Chilling Byron Bay
16th July 2012
Leaving the delicious pleasures of Surfer’s Paradise after a perving filled morning there, we stopped off for lunch at Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast and considered our options for the days ahead. We had 2 full days left of the campervan before we had to return it to Brisbane. We were starting to get rather fed up of the Campervan and I’m sure after 17 days of each other’s company 24hr 7, we needed each our own space. We needed to relax and chill for a day that’s OUTSIDE of the campervan and also in a place where it was going to be WARM. Checking the maps, one name jumped out.
The guidebook says it has a beach, a lighthouse, a chilled out town that refuses developers to turn it into another Surfer’s Paradise, and best of all, surfers.
I rather like watching surfers in action and commentate on their prowess in handling the waves before giving a nay when they tumble into the rip currents. Or was it I was watching to see if they could get eaten by a shark? I’ve watched too many Jaws movies. Thanks Mum, for letting me watch Jaws when I was 6. I still have nightmares of that shark that could be an analogy of a stress in my life. Probably the creeping onset of my 27th birthday that has ringing alarm bells that I will no longer be in my mid twenties…but rather LATE twenties. That has me depressed.
But Byron Bay is there to distract me and as we pulled up on the beach, I rather entertained myself watching people tease their dogs, reminding me of my own dog who sadly passed away before I went travelling. Until I saw one of them take a dump in the water much to its owner’s horror. That’s a big no no.
Parting ways for the afternoon from Smera, I had a look round the town after the beach. There was a writer’s festival on and I got to peruse some of their works. One of them looked like Gandalf. Asking if he was the inspiration behind Lord of the Rings, he shot me a filthy look and in a broad Australian accent, he addressed his crowd of admirers about his new book…in a slow talking way…rather like Gandalf.
It’s a rather quaint little town with many hippies to be found on every corner, or surfers casually chatting away whilst walking down in their wetsuits and holding their boards, running their hands through their untamed blonde highlighted hair, or backpackers looking slightly lost and also the locals who shout ‘g’day to you in the street. I like this place very much. And even so, the sun was shining!
Helping myself to 3 scoops of Icecream balanced precariously on a single cone, I polished it all off Lavishly to the Ed Sheeran tunes of an acoustic guitar player. It was truly a relaxing afternoon.
However, I couldn’t understand what the BIG deal is about Byron Bay. Sure enough, it’s great for a day out but I didn’t know why it was featured so prominently on the backpacker circuit.
Little did I know that my answer to that question was revealed when I threw a question at Smera after meeting up late afternoon,
‘wanna go check out the lighthouse while we are here?’