The 300 Valentine's Day Road Trip

Trip Start Aug 20, 2007
Trip End Jul 04, 2008

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Flag of Australia  ,
Thursday, February 14, 2008

The 300, my trusty Toyota Camry, gracefully deposited me in the driveway of an old mate from the college days. Andy Ellis is now married to lovely Liselle, and they live in a beautiful house on the Central Coast of New South Whales. After showing me around the coast a bit we chilled in the evening just laughing at how odd it was for me to be sitting on his couch after not keeping in contact for 7.5 years. It's because we are dudes. Dudes don't have to stay in touch to remain friends. Once a friendship is in place it sets. It's simple.
The next day was Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day was spent checking out my favorite beaches during my Australian college days. I was laughing to myself out of pure glee as I drove through the Australian bush as I neared Catherine Hill Bay or Cathos. The  beach was the same with its tiny community nestled at the north and south ends of the little bay. Old memories rolled in from the cerebellum of nights spent sleeping under warm blankets listening to the surf and watching the stars roll in the heavens. Memories of early surfs with mates made easy from college and thrashings from the occasional big swells that pounded Cathos.
I hung out at Cathos for a bit reading the signs of protest hanging off of fences and porches against a hotel and mall development project that has been proposed on the headland. Andy later told me that it has been in talking for several years and it is at a freeze for now. My personal opinion agrees with the locals. Cathos is a classic and needs to stay the way it is.
After revisiting Cathos I headed down to Moonees. Moonees is my favorite Australian beach. You have to hike 15 minutes through bush to get there. Once there you see nothing but nature. No signs of man. Its a beach break with a rip along a rocky shelf the sweeps you right out into the lineup. There are lefts and rights with a bit of punch. The surf was looking like rubbish when I arrived, so I meanderd down the beach and found a plastic chair in the dunes to have a sit down and absorb it all in. Valentine's Day at Moonees solo was not lonely. It was not sad. It was just me. I was happy. I was free. The sand under foot, the wind with salt in hair, the sun on face and back, all made for a sensation of just being. Just being a wanderer. Just being content.
I decided to go for paddle. The conditions weren't good, but I had to because it was Moonees. It ended up being one of my funnest sessions on the trip. These lefts started coming through and I was loving them on my little twin fin. Andy showed up to be my afternoon surf partner. We just BSed in the lineup like we used to back in the day. I ended up getting my forehead cracked on my board being an idiot. Paddled back out with blood running down my face. I was feeling woozy but shook it off. Andy started talking about sharks in the area and we just laughed. A minor scratch wasn't going to stop my Moonees session.
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