The Meeting Place

Trip Start Feb 09, 2012
Trip End Feb 26, 2012

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Usually when I'm travelling I naturally wake up early but since I've been here I've been waking up at nearly 10am which is a waste but I figure, if my body needs the rest, I won't force an early wake up. It is my holiday after all.
I was only meeting Dana at 11 anyway so it worked out fine. We said we'd meet at the cafe next to my hostel so I went down, got some breakfast and read the book that Daniel gave me as I waited.
When she arrives the first thing she says is "you look like a local!" I smile and give her a big hug, it's been a year or two since we've seen one another as well. Although Dana is originally from Toronto like me, she moved out here nearly 5 years ago and is getting married in June. She's living my dream!

She brought a friend with her and we chat for a while over coffee and then head to the beach.
It was pretty packed and she made a comment about it. As soon as we laid down our towels and sat down, it began to rain. It was more of a sun shower so we decided to stick it out, sure enough after about 5 minutes it cleared up and most of the crowd had left. "See Dana, you didn't like the crowd so Australia sorted it out for you." The weather was perfect the rest of the day.

We caught up on our lives and she told me how she met her fiance. We headed into the water and jumped in the waves. It's so nice to be in the warm Pacific waters again. The beaches in my new home, Cape Town, are gorgeous but the water is freezing so I rarely go in except to maybe dip my feet.

She then took me to a middle-eastern restaurant for some lunch, it was quite nice! She had actually skipped the day from work so she had to be back at home the same day. I really appreciated her coming out though, especially since I'm going to stay at her place the night before I fly out. It was Valentines Day that day, so she bought some flowers for her fiance and then headed off. It was great to spend the day with her.

I then headed back to my hostel and met up with dorm mates. We chatted for a while and I convinced the little English girl to come with me to Cheeky Monkey's.First we went down to the hostel bar where they were having Karaoke night, perfect. I sang a song, we chatted to some people and then headed to Cheeky's. It was the same as it was, nice to know some things haven't changed...even it is a dodgy bar where backpackers get off their face and dance on picnic tables. It made me very nostalgic.
We didn't stay for very long and headed back rather early but I was still happy I went again.

The following day, my last in Byron, Shane came to get me again and we spent the day just hanging out around the town centre and the beach. We had lunch with some of his friends, one of which was also in Peru at the same time we were and we chatted a bit about our Ayuhuasca experiences. I still get a bit jealous when people tell me how "crazy" their experiences were since mine was rather sedated but I guess it was what is was meant to be.
We then went to the beach and Shane brought his guitar out, he's just started learning a few months ago and he was playing the same melody over and over again. He thought he was playing different songs so after a while I giggled about it. "Dude, it's the same tune!" and we both laughed.

I told him how lucky I felt that so many people came to see me here. "It like a meeting place" I said. "Actually Byron is historically a meeting place for the Aboriginal people" "What?" "Yes they all used to come here for meetings, they even made a little movie about it called "Meeting Place". Well whaddaya know...

I mentioned that I wanted a pretty spot for the sunset and just as it was setting, he told me to hop back in the car, we were gonna go somewhere else. "But we can just stay here" I protested "What's wrong with this spot?" "Just come" he says.
Never argue with a local.
We drove for just a minute and he showed this perfect spot to see a magnificent sunset over the beach. We were sitting a bit farther back on the grass (he doesn't like sand..sheesh) so I walked over to the water on my own and just absorbed it all....the pink sky, the purple clouds, the warm waters touching my toes and I just listened to the soft sound of the nice to be back in Australia.

He dropped me off back at my hostel and I walked back into my dorm to find my dorm mates on the balcony smiling at me. "There you are, we were waiting for you. It's your last night, we've gotta celebrate!" I love hostels. I love that you can go to some random place anywhere in the world, meet new people and instantly become like old friends. People just don't get that when I tell them that I travel on my own. I think they see me all by my lonesome and it couldn't be further from the truth. I almost have to make a conscious effort to stay away from people if I actually do want to be alone....which isn't often.
So everyone from my dorm, except the Spanish girl and the Japanese girl, came out to Cheeky's with me for my last night. I chatted up a storm to random people including some Irish surfer dude that the American guy recognized. I danced on the picnic tables like it was 2005 again. Happy Days.

The following day, I met up with Shane and a couple girls from my dorm for one last breakfast. Shane gave me a hug and said "I'll see you again in some other beautiful place" I'm sure I will.
I went back to the dorm and said goodbye to everyone. I gave the Megumi (the Japanese girl) a big hug. "I know you're Japanese but I'm gonna give you a big hug anyway!" Then when I let go I gave her a proper Japanese bow, she bowed back.
The American guy and the Canadian girl came down with me to wait for my shuttle. I rarely hang out with North Americans as a whole, especially Canadians, while everyone else just "loves" Canadians, they dislike me instantly when they hear I'm from Toronto (it's a whole thing about how the rest of Canada hates Torontonians) so I usually leave them alone. Jen, the Canadian was quite cool and I liked her. And as for Americans....well, rather not get into that. But this American guy was really awesome, a really funny, outgoing guy who's mission is to travel the world as much as possible. We had an interesting dynamic, the three of us....
When the shuttle came I told them they must continue onwards and not get stuck in Byron. "There's a lot to see in this beautiful country, go see it!" I'm always pushing travel, even on travellers!
I got on the shuttle, headed to the airport and boarded my flight still wearing my bikini underneath my clothes.

Next stop, my favorite city in the wide world, Sydney.
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