<<  Byron Bay, 30-Jun-2013  >>

Byron Bay, chapter II.

More Irene, more surfing, Byron Bay exodus and stoned meditation.

From Myocum I returned to Byron Bay, to spend more time surfing, drinking calimocho, partying, but above all being with Irene. I did not return to hostel, I invaded Ireneís and Olgaís place (they rented here a room in a house owned by alcoholic long-haired creature known as Tim) and I stayed with them until they left back to Spain on 29-Jun.

It was clear from the beginning that both me and Irene will leave Byron Bay just couple of days after we met, I had my plans to go up north, which I had postponed, but Irene would have to leave before end of June, as her visa would expire.
Some might say that it was this taste of here-and-now that made our romance so exciting, but no, thereís more to that. Irene is embodiment of free spirit woman that I dreamed of when I was younger and more naive. I would say semi-hippy soul, free of chains of society dictate onto our lives, but not entirely from another planet, as true hippies tend to be. Her opening line when we met, the greatest sentence Iíve ever heard from someone I didnít know :-) says it all. While we both come from very different background (yes Iím always ashamed when during this journey someone asks me what is my job I have to say ďI used to work in a bankĒ, every traveler hates bankers these daysÖ), the connection between us was, is, just wonderful. She was like a mirage, a ghost materializing into forgotten dreams of my never-came hippie life.

Holding 2 university degrees but working in Australian restaurant, she reminded me my own thoughts that I had when I was leaving Slovakia, that one of the best times I had ever had was when I was 23 and I worked as a dishwasher in USA. She is always laughing, 100% crazy (as she says, Iím 30 but actually I am 15), explosive energy, like female version of someone I always wished to see in mirror, instead of the person I was. I could keep on trying to describe her, but I will just finished it with statement that she is a beautiful soul, as much as beautiful woman.

Well, Irene had to leave to Spain, but sheís coming back to Australia in September, when I will still be somewhere on this continent, so weíll see. MaybeÖ

Meeting Irene meant that I also met many other wonderful people, her more-than-crazy cousin Olga, and other Spanish friends, Maria and Sheila, and tons of other people. Gone are my days of meditation and peace, they were wrecked by non-stop partying, drinking and ehm, love. Well, I will get my spiritual fix when I arrive to Hare Krishna farm.

All in all, I stayed in Byron Bay 23 days, making it by far my longest stop of The Odyssey so far.
I now understand the lure of Byron Bay even more, after a daytrip to Queensland, just across the border (border between New South Wales and Queensland is just 50km from Byron Bay) to visit Ireneís friends who live there. With Queenslad enter soul-killing condos and high-rises, commercialism, vomited from dying corpse of the modern society. Fuck how I hate places like that. There is death in the air. After seeing piece of ďfamilyĒ oriented summer resort towns of Queensland, coming back to Byron Bay was sweet as honey. Lonely lighthouse patrolling over undeveloped beach, undeveloped town and developed souls.

The last week in Byron was a true end-of-summer exodus. Everybody, and I mean everybody left Byron. When I arrived to Byron 3 weeks ago, the hostel was full, the bars were full, now there are few forgotten backpackers in the hostels and atmosphere is dying by every day, saved only by hundreds of farewell parties. Last time, and only time I have seen this, was back in 2003 in USA, when after end of summer everybody was leaving Ocean City where I worked. Yes, there are more than few that my months in Ocean City and weeks in Byron Bay have in common.

Anyway as Iím writing this on 30-Jun, Irene is gone, tomorrow morning I will sell my surfboard back to second hand shop (at least I hope so)and move on. Alone again, itís me and my journey. Well, itís not really a journey anymore. This is my life now. My only possession being 23 year old car which is actually not mine at all, and couple of things tossed around the car. Here in Byron I feel that Iím simply gone. Gone. Gone!!! I donít belong anywhere anymore, lost in space and time, drifting to who-knows-where. I think Iím very close of reaching the breaking point of no return, return to anywhere. I had here really tough thinking times, thinking about my destiny, people, about my past, life, everything and nothing. Somethingís about to break. The lines of Bukowskiís gem from my first post If youíre going to try go all the way, otherwise donít even startÖ kept on coming to my mind again and again. All the way. All the way.

Me and Garuda (Subaru) will first go for a day to Nimbin, Australiaís drugs and hippie capital, then to Hare Krishna farm (drugs and Hare Krishna, isnít that wonderful combination?, I wonder where this is going to take meÖ) and then north baby north.

Talking of drugs, to my own surprise I didnít actually do any marihuana, hashish or any other drugs here, expect on my last night, when I had share of joint. Well, gone is my resistance to marihuana. Although I didnít get fucked up as in Nepal, I was mildly (or slightly more than mildly stoned) and I tried mediation while being stoned. Amazing thing. Not only I could unify with the breath as never before, but when I finished the meditation for few minutes I was caught inside "sphere of consciousness", almost physical connection to the fibre of universe. Sort of like being inside a†zorbing ball, but instead of plastic, the ball was made of consciousness, or quantum field, or simply, fibre of the universe. Good thing this stoned meditation I tell you.

Oh and I forgot to mentioned that in this stupid fucked up country I got chased by police who searched me for drugs, because they saw me running when I saw them (in reality I was running to tell Irene and Olga that there is police outside searching for someone) and I got kicked out from a bar for sleeping drunk (while in reality I was completely sober, I only had 2 beers, and I closed my eyes for literally 15 seconds to do my frequent mini-meditation, during which I connect with my atman, OK that sounds weird I know, but what I mean is that I was NOT sleeping at all). When it comes to monitoring and rules, Soviet Union ran distant second to fucking Australia!

Click for photo gallery

     MARCEL STRBAK | www.strbak.com | www.facebook.com/marcel.strbak