Waltz My Matilda All Over Pt. 14

11 Sep

Driving south immediately hit home. I felt like I was driving against the breeze, surfing back through the wave; this thought highlighted by the change in weather. An hour out of Noosa it was hella shitty. In the sub-tropic climates the rain hit hard. But my spirits couldn’t be dampened. I’d experienced so much, particularly Fraser. The highest point of the climb held the best view. Now I was on the slow march home. But I would venture back down, quicker than the climb up. I’d estimated to get home, for work, I’d have to roll out long hours in the car. There were things I still wanted to see ( Katoomba for one) but I didn’t necessarily want to rehash the same experiences. Returning to Byron was symbolic for the send off. Enjoying some nice times with this family I’d gotten to know over the past few weeks, was on the cards.

Arriving in a rainy car park at the Arts Factory, swapping shirts for a jacket and beanie, I proceeded in and booked a few chilled out days, planning to crawl back down the highway through Coffs, Port Macquarie and so forth. The rest of the gang arrived and would be in their own quarters, me opting for a cheap dorm. I walk into… well… a young mans paradise. Four attractive women! They were smiling and welcoming, the rain was pouring, so I had a grand excuse to stay dry. We chilled out, chatting, I, attempting a nap and plain old doing nothing. I’d venture to see the gang, who’d made a trip to Nimbin for some herb. We’d chill amongst the trees, by the swamp and smoke and laugh and chat.

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( The tents amongst the swamps – The Arts Factory)

A change had come to me. I’d left the party behind, back north. Sensible Adam had to come to play now, the wits to be kept for driving the long hours south. I liked a high every now and then, but couldn’t afford carryover highs that’d impair my driving.

Heading back to my room I decided to stay in that night, my companions, wanting to watch a movie and keep dry. Plan.

The next day, my last, was spent with Sara, Amelia, Ayla and Jennie, hanging on the beach, preserving money and energy. New company was nice, particulary pretty company. ( Hey, a boy can look right?)

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The others were staying longer in Byron, they, grocery shopping, I, back to solo going by the next day. We’d hang later, for one last time. Another smoke, more laughter. I suggested we go out, for I was down as a clown. See off Byron, Yknow? There was mixed feelings, but I’d be there.

The night was fun, not too adventurous. I’d sleep well and be refreshed for my next journey. Packed and ready, I waited for the inevitable goodbyes to new and old. It wasn’t as hard as I thought. I think the realisation that this was a journey and people come and people fall away, is all part of it. Travel was the microcosm of life. People you feel close too, disappear instantaneously. Our energy as a group had wound up, where it started. I’d always and forever love our group as it was. An amazing ride.

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( from left – Kirsten, Cris, Katie-May, Me, random Swede.)

So fare thee well Byron! Southbound be I!

The drive to Coffs was about three hours. I’d finally decided to play an audiobook I downloaded, pre trip. It was “A Spiritual Journey” by Ram Dass. This was a normal man (Richard Alpert, Harvard Psyche Professor), that journeyed to India and came back, different name, different attitude, but still grounded enough to speak simple and profound truths, to anybody. The entirety of the book was like a gift to me, a rehash of the last month and a bit. Everything he was saying, I’d thought along the way. Enlightenment could happen through any means. It made that drive so easy, so enlightening. I’d go home and extract quotes from it, important messages like this one:

“As you quiet and listen with open heart and quiet mind the journey will unfold right before you. And it will be a journey in which there is no falling off the path, because even the experience of falling off the path is just part of the process. May you be surrounded with blessings in your journey and may every part of your life experience feed the awakening of the spirit”.

Poignant. So relevant to my here and now. Onwards I’d go.

Arriving at Coffs, purely for a bed and kitchen, it was here the trip would take another turn. On arrival I spotted Lucie, my French gypsy, mademoiselle I’d met in Newcastle. We reminisced and informed each other of the journeys we’d had. She said she was going inland to Bellingen. She painted a beautiful picture of the Coffs hinterland.

“You should go! And visit the Hunter Valley! There’s a special energy there.”

No sooner than I spotted her, she was being picked up, within the hour, to head inland. This was significant. Here I was, planning to retrace my steps. No! Silly! The journey was still alive. If I went inland, I’d still get home eventually. Seeing yet more, strange wonders, and getting a taste for the country side exhilarated me.

It took a Scottish lass, who’d just come from the hinterland to tell me it was well worth it all. She’s driven the “Waterfall Way”, with great appraisal. My apparent next route.

Doing some research I figured I’d aim for Tamworth for the next night’.s accommodation. Remembering that a travel friend from my Eurotrip was from there I messaged her, asking some basic questions. She was residing in Scotland at that moment. She however called me!, suggesting I stay at her mothers. How could I refuse! Yes sir-ee!

So within 2 hours I’d change my mind, my route, my overall bearing (tomorrow was due west) and I’d already found a free bed for the night. Thanks to a chance meeting with Lucie. See, I almost didn’t stop at Coffs, Port Macquarie only another 2 hours drive and within my grasp. If I didn’t stop at Coff’s and met Lucie at that hour, I wouldn’t have changed my mind. In the eyes of fate, the choice was already made, I just had to live out the making of it in real time.

Magic was again afoot, synchs aligning, heart beating, smile increasing.

The journey had twisted again.

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