Walking along a thin gravel path past green scrubs that have turned dark in the hot sun, I question turning back. My friend and I have been walking for what seems like an eternity in the unforgiving, South Australian sun. As my feet, unprotected in thongs start to drag, a twenty-something guy with mousey blonde long hair and no shirt on passes by on a motorcycle and says that symbolises his carefree nature yells “Keep going, it’ll be worth it.” Minutes later, we reach it.
Vivonne Bay in Kangaroo Island, voted one of the best beaches in Australia is in my backyard. Not literally, but it’s only a short drive and boat ride from where I live in Adelaide. Why do I need to travel so far when there’s beauty like this so close to home, I think to myself.
We’re here for the Kangaroo Island Pro, which is the first time South Australia has hosted an ASP World Tour surfing competition. Attracting over 4,000 people, this is the type of beach you normally have all to yourself.
Continuing down the path that’s now turned into beige steps, we follow a line of people with the same look on their face – a look of awe. A body of water that’s multiple shades of turquoise as far as the eye can see, darkened only by limestone rocky outcrops. My feet hit the sand and I take off my white thongs but I lose them instantly against the white, translucent sand.
My friend and I sit on the sand, watching the surfers snag the perfect barrel, time and time again. Sitting there, I feel a sense of awakening, in every part of me. The ocean always has that effect of me. My foot taps to the rhythm of her song. I’ve waited so long for this calm mind. So far did I look, so full inside, I left my fear aside. The familiar scent of the sea air, the way it frees my hair. The sand flickers in the air – subtly – it keeps moving and I feel it land on my skin.
Like the surfers, I was addicted to the thrill. The waves come in threes. As the sun sets, I’m happy just sitting still – comfortable and content.