Finally with a cup of ginger and lemon tea I am gaining my senses back. It’s been quiet a long period I would say since I had left for Adelaide and from a simple weekend away gateway it turned into a roller coaster adventure with a lot of things packed into very few days.
Item Number #23 – Swim with White Sharks and Item Number #10 – Try couch surfing in Australia
I left for the Airport to complete another item on my bucket list and it was couch surfing and visit one of the 7 new city/town in next 7 months. It was a cloudy day in Adelaide and I was not sure what I will be doing in this part of South Australia looking at the weather. All I had planned was to book a return ticket and arranged to couch surf there. Other than this I had no clue what I am supposed to do in this new place. I am getting used to of this now – going to a new place with no plan and do stuff there accordingly. Only if I knew I will end up encountering a dozen sharks after no sleep and few drinks one of these nights I was about to spend in South Australia. Yes right, it is not a good idea to drink if you are going to dive with great white sharks my dear friends. And this is coming from my personal experience.
I arrived at the place I was supposed to stay and there was a surprise waiting for me there. I realized that I was about to meet few fellow couch surfers and talk all day about life and philosophy and learn a lot of new things today. I didn’t have much sleep the day before the flight so I was a bit tired and cloudy weather seemed perfect to relax and wind down after 16 very busy days of my life (including sailing lesson and attending many social events other than trying to come up with many ideas to finish few bucket list items and not to say full time work with two night time deployments). I was feeling so happy to finally get this weekend for myself. I was at the door of my host in Adelaide and Sebastian, fellow German couch surfer welcomed me in this new place. It was a different feeling to be in this house. Something spiritual about the house and peaceful environment. I felt so happy instantly and started to relish the beauty of this new place with a garden, a pet cat and few chicken in the backyard. The lady who was hosting me wasn’t around so Sebastian, who was also couch surfing there gave me a quick run of the place and offered me some Jasmine tea. It was quiet refreshing. We talked about a lot of things including bin diving or so called dumpster diving. The people here were doing some bin diving which I had no clue what it was so I really enjoyed learning about it. And guess what here is a complete guide about it as well – Dumpster-Dive
Then I met another girl named Ariana, who was living there with the host (lady). She is a brilliant and charming 19 years old Indian girl. I enjoyed my conversation with her about India, social problems in India and a lot more. I already felt that I am going to miss staying here once I am back. Marion, the lady who was hosting me here, also arrived from Victoria as she was gone to attend a retreat and we discussed her experience there. Another couch surfer Nick joined us towards the night. Marion is a great lady and an awesome host. Last year she hosted more than 200 people at her place. Amazing right. Here I was enjoying my first couch surfing experience with such an amazement.
Next day I prepared cheesy egg frittata with Nick for three of use (Nick, Sebastian and myself) as Marion already had her breakfast and Ariana had left for her Art school workshop. And guess what it was the best meal I ate after a while, may be because I was cooking 😉 Anyways I felt home at that place and we started making plans for the day when I started checking about Shark Diving in the area as mentioned by Ariana a day before. I am not sure what came over me and I booked the returned ticket to Port Lincoln in another two house for the dive as it was one of the things on my bucket list. I was lucky when I called the tour company and they say the tour is being operated everyday and there are quiet good chances to see shark these days. Only issue was my return flight was around 6:30 PM and the tour doesn’t usually end till late evening. I was a bit in mess now as I had to be back somehow to be back at work on Monday morning. Here I was sitting in-front of the chair and wanted to bang my head against the wall thinking of my hastiness at times. But any ways I saw this as an opportunity to complete the task on my bucket list and felt quiet enthusiastic and somehow I felt I can make it and things will be alright. So I booked a night in Port Lincoln and early morning (6 AM) tour for cage diving with the great white dangerous sharks. I left Adelaide with a note that if they don’t hear back from me then I might be in some shark’s stomach 😉
I arrived at the hostel where I was staying for the night – YHA. I already started meeting people who were going for the dive or who had done it. I was so excited that I can’t put it into words. I met this group of English guys and had my dinner talking to them about their experience with the sharks and sharing my experience of my bucket list so far. More people joined us and here I was playing different weirdly named card games (one of them was shithead, I wasn’t sure if it was the right name really). I was enjoying the game when everyone started drinking wine and I was offered some as well. I thought for a moment but then joined everyone else. I am not sure what was I thinking really as after few drinks I was not sure how am I going to make it for the early morning departure to the port. And on top of that I agreed to go to the pub with others. Here I was feeling all uneasy with the constant reminder of the tour so I went outside the pub to get some air. The worst was still waiting though. When I wanted to go back the bouncer didn’t allow me in saying that after 1 AM no one is allowed back into the pub. It was one of the most stupid thing I had ever heard whereas the group I came with was still inside. I called a taxi and made my home to get some sleep then. Only when I arrived at the hostel I realized that someone from the group had borrowed my key as they didn’t have their key handy. This was not looking good anymore. Fun time seemed to be over. I had two choices – Try to sleep in the living area in the couch. But then I had to get my key back to check out in the morning. I tried to knock on the door but no one opened the room I was staying. I was already regretting over the decision of drinking tonight. I decided to stay awake till others come back and get my key back to let myself into my room. It was so hard to keep my eyes open. I made my way to the kitchen and made some tea for myself. There was some free food in the fridge and I got some munchies from the shelf to make sure that I am fully awake this night no matter what. It was getting really hard to manage things at this stage now. I was partially awake when after few hours may be around 3 AM when two guys came from the group and asked me what I am doing here. I explained that I do not have the key. They felt sad for me after knowing the whole story and stayed with me in the living room to wait for others to be back so that I can get my key back. I was more assured now that I might be able to make it to the port tomorrow morning.
