December 10th, 2009 – by: kskillen
Views from the road
I'm on the road again!!
I take a Greyhound bus from Cairns to Ayr. I love transit! I love being on the road, watching the scenery go by, checking out the landscape, towns, businesses, people that we pass. I love settling into my seat, picking from my methods of entertainment (books, my own mind, the view). Traveling by car, bus or train helps me build context for a place. I understand the physical distance between my destinations, I see the borders of cities melt away and what rural life is like. I observe differences in soil, vegetation, livestock, wildlife. Ah the open road! Really one of my favourite places to be. It also gives me time to think.
Where have I been, what am I doing, where am I going. I have time to take stock of my life. And what I find is I’m bursting with happiness. I loved Cairns, the diving, people, water, adventure. And now I'm heading to a new adventure, diving the Yongala wreck! I know that the people I meet and the places I see will be amazing.
Love the changes in landscape
I’ve chosen to go with a dive company in Ayr (Yongala Dive) rather that diving from Townsville (where most people would depart from). Ayr is closer to the wreck than Townsville is. So it means I’ll be on a boat for less time than if I went with a company out of Townsville. The catch is Ayr doesn’t have much going on.
I mean it really doesn't have anything going on. It’s a small rural town known mostly for is sugar cane fields. When I arrive I have a few hours before the dive company is coming to get me. I wonder the town and struggle to find anything of interest. I opt for reading a book under a tree by the bus stop, to only be devoured by ants. I move to the bus stop benches, making a mini camp out of my bags. I wait.
My new ride!
At 4:30 I get picked up in an awesome old truck by one of the dive instructors. She tosses me and my stuff into the back, quickly transports me around town, picking up a couple other divers along the way. Its her birthday apparently and she’s hosting a beach party, do we want to come? Yes! Do we need beer? Yes! All right lets go to the store! Saweet! We get our stuff then go to the dive resort.
It’s a tiny and sweet little place outside of town. We live in coed dorm rooms on the second floor of what looks like a house, the main floor is dedicated to the dive shop, registration and gear room. We eat, organize our stuff, put on warm clothes and then squish onto ATVs and get rides out to the beach. Its quite the trek! There is a huge fire being started, we all find logs or a patch of sand to sit on. Time to make friends! I meet two fellow Canucks (Andrew and Anoop). They’re doctors from Alberta and we have great chats about diving, Canada, work and world travels. It is pitch black out here if not for the fire. The stars are amazing! I can hear the ocean behind us, crashing into the coast. I will be out in the water in the morning! I can’t wait! When the party is over we get a ride in the back of a pick up truck, standing so we don’t sit on all the empty beer bottles that are rolling around in the back, we hold onto steel bars that cross over the back. What an Aussie experience! Crashing through the sand dunes in the pitch black, hanging on for life, laughing my guts out with people I only met that afternoon. Awesome.