from byron to brissy: disappointment in paradise and the traveling grannies.

perhaps the best town name ever: coolangatta.  the first of many this haven of a beach town gives visual justification why a big part of queensland is dubbed the sunshine coast.

the irony of surfer’s paradise:  yes, it is the name of a town.  and you’d think that it would be this bohemian village on the midst of the oceanic coast.  however, this eager backpacker is sadly disappointed.  and here is why.  back in the 1950s when the goden coast began to develop its reputation, the historic haven known as ‘paradise to local surfers’ was granted permission to build skyskrapers, which quickly led to western chaings opening shops and the commercialization of natural beauty.  not to take away from what was once an aesthetically pleasing landscape but the nevueaux office towers and over-developed condominiums smothers the character of the coastal town leaving me with an unfortunate conclusion to label ‘paradise’ as a tacky imitation of miami or palm beach.  its just too bad that excessive commercialism can even seep into the most remote parts of the world.  (however i am overly excited to learn that the residents of yamba, one of australia’s undiscovered beach districts are filing a petition to veto the development of a mcdonalds for the second time in their sandy neighbourhood).

the traveling grannies: age is definitely just a number.  while doing my day’s journey along the gold coast i was alongside a couple of elderly ladies – in their early 80s – traveling cross country on the greyhound.  proud aussie sheilas, innocently flirting wit hthe driver the entire route, they got into telling me about how they have been traveling together for over 20 years, leaving their husbands at home while they explore.  although they weren’t backpackers they said, they were proud greyhound gold club members and said that the seniors magazines always had the best travel packages.  one of the ladies then asekd me what i was doing, where i was going.  i briefly summarized how it was that i became to australia, how i wound up on this bus, to seek out the next chapter of my life.  to which the other lady replied, “sounds wonderful, love.  just promise me one thing.”

“what’s that?” i asked.

“promise me you will never lose your sense for adventure – because life – well, it will figure itself out along the way, ” she answered.

i promised the sweet elderly stranger that i would not lost sight of adventure; “in fact,” i told her, “in fifty years from now i would like nothing more than to be doing what you are two ladies are doing, traveling cross country with one of my favourite girls.”

what a beautiful adventure life is.

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