I wake with the sun sitting higher than I would like it to be. I’ve got no choice but to get up; the oven is heating as is my hangover. I need water. Water and food! I muster the energy to spread honey on one slice of bread and peanut butter on the other, devouring the soft, sweet goodness in half-a-second-flat!
Brogan and Rah can’t believe I’m awake already. Why aren’t they feeling hung-over? Why can’t they believe I’m up and moving already? Did they see me stumble helplessly from the jaws of PK’s early last night? Must have been my worst Phantom manoeuvre yet.
I think about making a second sandwich but then decide to direct my focus toward the packing of the motorbike. As the sun rises the tiny patch of shade we once had is now an incredibly hot patch of sad-looking grass. I push the semi-loaded motorbike out of the way and go-about swapping in the brand new DR650 axle I picked up from Suzuki.
I borrow the flimsy car jack from our friends hire car and lift the front wheel off the ground. I remove the axle nut and then slide the axle out – slowly so as to not lose any of the spacers holding the wheel true to the forks. I clean all the components, ready for reassembly, and as I slide the new axle in I am met with resistance! My hung-over mind can’t understand why both the DR-Z400 and DR650 axle doesn’t fit, given the current setup of DR-Z400 forks on the DR650.
Instead of trying to solve the problem at hand, I pack the axle away and plan to take it back once I return from the journey north. I tend to the few tasks I know will pan out smoothly, and oil both the chain and the air filter before putting the motorbike back together again and packing my tools away.
Once everything is packed up we all sit around and suck the life out of the most juicy passionfruit known to man; packed to the brim with sweet seeds and just the slightest hint of sharpness as we scrape the last from the white inners.
We say goodbye to Marcos, Dianna, Leah and Lucille before heading south, back toward the Blue Hole to escape from the rising temperatures. We chat to a couple who camped the night just off the road on the way in. They’re French, friendly, perhaps a little shy and they smile a lot in between a conversation filled with broken English. We continue down the path, jumping from tree root to tree root, until we reach the glowing blue haven!
Rah busies herself with the myriad of ochre found along the pebbled banks, giving in to the rising temptation to paint her entire body in the earthy pigments, Brogan finds a nice sunny spot and casually skims a few rocks along the surface of the water with increasing accuracy each throw, and I wander out over the water on a fallen tree trunk before submitting to the inviting cool of the crystal-clear water.
We reluctantly get back onto the motorbikes and ride north once again, this time to Thornton Beach where we pull up in the car park and cook up a hearty lunch of fried vegetables, tuna, and a batch of garlic and chilli rice. After lunch we brew-up some tea and finish the last of the sweet biscuits.
For the first time since crossing on the ferry we head out onto the beach. We walk down a short tunnelled track – canopied by branches hanging low – and as the trees open up they expose a wide beach at dead-low tide. The pure white sand fades into clear shallow water, before dropping off into deep, dark-blue ocean. Just off the coast lay a couple of rocky outcrops; a large island surrounded by a scatter of much smaller rocks. I turn back and notice a line of tall palms that hug the coast line for as far as the eye can see. I feel as though I’m in a three-dimensional postcard – it’s absolutely gorgeous here!
Brogs decides to duck into Cape Tribulation, and so Rah and I walk north along the secluded beach as far as the sand will take us. We climb the rocky shoulder and Rah finds a nice perch to sit and watch the mesmerising and calming toing-and-froing of the water at her feet. I keep wandering around the rocky headland until I find a beach where the perfectly white sands have been replaced with perfectly shaped seashells. It so refreshing to be submerged in a natural environment without a single man-made object in my field of view. I lay on the rocks and soak up the last of the setting sun, using the time to assess the trip so far; the people I’ve met and the places I’ve experienced. Have I pushed myself far enough from my comfort zone? Am I where I want to be?
It starts to get dark and I so commence the walk back to where I last saw Rah. As I round the rocky bend I find her sitting there in the same position and wearing the same dazed expression upon her relaxed face. I join her for a short-while as the last of light vanishes from around us.
We slowly make our way back to the motorbike and Brogan has returned from town by the time we arrive. He’s started setting up camp already, tucking the swag just out of view from the nearby road. We follow suit before pouring tea and writing until our eyelids push-shut. The early night means an early rise in hopes of catching the sun peering up over the ocean.