The whole plane is shaking as it comes into land. My eyes burn, my feet are full of blisters & my shoulders ache. Who am I kidding… everything hurts. Its been a massive two weeks spanning two states, countless new friends, memories already beginning to blur.
As the plane finally lands in Darwin I gaze out the window to the torrential downpour. Everything is grey and dark despite being 11am. I remember my recant bitching about the hot Victorian sun and sigh with relief, it is good to be home.
When I left Darwin on January 19th I went straight to Adelaide as two of my old friends were getting married. Old as in I had known them both for ages not that they were old. In fact I think they may have inadvertently met through my connections. I’m not a fan of Adelaide at all even though to be honest I’ve never really given it a chance but I was prepared to make the sacrifice for them. My friends & I headed out to a beach house overlooking the ocean in Wallaroo. It was me & seven boys one of the smartest decisions I ever made. I’m not going to talk much about the wedding & house as it wasn’t very CS related but I had an amazing time – drank way to much. I was forced into a dress, heels & MAKEUP. I have worn makeup about three times in my life so the instance my duties were over I rubbed it off. The heels came off much quicker. Barefoot & barefaced in my pretty pink dress had me a lot more comfortable. To remove the dress probably would have been inappropriate at the wedding reception.
Sunday night back in Adelaide I was couchsurfing for a night before my trip down the ocean road. The guy I stayed with had contacted me through the Open Couch request. I figured why not I would see how it went. He was incredibly friendly and helpful and offered way too much. He was quite new to CS therefore incredibly eager to please I find it amusing how jaded people can become after hosting a while. After returning home I noticed he had gotten a negative reference since my stay. Something about him being a pervert. Now what I did notice was that he was a super friendly guy and to be honest I could see him using CS as a dating service. Most of his guests are all females, I felt occasionally that perhaps he would if given the chance make a move on someone but I also don’t think this is an unusual concept & there is a huge difference between making a move on someone (especially when drunk) and forcing yourself on someone. I don’t think a negative should be left for advancements especially if he backed off after it was refused.
A comment on the other hand is worthwhile since there are a lot of young couch-surfers who could find themselves in uncomfortable situations. Perhaps a neutral. Anyway my experience was positive enough it was just a vibe I got. I guess I would never have said anything if I hadn’t seen the negative.
Moving on I ended up in a massive campervan for two days with Three German girls & another Aussie girl doing the “Great Ocean Road” we drove the first day to the Grampians where we stopped at Mackenzie Falls for a look. Mackenzie falls is supposed to be one of the National Parks prime attractions. Wow… Am I jaded because I live in Darwin with Kakadu & Litchfield mere hours away? It was a beautiful waterfall and I’m sure the rest of the park is worth a look since we didn’t have time but if that’s the prime attraction..
Why the fuck aren’t there more of you in Darwin???
We got up early to see the 12 apostles in Sunrise and that was incredible I have to say.
Then onto a lighthouse one of the ocean roads most memorable lighthouses apparently but they were charging $17:50 to see the lighthouse. We were informed there was a viewpoint but after talking the short walk was treated to a vague view of the tip over some trees… Memorable in the sense that it was unmemorable. What was memorable were the wild Koalas on the way which had me giggling like a schoolgirl who had just been to her first backstreet boys concert. I’ve never seen a Koala in the wild – now before you start reminding me how un Australian that is just realise that I live in Fucking Darwin. I will see a crocodile in my swimming pool but chances of a Koala making it this far without dying of heat exhaustion IS NOT POSSIBLE. They aren’t even in our zoos. So just because im 30 and saw my first wild koala does not make you more awesome than me.
The journey was also a discovery in the insane driving of German girls. We get that you have only ever driven a small car before and not a massive 6 sleeper camper but hurtling around corners at speeds your typical F1 driver would shake his head at is not exactly defending your situation. Thank fuck for seatbelts. Not only did we get yelled at by an Australian woman for making a Uturn in the middle of the highway but I was forced to exit the vehicle and walk them through reversing up a busy intersection in geelong as it turns out they couldn’t fit under a small overpass….
Lets not include I lost an entire BEER which exploded as the van was flung from side to side in their race to the finish filling my bag with the sweet stench of yeasty goodness.
The lost beer was virtually the icing on the cake, my spoiled clothes no issue.
We stopped at a few beaches which were amazing. In Darwin everything is 10 minutes walk to the ocean but you can’t swim there. Well you can if you want to challenge the jellyfish, sharks or crocodiles. I really think I could spend a couple of weeks just cruising the ocean road it makes me realise how lucky Australian backpackers are. What a beautiful amazing country I live in.
After my Ocean Road goes Wild adventure I headed over to Malvern East where my unofficial hosts “House of Sin” were waiting in anticipation of my imminent arrival. In my opinion of course that’s the case however reality was they were smoking outside & me showing up was merely a small speed bump that you are supposed to slow down to 20km/h when you see it but reality is you can hit it at 100 with no impact.