Finally I got my key around 4 AM and let myself in the room and got ready to sleep for two hours as the tour bus was supposed to be there by 6:30 AM. It was going to be the most ridiculous thing I had ever done I felt. But anyways I was in the flow making my journey more adventurous then it could be I thought. But it was still not that easy. There were many knocks on the door all night as there were quiet a few people drinking from my room and none of them had key. Yes it was a day of loosing key I felt. 6 AM – Someone’s alarm went off. I woke up quickly and saw others getting ready to leave. And I ran after them and realized that they didn’t bother to ask the driver to wait for few minutes. Here I was all ready but had missed my bus. I called the tour company and thankfully they send me another cab. I was finally able to catch the boat.
We all were welcomed with some early morning snacks. And I got introduced to this couple from Perth who were here to celebrate their second anniversary. What a great way to celebrate, although people were making jokes around wife to have a insurance for the husband. I didn’t take much time to drift to deep sleep when we left for a 3 hour journey to Neptune Island for our dive.
Finally some one from the crew woke me up and asked if I can go with the first group. Wow, this was quiet a wake up call now as my stomach was hurting with this bumpy ride till here and I still was suffering from the hangover. Really, Do I look so keen? I felt that it’s better to just go so I accepted to be the part of the first group. And they gave me all the gears to get ready.
It was quiet a relief when I came to know that we do not have to carry cylinder as they had tubes to supply oxygen in the cage. We were soon getting interviewed about how excited we were to see the sharks. To be honest I couldn’t be more dazed doing something like this after a really big night. But I had to smile on the camera no matter what as it was going to be my big moment, if only I survive and not get eaten by any shark interested in me. I finally got into water and felt a surge of excitement in me. My inside diver was coming out full of curiosity. I soon was a normal diver with my brain functioning quiet well now under water. And I started looking for the sharks around. It wasn’t long that we started spotting few of them swimming around. Soon we were a bit shaken in the cage by their excitement to catch the food thrown from the boat. One of them even hit the cage so hard that I had to hold myself back not to swim out the gap in the cage. It was mind blowing to see them so close where I had an eye on the gap as there are stories of small sharks entering the cage through it.
Finally after an hour we went out the cage which was good as I was freezing by then and was done with shark seeing. We had our lunch once we got changed after a shower. I was tired and happy and excited all at the same time. I felt as if I was mesmerized by these beautiful but dangerous creatures. I was so lucky in terms of timing as today it was a small group of people and we got to see shark soon as compared to other days. Hence we headed back way too early – 2 PM. And got back by 4:30 PM and I had enough time to catch my flight back to Adelaide.
I am lucky when it comes to meet people I guess as on my way to Airport I got to share the taxi with this another amazing group of Tennis players who shared their experience of traveling around the world and it didn’t let me feel bore on the way to airport or another hour spent there. I was over the moon now after everything was falling in place. When I got back to Adelaide, I went back to the same place I was couch surfing. I met Marion and Sebastian there. I offered to cook some Indian curry and rice. We all shared the meal and it was the perfect way to end this trip really. Next morning my flight was very early (6 AM). Yes, this is early for me usually as I had to be there by 5 AM and that meant I had to get up by 4:30 at least. Marion was so helpful that she offered me lift to the airport in the morning. We enjoyed music – Santana by Carlos Augusto Alves Santana, a Mexican and American musician. I loved it. I was able to catch my flight to Sydney and went to work straight from the airport. I have done it few other times last year so it was OK to see people staring at me thinking I might have lost my way to enter with my big backpack.
So this was my adventure for this weekend. I hope you enjoyed it with me 😉
See you soon with more updates on my bucket list dear friends. Till then have fun 🙂