If there’s one thing that I particularly love about travelling, it’s the fact that you keep meeting people who somehow manage to add a little bit of magic to your life, simply by being themselves. One guy who did exactly that, is Peter.
It was already late when we arrived in Crescent Head last week. We had been on the road all day and were hungry for waves so we jumped into the water as soon as we got there and enjoyed a little sunset surf. The place was stunning: Pink sky, lots of pelicans, a perfect right hander and very friendly locals. What else could one ask for? Well, a place to stay, i.e. a spot where we could park our van and sleep.
My friend, Pete, who’s a local but who’s currently spending the winter season in the mountains, called me. We could stay at his place, he said. It’s a little off the road, but we should be able to get there with our van. A few minutes later I got a text: «Okay, to get to my place you head along […] road. Then you turn left onto […] lane until it v’s and take the right path onto […] lane. Then take the first rough driveway 50m down […] lane on your right and drive up the hill. She’s a rough road but you should make it up to where there is a cabin and stuff up there and you can park and have a fire and a shower. I’ll give you a buzz later and see if you found it haha.»
Dirt roads… we are not supposed to drive our van on dirt roads, we thought. But well… We haven’t had a hot shower in ages and it’s not like we had anything else planned that night anyways. Also, I really wanted to know what the cabin looked like he and his friend had built. We started driving, but it was dark, really dark and we couldn’t see shit. My friend, Lea, wasn’t happy about the dirt road and kept saying how bad of an idea it was to continue driving. You need to know: She’s a badass dirt road driver and it really takes a lot to make her feel that way.
However, when things got too rough, we decided to park the van somewhere next to the road and walk the rest of the way. Darkness. Forest. We didn’t have any torches, just our phones. Oh Australia, I thought. I’m glad there aren’t any bears or other sketchy animals to be afraid of at night. We walked uphill. The steep and slippery dirt road kind of uphill, where people accidentally twist or break their ankle — Pete, how the fuck were we supposed to make it up there with our van?! This can’t be the right direction, we thought. We must have missed it. Mixed feelings. Somehow giggling like little girls because the entire situation was simply too absurd, but also kind of worried because we literally had no idea where we were going.
Suddenly Lea went: «There’s a house!» She was right, but was it the right one? We went closer. No one there, but it definitely looked like someone had just been there. It had a veranda covered with tools, timber, pans, coffee and all sorts of other stuff. The place had an open kitchen, a compost toilet and a rain shower. This was it, Pete’s cabin! I recognized it from pictures he had sent me earlier this year. But, hadn’t he mentioned a bedroom, too? I sent a text: «How do we get into your room?» «There’s another cabin above on the next level, walk up the hill and use a torch», he answered. We couldn’t stop laughing. I hadn’t seen Pete in ages and I barely even knew him, and now we were there, somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Sitting on his veranda, drinking red wine out of his glasses, eating pasta out of his plates and about to sleep in his bed — a Snow White kind of moment. The sky was covered with stars shining like little diamonds, we were stoked! But, it was only when the sun started rising that we really realized what a magical place Pete had led us to. Cheers Mate!