I never actually requested to surf with House of Sin – Baer had kindly offered up a spot when I was discussing how to get to Rainbow serpent. It made sense but I found out later all about their questions that should be answered before surfing with them and I’m not going to lie I must have done a poor job of reading their profile since I never saw the questions & I also though Baer was a girl. He wasn’t. Well I guess he could have been at one point but I wasn’t prepared to ask that question in the first five minutes & the following four days were a huge blur of over indulgence. I believe there was a ninja turtle at some point.
The plan was to leave at 8:30am so I went to sleep at about 2am but people were moving around all night I got maybe 2-3 hours of sleep overall. Though the plan was to leave at 8:30am we ended up leaving closer to 10am. With plenty of stops along the way we finally made it to the festival 2pm. Setting up was quick & I got into the beers fast. I won’t lie due to the lack of sleep over the last few days I crawled into my tent about 10pm, waking bright & fresh to the hot Melbourne sun.
The festival began Friday night so most of Friday was spent drinking & talking with my camp mates as couchsurfers began drifting in. I decided it was a good as time as any to go to town so Jake a guy from Melbourne & I went and caught the bus down. He needed a torch & I needed cash. The trip was fairly quiet but it was a long time on the bus. Anyway walking back to the campsite we decided to detour through the marketplace. On the way up we came to a guy standing by his tent. Jake immediately asks if the guy could sell us any lollies to which he takes us under the rope and we ended up in the supermarket of candy. Anything I could possibly want I could buy. It was a festival goers dream. We made our purchases and made our exit.
Friday night I got drunk – really drunk. We went and watched one of the crew “Shelley” as she performed at the chai tent & I chatted to a computer technician from Melbourne I met on the carpet. then I went off with Alli & Emanualla two girls to go dancing. As we are walking along we met ETHERNAUT (real name eludes me) he told us to follow him – so we did. He takes us to this tent and we walked inside suddenly I was inside a palace. There were people in different groups sitting around with Hookahs amongst them smoking it was if as I was in an Indian Palace. Apparently they often had belly dancers I was so drunk I had no idea where I was. I never found that tent again. Alli was tired so we took her back to the campsite where Dodi – an Israeli surfer - was active and talked him into joining us for a dance. I can’t remember where we danced but I was tired & left them at some point saying I was going to bed. But I guess I went the wrong way and the computer tech guy saw me, called me over & I mentioned I was heading back to my campsite as I needed a beer to which he offered beer up at his “tent” Ok I said thinking we were camping in the same area. We weren’t. We were on opposite sides of the festival. As I sat down on one of his chairs watching the sunrise drinking a pure blonde I mentioned something about the lack of mattress in my tent. “Oh I have one your welcome to share mine” then I guess realisation hit me about the circumstances I had gotten myself into I quickly stood & mumbled that I had to go, he grabs my hand and starts to dance with me than kisses me & I kissed him back for a second his mouth was minty. Though just as quickly when everything made sense pulled myself away and fled my beer still half full.
As I made it all the way back to the camp after accidently walking through the artists area despite no one stopping me and telling me I was in a restricted area everybody was back and chilling. “Where have you been Amanda you left before us”
I couldn’t tell them I had no idea. “A tent” I mumbled “some guy wanted me to share his mattress”
I held up my beer “Well at least I got a free beer”
I know I passed out some time around 7am but was woken up by the masses at 8am. 1 hour sleep and no chance of more. Melbourne is to fucking hot.
My Saturday therefore was a writeoff thanks to being exhausted the entire time. Roscoe an Italian surfer freaked me out with Master Splinter. Nikki – A surfer from the UK had brought a rat. I’m not a rat person at all, im a snake person. I don’t know my mind was a little warped but I’m sure he was pretending to ninja people with the live rat. Early bed it was that Saturday night.
Sunday I was ready to party again, I drank a lot. I followed Marco, His friend, Izzy & his gf Fumi around looking for a hidden happy yellow ball they had brought on the first day & given away.
Whilst we didn’t find the happy yellow ball we did find some weird & wonderful objects to amuse ourselves. I lost Fumi & Izzy at some point and took the others to the German Sparkle Party. Back to the campsite after I was reunited with sinful crowds
We went off to the Silent Disco which was pretty cool than back to the campsite. I found the Candy supermarket again. So we shopped and I met some guy who was an artist & he gave me his card saying I should write down the website & than plant the card because it would grow. His business card was a seed. Hippies. WE danced & it rained and I passed out in my tent.
I woke up soaked through I had fallen asleep with the tent flap open so everything I owned was soaking wet. I was tired, cold, miserable. I packed up my wet items and hitched a ride back to the city where I made it to my grandmother’s house for the final night.
The next morning, tired, sick I caught the plan back to Darwin. It was an incredibly exhausting days where I met some of the most interesting people that I hope to keep in contact with. Rainbow serpent is one of the best festivals I have ever been to. I have no idea what music I saw but I do know that the atmosphere, the random its everything I love about life. Not worrying about who is looking at you & being involved in unique situations with unique people.