April 15th was supposed to be the day I packed up the car and said farewell to the Mitchell Plateau. I had given myself a week to drive back to Broome so I could take it slow and photograph some waterfalls along the way. I figured it would be nice just to have a week of no work, no morning check-ins and no responsibilities. And then pre-season training would kick off a few days after that and the tour-guiding season would be underway. When I thought about leaving the lodge I had such mixed feelings. I knew I would miss the place almost immediately and knew I would be keen to get back. But there was definitely a few things I was looking forward to. I was looking forward to good restaurant food and sunset views of Roebuck Bay. I was looking forward to big hugs, big handshakes and good conversations with friends. Like I said before, I was looking forward to sharing less and listening more. I was looking forward to clean floors and a comfy sofa and channel surfing. I was looking forward to walking into a bottle shop and picking a tasty beer off the shelf. I was looking forward to working hard and earning some money. I was looking forward to getting the calendars on the shelves and sharing some new photos with people. I was looking forward to holidays later in the year - Borneo perhaps, and New York - and seeing family again. And who knows, maybe meeting a nice outdoorsy girl with a big heart someone along the way. Alas, this is the way the cookie crumbles, as they say. For now all of those things remain on hold. Instead it's now about focussing on those things I would have missed had I left the lodge today and being grateful to be in such an amazing place. Chapter 1 ends and chapter 2 begins.