Location: New South Wales (NSW), Australia
Dates: 09th – 12th April 2018
Reason for visit: Sun and Surfing
Base: Byron Bay, Lanteen Lane
After a pretty decent two hour journey down to Byron from Brisbane (the trip normally takes 3.5 hours but I was fortunate that I was the only pick up between Brisbane and Byron so we were able to express) I checked into my hostel and met Luisa who like any backpacker couldn’t find their key and needed letting into the room. After chatting for a while we headed down to the beach to chill out and enjoy the vibes before meeting Isatou (who Luisa had met earlier that day). It was so nice listening to a guy playing guitar, watching the sun go down and just chatting about all the ups and downs of travelling and about our different cultures. We then went and grabbed food before heading back to the hostel. I then met Susie that evening who was also staying in my dorm whilst she was getting ready to head out.
Hello turtle! I had the most amazing experience this morning when I headed down for my kayaking tour with Cape Byron Kayak. After the safety briefing, I was placed in one of the guide’s kayaks and we headed out first, through the waves (I’ve never eaten so much sea water) and got settled whilst the rest of the group headed out and met us. The next couple of hours involved us kayaking close to the shoreline dolphin and turtle spotting. Sadly, we never saw any dolphins but I did get the amazing sight of some beautiful loggerhead turtles floating about, popping their heads up before diving back under the waves. Come the end of the tour we kayaked back to the shore, I fell out, and had some coffee and TimTams. That day I fell in love with TimTams. If you ever go to Australia (or NZ as I’ve discovered) go and buy a pack or five. They’re the equivalent to an English Penguin bar but about 100x better.
That afternoon myself, Luisa and Susie headed down to the beach after a random heavy shower to catch some sun and dip our toes in yet sadly as with every spot I’ve visited in Australia, this was cut short as it decided to rain on us. We then had an easy afternoon chilling and napping before getting ready to go have a few drinks out followed by a crepe. I also tried a Chiko Roll (upon my Dad’s demands that I have one). Certainly an experience that you’ve got to try if you ever go to Australia.
After spending $12 on a drink, we decided to head for our crepes then to a bottle shop (yes for finally being in a hostel that wasn’t dry) to grab some cheap drinks and chill out. Yet that chilling out didn’t happen. Next thing we were getting stamped for free entry to Woodys and playing drinking games with our other dorm mates and before we knew it, it was 2am and we’re in the sea skinny dipping along with a random Belgium lad I found wandering alone and had two groups of people watching us on the beach that we hadn’t seen (cue the texts off my family telling me off for this). After that it was time for a shower to get rid of the salt and sand before a touch of sleep.
After waking up with a *slight* hangover, I headed across to the beach with Susie for an hour to catch some morning sun and get attacked by some waves and experience a washing machine. All good preparation for my surf lesson that afternoon.
I went for a three hour surf lesson with Mojosurf where I was taught the absolute basics of how surf. I should have known it’d be interesting when I stood up on my board and was told I’m “goofy” as I place my right food forward over my left. It then got even more interesting when trying the technique of getting up because of my dodgy back and hip as I couldn’t quite do it properly so did it in a “Zoe fashion”. Again, after safety briefings we headed out into the water where one of the coaches helped me stand up and ride my first wave! The next 2 hours flew by with me constantly being beaten to the death by the waves, sea floor (sorry toe) and the board but I did manage to stand up two more times and get a photo of “me” stood up (which was viewed on the minibus back)!
Once I got back to my hostel it was time to get some washing done, get showered and grab an early night before my crazy long journey to Sydney…