Saturday, 28 April 2012
Received this SMS from Kelly in Yarra Glen, Victoria : Hi Adrian, I have been reading your blog and just wanted you to know I have found it thoroughly entertaining and amusing. I wish I wasn't one of your first stops because then I would have known you liked a drink and your sarcastic sense of humour (at times) would have cracked me up whilst telling stories of the past few months!! Perhaps, I could greeted you at the front door with a towel whilst pointing at my watch! Argh, but in my case, it was I who expected you a day later... Ha ha... I think you will be nearing the end of your journey soon - congratulations... Thanks for letting me read your adventures on-line... And providing so many laughs. The sunburn was less sore, although it has been replaced by sunstroke and I felt queasy all day. Mike took his accolytes on a tour of the area, via a swim on the beach, a somewhat pedestrian walk along a river bank and another swim in his development's private pool. We bumped into an older homosexual (if you hadn't already guessed, Mike is of the fraternity) walking his dog, who must be jealous of all the young, studs passing through Mike's back door. There is a Yorkey's Knob Festival (if you didn't know the place you might think the second two words were joined rather than the first pair) where they crown a king and queen, or maybe a queen and queen, I forget. A festival organiser tried to change the name to Yorkey's Beach Festival, but the Knobs weren't having any of it. There's no point in putting up signs promoting the occasion, because they are stolen as soon as they are... ahem... erected. Being naked is, of course, soon forgotten, and I never caught anyone looking at anyone else's bits. It might be different (for me at least) if it were a mixed affair, yet ironically this could have made us feel less comfortable. Mike is keen to point out he hosts women and couples too, although I'm not sure how often. Really, though, what does it matter? He's gay and likes being naked around other, mostly younger, hot males (somehow I got in too). What of it? We all entered into this situation freely - and Mike makes it perfectly clear what guests are letting themselves in for, so those who haven't read his profile properly can back out. Many people would never try Couchsurfing and many more would never enter into a naked environment with complete strangers. Even a champion surfer such as myself, did so reluctantly, as the idea set off alarm bells. He must be a sexual pervert surely? I thought. Well, all I can say is that he is a thoroughly decent bloke; generous with his time and food, interested in other people and a natural bon viveur. Later I swam at another beach, read and people-watched. It's a difficult life. The east coast of Australia is extremely well set up for leisure activities. Just about every public place I've visited, such as parks, nature reserves, beaches, highway rest stops, etc, offers canopied picnic tables, free gas-powered barbecues, information signs, drinking water, manicured foliage, footpaths and so forth. I know I am on holiday, but imagine it would difficult to endure the daily grind in such a leisure-orientated environment and with this climate. The second beach was surrounded by a Stepford Wivesesque suburb, where dull, grey houses had been laid out in dull streets with names like Sea View and Bay Road, planted with evenly spaced trees, and where immaculately turned out, wholesome children skateboarded, cycled and got up to no mischief at all. Whereas Yorkey's has a homely, spunky vibe. I rode around a boardwalked wetland too, although the humidity wasn't conducive to nature appreciation. No way I could live in this prickly heat and don't see the point of spending 99% of your time in air-conditioned buildings and vehicles to avoid it. When returning to Melbourne tomorrow, I won't miss the nausea-inducing smells of carrion and fried tomatoes either. I saved a spider, that was being carried away by ants at each leg. The spider was so much bigger in comparison, even to eight ants, yet it was powerless in their grip. I couldn't stand by and watch that happen. The treefrog, which Mike relocated to the garden, promptly came back inside to exactly the same place - sucker padded to the inside of a lampshade, where it is motionless and perhaps wishes to hibernate. Mesmerised by the family of three bigmouths as well, which sleep in a tree during the day and hunt at night. They look a bit like owls, except with wider mouths obviously. Mike showed us an hour-long video of the snake that consumed a rat, about three times its width, in his front yard. He volunteers at a wildlife hospital, but unlike me, doesn't save creatures being eaten by others. In the evening we were joined by fresh meat in the muscular form of a young Swiss boy, Micha. Never mind that there wasn't much room, a mattress was made available for this young, tanned adonis, with dark brown curls and long eyelashes. Seriously though, he was very nice, and another delightful, al fresco meal took place. We enjoyed fat, thick sausages; and then we had dinner. Seriously though, I really do believe there's something to be said for socializing sans clothes. It feels natural somehow, and of course, like wearing a school uniform, it's a great leveller. Later we jumped in the hot tub, somewhat incongrous in northen Queensland, but still restful and reviving. Michael unleashed his collection of rubber ducks and I played with one that was actually more like a snake. Seriously though, it was a lot of fun and I'm so glad I threw caution and clothes to the wind by staying there.