<!-- September 11, 2003 -->
There are days when I yearn to be on my own. Sometimes this happens in cities when I want titme to do my errands and window-shop at my leisure, stopping for a coffee when the desire takes me.
I'll pop into a bookstore or art gallery and spend hours browsing and wandering. And I will be very happy with such a day when I've spoken only to order and thank the McDonald's empolyee for my hot-fudge-and-caramel-sundae.
When night falls, if I don't want to read or write, I can find a movie or a play or some walks on a well-lit harbour or park.
Some have told me they find the city a lonely place - made more so when surrounded by the faces of stangers. For me, however, I still see infinite possibilities for companionship and entertainment.
At Cape Tribulation, the beach (at high tide) reaches right to the rainforest. There are a few backpackers here on the beach, but mostly couples and friends travelling together. If you aren't lucky enough to have a friendly, talkative roommate, your options are limited.
The beach on your own is fine if you're snoozing or reading and especially if writing. But what about when you're done?
The sound of the surf surrounds me, edging closer with the incoming tide. The sun is sinking quickly behind the rainforest trees - as it does here in Tropical North Queensland. Soon there will be no warmth here and the cool of the moist sand will chill me enough to pack in my pen and head in to the main compound.
After brief consideration, I have decided against a sea-kayaking adventure tomorrow morning. I have analyzed the walking track options and they seem the best (and cheapest) way to see the headland.
I need to figure out why I've been told to come here. What is so special about this place?
Certainly, the ecological significance of the area (Daintree National Park) is well documented. As a World-Heritage listed park, it has a huge variety of species living here, and, due to a freak of natural history, it contains many of the oldest continuous species known to humans.
But it's well known that this is not the kind of trivia that draws a backpacker crowd. I am determined to make this discovery myself.
As I sit here on my patch of wet sand and all the others around me slowly get their things together to head back to their cabin, I know why I'm not so impressed yet.
I am alone.
None of the people I've talked to in this place seem interested in being my friend. My mobile does not even work here. It all seems so unfriendly.
Yet I know that I might be writing a completely different story if I were sitting here with a new friend.
Instead, I feel pathetically alone and want to leave. I'm thinking about how to make the hours go quickly tomorrow so that I will be closer to the time when my tour bus takes me away from here.
I do not like feeling desperate for companionship.
But perhaps this is why I am here.
Perhaps I need to learn more about the joy of being alone. Of finding ways to please myself, appreciating a place more for itself and its affect on me, rather than for the people I meet there (or not).
Perhaps this is one step in my quest to be more comfortable with myself. Because if I can enjoy anything without help from others, then perhaps I won't worry so much about what others think of me -- I don't need them anyway.
Sept 12 - Calm in Cape Trib
Sept 13 - Yoga
Sunny, 27 degrees
Coasting By Susan Kurusawa