Monday, March 14, 2011

i try scuba diving

No, not my most glamorous moment. This was something I have wanted to do for a while. My brother and I tackled it together. Simon (from Mindarie Dive Academy) was our instructor. He was a hilarious Englishman. He talked at a million miles an hour and laughed louder than anyone I've ever met. There were two other blokes in our group: Tony and Barry. If you wanted the perfect example of a classic aussie block these two would be perfect. They were genuine and friendly, and happy to take the piss out of each other. Good value.

Some people I mentioned diving to said it made them feel chlaustrophobic. For me it is the opposite. You are surrounded by an endless blue that goes forever and ever. There is something very magical and humbling about the ocean.

However, due to bad weather our first dive was in the river. The visibilty was 1.5m at the most. It was gross. Luckily, our instructor was just as keen to get all our skills done as quick as possible. Memo to self: never, EVER dive in the river...unless you are looking for a watch.

Our second dive was in the ocean near Burns Rocks. It was a beautiful day. The visibility still wasn't amazing but it was definitely better than the river. After our second dive we sat on the boat waiting for other divers to resurface. When they did they brought some seals with them. Simon and I popped on fins and snorkels and jumped in. Swimming with seals is something everyone should do. They love to play and copy you. If you somersault, they will somersault. If you dive down, they will dive down. If you sit still and watch them, they will get bored and swim away.

But, if you launch yourself out of the water, they will do it too. Or maybe I just have an undiscovered gift. I knew I had to have a talent somewhere, lying dorment all these years. And here it is. Miranda McCurry: seal impersonator extraordinaire. Magic.

Follow me on Instagram: @mirandamc

Monday, March 7, 2011

i try a day spa

Freeway. Freeway. More freeway. Then through an industrial area. Then past treeless housing developments that are a maze of culdesacs and streets with weird names like Kareela Meander, Tussock Elbow and Lauderdale Ramble. The houses begin to thin and the road is suddenly lined with trees. As you approach the entrance you become immersed in a lush, green, tranquil oasis in the middle of the toxic, concrete desert of suburbia. This is Onyesha.

The pebblestone drive winds it's way through the stunning gardens where you park among large pinetrees. The gardens appear to be endless. The outside world could competely vanish and you wouldn't even know. Already I am starting to feel relaxed.
Today, Louise* (yes, that is the same Louise from the Pickled Fig and Meeka) and I are getting a full body dry brushing exfloiation, full body wrap using luxurious plant essences and aromatherapy oils. This is followed up with a back, neck, shoulder and scalp massage.
Onyesha has several hidden pavillions, gazebos and cottages where treatments take place. Today, we are escorted to the balinese pavillion. A stoney path leads us through old wooden doors to a pavillion surrounded by dense greenery.

We are politely instructed to step behind a change screen, remove our clothes (leaving on our underwear) and wrap a large sarong around us. Chioni is my beautician/masseuse/therapist for today. She allows me to choose the oil for the massage. I select "contour" because it's supposed to remove toxins. I figure there'll be a few of those in my skin.

The scrub was lovely and the massage even better. Chioni would occasionally check in to see if the massage pressure was ok or to ask me to turn over. A couple of times she asked me to take three deep breathes. It was only the second time that I realised she was holding essential oils under my nose as a breathed in. The trees gently rustled in the soft morning breeze. Birds were whistling. And, yes, I was falling asleep. We were then invited to get changed and enjoy a complimentary cup or tea and treat in the garden. As we sipped our tea I could see a magnificent lake peaking through the trees. I followed a path down to it. A gazeebo stood in the middle covered in roses. I think I might request that one next time.

There is something really magical about this place. Time stops. Nothing is rushed. You feel like you could be the only people in the world. Despite this Onyesha is only 30 minutes from the CBD. I don't know how long we sat in the garden. I know my heart-rate slowed, my shoulders loosened and for a short while I had no worries at all.

*name changed. Not for privacy reasons. Just because I love a good pseudonym.

Onyesha Spa
26 Pinelake Trail,
Mariginiup, WA