Yesterday in Noosa.
It’s getting more and more expensive as I head up the coast, and it’s been nearly impossible to get on, even when it is available.
So here’s a blog binge. All the way back from Byron Bay – enjoy!
I’m sitting on a couch at the Arts Factory, waiting for Becky to get back from the loo and contemplating the next five weeks.
Thursday was hard. We said goodbye to our friends; waved goodbye as they boarded the bus to travel on to their next destinations, really traveling away and onward in the world forever.
Thank God for Facebook, eh?
Becky was crying as the bus pulled away — she’d been with Alex and Lauren for a full week and half in Sydney. All her Australia memories were with these girls, and now here they were, pulling away from her in a bus. It’s weird like that — making these intensive short-term relationships.
Surfing today — again — then Surfer’s Paradise.
It’s now 10:30 p.m. and I’m sitting on a bed in Surfer’s Paradise. First off, I miss Byron Bay. Here’s why:
Pulling into Byron Bay feels like pulling into a vacation. The minute you (and your red bag, if you’re me) step onto the pavement, the feeling washes over you. This is vacation. This is Australia. You get a sense the sun always shines in Byron Bay.
The place feels like a million other summer holiday destinations — Cape Cod, East Hampton, Cape May — with the added element of, heyo, backpackers! You’ve got your moms, babies, oldies driving around in their little two wheeler electric chairs, but there are also hordes of young people in town to meet, drink and party with. The Aussies on holiday probably hate it, but it’s a business, and it does well.
The other side of Byron Bay is the pot. An hour and a half’s drive outside Byron lies Nimbin, the original Australian hippie town. Pot is essentially legal, and tours leave Byron every day at 10:15 a.m. The hostel, the Nimbin Rox YHA, is probably one of the best in the country, as it sits high above the rolling green plains (literally and figuritavely) and offers a crapload more space than anything you’ll find anywhere else. You can literally walk around with the cows (just make sure to close the gate behind you).
I didn’t stay, but my day in Nimbin with Matt, Dan, Adam, Helen, Julie, Andy, Kate and “The Irish guys” and “The Scottish guys” (don’t ask names) was probably one of my favorite in Australia so far.
The day after Nimbin I moved hostels — I wanted to stay at the Arts Factory. Please do not make my mistake. If you’re going to Byron Bay, stay at the Arts Factory. Or stay right by the beach at Belongil Beach house, but seriously, stay at the Arts Factory. The hostel is situated on two little ponds, with tents and a main dorm building surrounding them. There’s a pool, hot tub, sauna, a full on restaurant and bar, a freaking spa and a movie theater. A real movie theater, not a TV room with a plasma and a list of DVDs. Four blissful days were spent in the Nunnery (all girls, and with our own bathroom and kitchen!) and I was sad to leave this morning. It was a vacation from my vacation, if that’s possible.
The only thing awful about Byron is the backpacker bar, Cheeky Monkey’s. Yes, I had a fun night out there, and many do, but it felt fake. Too cheesy for a place a cool as Byron. And those damn monkeys stole my camera. Damn monkeys.
Fast forward a week and a few hours…enter Surfer’s Paradise.
It should be paradise, right? A surfer’s paradise?
In actuality, you can’t even surf in Surfer’s Paradise. The waves aren’t that great! To the south, Coolangatta and Tweed’s Head are sick, as is the home of Billabong, Burleigh Beach. What you will find in Surfer’s Paradise are theme parks. Sea World, Dream World, Water World (or something) and Movie World. Walking down the streets feels like walking through Downtown Disney. Which is essentially what it is. They’ve even got a Hooters and a Hard Rock Café.
Unfortunately, it’s shit.
Becky and I spent the night in chatting with the Irish lass and lad (hehe) in my room and watching shit American movies on TV like Dukes of Hazzard.
One more night to go, then off to Brisbane to be depressed about not going to the Justin Timberlake show Sunday night. BUT Karen and Jonie will be there, so yay! And Jenni called today and Jack called the day before so that was super nice! I miss my city girls.
10:55 — time for bed. Cheesy Surfer’s pub crawl tomorrow? We shall see.