As Sydney ended, my bus tour began which meant an early start. My travel buddy and I were picked up at 6.30am and taken to the Oz Experience office where we suddenly heard two people shouting out at us- it was two girls we went to school with. At the same bus stop, waiting to get on the same bus at the same time. Turns out it really is a small world.
A ten hour bus ride, with a slight kangaroo cashing detour, took us to Spot X Surf Camp. After a good feed and a good night’s sleep, we were woken at 7am for our surf lesson which lasted for a good 3 hours. As much fun as it was, it sadly turns out that surfing isn’t my calling in life. Whilst I managed to stand up a couple of times, I pretty much fell off again straight away. I did ride some of the waves on my knees though, so maybe I am just a slow learner. Afterwards we got some lunch and souvenirs before hitting the road again.
Four hours later, we made it to Byron Bay and our hostel, the Arts Factory which I can heartily recommend as it had a lot of character. Our room was right next to the pool and we got free internet for commenting on the hostel’s Facebook page and in doing so we settled right in.
After an early night and a late morning, we ventured out into town and wandered up and down the quirky high street. It is a cool place with a chilled vibe so it inspired even me to relax. Our bus driver had booked a table at local restaurant bar Cheeky Monkey’s where we found cheap food, backpacker competitions and met both backpackers and locals. Then it was dancing time; but there was no dance floor. Instead there were reinforced tables ready for the entire bar population to climb upon.
The next day wasn’t particularly sunny but it was warm enough for a beach trip. I then had my first sushi experience rolls (consisting of seaweed rolls) which I can’t say I was particularly phased by. Our dino mac and cheese on the other hand was delicious. We arrived a little later at Cheeky Monkey’s, meaning that all the cheap food had run out, so we treated ourselves to $8.5 worth of burger before it was dancing time.
That night, my travel buddy had won a surf lesson in a hula-hooping competition (I was so proud) so the next morning I woke to find her gone and the sun out in force. In hindsight, I probably should have paid to have a lesson with her but instead I rolled out of bed and into some sun cream and hit the deckchairs. I managed to muster the energy to make a sandwich and collapsed into an armchair in the sun and didn’t make it out until my travel buddy returned hours later. Now this was a holiday. Although I still didn’t tan.
That afternoon, I’d bumped into a girl we’d met on our bus in New Zealand (again small world) so the three of us went to Cheeky Monkey’s for our last night in Byron Bay and were delighted to find that fish and chips were on the cheap menu. It wasn’t as busy as usual and although it was still fun, we left quite early and crashed in our hostel’s hammocks for a while before bed.