Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Australian Sojourn – May 2016

Part 11: Last Days in Australia

Above: A Poldark moment! . . . though in Australia not Cornwall,
and minus the eighteenth-century attire.

I find it hard to believe but it's been almost four months since I returned to the U.S. from my "Australian sojourn." High time, then, to wrap-up my series of posts documenting my time and experiences in the Great South Land. And so today I share the eleventh and final installment in this series, an installment that covers my last days in Australia at the beginning of June. (To start at the beginning of this series, click here.)

It was, without question, a very enjoyable and meaningful sojourn, one which I began after my May 6 arrival with a few days spent in Sydney and nearby Morpeth, before flying south to Melbourne (and the "mystic Mount Diogenes"). I then made my way north by train to Port Macquarie via Albury, Goulburn, Exeter, and (ever so briefly) Sydney. After a few days in Port Macquarie, I flew to Townsville, before returning to Port Macquarie and making my way to Sydney from where I returned to the U.S. on Monday, June 6. Throughout my time in Australia, I was reminded of how incredibly fortunate I am to have the family and friends that I do.

On Friday, June 3, my brother, sister-in-law, and youngest niece traveled from Morpeth to Port Macquarie to spend time with my parents and I before my departure back to the U.S. on June 6. Pictured with me above (from left) are my younger brother Tim, Dad and Mum.

Above: With my two beautiful nieces Layne and Sami, and Layne's boyfriend Jack – Friday, June 3, 2016.

Right: With my younger brother Tim. My older brother Chris lives in Melbourne. I visited him and his family earlier in my sojourn (see here and here).

Above and below: On Lighthouse Beach, Port Macquarie – Friday, June 3, 2016. (For another image from this particular walk along Lighthouse Beach, click here.)

Above: My sister-in-law snapped this photo of us after a lovely lunch at the Rivermark Café – Saturday, June 4, 2016. From left: Dad, Mum, Jack, my sister-in-law's parents Barbara and Bill, my nieces Layne and Sami, me, and Tim.

Above: A view from the Rivermark Cafe, Port Macquarie's "only café on the river," the Hastings River, that is.

Above: Town Beach, on my last day in Port Macquarie – Saturday, June 4, 2016. That night there were terrific storms all along the coast of New South Wales. My parents' house lost power in the night, and so saying goodbye to them in their cold and darkened house early on Sunday morning was kind of appropriate given our shared feelings of sadness.

Above and below: In Sydney my mood was lifted by being reunited with my friend Raphael. On Sunday night I joined him, his girlfriend Meera, and his sister Collette for a wonderful meal at a Thai restaurant.

Above: Meera, Raphael, and Collette.

Right: With Raph and Collette on my last night in Australia – Sunday, June 5, 2016.

Left: The plane that brought me back to the U.S. The long flight across the Pacific was made somewhat bearable by my watching of the BBC's recent adaptation of Tolstoy's War and Peace.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Australian Sojourn, May 2016: Part 1 – Maroubra
Australian Sojourn, May 2016: Part 2 – Morpeth
Australian Sojourn, May 2016: Part 3 – Melbourne
Australian Sojourn, May 2016: Part 4 – Hanging Rock
Australian Sojourn, May 2016: Part 5 – Albury
Australian Sojourn, May 2016: Part 6 – Goulburn
Australian Sojourn, May 2016: Part 7 – Exeter
Australian Sojourn, May 2016: Part 8 – Port Macquarie
Australian Sojourn, May 2016: Part 9 – Gunnedah
Australian Sojourn, May 2016: Part 10 – Townsville

Images: Michael J. Bayly.

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