Our last day in Byron coincided with my parents' Ruby Wedding Anniversary - congratulations! The day dawned bright and sunny and we headed to Brunswick for an hour on the beach with Star and Willow, Ross having returned to work in Brisbane. It is a lovely little spot and we enjoyed the sunshine and the calm bay to swim.
In the afternoon E and I escaped from the sun and treated ourselves to a wonderful Thai oil massage. Ah the bliss of having the knots worked from your shoulders and neck with some Thai lady's elbow joint! And there were certainly a few of them to work through!
Town was busy as people started to move in for the annual and indeed legendary 5 day Bluefest plus of course the Easter holidays. Crazy indeed, especially with the sunshine and all that heat. It was definitely time to be leaving town, even Ross, Star and Willow were heading down the coast for the Easter break.
That evening Mum and Dad treated us all to a marvellous meal at a reputable fish cafe in town. Ross had driven back from Brisbane for the evening so the eight of us were able to spend the evening together, treated to a bright sky of stars and a building moon on the way home. Thank you Mum and Dad, a wonderful day and special final meal together.
The next day after emotional farewells - they are always in my heart and this operates beyond time and space, but all the same...- E and I headed up to Ipswich, an hour from Brisbane, to visit one of E's friends, Clive, from his days at agricultural college.
Clive is quite a guy, really into the outdoors and wildlife. Within 5 minutes of being at his house I tried not to watch him feeding a live grasshopper to a baby bearded dragon that lives in his garden. Minutes later he had E holding an adult bearded dragon for camera. I could not be pushed on the matter. No way.
Ipswich saw some of the worst flooding in the Brisbane floods last year and we went for a drive to gain some understanding of the height of the river and the way the landscape has repaired itself since then. really quite unbelievable and a fabulous landscape. We saw pelicans, water turtles, a Kite, hundreds of other birds and people fishing in the river. A magical light and the moon rising in the distance.
That evening we sat outside in his tropical garden surrounded by all the wonderful tropical vegetation, so alive with prana that you can't help but feel alive yourself. Clive baked us fish on the chineya (no idea how you spell that), with the sound of the tree frogs in the background and the starts shining overhead. Bliss. I just love the climate of this part of Australia, to say nothing of the landscape, attitude to life and feeling it creates deep inside. Bliss.
The next morning E got the fright of his life when he discovered a tree fog staring up at him in the toilet. Clive checked out the other toilet and found 2. All alive of course, this is just what they do. So I got to see them up really close and they are beautiful things, the green is so green it is almost unreal and they have these incredible feet.
Thank you Clive for a wonderful stay, albeit brief, but enlightening and inspiring all the same. You are a very generous and thoughtful host (aside from the grasshopper bit of course!)
We flew out to Singapore later that day, blown away by the humidity upon arrival, standing as we were on the equator by then. Phew! E was feeling the effects of all the travel so it was a quite night for us and a quiet next morning. In fact regardless of E's need to sleep, we got to experience our first tropical storm for some time as the thunder rumbled through the city and the fork lightening was striking overhead and the heaven's opened with this massive rain.
In the afternoon we headed out into the humid heat - great for the skin I have decided what with all that sweating! We walked along Orchard Road, the Oxford Street of sorts of Singapore. From there we headed to the Botanical gardens, which are a little overwhelming in their splendour and size. There is a healing are where they present all the tropical plants that can help us to heal. Fascinating, there I was assuming it would simply be an area to chill out, but of course you could do this anywhere, not for the first time this holiday i was very aware how healing and calming spending time in nature like this can be for the soul and the mind.
We made the obligatory trip to Raffles, the infamous Long Bar, and spent a small fortune on a drink. Why oh why do we do this to ourselves! We got to see the new hotel built over there, it cost $2 million to build apparently, a pretty amazing design but oh so much money on a building! We walked along the river bank at Boat Quay and Clarke's Quay, full of people enjoying the early evening vibe on the Bank Holiday weekend. We ate food in Chinatown before the need or sleep kicked in, this travelling really takes it out of me these days!
On our last day in Singapore we spent the morning lazing by the pool at the hotel, very decadent, but necessary as the traveling caught up with us, plus I was reading this really good book that I had not been able to put down properly since I had bought it at Brisbane Airport - "The Help" for anyone needing a good read. In the afternoon we took the MTR to the Harbour and took the cable car over to Sentosa Island, so much fun. It is a theme park I guess, but also a place to access the beach and the most southerly point of South Eastern Asia.
It was seriously hot with the sun beating down overhead and this overwhelming humidity and so we headed straight for the beach and lulled around in the salty and indeed warm sea until eventually it clouded over and cooled down a little. We took a ride up the tower to the highest viewpoint in Singapore, which showed incredible views over the harbour and our to sea, what with all the container vessels and tankers, totally mind blowing how much goes on over there in the shipping industry.
E signed us into this 3D log ride experience. And quite an experience it was. i used to love that kind of thing with the adrenalin running and feeling like you are on a roller coater, but for some reason they just make me feel sick these days, must be something to do with balance and the Yoga or something. Or it could be age. regardless I clung to E and was very pleased when it had all finished!
Sentosa is a fabulous way to spend the afternoon if you are that way inclined, E figures he could probably spend a few days there actually! We took the cable car back to the mainland and went for tea at one of the further stations. And that is when the heaven's opened and it rained like I have never seen rain before, even in Kathmandu I don't remember it being as full on as the Singapore experience. A few seconds spent crossing a road and I was soaked. I understand the reason so much of their life happens in malls inside safe and sound and air conditioned!
We enjoyed a final meal in a local food hall before heading back to the hotel and sorting ourselves out before getting a taxi to the rather impressive Singapore airport. Wow. now that is some airport, they even have a swimming pool and gym. Great stuff!
So we are now back in Guernsey dealing with the tiredness of the travel and the jet lag as our time zone has shifted again. Still all good fun, all good things must come to an end and new beginnings ahead.
Happy times. Fantastic memories. And more to come no doubt.
With much gratitude and love.