October 5th 1983

posted in: The way back | 0

Life’s tough.  We got up, Val taking a bath in the nearby stream while I didn’t do so, then had breakfast; Weetbix, tea, + bread + jam.  To sure, we had get our food out of its bag, hanging up in the trees to protect it from the rats, but that’s really not too much of a hardship.  We then played Frisbee on the beach for a while, + for once it went really well.  Normally we spend more time walking after the thing when it goes off course than throwing + catching it, but somehow we managed it pretty well this time.  The guy who gave us a ride down to Mission Beach had told us that the only thing we could get up in Cape Tribulation that they didn’t have there was lots of naked people.  I’m not sure he’s right about it being the only thing, since the rain forest here is a good deal more extensive, but the bodies are here alright.  Not that I’m complaining at all, tho’ they do tend to become a  bit boring.  Certainly not sexy.

We then strolled up the road to where the shops are, stopping off at a couple of beaches along the way.  By the time we reached the second shop we were ready to rest for a while, so we bought a carton of apple juice + a packet of biscuits, + sat in the shop’s reading room for much of the afternoon.  Read + wrote there in the peace, cool + quiet for much of the afternoon.  Also discovered that the owner of the shop is taking one of his regular guided walks into the forest on Friday afternoon, so we decided to go on that.  I finished HE Bates “Uncle Silas” stories – they were terrific, earthy + rustic, + smelling of apples.  Much the same flavour as the Larkin stories.

By now, the sun was beginning to sink, so we headed back to camp, + were lucky enough to pick up a ride, by the same guy who picked us up yesterday in more or less the same place.  Cooked up a cheesy stew, + then, just as it was getting dark, we scrambled the 30 yards or so thro’ the bush to where our neighbours that way had a fire blazing.  They were Al, our 2-time chauffeur, Wayne, an Aussie guy, + a Kiwi girl whose name I don’t recall.  They were in the middle of cooking their tea, but invited us to sit down, so we did, + spent a pleasant evening with them, just chatting.  The fire makes all the difference to that sort of gathering.  Where otherwise one sits in the gloom, is uncomfortable + itchy, with a fire there’s a centre point to the gathering, there’s light, there’s warmth.  Its natural limit of light creates a room within the forest, yet have the surf pounding in our ears all night, just 20 metres away.  Al cooked a batch of pancakes for dessert, + we had a couple of them.  Just bliss.  All that was missing really was a guitar.  We had a penny whistle, but it’s really not the same.

A pleasant enough time, so it would seem, but really I get the feeling that we are just marking time.

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