It’s 1pm on Friday and I’ve reached my limit. After four weeks of stress and pressure I’m about to explode. I need to escape my desk, my life and my mindset. An hour later I’m standing on the top desk of the Strader oke Island Ferry with my camping gear in a bag at my feet. I’ve left my motorbike on the mainland and am on a spontaneous microadventure inspired by an Alastair Humphreys Vimeo clip I watched earlier this week.
Before long the mainland is barely visible on the horizon behind me. I feel myself start to slowly unwind. By the time I disembark, I can almost handle the phone call with the real estate agent that ends with him helping me out by getting someone out to inspect the issue that arose in yesterday’s building inspection. He assures me that if the issue is not structural our buyer still wants to go ahead and that if it is the sale will go ahead if we can rectify the defect. I can only wait for tomorrow’s report.
I walk to Bradbury’s Camp Ground. I booked it from my desk at 1:05pm. It’s not wild but it’s on the water and pleasant enough. I pitch my tent on the soft unmown grass. It’s been two months since my last camp. That’s just far too long.
I wander into tiny Dunwich to look for food. I grabbed some things at work but don’t fancy baked beans, tuna or porridge for dinner. My exploration takes me past Island Fruits (or something like that). It’s divine. I buy a chocolate brownie, and a small haloumi and pumpkin curry to take back to camp. At $10 in total it’s a good buy.
Back at camp I lay on the beach writing some thoughts in a book. It’s a good release and I start to unwind. The sand between my toes helps. The brownie is delicious.
As the sun sets over Moreton Bay I set off to explore the tidal flats. Soldier crabs march along, leaving their balls of sand along the beach. I listen to their humming as the rainbow lorikeets screech in the nearby trees. I slowly unwind some more and realize this period of transition will go more easily if I go with it rather than trying to force anything or grasp too tightly. I must be patient like the ocean’s tides and the changing seasons.
I stop to pay my respects to the old people who walked here before and asked them to guide me with their wisdom.
And then I returned to camp in the darkness to heat and eat that scrumptious food I bought earlier.
I can’t rush what’s happening and I can’t live for tomorrow. My life is now, no matter how awkward or sad now might feel.
Go for it!
Thanks Baz. Enjoy your next Outback trip. Funny how priorities change as life throws curve balls hey. When I started following your blog you were training for epic mountain climbs over this past season. How did you deal with the disappointment of surgery (assuming that is part of what’s caused your refocus)?
Hi Andrew, haven’t given up on the mountains (yet) but the surgery and loss of both Janet’s and my father last yEar as caused me to rethink what is truly important for me at this time. Spending time with family is key…
We’ll see how it plays out!
It’s funny how things change when priorities get put into perspective isn’t it. Annapurna obviously didn’t happen for me yet either (and now the road goes through there it probably never will)
“My life is now…” Wise words.
Thank you Pondero 🙂
My most favourite place in the world!! Thank you so much for sharing the photos. I am sending best wishes and hope the stresses are reduced for you soon. Life really just sucks sometimes and all we can do is keep breathing (but you have found one of the most relaxing places for time out 🙂 )
You know I grew up in Shailer Park and Carbrook, and have lived at Mt Cotton these past 5 years but have only been to Straddie four times before this trip. I don’t even know why. That will change now though. It is a beautiful place. And the barge is so cheap now for walk ons (if you don’t mind the slow trip across the water 😉 )
The ‘slow trip across the water’ is one of my favourite parts – you get to unwind on the way over, and then psyche yourself up for returning to reality on the way back 😉
We moved to country South Australia from Victoria Point just before Christmas. The Island was our favourite ‘getaway’ and we used to camp at the Amity Point Caravan Park. Many times we were the only people there, so it felt like our own ‘private’ piece of paradise.
I discovered your post a few days into a period of ‘homesickness’ for Queensland, which is part of the reason I was ever so grateful for the photos you shared.
Thanks again 🙂
Andrew, it has been difficult for me to get much access to data on the Trail, so I am now catching up on posts missed. I thought the post about leaving your home and moving into a tent was terribly sad, yet some form of closure. I hope everything regains some equilibrium in your life and that you find whatever it is that you are looking for.
Hey Steve, Thanks for thinking of me. I am enjoying your AT adventures and have been reading each post with interest. Life is again finding some equilibrium. I’m a fairly resilient guy so I know that the sense of upheaval is temporary and that tomorrow will be wonderful. I am blessed to have many beautiful memories from the past 16 years with my partner. I will cherish them always and honour the love we have shared.