Suddenly the lush greenery I normally associate with tropical climates stops to give way to miles and miles of crumpled, wrinkled and cracked black rock. The contrast is stark and it is very apparent we are about to witness something quite out of the ordinary.
I’m floating. Floating in water that is as warm my bath, but as blue as a gem stone. I snap my snorkel mask onto my face, take one last look at the mountain which simply seems to extend down under the ocean, before plunging my head downwards to join the multifaceted coral – an ecosystem all of it’s own.
Time moves a little slower here. Café’s are busy but not rushed. The traffic moves no faster than 45 mph at it’s peak, speeding is unheard of. No one is in a hurry, if you’re late so be it. Smiles are for everyone. Mahalo is a way of life. Family beach set ups include tables, chairs, gazebos, snorkel sets, body boards, eskis, hats, suncream and dozens of water babies. Going to the beach is a full day activity. This is Island Life. And we’re loving it.
The familiar smell of chlorine washes into my nostrils, only this time combined with a fresh breeze off the ocean and the sound of the waves breaking as I stare up at the sky, which is fringed by the fronds of palm trees. I’m warmed by the sun rather than the oppressive heat that usually is present when I can smell pool water. I’m reminded of childhood holidays to Lanzarote, outdoor swimming pools and sunshine.
So I think I owe it to all the other solo travellers out there who are finding it hard at the moment to tell you a little story. Being alone is hard. Harder than anyone can really imagine until they do it. You don’t realise how much you rely on other people for comfort, as a sounding board, for doing nothing with.
Today I drove 2 hours inland from Coffs Harbour. Along meandering roads through mountain side rainforests with trees so ancient they were alive long before our grandparents, through scrubby farmland which was spotted with black and cream cows. Until I reach deciduous forest. I arrived at my first look out point. Ebor falls.
It’s the people who every often make or break a place for me. And my wwoofing experience is definitely being made by them. I don’t want to speak too soon because I’m not even a week in but so far it’s perfect.
Life’s an adventure and you never know what’s coming round the next bend. This time quite literally. Lachie was driving us to Wategoes Beach in Byron and managed to reverse into a tree. Big oops. Stella’s tail light cover is now smashed and needs replacing. All the bulbs are still in fine working order but you can’t tell what each light is referencing.