Up and down mountains / submerged in the crowd / wandering aimlessly through time.
I’ve been lounging about all day, lazily, soaking up some nurturing words and waiting for a friend to come whisk me away on an adventure.
I heard rumor there was one little water fall in Margaret River.
The trip advisor guide says, “ go up the log steps follow the path, cross the bridge, keep going, slide down the sand dune and when you see a sign take a right” along those lines.
Bridget rolls up in here forest green, 4×4 van wagon. I hop in. Marigold and wildflower car freshener fill the space.
This is the third time we’ve met but the first time spent together. She’s down to earth, high vibes and has got golden dreadlocks down to her lower back. We speak all the pleasantries on our ride, surrounded by miles of vineyards protected by thin metal wire fences as to say “you’re still welcome here come try our aromatic vino!” Gradual curves are a sweet lullaby on the road.
“Look out for Moses Rock Road” Bridget interjects through the contemplative silence
“You got it captain!” I pull up google maps, cause why risk it when technology is in the palm of your hand? “Looks to be about five minutes north on our left”
“Perfect, we’ll catch sunset”
“Beautiful” I say and we continue in our comfortable silence.
Moses Rock Road is a gradient of paved to dirt to sand. We drive along nice and slow. Thickets of brush cradle the roadside, looming nearly above the car. Grass trees shoot up along the hills, they look like evolved cattails, when you touch them they are hard as a rock and at least two meters high. As we follow the sand we reach a small overlook with full ocean views. The daylight is drifting and grey clouds covet the sky. sun beams stream through the clouds enchanting distant patches of the ocean, as if the heavens are opening up just before night falls.
There’s a brisk wind as I step out of the car.
“Hmmm, we can either go right or left. Where are those log steps?” Bridget and I search the coast like pioneers on an expedition.
“But first, I need to pee.” There’s an outhouse just above the parking lot.
These outhouses are particularly nice. Most of my outhouse encounters have been above average. This one had a particularly heavy wooden sliding door, thick toilet paper, a little cleaning bucket (in case someone left a little mess), and detailed instructions of how to escape a bush fire creating quite a safe atmosphere when relieving myself. Thanks Straya.
We find our wooden logs and follow a path that weaves through the bush. Wildflowers are in bloom and the salty mist of the ocean lingers. Grey clouds act as a shield. We are in another world, caught between the seaside and red rocky dirt.
The path leads us to a bridge and we know for certain we are on the right path. Up and over little hills we come to a fork, go left and descend down a giant sand dune go right and continue along the green folly. So we go left. Sliding down our feet absorbing in the sand with each step.
“That’s going to be a fun climb up” we both giggle with slight apprehension at the thought of getting back up that slope. Further down we descend. Til we reach a large flat clearing of red dirt.
To our left the ocean plays gentle breaking waves to our right the mountains go on and on.
“Let’s go right I guess, no sign, but at least we can guess the waterfall is inland.” The images of waterfalls play across my mind. Though I don’t have high expectations for this waterfall. Summer is approaching here in South-West Australia, less rains more wind. I am taken back for a moment with a picture of home, to the day when I first saw the Alamere waterfall. A triumphant cliff sending streams of water from the mountain into the frigid Pacific Ocean.
The path is narrowing as we climb inland. One more bend and the path opens up to a cliff about four meters high stained with algae. Saturated green fills my eyes. The waterfall is sparse yet still flowing, down into a pond that leaks into a creek. Swirls of algae, mossing mud flow with the tide. Little tadpole wiggle around in the shallows. It’s magical. The only waterfall in the area and it’s perfect.
After some time of sitting appreciating the waterfall we ascend the mountain on a little path that’s been cleared by others before us. Rocky and slippery, every step in strategic and careful. The brush weaves in all directions. Covering the ground in patches and we’re lost for seconds at a time then recover the simple path. The sun is still somewhere in the middle sky enveloped by grey clouds, not too far from setting. We reach the top of the waterfall. The water looks turquoise at this downward view against the dark green moss. I want to sit and watch this scene for ever. But I know how much I do not want to be out here after night fall. The air becomes icy and harsh next to the great Indian Ocean.
