Hippies and Surfies

Trip Start Oct 21, 2006
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Trip End Mar 21, 2008


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Flag of Australia  ,
Friday, November 17, 2006

Byron Bay is famous for its beaches and, simultaneously, its surfing. It is also known as a bit of a hippy hangout, from the group of hairy potheads that settled here back in the 70s and never left. This combination - surf, sand and stoners - gives the place a very easygoing, new age, long-haired kind of vibe. Middle-aged men with dreadlocks and baggy Thai-dyed singlets share the streets with blond and bronzed surfers, and fre-faced backpackers stagger to and from the numerous hostels.

Having had a day off from sunning ourselves yesterday, we start again in earnest today in the gorgeous weather on the pristine curved main beach. Another of Byron Bay's claims to fame is that it has one of the only north-facing beaches on the east coast. This means that it gets sun all day long and is also good for the surfies, for some reason. We have some fun in the water then walk over the headland to the Cape Byron lighthouse, near which is officially Australia's most easterly point. From there it is a short walk to Watego's Beach, scene of some of the most expensive real estate in the country. Jane buries me up to my head in sand for a laugh.

Back at the hostel, we sign up for a surfing lesson tomorrow. I'm pretty keen to give it a go but Jane is a little apprehensive.
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