Surf Camp – Byron Bay January 25th – 28th
Having access to the hostel van in Yamba really spoiled us. In Byron Bay we had to trek about 30 minutes each way to Tallow Beach, in the sun, carrying 8’6″ surfboards. Ouch.
We had big waves on the first day, and not much to speak of for the rest of our stay. Lame. I’m getting a bit frustrated with how dependent surfing is on the weather. Hopefully Coolangatta has better surf for us to close out our trip.
Byron Bay is home to the easternmost point in all of Australia, and features an odd mix of poor backpackers, dirty hippies, and well-off yuppies. Most backpackers I talked to went on day trips to Nimbin, where the hardcore hippies live, and marijuana rains from the heavens. Seeing the stoned looks on the faces of everyone disembarking the Nimbin shuttle bus was highly amusing.
Australia Day was on Tuesday. It’s the same concept as the 4th of July, but without any of the pride associated with fighting back against your oppressor. To celebrate we painted our faces with green and yellow, went surfing, and then spent the day drinking in the pool with everyone else in the hostel.
This country seems rather liberal about drinking in public. Occasionally you’ll see signs indicating alcohol-free zones, but for the most part nobody will say anything if you walk down the street with a beer in your hand. The hostel has signs indicating that alcohol is only to be consumed on the premises between 4-10pm, but on Australia Day this was relaxed. Lots of beer cans were at the bottom of the pool before noon. The goon bags started being passed around shortly thereafter. It was quite the national holiday.
Despite drinking being incredibly popular here, alcohol is VERY expensive due to some big taxes. In Los Angeles you can often find 12-packs of good beer on sale for $12-15. Here you’re looking at $40-50 for 24-packs when things go on sale. I heard someone describing a $70 24-pack of Peroni as a “great deal”.
Chris-o isn’t coming with us up to Coolangatta — he’s due back at the four day surf camp on Monday morning. Josephine’s beach towel is a giant Swedish flag, so we wrote all of our inside jokes and catchphrases from the past week on it, and gave it to him as a farewell gift.
It’s the middle of Summer, and we keep traveling further north into warmer and more humid parts of the country. I think I’m going to fly to Melbourne soon and tackle the rest of the east coast of the country at a later date, once things start to cool down in the south.
– I showed a well-read Dutch girl my Amazon Kindle, which caused her to lecture me about how I should delete my Ayn Rand books before I read them and become a huge asshole.
– Little Creatures Pale Ale is the best Australian beer I have discovered so far.
– Met a Canadian girl named Yoda. Awesome.
– Surfboards and ceiling fans do NOT mix.