It all began when I was sitting in the back of a New South Wales police car.
I just want to preface this post: I know this might seem totally fantasy-fictitious to you but it its 100% real and I was so in the moment that no photos are really necessary but I’d like to digitally record this day forever.
I hopped on the bus from Newcastle to Coff’s Sunday night and it was totally shitty but that’s what you get when you choose the most budget friendly public transportation option possible. I tossed my backpack in the bottom of the bus, and as the driver nicknamed me “backpacker lady.” told me to “just find a fucking seat.”
The bus was smelly and next to me was an old aussie couple in their 60s both clad in old Elvis Memorabilia having the most verbally-vicious fight I’ve ever heard that had me hysterically laughing on the inside.
We pulled into the sketchiest truck stop for about an hour “break”, where potato chips were way overpriced and the Elvis couple continued their savagely battle.
“baby- they’ve got an elvis CD collection for sale…”
“Oh shut up you piece o’ shit we’ve already heard all the farking songs now fek off!!! You know I fukn hate to travel!!”
His tail tucked between his legs, started to rub her back. I thought to myself, damn… she must be something else for him to keep sticking around.
The truck stop was filled with seemingly meth addicted late night visitors who didn’t quite need shoes, despite the chilling temperatures, and us, the suckers of Premier Bus-Lines. Where you should probably just spend a bit extra for Greyhound.
The main form of entertainment being the claw machines all koala themed that somehow lifted Cricket balls out and the appropriately placed $60 blankets for tourists like me who weren’t quite prepared for the bus.
As we arrived to Coff’s Harbour it was nearing 5am and I thought to myself how I couldn’t be bothered to drop a whole $20 on a cab when I could just walk a bit, and so I walked.
I walked past some early morning window cleaners who gave me a strange look then I walked down a long straight path where I was soon approached by the local police with their lights on.
“Whaterrrya doing at this hour??”
“I’m walking to my hostel.”
“Just hop in mate…”
The lovely policeman and his associate gently tossed me in the back of their drunk tank in the nicest way possible and gave me a free lift to my accomodation.
“It’s safe here but we’d hate for you to get robbed.”
This was my first encounter with the Australian Police and it was a quite lovely one. I asked them if they accepted Mastercard and with a deep chuckle the Cop helped put the massive backpack on my back for me. He told me about the time he backpacked through my hometown, not expecting snow and paying extra for a pool.
Little did I know that just hours later I would experience the most life changing moment of my life.
I fit in a couple hours sleep then hopped on the bus for the Hostels “daily activity,” put on by a mutual friend from back in Los Angeles and we rode off to a place called Emerald Beach.
As we climbed up the grassy hill, dotted with yellow and orange flowers, actual wild Kangaroos began hopping around. As if this wasn’t enough to drop my jaw, Dolphins (including baby dolphins as well, like 20 total) began diving through the surf, jetting out majestically in the sky and behind them was an actual massive WHALE FLOPPING AROUND AND THEN THE WAY THE SUN HIT ME FROM BEHIND AND THE WAVES CRASHING BEFORE ME CREATED A RAINBOW AND I JUST DONT EVEN KNOW.
If for some sick reason, the grim reaper came to get me…say tomorrow, just know that today made up for every bad moment in my life.
I actually got a bit emotional at that point, behind my scratched cheap glasses, a single tear dripped down my cheek.
I’m really not a good person, I try, but I’m not, and at this moment I really felt like what did I ever do to deserve this moment. What did I do to deserve being here in the most beautiful country in the world? as we got back to the hostel I pondered the possibility for a nap but then I realized nothing good happens while your sleeping so I took a walk. As if today couldn’t be topped, I soon found myself along a steep trail which led out to an island providing panoramic views to the Harbour and of course, as predicted whole listening to the most lovely points of my Jamie XX playlist, a whale’s tail popped out of the sea in front of me and about 40 white birds circled it like paint on a canvas.
I know this all sounds a bit dramatic but I also am lacking sleep so maybe I’m being a bit emotionally vulnerable. All I know is today is a day I will never ever forget, you see Australia is a place of magic.