Published: September 3rd 2007August 28th 2007
A little title in the sand the first day down the beach on Byron Bay. The sand squeaked when you walked on it for some reason!
Well after a big spending time in New Zealand it was back to earth as I got back to Sydney again. After arriving back and checking into the same hostel as before it was nice to see nothing had changed. It was as if I hadn't been away and all of the same people were still in the hostel. When I got back I met up with Jill, the American girl that I threw myself off a bridge with in New Zealand. I spent the first few days searching for a job doing anything. I can't get a bar job in New South Wales without an RSA certificate which basically says you can work responsibly on a bar. It is $80 for the half day course so I decided to concentrate on labouring work. After a couple of days I had landed a couple of jobs with a varied amount of hours. The main one that I ended up keeping was an exhibition company focussed on setting up for events and expos and then taking them down after... the work wasn't too hard and I got to go and work at different places, including Olympic Park (where the 2000 Olympics were
Me, Shaun, Cat and Sonia with some tall bloke. In the background is Sydney Centre
held), Fox Studios (a massive TV/ film studio) and Darling Harbour where I worked for events like the International Boat Show and the APEC meeting.
I made a lot of friends in the hostels in Sydney as most people were there for a long time for work.
On one of our days off me and a few friends went to Taronga Zoo which is just across the harbour from the Opera House. It is quite a small zoo compared to Australia Zoo and other ones that I've been to but it was really cool. We were given monkey masks at the start of the day and although there was loads of school trips there that day, we seemed like the only 4 people to be wearing them. I got loads of pictures from the day but it seems that we were more interested in the animal statues and cut out boards than the animals themselves!
At the end of the day at the zoo there was a bird show with the usual selection of hawks and stuff eating little bits of mice and flying low overhead. The show was ok but the views were better as it was directly across
Just like Happy Feet but much better
from the Opera House and Harbour Bridge with the city in the background.
I worked for about 3 weeks in Sydney setting up for all the different events that were on and planned to work there until mid-September to get some cash saved up. However when the work dryed up last week, I decided spontaneously to leave the next day to go up the coast. An English girl called Emma who is friends with one of the guys I worked with also wanted to head north so we went on the internet and booked a flight for the next day. We booked a flight to the Gold Coast airport and planned to fly at 5pm the next day. Unfortunately, I ended up on a barcrawl that afternoon and then back at the hostel for free wine and cheese night. Needless to say the next day I was suffering from a massive case of a lie in and hangover even though I needed to do a lot of things. The receptionists came up to tell me I was supposed to have checked out so just a couple of hours late I did so. I needed to check the flight number and
Byron Bay Main Beach
First bit of sun for 5 months so straight down the beach for a burning
do my washing when at 1:30 a Jet Star representative rang up to say that the flight was cancelled and offered two alternatives... fly later that night; about 9pm or get a plane in an hour to a different airport called Ballina Byron. Little did I know, but we had booked the wrong airport to go to Byron Bay originally and so we changed to the earlier flight. This made things a little more interesting as we had 45 minutes to pack, weigh our bags, then, get the 30 minute shuttle to the airport and catch the plane. Easy.
Fortunately everything went exactly according to plan as I am writing this in Byron Bay! Although it was raining when we first got off the plane, it is now nice and hot.
Byron Bay is the furthest easterly point in Australia, pretty much half way up the east coast.
The first day we arrived we went to get some food but and have a look around town. However we got sidetracked after a nice curry by a backpacker bar called 'Cheeky Monkeys; where there was competitions and loads of free drinks and prizes given away. I almost won a bungy jump
Nimbin High Street
The street in Nimbin; just a couple of the common shops. 'Happy High Herbs' and 'Bringabong'
but just missed out.
Our first day in Byron and it was really hot; apparently I've just missed a week of storms and rain- shame. We went down to the beach and started a long lost tan. The sea was really rough with waves around 10ft high just off the beach; quite funny seeing the surfers attempting that... some serious wipe outs were occurring.
The next day of our stay here was probably the most eye opening weird day/ experience I have ever had. We booked a tour to a small town called Nimbin which was set up by Anti-war students in the 70's. It is a single street about 200 metres long which is a drug and hippy haven in Australia. Every shop is brightly coloured, mainly selling pipes, bongs and every other king of drug paraphernalia you can think of. The whole place seemed surreal and everything/ everyone appeared to be living in slow motion. There was a supermarket and pub which felt normal but then even looking at the respectable store owners and barmen, they were all stoned. After 2 hours in the town the tour took us to a guys house who lived in the
Called a museum but actually just a collection of random stuff stuck all over the walls and weird paintings. More like a strange dream than a museum
jungle out of town. He had 5 acres of land that he'd planted up into a wild rainforest environment a just ate things that grew there. He'd definitely been smoking one too many drugs in his life and was just a bit of a nutter.
Nimbin is renowned around Oz as being an 'alternative' place and just going there was amazing to see how some people live... like a time machine to the 60's / 70's.
For my final day in Byron Bay I took a surfing lesson. The 'dude' who took the course was in his 40's but obviously loved surfing. It was really helpful and after some practice on the beach i was standing up and riding the waves right up to the beach. It made me want to go out again and practice some more; you never know, by the time i come home I may have long blonde hair and a massive tatoo!!!
I'm off up the coast to Surfers Paradise now, the last place on the East Coast for me to do.
There are more photos below