I’m writing this from 40,000 feet in the air with 1 hour and 43 minutes to go until we land into Manchester. It’s been 32 hours since I left the place I was staying in Helensvale, Australia and I must admit, I am completely disorientated. The journey has been quite a number of hours longer coming back than it was going, both in actual hours and ‘feels like’ hours…
I haven’t quite finished writing about my day to day adventures on my trip, so I thought what better time to write about the last couple of days than when I have almost 2 hours to kill at the end of this epic journey across the world!?
I hadn’t actually booked anything for my last two nights, as I had intended just to get an airb&b close to the airport, so I wouldn’t be stressing out over getting there on time. However, one of my clients suggested I go to stay with her brother for a couple of days as he lived pretty near where I was based – so I thought fuck it, why the hell not? Sounds like fun! And it was.
I packed up my stuff again and headed slightly north from Tugun to Helensvale and arrived at Alistair and Connie’s house late afternoon. I was greeted with ‘would you like a beer?’ and so I knew it was going to be a bloody good weekend ahead! We had a few beers and a good chat – it was so nice to hear some Scottish accents again and just chill for a bit!
On Saturday night, we went to a really cool place in Helensvale town centre called Night Quarter, which is an open air food, music and craft event that is open every weekend. It was really cool, there was a massive stage and music hall, and loads of ‘streets’ full of pop-up food markets where you could literally get anything you wanted to eat, from tacos to calamari and churros to sushi. Everything. So we had another few beers (by this time, probably too many!) and got some calamari to share – which is my favourite, and it was one of the best I’ve ever tasted. Connie and I went for a wander and actually ended up having our photo taken with a snake! I actually don’t mind snakes, but Connie was shaking like a leaf, god love’er.
On Sunday morning I woke up quite early, as I have been for the last few days – I think it was important to just take in the gorgeous sunny mornings and listen to the birds sing. Sounds a bit sad, but I really found an appreciation for just taking a bit of me time first thing in the morning – and it was made much better by the warm, bright morning, that’s for sure. My plan for Sunday was to have a completed chilled out day, but that lasted all of 5 minutes before I was planning another hike up another mountain!
I packed myself into the car and drove up Tamborine Mountain to the township and parked up, walking from there to the Joolah Section of Tamobrine National Park and took a short walk to Curtis Falls. With it being Sunday, it was super busy and not as tranquil as my previous rainforest walks, however it was still nice to get out on the mountain again before I left. I took a wander through the little shops in the town before heading back to my car and driving slowly back down the mountain to take in the views once again.
I met another Scottish lunatic that night, Kenny, who decided to bring his projector and use a white curtain as a screen in the back yard, nailed to two trees in order for us to watch the Rangers vs. Celtic game, which kicked off at 10pm. With the beers flowing from around 1pm, you can tell how much fun we had trying to get that bloody screen up in the back yard and get the football channel sorted for viewing. I’m not really that big a fan of football, but the banter was brilliant and we had another smashing night… despite me lasting until half time before passing out until the morning! I just can’t handle my drink any more!
My final day in Aussie arrived, and I spent the morning rehydrating from the night before, throwing out half my clothes to make room for some stuff I have bought along the way and packing for my big trip home. I had mixed feelings about leaving. In a way, I am excited and happy to be going home, for a few reasons. I’m looking forward to seeing my Mum, sister, brother in law and my niece as they’ve all been through a pretty difficult time while I’ve been away – so there’s that.
I’m also looking forward to my own bed, and sleeping in the same place for longer than 3 or 4 nights without having to pa
ck and unpack. I’m looking forward to being able to dry my hair with a hairdryer and not sweat so much that I need another shower once I’m done with it. I’m looking forward to it being cold enough to need a duvet… all those things. However, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t gutted to be leaving… there’s something about the place that has drawn me in ever since I was a kid.
People have asked me pretty much every day since starting this adventure if I would like to live in Australia again, and again I have a bit of a mixed answer. Ultimately, eventually…probably yes – never say never, but for now I’m really looking forward to stepping off this airplane and heading home.
1 hour 16 minutes to go…