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Published: August 8th 2007
The day after we returned from Nimbin, Heejjue and I decided to give Dolphin Kayaking a go. I had made as sure as could from the guy who owned the operation that we would definitely see dolphins as I’ve wasted money on this sort of thing before. Anyway he reassured me we would so Heejjue and I we in. After arriving we were suited and booted in some really terrible gear including the hugest crime of all; a massive helmet that I had to wear as they couldn’t find one to fit my tiny head (as a result of this, no photos exist of the following activity).
Before commencing on the dolphin fun we all stood and listened as the guys went through the safety talk- but suddenly without warning I was transported back to school PE lesions where we had to get into teams and being on my own (as Heejjue had to go with the instructor as she can’t swim) I had to wait an excruciating few minutes as they found someone to go with me! Thankfully the guy who bravely put himself up for the job was big and a strong swimmer so I felt
like I was in safe hands as I can barely swim myself.
Launching our canoe over the waves from the beach was less hard than I expected and before long we were all ready to set off in search of Dolphins. Every now and then we stopped to listen to the guide who talked about the scenery and history of Byron bay as well as giving us a bit of info on the dolphins. A couple of times we stopped and watched a group of dolphins swimming and playing with each other which would have been awesome if you didn’t have to use binoculars as they were so bloody far away. The nearest a group of dolphins came to us was about 100 yards and really I was quite disappointed with the occasion as I really wanted to get up close and personal with these amazing animals.
The lesson finished and I discovered I’d omitted to apply sunscreen to my legs which, to add insult to injury, were now burned to buggary. On the walk back to the hostel we headed back through Byron Bay and its many little interesting shops that are often hidden away and at
this point after thinking seriously about it, I decided I would stay a bit longer in Byron as there seemed lots I hadn’t seen here yet.
I also thought I would give a massage a go as this is allegedly one of the things that you must do when you come to Byron as there are hundreds of places to try alternative therapies. It wasn’t however a conventional massage (why would it be, we were in Byron Bay) as about 5 minutes into the massage the woman stopped and said, ‘My goodness I’ve never seen that before’- slightly alarmed I waited for her answer to which I expected to revolve around one of my scars or god forbid a dodgy mole I hadn’t detected but no, she said, ‘The lines on your hands are extraordinary- I’ve never seen this mark on both hands, you must be an extremely independent person!’ Palm reader alert-Well I was a bit relieved and then curious as I love the whole palmistry thing but she confessed she was only amateur but recommended I go for a reading at any of the 100’s of places in Byron that do it.
Later that day Heejjue
and I went to the beach which looked beautiful in the afternoon light with the sun going down; I don’t know why but Byron feels more special every day I am here- I understand now why so many people end up living here.
Next morning the four of us, Phillip, Nicola, Heejjue and I were up at 4.30am- the reason was to get to the top of the lookout next to Byron lighthouse before sunrise. After the mini bus dropped us at the bottom of the walk we commenced on our steep climb to the top. It is not that often that you encounter total pitch, black darkness so whenever I do I can’t help but be astounded at how dark it really is, incredible! Unbelievably not one person had remembered a torch but a couple of people had their mobile phones out for light so we just tried to following the them up. At the top we were in plenty of time to see the sunrise from the back ocean to bloom into an artists palette of colour. Stunning.
The rest of the day was marred by the departing of Nicola and Heejjue. We would be meeting
up with Heejjue in two days in surfers but Nicola was going up to Cairns to be with her boyfriend. Later that day in Cheeky monkeys it felt very wired without them but new arrivals- including gorgeous driver Adam and plenty of alcohol made up for it a bit.
The last two days in Byron were spent looking around the interesting shops and stalls; Phil made a surprisingly good girl substitute, buying way more clothes than I did but that was probably because he was heading home soon due to his poorly burned hands- bless. One thing I also couldn’t help noticing during my time in Byron was the amount of injured people walking about with either arms in slings with various bruises or in plaster & on crutches; if I didn’t know the truth I might have suspected fight club was running an underground racket here but truth of it was that ask any of them how they did it an they would say one of two things either; surfing or falling off a table in Cheeky Monkeys.
The day Phil and I arrived in Surfers Paradise we were greeted by a very happy Heejjue and to
celebrate our reunion we cooked up a feast in the hotel kitchen accompanied by a box of goon. Now a box of goon may not seem too hard core but Heejjue is Korean and like most of the Chinese, Japanese and south east Asian people I’ve met she gets extremely drunk after a sniff of booze which actually lead to an extremely funny eve.
The following was not so funny for Heejjue as she was in hangover Paradise; being a master of the morning after I suggested we better get some breakfast going before heading off to some of the great beaches outside of Surfers. Being with Heejjue with her hangover was like minding an ortisitc person, she was totally in her own world and would walk out into the road without looking and stare into space while we tried to talk to her- which made us feel really guilty!
Hoping she would feel better we got on the bus and headed to the first beach which was Coolengatta, a famous surfing beach that was stunning! One of the reason for getting out of Surfers so soon was that it really felt like it had no soul, it did
what it said on the tin; white sand fringed with high-rise towers, but that was it.
Coolengatta was the antithesis of Surfers; a little township, not many people and an extra stunning beach that we could have spent all day at except we wanted to try out Burliegh Heads beach too. Burleigh Heads was another gorgeous beach; maybe not as fab as Coolengatta but beautiful- unfortunately our beach exploration came to an abrupt end as it began to piss it down so we legged it back to the bus shelter and back to Surfers.
Rather than write Surfers off as a soulless money superficial hole we thought we’d test out the famous nightlife. We took Udi with us, a crazy Israeli guy with wicked massive hair that we’d met in Byron Bay. After Udi, Heejjue and Phil were made to return back to their hostels to get their passport we started to have some fun but in the second place which is meant to be fab I just thought the drinks were expensive and the atmosphere like a meat market I could find in any crappy town at home- sorry Surfers you are definitely no Paradise for me.
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