“growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional…”
airlie beach was the next destination and happened to be the place where la familia de peace grew into its name, its meaning and changed us all forever. we were all stoked to party it up in airlie for the weekend so we went hard and had a blast. card games, new music, club dancing, booty shake lessons and a rough run in with the police when late night busking went bad, we all awoke on cloud 9 with hangovers weighing us down. hitting the beach solves so many ailments…then we attempted to hitch on a shipping barge…twice…and failed…twice…to get out to hamilton island. bloody whitsundays are too posh and expensive to get to for backpackers. with our heads a little low, but our attitudes positive, we found a beautiful fresh water pool to swim in and falls to hike to…due to drought, the falls were no more, however, we enjoyed the serenity and hydrated with XXXX gold to pass the time. we decided it was time to move on from airlie, since we had taken the little beach city by storm. onward to ball beach where we stayed at a lovely little campground, enjoyed an early wake up call for sunrise photos and beach cuddles and after passing the time with ultimate frisbee and throwing a football around, we moved onward to townsville where we handled some logistical things while the boys wasted a day in ayr trying to solve a drought of our own. we reunited out of the city at saunders beach where mozzies attacked with a vengeance, but despite the bites, i realized how much i love camping and this road trip lifestyle, our little family that continues getting closer, our beautiful boys to take care of and have take care of us…life is sweet. we decided that since we couldn’t get out to any of the whitsundays islands, magnetic island would have to do…so we ventured back into townsville to get eight people and one car on the ferry. two foot passengers was an easy feat…five car passengers was a cinch, but we had an extra body we had to get on that bloody island with us…so max, our dear little frenchie, stowed away on the floor, sweating his booty shaking ass off, and away we went. lunch and a swim was in order so we shuttled two rounds of the crew to geoffrey bay and filled our bellies with sandwiches and tim tams and entertained ourselves in the water…possibly with a stolen kayak…that we returned. there’s something about the beach that creates a natural romance…but salty kisses and sandy hugs have become a new favourite of mine. we camped out at a hostel right on the beach and spent our two nights on maggie eating amazing dinners, drinking goon and sharing stories together on the rocks. our days were spent snorkeling nelly bay, horseshoe bay, searching for koalas at the forts, alma bay for more snorkeling fun and beach shenanigans.
photo credit: unknown
after maggie, we stayed outside townsville again and after saunders beach campground and balgal beach campground ended up being crowded times five, we found our tent haven for the night in a quiet part of balgal beach that will now be referred to as juvenile beach. this is the place where i realized my time was running out. we met an amazing young couple that sold all their possessions, quit their jobs and took their dog, bear, and started road tripping their beautiful country. we met an adorable hippie couple that shared their musical talents with us and when i heard the music, it echoed through me and i could no longer fight back tears. i took some emotional time to myself to collect my thoughts and dry my face, which resulted in an incredible support system forming. i have somehow, through being burned, found myself in the arms of a beautiful englishman. one of the most incredible souls i have met on this planet. it is completely unexpected, but i am loving how the universe and time work together occasionally to make something happen for a reason. i catch myself smiling from ear to ear these days…these final days i have here in australia and i feel so grateful to be adored, made to laugh and feel important to someone. for the first time in my personal life, i am feeling appreciated and being treated the way i deserve. how am i going to be able to say goodbye to all this? my heart has quite literally been stolen by three frenchmen, two israelis and an englishman and i’ll never be the same again.
photo credit: unknown
photo credit: Sam Norman
with time and money running out, we continued to ingham and stayed at girringun national park with max and yuki missing from the crew…max staying in townsville to busk and make some cash and yuki staying on to do a divers refresher course and do a dream dive. eight down to six felt weird…in terms of making decisions and getting a move on in the morning and getting out to do activities, it was a good number, but we felt missing pieces to our puzzle in those two days we spent apart. rock pools and beautiful jungle bush walks helped keep us busy as did the majestic wallaman falls, australia’s largest single drop waterfall. after girringun, we ventured to hull heads for the night to camp with the hopes that max and yuki would catch up to us the next day. we missioned to mission beach where an american footy game ended in injury and a requirement for cold drinks. still awaiting our reunion with yuki and max, we met an old carni friend who outfitted the boys with fishing gear and off we went to watch them hunt and gather dinner. max and yuki met us at cliff point jetty just after sunset and we were all so excited that the family was back together again. it’s amazing how much you can miss people when they are gone…even when you haven’t known them very long…it’s truly about quality and not quantity in life. a new member of the family joined us there at mission beach…or so we thought it would be one. we gained a darling swedish girl…and then life also raised us three argentinian boys and a lovely english girl that alicia had worked with at the haunted house in our carnival life past. la familia was growing…things were changing.