Our trip back to Escape Velocity was long but without drama. It started with the middle of the night wake-up call, a 45-minute shuttle to the airport with ten other sleepy people, a 6am flight to Brisbane, then a four hour layover before our final flight to Sydney. That was followed by a half hour train ride and a 70-minute bus ride, and finally a two block schlep with luggage down to the dinghy dock where Di picked us up and ferried us to Toucan to be welcomed home with cold beer and hugs. It was good to be back home and I didn’t even tackle the unpacking for two days.
We went from two layers of fleece back to thin jackets and the glorious sunshine beckoned us outside every day. The Toucs suggested we climb Barrenjoey to the lighthouse before we venture north for the winter so we loaded the matching picnic backpacks we both bought in Whangarei and joined what seemed like the rest of Pittwater on a beautiful Sunday afternoon to see just how much fitness we gained hiking in New Zealand. Not much, we discovered.
“It’s a tombolo,” said Bruce, our resident smarty-pants. It’s a what? A tombolo, he told us, is a bit of land that was once an island and is now connected to the mainland. That’s a new one on us but obvious once we knew what we were looking at.
We ate lunch on a flat rock warmed by the sun, happy to be in the company of friends, sad knowing that we will leave this place that’s been a comfortable temporary home. We’ll be back in the Spring, of course, but saying goodbye to people and places never gets easier, no matter how much we do it.
Australia is huge and there are so many places we want to see, but we’ve enjoyed Sydney and this special corner of the country so much that it’s hard to leave. We still have boat work to do and general planning and organizing for the thousand mile journey to warmer weather and time’s a-wasting. Play time’s over. Back to work.