Leaving behind the Gold Coast, we started the final two days of The Big Lift bus experience by using the long trip home to catch up on any sleep missed the night before while Maree sneakily captured sleeping shots.
When we arrived at Byron Bay, Norm skilfully manoeuvered the bus up the hill to the Cape Byron Lighthouse, the eastern most point of Australia. After taking pictures and attempting a flashmob in front of the lighthouse (with only one bus group and low music), both buses were united down in the town of Byron Bay. Some of us grabbed a bite to eat at the local fish and chip shop and enjoyed the serenity of the waves, while Dasha, Emily and Becky spontaneously decided to pierce their body.
Everyone then gathered at the park by the beach to perform one final flashmob of 'Happy' to the gathered crowd at Byron Bay beach. After a final game of emotional werewolves on the bus, we arrived at our last town stop: Valla Beach.
On our last night, those who can, planned to sleep altogether or have no sleep at all. We all shared a bbq dinner before starting the night activities: Bus Idol and then some bus-split activities that left us all feeling warm and fuzzy.
For the rest of the night we lay down in front of the small fireplace. No longer than two hours later, we were all up and ready to go down to the beach to watch the sun rise. Mist settled over the water, the waves rolled on to shore and the sun rays peaked above the horizon. The more energetic lifters threw around a frisbee, while others huddled under blankets to watch the orange glow brighten.
In celebration of our last breakfast, the amazing crew prepared us delicious pancakes (even better when they're half cooked) before we packed up our things and headed on our way. We stopped twice more; once for lunch and then at Heatherbrae's Pie's for the “best” pies in Australia. The last leg of the trip was spent attempting to resolve riddles and sharing words of wisdom.
The Big Lift Experience of 2014 came to an end on the bus, but for all those on the journey the experience and friendships will be always carried with them. Hopefully what was gained can be payed forward in our own community as our experiences are shared with other friends and family. TBL 2014 truly created a family that will not be forgotten.
Signing off and saying goodbye (but not forever), Jacinta, a grateful TBL14 family member.