Trish and I decided against a motel in Byron Bay, Australia and opted for a self-contained cabin in a caravan park. We had three nights here before continuing our Greyhound drive northwards towards tropical Queensland.
There was a 10C degree between Sydney and Brisbane. We will be closer to Brisbane.
We like cooking for ourselves and not be distrubed by banging doors of hotel guests leaving before dawn breaks. We have done a lot of camping with our 23 ft. trailer and really like the upbeat campers. Many caravan parks also have sections for young backpackers and kitchens where they can cook their meals. This brings back many happy memories when I set off across Europe with a girlfriend from Guides.
Any Spare Cooking Oil?
My task last night was to cook steaks on the barbie (Aussie term for bar-b-q). We had forgotten to buy cooking oil – “No worries.” I found two girls sitting with a bottle of oil. I asked politely if I could use a little on the steaks – instant, “of course.” The owner of the oil was from northern Spain and when I mentioned “Catalonia,?” he eyes sparkled and a big grin came over her face. Catalonia has been seeking independence from Spain for years.
This young girl had been 4 years on the road improving her English. She was leaving on Saturday for the Phillipines. Her mother wants her home. She wants to look for a job. Her friend was from Kenya and had a lovely soft African accent. She lived in Australia and was travelling alone.
Cooking on the BBQ
There were two cooking sites, but one had been used and I knew it would be hot. I asked two young females and two young males if I could pop my steaks on their BBQ. All responded positively. There was a male Brit – absolutely disgusted with Brit-Ex. I told him that, unfortunately, many older people voted to exit Europe. “Many of these people have lived their lives and will soon be dead. They didn’t think of the younger generation like me!” I agreed. He had that Saxon look of light skin and blue eyes.
The second young man was from France. He was delighted that we had housepet in his country and knew some of the regions I gave. The first young girl was from Slovenia and when I added, “Melania,” she growned and said, “We are not proud of her or her husband.” I told them that I was a married Canadian lesbian and no one flinched. I expressed the hope that Trump would not roll back gay marriages. She replied that she hoped that there would not be more racism. The young French man spoke of the division of America and the Brit added that it will take years to heal these divisions.
The final young woman was from Germany. She spoke about the feelings of Germans that have taken in refugees. “I know we must take them, but they must try to love Germany and we will try to make that happen!”
On the Road
Here in Byron Bay, there is a constant stream of arriving and departing young backpackers. Around the corner from our self-contained cabin is a large tent with a rainbow flag and a peace sign in the centre. We haven’t met the occupants. There are gay and straight backpackers. It is hard to differentiate between them – two young men walking together – and one or two girls holding hands. There are many straight couples holding hands – that’s how easily they take their sexual orientation for granted. I backpacked with a straight woman for many years. I was not fully out to myself. I do remember her sitting on a platform in France. Her golden hair hung in ringlets. I remember saying to myself, “I love this person.” Now, years later I am travelling with Trish. We married in Canada in 2006. We share the packpackers’ urge to travel this beautiful world. However, it is nice to house/pet sit where we can have our own kitchen and not have to sleep in bunk beds. Hopefully, all these young people will return to their countries having met people of different races, colours, religions and sexual orientations. We need young people to express diversity and differences when they reach adulthood. We need their votes to unify and educate.