Byron Bay

As I mentioned yesterday, I am staying at a funky little place in Byron Bay. Not really little, as there’s a campground, teepees, dorms and little cabins scattered around the property. It’s surrounded by palm trees, there’s hammocks, a pool and hot tub, pinball, good tunes and a juice bar. There’s also a club a stone’s throw from my teepee. Thank goodness for ear plugs!

In addition to the guests, a mixture of tried-and-true hippies and college-age partiers (which in itself is an interesting combo to watch), there are also residents including lizards and turkeys.

I am sleeping in a teepee. While it’s been nice to not hit my head on the ceiling, it does feel a bit like summer camp. Thankfully the lizards keep the bugs under control, except for the cockroaches (sidenote: ohmygodcockroaches).

I awake in the morning to the sounds of beautiful birds, and as I am of course up before everyone else I sit with a coffee and brekkie and enjoy the scenery.

It’s been an interesting experience, to say the least. Given the nature of the place, it’s surprisingly cliquey, which has been next to impossible to break. But on the flip side, it’s also been utterly relaxing, which was my ultimate hope anyway.

Besides the pancake incident, I also have also:

  • Learned never to wear pants with buttons in a hammock. I got stuck in the hammock, tried to flip out of it, and was literally hanging by the seat of my pants. Three, count ‘em three people walked by, clearly aware that I was hanging by the seat of my pants, and kept going. The button fell off the pants and I was released to the ground with an OOF. This is funny now, but at the time HORRENDOUSLY embarrassing. Oy.
  • Attempted to body board during choppy weather. I put in a solid 20 minutes before having to get out, as it felt like I was in a washing machine. I cut my losses and sat and watched surfers get absolutely owned by the waves instead which made me feel strangely better.
  • Fought with a turkey. These animals are really tame, and when they have their eyes on the prize, you stand no chance. I wasn’t as naïve as I had been with the lizard – I came ready to fight for my food this time around.

Byron has been the perfect place to end my visit to Australia, and I highly recommend it as a nice spot to relax. It’s just as hippie-dippy as I’d expected, and the beach is beautiful (and the food, oh the food!). This afternoon I head back to Brisbane and prepare for my flight tonight…to Thailand! So I’ll be offline for a few days until I’m organized. I look forward to meeting up with my group (for those interested, I am doing Gap Adventures’ Indochina Encompassed tour) and experiencing a place that is truly foreign to me.

Hippie Dippy

I am currently staying at what can only be described as a modern-day commune. An “arts lodge”. At any rate, this morning I had banana pancakes which were fantastically delicious. I gazed off to look at my surroundings, enjoying the sun, when a lizard climbed up on the table, cocked its head to the side, and STOLE the last piece of pancake off my fork.

More on this place later. I’m still bitter about the pancake!