Trip Start Oct 03, 2011
28Trip End Dec 25, 2011
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What I did
We disembarked from our penultimate greyhound bus in the late evening just around the corner from our accommodation (for half of our stay at least), Nomads. More on that place later. Back to the evening: Michael had done his research - our arrival time was 9pm, it was a ten minute walk to the hostel and then down to the cinema. The latest in the Twilight saga started at 9:15. Job done. We cut it fine but made it a little late (we don't think Oz has quite as many adverts and trailers as the UK, as the actual film had started by 9:25) and Amy got her fill of dreamy vampires on cheap night Tuesday!
The following morning we took a quick trip to the supermarket to stock up for our stay and feasted on Weet-Bix and beans on toast
The following morning was the big day
The following morning we had to switch hostels to the slightly out of town Belongil beach. Byron Bay is a backpackers mecca in this part of the world and so getting 5 nights accommodation was a tricky task. Thankfully we were happy to leave Nomads. The huge hostel has a big party vibe and was full of "schoolies" (kids just finished high school) and with 8 in a dorm sleep was difficult to come by, as were bowls in the kitchen (there were 3 for the hundreds of guests!). Easier to locate however were inebriated folks and piles of sick in the communal bathrooms... Our nice new guesthouse involved an arduous 20 minute walk along the beach into town and live music every night from the cafe next door. Brilliant!
After checking in to our private room we went for a quick lie down on the beach (a red torso ensued unfortunately for Michael) before venturing into town. We had booked our surf lesson with one of the many tour companies in Byron that subsequently offered us free internet and bodyboard hire for the rest of the week, an offer we were happy to accept! Semi-pro body-boarders already from our visits to Cayton Bay in Scarborough, we had a ball as the waves kept on coming, often ending in 30m rides all the way to the shore. Again, brilliant! The day was topped off by fish and chips on the beach. Byron has 2 recommended chippies, Amy gave her custom to one, Michael the other. The jury was out as to who made the best decision but both were very satisfying. Earlier in the day we had time to buy Amy a rashie top to wear in the sea which we are happy report stood up well to todays watersports.
Our final full day in the Bay saw us repeat the exploits of yesterday; beach lounging and bodyboarding taking up most of our time. We hit the hay early and set the alarm for 5 a.m. to catch the sunrise. Donning a thick layer and santa hats we strolled to the beach over the road from our guesthouse. We were quickly joined by a handfull of other crazy people (they must have been to be up at that time) and were rewarded with the (slightly cloudy) sights of the beach at dawn
Happily onboard our final Greyhound bus with ubiquitous personable driver we set off: goodbye New South Wales, hello Queensland! The only noteworthy thing to include here on our journey is the inexplicable time difference (one has daylight savings, the other doesn't) and so as we reached the twin cites of Tweed Heads and Coolangatta we time travelled back an hour. Logistically this could be a nightmare if you lived here (and worked in the other state...). Happily we arrived on time at our last stop in Oz: Brisbane!