I woke before dawn and went to the beach to watch the sun rise. I did my hours morning meditation and then came back for breakfast. Got a picnic together a few beers and some smoking materials and went back to lay on the beach for the rest of the day until I watched the sun set too. Then back at the house after my evening mediation we got a fire going in the back garden. A very quiet but beautiful day. I did a few magickal rituals throughout the day and had a Golden Dawn style Eucharist too. Simple pleasures are what makes a life truly worth living. I have my freedom here. And it is all I desire. My freedom and freedom and happiness for everyone else too. I have started with me though. It made sense that way. 😉
My days are filled mostly with meditation, the web building I did to get my new website up and running and being a good house wife for the guys that are putting a roof over my head for free. [Massive Love to the Boat House.]
No mad parties or anything of that ilk. There have been a few parties but since the retreat I am taking everything easy (and am hugely sensitive in any case). I drank what would be about 5 pints of guinness last night at a party and that is the most I have drunk in a month and I have a shocking hangover today. Crazy but true. I am a cheap date these days. Which is as well really because I have little cash to splash.
So being able to float barefoot and about wearing just a pair of shorts most days getting up to little other than reading, writing and relaxing is suiting me very well. Hopefully I have some adventures on the horizon too.
Being away from all my loved ones on my birthday made me realise just how much I miss everybody! You are all in my thoughts often — at the very least when I think smugly about my current lifestyle and how cold it probably is in the UK 😛
Seriously though. I have amazing friends and family and I miss you all a great deal. See you all on the flip side.
P.S. Has anyone else been having really strong naked lunch moments lately where you are extremely aware that you are sat on a rock floating in space. Like it feels that way and kinda looks as though you are too? Hard to describe. Just interested because I explained this to a friend and he has been having the same sensation recently.
P.P.S. And I am actually really walking about upside down relatively speaking. Another friend here from the UK apparently does hand stands occasionally to feel the ‘right way up’. This is so insane it actually might be worth doing for fun. Or perhaps if you are in the UK and do a hand stand you will feel a bit more like you are down under with us topsy turvy peeps.