Surf alert!

Trip Start Nov 17, 2008
Trip End Jan 17, 2009

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Monday, December 1, 2008

On tour!
On Sunday morning we got our super heavy cases and made our way from our Sydney hostel to the pick up place for the Contiki tour. This tour is going to take us all the way up to Cairns in the north in 14 days. During those 14 days we are going to be stopping at Port Stephens, Coffs Harbour, Surfers Paradise (wow!), Fraser Island, Rockhampton, Long Island and Whitsundays for a couple days of sailing.
Our group consists of 49 people, aged 20 to 35 from Canada, France, UK, Ireland, South Africa, Italy, USA, Brazil, Chile, Singapore, Germany, Australia and GREEEEEECE (that's us)! A few names for posterity: John (our guide), Paul (our driver), Stacey, Gabi, Saba, Macarena, Rich, Ryan, Corry, Paolo & Camilla, Lisa, Mitch, Matt, Alison, Oli, Tamarra and many others.
So, after we boarded our lux bus, we made our way to Port Stephens for lunch. Port Stephens is a small seaside port; catamarans anchored on crystal blue waters, sandy beaches and cafes next to the marina. Very nice place to have a walk and chill out. On the way to the hotel we had a stop to try sandboarding!! You ride a board and you go down the sand dune at breathtaking speed! The ascending part is also breathtaking, but not that great fun, though a good workout. Next to the sandboarding place there was a 32mile beach, beautiful scenery. We arrived at the hotel late afternoon and went straight for a swim, our first in Australia! After cooking our own BBQ (that was really interesting: Mina actually cooked the best steak she has had in her life, but it was probably the quality of the meat rather than Mina's cooking skills. Thomas's fillet was OK, but everybody knows that Thomas can eat anything really). We finished the night having a great time getting to know everyone and partying till late.  
Surf smurfs (1/12)
We left the hotel in the morning (like really early for the standards that Mina and Thomas have set over the last 10 days). We made our way to Coffs Harbour, with a stop at Mcquarie for lunch, CH3-CH2-OH supplies and got into surfing rhythm.
Half an hour later, we reached the surf camp called "spot X". Now, the surf camp is something completely different for what we've seen so far (in our lives). The atmosphere is just out this world. It is like a camping site but the people there are mostly typical surfers, with tattooed, tanned, muscular bodies, long dyed blond hair, wearing their flower-patterned swimmers in a way that just covers what needs to be covered. Very relaxed and extremely cool.
The rooms are actually shipping containers! Literally just metal boxes with bunk beds and plastic toilets. The place is right next to the ocean and is decorated with surfboards. It is just amazing. An organised chaos is how it was described to us and that is what we found.
When we arrived a guy who looked like the Crocodile Dundee showed us around the place and later gave us a surf lesson! Hence we put on our wetsuits, grabbed our boards (we make it sound easier than it was) and made our way to the waves. Surfing is actually really really tiring, but huge amounts of fun. It is all about paddling away from the waves and trying to get on your board when the wave is practically beneath you. It is not easy! Thomas did really well and managed to stand quite a few times. Mina also managed to stand a couple of times, but she spent most of the time almost drowning.:)
Anyway, we both left the water with a huge smile on our faces (apparently that's the point of surfing; this and looking cool out of the water, because, as the instructor told us, people on the beach don't know whether you were the one who caught that last big wave, but if you carry your board in a cool way they will think so).
Talking about smiles, we were lucky enough to see an emoticon on the Australian sky! This is a rare phenomenon (we haven't actually checked if it was only observable from Oz ). Venus, Jupiter and a crescent moon come together to form a smiling face on the sky :). That, in combination with the palm trees, the possums climbing on them, the dozens of bats flying on the sky and the sound of waves breaking on the beach created a great atmosphere. Under that amazing sky, we ate camp food and played drinking games.
We then sat next to the fire on benches made of surfboards and quite late at night we made our way to our shipping container rooms.
Great, great day. We are nostalgic already.

PS: Pictures from surfing are coming shortly..
Slideshow Report as Spam


mgh12 on

Sandboarding and smiley in the sky
Hi Thomas,

Glad to hear that you're having good weather and lots of fun on your surfing trip. I enjoyed the sandboarding in NZ near Cape Reinga. The smiley in the sky was also visible in the northern hemisphere. Here's a link to a few photos on the BBC website:

- Mark

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