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Published: October 31st 2006
The whole place was called Middle Reef Beachouse.
I know it's been a while since my last entry so I hope this one isn't too long. I have acutally been trying to post this for a few days but was having some trouble loading the pictures.
So...Byron Bay. I ended up getting quite sick in Byron. Luckily I had chosen to stay at a nice little beachouse that was slightly more expensive than a typical hostel, but well worth it. It was very quiet, extremely clean and made me feel like I was relaxing at camp. There were about 4 other people staying in my beachouse, mostly from the UK. It was nice to have them there for some good nightly conversations in the common room. Given the non-backpacker atmostphere most guests were in their 30's; there was however one young girl (Georgie) on her gap year. Most conversations consisted of wordly events (Iraq war, global warming and fossil fuels) which did get a little boring at times, but it was also interesting to hear a British perspective that really isn't all that different from ours.
The day after I arrived in Byron I was still in denial about being sick so Georgie and I took a
Georgie & I
Here we are at the top near the lighthouse
hike to the Bryon lighthouse, about about 4km there and 4km back. Well...I just about died. While going up hills I would normally run up, I had to stop every 10m to catch my breath and settle the dizziness. Poor Georgie was so patient with me. In the end, after feeling like I had climbed Everest, we finally made it to the top. I was happy I had made the effort because the view was spectacular. We sood above huge cliffs with water crashing into them and had a great view of the ocean. Apparently this is a great place to see dolphins and whales if you go at 6am...I did not make the trek.
On the way back we stopped for lunch at a picnic table and spent the entire time shooing wild turkeys, which I later found out are called Cassowary's. One actually flew right up onto our table, Hill you would have freaked! After lunch we tried to find a nice spot on the beach but it was such a windy day that no spot was satisfactory. In the end we settled on the main beach but I didn't stay long knowing the sun was probably
This is a picture taken on the way back from the lighthouse. It doesn't really show the main beach but it still gives you a view of the water and mountains in the background. Look for the little black specs in the water...those are surfers.
the last thing I needed. Instead, I went back to the beachouse and crashed for 3 hours only to get up for a few hours that night and go back to bed for another 12. Over the next few days I did a lot of sleeping and reading. Although, one day while browsing the shops of Byron I discovered a bead and jewelery making shop. HEAVEN! I forgot all about the sun and beach and got creative.
After a few days I was starting to get my energy back so I decided to take a surf lesson on my last afternoon in Byron. Haha, what an experience. I paid $40 for 4 hours (only about 2 of those were spent in the water). The surf company was called Kool Kats surfing and I swear the instructor WAS Harry (Jeff Daniels) from the movie Dumb and Dumber and I was riding in his dog van. He looked a lot like Jeff Daniels except with a lot more sun damage. I'll try to paint a picture, unfortunately I didn't get a real one. He was probably in his 40's, had longish hair that was thinning at the crown of his head.
This was the view one night from the front of the beachouse.
His hair was both brown and blond, brown close to his head where most of the grease was and then it turned to a dirty blond closer to the ends. He didn't wear shoes at all, sometimes wore a hat with the brim folded in half (no joke) and spoke like a sufer dude. I desperately wanted to ask him to say "cowabunga dude" but I held my composure. So Mom and Dad, now that I've got you all freaked out about who I was getting into a car with and taking surf lesson from, I should say that his appearance was deceiving and did not seem to reflect his teaching abilities. We drove about 20 minutes to a beach at Lennox Head and were given wetsuits and surfboards. After a quick safety talk and steps to getting up on a surfboard, we were in the water and I was first. This was my first time in the ocean since my trip began and it was certainly a shock for a Canadian accustomed to fresh water lakes. The waves were HUGE and the rip was strong. First thing I did was get pummeled by a massive wave where I took
This is Daniel and I...fellow beginners. He was a natural.
in a huge gulp of salt water...so gross! Then the instructor (I can't remember his name) told me to lie on my stomach on the board and pushed me away with the next wave. Most of you know I DO NOT like to be rushed so his hastiness made me panic a bit and I completely forgot all the steps he had shown us. Luckily, after a little visualization, I got up on my second attempt and spend the next little while wrestling with the water and trying over and over again. In the end I decided I'm not too fond of the ocean and would much rather wakeboard on a nice fresh water lake. So I think that will be my surf experience, I'm glad I tried, but from now on I'm going to save my money for other activities. I've learned surfing is a sport that appears to be much more glamorous than it actually is. From what I can tell, most amateur surfers spend more time fighting the water or floating around waiting for a good wave than actually riding one.
The next day I took a bus to Brisbane and spent the afternoon in yet another one of Australia's awesome Botanical Gardens. I've been feeling a little homesick lately so the following day I decided to go to the Queen St. Mall for a little retail therapy. Once that had done the trick I wandered around a bit more, took a tour of the Brisbane's Parliament House (where I saw the premier) and now here I am.
For those of you from the Soo, I contacted Rene a while back to see if we could hook up while I'm here in Brisbane. Unfortunately he's guiding a buffalo hunting trip in Darwin until Nov. 4 so I think I'm going to miss him.
Well, that's it for now. I hope the weather isn't getting too cold yet for those of you that don't like it. Mom, I'll pray for your ski snow 😊
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