Standing there I can’t help but listen to all the beautiful sounds. Sweet serenading birds, wind rustled brush, trickling water on its effortless journey towards the sea. Everything is. All is at peace. I don’t want to leave but dinner is calling my name and I’m becoming parched. We say goodbye to this haven of timelessness and say hello to a melancholy walk back. A taste of natural beauty lingering on my lips. I’m pleasantly enchanted, the wind doesn’t seem so cold or harsh. Although I’m a guest in this land I feel at home. Kangaroos bouncing around trying to catch the sun halt to observe us, bored with their discoveries they hop away into the fading foliage in the distance. Our feet are bare as we walk back to the car. Feeling the ground is a shock to my shoe protected feet but the sand and stones are soft under my soles. But the rocky road is approaching and my sensitive toes beg me for a barrier. We both stop once again to reattach our armor against the jagged ground, take in the view of the valley kissing the shore and follow our way back to the dirt lot.
We discuss future adventures as we reminisce amongst the memories of the little cove.
It was a good adventure we say to one another. Let’s do it again.
Blues & The Royals
The night has just begun, we’re drinking goon. Cheapest and bulkiest wine selection in Byron. 2L of awful goodness. There’s a handful of us sitting around a slab of a table when one of the backpackers pipes up with, “Hey the busking comp is on tonight at the Brewery, for Blues Fest. 20 bands playing tonight for a chance to play at the festival,” slaps the bag and takes down a mouth full of red goon. We chirp around the idea and finally decides to make moves. The Brewery is perched across the Arts Factory parking lot, I entertain a quick chat with the bouncer, I’d seen him at another venue and I thoroughly enjoy being friends with the bouncers. “Have a good night babe,” flick a quick smile then stroll up the stairs taking a quick glance at the gigantic fig free grounded firmly amongst the man-made environment.
Hazy lights vibe the place well. My friends are grabbing a drink, I’ve got $50 bucks in my bank account.. so I grab a can for 5 bucks. A lager. We all have to make sacrifices with the funds are low. Strolling through the large open doors a light crowd fills space, leaving smallish gaps between clumps of music lovers to maneuver through.
I scope the crowd. My eyes find a tall man with velvet fire truck red flare pants. I’m intrigued immediately. I watch him as he swaggers around, pleasantly greeted by everyone that sees him.
My third can is going down nicely, with each band I twirl my body around feeling the music from my feet to the top of my head. Blues, funk, rock n’ roll! Talent is oozing out of this place, along with inspiration. I can’t help but picturing myself up there putting on a show for everyone, pouring out my heart. For now I float in bass and slide guitar.
And look who it is, young Jagger look alike walks up on stage with a handful of other charged musicians. Flare pants walks up to the front, checking the sound he turns around and sticks his harmonica in the back of his pants, I flick a pic. An air about the band screams, ‘I may just do something naughty.’ Observing them patiently waiting for their sound release.
I find my way to the very front of the crowd. The only spot I reside in. “Hello beautiful people, what a pleasure to be back in Byron Bay, we’re Port Royal and we’re here to give you love, passion and satisfaction” The crowd is reticent.
A long drawn slide whams out of the speakers and the show beings.
The crowd roars.
AC/DC and The Beatles have made a LOVE child. Whisking you back to an era of free love, expression and most importantly Rock n’ Roll.
As the set goes on Jagger’s jumps are getting higher, flares in the air send the crowd convulsing with life.
The bassist’s smile couldn’t be removed if you punched him across the head. They all watch and listen to the moves of one another. The guitarist to the left of Jagger sticks out his tongue and with a head bang sweeps into a solo, the trusty drummer keeping everything poised and together. And a touch of saxophone renders ripples all over. The melody continues. And so does the rocking of our bodies.
As AC/DC says, “every night there’s a rock n roll queen gunna quiver and quake gunna shake her thing,” their final song blares through the room, I dip my hips nice n low, my purple corduroys don’t agree with my movements and decide to let it all go, ripping from my crotch to the top of my ass. I stand up quickly, unsure of what to do.. my friend wraps her cardigan around my waist. The hole is fucking ridiculous. It’s all about confidence baby. I rock the rip with pride. Can’t hold this booty back. I keep dancing.
Jagger grabs the mic, “Thank you Byron, you’ve been absolutely delicious. We love you all, have an amazing night and long live Rock n’ Roll” With a bow and an applause it seems the night has been charged into full rowdiness.
Everyone is shuffling around, raring to exit. I walk up to Jagger, patiently waiting for his attention with a big ole smile slapped across my face. “Hi, I just wanted to say I dig your music… and” I turn around my head turned back, “I danced so hard I ripped my pants!” He throws his head back and laughs then smacks my booty like a bongo drum, “You’re a legend, aren’t you.” I giggle a little, “I’ll see you next time,” then stroll away, strung out within the music.