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The light goes on in Grassy Head

AUSTRALIA | Tuesday, 20 December 2011 | Views [1464]

A perfect beach scene if it wasn't for the unending greyness

A perfect beach scene if it wasn't for the unending greyness

It's good to be able to call the shots, because you're THE man when it comes to making decisions. It's great not having to rush, as speed and relaxation cancel each other out like Lanacane and rain. But the best thing is to see the sun shine. Talk about a phenomena that is taken for granted in Broome, a place where weather reports are issued quarterly. The whole complexion of the day changes, as does my mood. I've just had 5 minutes of sunshine and I feel like I'm off my tits.

Better yet, I am at the verdant little hideaway of Grassy Head, far from anything and a stones throw from a beautiful sandy beach; if you're a quarterback. I rode 30kms to get here, barely even waking the muscles up before putting them out to pasture for the day. I see my diet as a grazing bovine-style sort of proposition now as I constantly stuff my face with anything that will help my legs ride or recover. In my number one past time, I would be the number one contender; if there was a world championship in eating.

I would have stayed another day at Nambucca Heads as it was a lovely little spot. The only problem was everything required walking up a hill to get to. I love sitting around with no where to go, but I need something a little more exciting than a boat ramp to look at. So I headed off and was happy to find that the Pacific Highway was flat and picturesque as it tracked alongside the Macleay River. The turn off to Scotts Head, Grassy Head and a few other heads were a bicyclists dream. Except for a few hills, which are becoming less soul destroying and more life affirming.

Arriving at 11:30am gave me the whole afternoon to wander around and imagine how pretty the place would be if the sun was shining. A big part of the motivation for this trip was to have some solitude to re-evaluate the current trajectory of my life. As fun as the last few years have been, personal growth has sort of stalled mid flight. To become a better person, be all I can be, and all other 'Life be in it' mottoes designed to get Norm off the couch, I have to move forward with at least a vague idea of where I am going.

With the gas plant being unceremoniously grafted onto the Broome landscape, it won't be long before the character of the town changes to incorporate the increase of miners with more money than sense. And while the return of opium dens and Mah-jong palaces does sound somewhat appealing, my stalled trajectory would u-turn and return to adolescence were I to let myself become a part of it.

So I have decided that I must return to Broome to experience its uniqueness before it becomes just another mining town. How I'll make a quid remains to be seen. Perhaps becoming a miner? Let me think about that for a moment.....um, NO! Apologies to Trev & Abbie, Matty, Kim & the boys, and Alice who have all put forward convincing arguments for joining them in their respective cities. Big love to the Broome folk, Big Daddy and Short Stack, Ash, Kato, the Lou's, Mr. Lane, Alex (If you ever make it back!). You are all the most important reason for my return as you make Broome what it is to me :-)

I had all but accepted this when I found myself a nice piece of soft sand on which to perch on for the afternoon. The heavens weren't a uniform grey, but rather the clouds were patchy and randomly dotted the blue sky like lotus pads. That was all I needed to relax and let the epiphanies roll over me like the breaking waves that resonated all around me.

From recognising the hedonistic overtones of my current lifestyle, I saw how that had impacted upon my relationships. At 27, I was a vegan studying nutrition, living in a Buddhist community and trying to strike a balance between sitting on a cushion to meditate, and laying on one to drink red wine. I met Charlotte, and our similar commitments to personal growth and the dynamic tension of our personalities represented my relationship ideal. Unfortunately I grasped at it too hard and ended up scaring her away.

Post break up saw a move to Brisbane, a journey that initially planted the seed for the ride I am currently on. Being drawn into the sort of rock n roll lifestyle I hadn't had since my teens, the balance didn't tip, but poured all my motivation towards satisfaction of the senses. Through four and a half years in Brisbane, a few trips to Asia, 2 years travelling around Australia fruit picking and now three years in Broome, my glorified flings have been a reflection of this sensory stimulation over spiritual growth.

And hence, I am now single, have been for a long time,and will continue to be so if I keep applying the same criteria to choosing the company I keep. Not that having a partner is the ideal. Horses are the only ones who have stable relationships anyway. It is something that is highlighted by the fact that everyone seems to be travelling in couples. The only attention I have gotten since starting out has been from over zealous magpies and ceaseless bovine curiosity.

This year has been two/thirds indulgence as I used bike training as a way to force myself into healthier living, solitude and focus. Next year I'll aim for one/third, with my spiritual endeavours returning to prominence as I take up from where I left off 10 years ago and try to find the right balance between rampant Hollywood style hedonism, and self involved spiritualism.

With pennies dropping like I'm a popular wishing well, I looked out over my environment and smiled at the setting of such realisations. The sun stayed visible for the last hour of the day and a monochromatic landscape had transformed into an earthly wonderland full of life, colour and movement. I felt the need to sing again but as soon as the thought crossed my mind, everything took to the air, including animals that had never flown before.

To ensure the understanding I had just garnered remained rooted in my mind, I woke to a perfect sky the following morning and took it as a reward from Mother Nature. One that would be best spent lounging on the beach letting my legs forget they are merely beasts of burden and having some healing time before my chafing took on biblical proportions. There are no shops and no phone reception at Grassy head so it is as conducive to introspection as you would need. And contrary to recent form, I planned ahead and brought enough food that wasn't off, crammed with meat or inedible in some other unimaginable way.

The sun continued to shine all day almost tempting me in to the icy, but iriganji and croc free waters. I wasn't sold knowing how boring it is not having to keep one eye on the depths. Perhaps it is the menace of a possible stinging or mauling that makes swimming at Cable Beach far more fun. Or possibly the fact that the climate there ensures you defrost quicker after re-emerging.

The beach was inviting to walk along but the only thing of interest in the eyes of the Information board sign writer was a look out. I scaled a mediocre hill with my calves convinced it was Everest, to be rewarded with possibly the crappiest look out I had ever seen. Trees blocked all bar the next Head along, and a sign detailing its significance had faded away to leave nothing but Braille graffiti to read, or finger, or whatever.

I decided to blaze my own path up another hill and through the undergrowth. Three metres in I uttered a very audible curse as to why I thought it would be a good idea in shorts and thongs. My legs got scratched up like a kitten on crack had gone at them, and a few things slithered just out of view, but well within the grasp of my fertile imagination. I found a nice spot on top of the hill, and not expecting more life changing realisations, I simply pondered clouds, the ocean and my third serving of Uncle Ben's tomato risotto in as many days.

Tags: beach, bicycling, weather

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