I can remember walking, loose-limbed and happy, on a sunny, hot, dry Australian day. I remember I was wearing one of my favorite outfits - a mesh shirt of light blue (or maybe it was the pink one...) with the full circle skirt my mother made me (that I subsequently wore to DEATH) and jelly sandals (loved jelly sandals, pity they went out of style). I do remember it was hot, but I liked it. There was an oddity, however, in that there would be moments where it was hotter, and I fancied I was walking under small holes in the ozone layer. lol
Stepping out into the back yard on a full moon evening to a world that was silver and black. The light was so bright I could see everything clearly. I could see the kitty cat face on the moon very clearly and the stars were breathtaking.
Going on a trip to Karatha College by bus, stopping in the Hammersly Ranges on the way. There were some easy trails in the gorges and they were enchanting, but an intrepid group decided to try one of the harder ones. There were two chaperons (both men), four boys and three girls (myself included) on the way in. We left one girl behind very early when she complained the walls were spinning (when I think about it, this little trip may just be the reason Year 9 trips were cancelled ....) and the second was left behind when we had to climb a nearly sheer wall and come down on the other side of a deep pool - she made it to the top, but couldn't get back down. She was my friend, and I left her behind because I would be DAMNED if I let the guys go on without some representative of the female gender. One of the chaperons stayed with her. And I stuck with the guys all the way to the end of the gorge, where we swam across a pool to an island. At that point the guys climbed a tree that overhung the water and jumped in the water but I worried too much about my glasses to follow them that far. But the remaining chaperon didn't even swim out to the island, so I felt I had upheld my gender's honor. ;)
We went back out the same way we came in, collecting those we had left behind (I really do feel sorry for the one that was left alone... but only in retrospect) and noticing the water at the top felt almost hot compared to the water in the shadow of the gorge.
The stars that night were extraordinary since we were so far from any lights. For the first time I could see the Milky Way and Scorpio was nearly overhead. It was at this time I noticed that some stars near Scorpio make a perfect teapot. But, I had a horrible bit of stress - I needed my glasses to see the stars, but sleeping with them on was a very bad idea. Of course I protected the glasses.
Oh, and there was the cool week I spent on a sailing ship. Many stories there. The conch shell I found buried in the sand. Eating oysters straight off a reef. Finding that walking barefoot on non-skid surfaces HURTS when your feet of sleep-swollen. Looking over the side of the ship to see the clearest water ever, with the shadow of the ship showing us just how shallow the water was. Waking in complete darkness, wondering where the hell I was and what happened to the stars. I had to feel around myself to figure out that I was in a small room at which point I remembered I was no long on the ship, but in a hostel.
Going swimming without my glasses and being very sure that I saw a shark (the others agreed it was a shark). Finding that I lose a great deal of equamity without my glasses, but never did let that stop me. I didn't like the look of the sharp coral I had to climb over to get back the way the other's did, so I walked around a headland, alone, nearly blind, over uneven coral without mishap. At least, without mishap until I was almost to the dry land, when I lost my balance and put my hand out to the headland... which suddenly MOVED in all directions and I screamed. I had tried to put my hand on a bunch of small crabs sunning themselves. EEK! But I got back to the group safely. That took rather more courage than I gave myself credit for at the time, but well, see, I had left my glasses behind and needed to get to them....
I don't know why my clearest, sharpest memories are from Australia.