Monday, March 5. Dean picked me up at 11:00 AM and we headed up the coast to the north. We were originally going to go into the Blue Mountains, which are supposed to be beautiful and which I was really looking forward to, but serious rain was threatening. It seemed more wise to head up the coast from Manly to Palm Beach. On the way, we serendipitously bumped into a health food restaurant in Avalon, which for Dean is absolutely critical, and picked up some food for him to go. I had brought my leftover pad Thai with me, so we headed up further to Whale Beach, with its orange sand, sat on a park bench overlooking the beach, and had lunch. It’s a small beach with nice cliffs on either side, so I decided to walk it, found a nice Aussie shell to bring back home, and then it started to rain so I turned back. Since we got into the car and started to leave, the rain stopped. We ended up at Palm Beach, which is a much larger and really great, expansive beach, the kind of beach I’ve been looking for ever since I arrived in Australia. The beaches here put Florida to shame. Almost no one was on it because of the weather, and just as we started walking it and I found another couple of shells, the rain started again. So we couldn’t walk out to Barrenjoey Head. Again we got in the car and just as we drove away the rain stopped again. So we stopped back at the health food store in Avalon and got ourselves some softserve, healthy, coconut ice cream: Cocowhip. Best natural food ice cream I’ve ever had. Even Dean could eat it. That was worth my trip to Australia! Anyway, when we got toward home, we walked down to a little park by one of the many beautiful harbors around here–naturally it started to rain just as we got there, but then it did stop–and we had a really nice talk. I even had an insight about something I had been puzzling over. Great day! Dean drove me home, we bid each other adieu, then it was time for me to pack up everything. I can’t believe I’m leaving tomorrow. I’m ready, though. At close to a month on the road I’m ready to go home. But it’s been a great trip.