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Published: August 8th 2007
I was up very early to meet the OZ bus. Trying not to wake the lovely Dutch couple in my dorm I made a stupendous effort to pack quietly but blew it all at the end by the door hitting me in the arse and then slamming extra loudly as I left.
After chucking my stuff down 5 flights of stairs and dragging it up the road out side, dodging homeless men and drunk folk (Kings Cross is ever so classy) I was alarmed to see the OZ bus already waiting for me as I’d thought I was early. Turns out the driver, Adam (who was gorgeous despite inexcusable crime of hippy man-bag) was extra early too so no harm done. Once we had loaded my stuff on board we drove about Sydney and picked up everyone else before heading to the OZ Experience office to do the necessary paper work and final payments.
Travelling alone was a brand new experience for me but during the various stops we did on the long drive to Surf camp it transpired that lots of people were in the same boat which was a bit of a relief.
we arrived at Surf Camp-a place where basically you get a surf lesson and then can pay to get the photos of your surfing efforts at the end. As we disembarked the surf teachers rounded us up like sheep and gave a brief before everyone was sent away to get ready for the first lesson. Unhappily I had to abstain from Surfing as the docs in Melbourne explained the bones in my foot are not properly healed (probably because I made them take the boot off early to come here) and they advised me against any activity that would excerpt pressure on my foot. Crap. I felt so stupid being the only one not surfing!
I never-the-less I went down to the beach to watch the lesson and had a laugh at the comedy of errors that materialised as people were let alone to practice surfing. Later I was joined by Adam looking super sexy in some surfing gear- and thankfully minus the crime of hippy man bag. After a brief chat he joined in the You’ve Been Framed Surfing special in front of us but I had to retire early as the nasty sand flies were lunching on
Soon after though everyone was sent for an early bath as the light faded too much to surf any longer.
Later that eve we feasted upon a yummy meal during which I was forced to explain the reason I didn’t surf at least 26 tedious times- but truth is I would rather people knew I couldn’t rather than wouldn’t surf. The evening progressed fantastically; I think that the fact that most people (including me) had consumed their body weight in booze over dinner meant that every one talked to everyone which made for a fantastic evening.
Following day we were awoken by loud banging on door to alert us to breakfast. After we were fed and packed up we got on the road again. One of our driving breaks included a stop at one of Australia’s ‘Big Things’; a giant fibreglass Prawn. Apparently there are 146 of these over Oz including a banana, ant and beer can:
Eventually we arrived in Byron Bay where we got dropped off. The hostel that I had chosen was called The Holiday Village, a really laid back place swimming with fit guys and run by a bunch
of American surfers-dudes.
After getting checked in and saying goodbye to lovely driver Adam, Heejjue (pronounced He Shoe) and I hit the beach. Jeju is Korean and such a sweetie; you couldn’t hope to meet a lovelier person. The beach at was gorgeous, white sand and miles long; Byron is still one of my favourite beaches in all of Oz. Having come from winter in Melbourne I was pasty and used to the cold but this was the first place up the East coast that was hot and Heejjue and I lay horizontal on the beach for some time just listening to our music and taking in the atmosphere. Perfect. Later we were joined by Nicola and on our way back to the hostel were we booked a day trip to the notorious Nimbin. That night was our first introduction to Cheeky Monkeys, one of the most fabulous bars we frequented. Here, with a voucher you can get free food that although only entrée size did nicely.
Every night there is a theme here and tonight’s was Coyote Ugly but in reality it was a bit Coyote Scraping the Barrel as they wheeled out two blonde girls in
cowboy chaps who attempted to dance on the tables! The real fun only happened later as everyone, in a bladdered state, decided they could do better at dancing on the tables so did!
The following day was Nimbin day. I should explain for those not in the know that Nimbin is a hippy town where a blind eye is turned to cannabis use. Here you cannot walk down the street without being offered cookies or pure weed. Nicola (allegedly) even saw a photo of two coppers walking down the street with splifs in hand.
Apart from the drugs Nimbin is a really cute hippy town with loads to see but you cannot get away from the drug culture- so why try I say! Having bought a hash cookie and devouring it over coffee the guy running our day trip picked us up and took us to a remote spot beauty spot with waterfall where you could choose to swim. Unexpectedly the cookie began to work way before I expected it to making my eyelids feel like stone and managing to make me decidedly wobbly; I can’t tell you how close I came to nearly falling arse over t*t
to use the steppingstones over the river!
At the river Nicola decided she might like to do the jump into the river so we all waited, and waited and waited some more as she tried to pluck up the courage to jump, but unfortunately never did. We ended our day trip with a BBQ which was warmly welcomed and savagely devoured by those with the munchies The night ended in Cheeky Monkeys with an ever so classy wet T-shirt competition that saw not a square inch of room left in the place!
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