The Lighthouse family

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December 19th 2011
Published: December 19th 2011EDIT THIS ENTRY

I realise that the title of today's blog may have put some of you off. I mean, who wants to hear about The Lighthouse Family, 20 years after they last tortured our ears? The only gig that I've ever been to that I fell asleep in. However do not be put off - there is no subsequent mention of said band throughout this blog...merely references to a lighthouse and to a family...

Today started well, with Emma creeping into the dorm at 3.30am after a night out with her mates from London. It started again at 7am when she decided it was time to do her washing, and again at 8am when our alarms finally went off. Today is moving day and we're all off to Byron Bay - Julia, Alan, Emma and I, as well as a few others we've picked up along the way. The Greyhound bus beckons at 11am so it's a relatively early start to pack up all the crap we've accumulated.

Now I've tried to be good and tried to bin clothing, paperwork - anything that weighs more than a feather that I haven't used for two weeks is up for throwing away. However you've never seen so much stuff as we took with us on the Greyhound today. An average of 4 bags each, some with food, others full of shoes, some just with the things we couldn't fit in the main bags. Then we went shopping and bought bikinis, food, drinks...all equating to more bags. Fortunately our bags weren't counted on today or else we'd not be laughing, rather scraping around our pockets to find the extra cash necessary to fund the baggage excess.

On the bus itself, we had a bit of space as it wasn't full, although we've all been warned that our buses to Sydney later this week are so busy that they've laid on loads of extra services. Poor drivers that thought they might get a quiet few days nearer Christmas have been sadly mistaken. Bus highlights today included the man who sneezed so loudly he a) woke himself up and b) woke the entire bus up, including those with headphones, earphones and quite possibly those who were deaf. The funniest thing I've seen in ages. That was until we overtook a fire truck, complete with a driver who was rocking out to the radio at the top of his voice, and throwing his head around like Axl Rose on a good night. And then he caught sight of Emma and I copying his every move on our side of the glass... cue the horn beeping, light flashing and holding his head in his hands as he realised he'd been 'had'. You've been framed would've paid double for the clip of it, so funny was his reaction. Made the two hour journey fly by as we must've laughed solidly for ages after that.

In Byron, we drove through town and past a set of steps that I clearly remember sitting on to have lunch last time here. Also remember not being very happy at that point, which makes the fact that today I'm in one of the happiest moods I could be in, despite the lack of sleep, all the more brilliant. Once again, putting the wrongs of last time right in this visit - and you can't argue with that. The hostel was a 5 minute walk away from the bus stop so we traipsed all our bags along and checked in - it's a pretty cool place in the middle of town, with its own pool and hammocks to relax in. 3 nights here in a 9 bed all girl dorm will surely give me horrendous flashbacks of that big dorm we had at Badminton all those years ago (can't remember the name of it for the life of me - grateful if someone could let me know the answer!) but at least so far, no one is walking around with their phones firmly tucked in their pants just to go to the loo. Some of you will understand the significance of that in terms of righting the wrongs of the last trip....for others, it's a long long long story, and too long for what is already a 40,000 word to-date blog!

After a quick sushi lunch - next door to what appears to be a fantastic veggie restaurant along the lines of the Rainbow Cafe in Glastonbury - we headed off on an organised tour to the Lighthouse. The team that started the day together - Alan, Julia, Emma and I, our little travelling family of Mum, Dad and the two kids (you see - now you can work out why I titled the blog so!) - set off on what was due to be a two hour walk to see the sights before having dinner then sleeping. It turned out to be a two hour hike, in flipflops/crocs, through the rainforest, up a million and one steps designed for those with significantly longer legs than those granted to a 5ft 3 short-ass, down a similar number of steps, only to go back up the same number again, round a hill, up a hill and up to the lighthouse. Asthmaaaar particularly enjoyed the trip - might not attempt it in a hurry again - but we eventually made it. After taking too many photos - including using a very handy gadget that let you attach your camera to it to take timed self portraits (I'm sure photographers would call this a 'tripod' but it looked more like the robot in Short Circuit), we then set off downhill to the most easterly point on the Australian mainland. More photos. Then further downhill, uphill, downhill past Wategos beach and then onto Palm beach to walk back to the hostel. The beach was covered in bluebottles - little electric blue jellyfish that have a nasty sting. Successfully avoided being attacked by any of the blighters, mocked a man doing sit ups in the middle of the sand, then headed back to the hostel exhausted after what was probably a 5 km hike (although we reckon that any distance walked on sand counts for double so make that 6 km...).

Who knows what tomorrow brings? A day of talking just using song lyrics has been discussed, however if the sun's out, the beach and more jellyfish avoidance beckons. Either than or I'm going to baggsy a hammock and just snooze the day away. Byron Bay is the chilled capital of NSW so might as well do my best to fit in...


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