Crashing Byron Bay
Byron Bay Travel Blog› entry 4 of 39 › view all entries
12 July 2005
Arrival in Byron Bay at 11 o'clock sharp. At the bus terminal at least ten different hostel dudes in surfer shorts already await me trying to drag me into their hostel. I roll the dice and decide for Backpacker’s Inn on the Beach. After checking in at a 9-bed-dorm I head straight for the beach which - as the name of the hostel suggests - is right in front of the hostel. I sit down in the sand thinking of a movie quote: “Sand is overrated. It's just tiny, little rocks.”
Beautiful people are strolling past me. Halle Berry is just getting out of the water in slow motion. The beach is a perfect dream.
A bit later I find myself playing beach soccer. The hostel organises a tourney once a week where everyone pays five bucks. The collected money is used for a party later on in the evening. Or so I am told. I’m in a team with an Israeli, a Dane, a Canadian and a Briton. Running in the sand is tougher than I thought and I stumble like a madman. Nevertheless I score one goal and we win 3:2. We suck in the second game, though, and lose 1:4.
After having rested I have some spaghetti. A backpacker's favourite food.
Around 8pm the Danish couple and I go to a place called “Northern Bar” where this afternoon’s beach soccer is shown on a big screen. I see myself stumbling like a madman and scoring the goal.
After about an hour the Danes call it a night. They are tired (old). Me, however, I head for the "Cheeky Monkey’s". People are wildly dancing on the tables. I have some more drinks and enjoy the music. Then I start some small-stalk with two Irish girls. Slowly but surely I get the feeling that Irish girls are the most beautiful in the world.
Soon I am on the tables and benches myself doing dance-flirts, you know like when you rub against each other and sing loudly into the other person’s face (even though you don’t have a clue about the song’s lyrics). I stay until 3am. Then I accompany the two Irish ladies back to the hostel and after two cheek kisses I call it a night.
13 July 2005
I sleep until 3pm and wake up with a mean hangover and a psychic cold.
The Danes, of course, are fully awake.
I walk into town and have some oily fish & chips. Back in the hostel I kill the toilet.
Already it’s starting to get dark again. The Danes smoke like a chimney playing a stupid card game called “Casino” the whole day.
The music in the garden is clanging out of the loudspeaker. Everyone’s cooking, eating, sitting next to a fireplace, chatting, drinking. A BBQ is held. I don’t want to do anything today. I gulp down two big bottles of beer, play an even more stupid card game called “25” with an Irish family and go to bed.
14 July 2005
I wake up around 11am and have some nutritious breakfast.
A bit later in the day I go for a walk to Byron Bay’s lighthouse. On the way I eat a steak sandwich and wonder why there’s ten times more salad than steak in a steak sandwich.
Later I reach the most easterly point of Australia’s mainland from where it’s only a stone’s throw up to the lighthouse. I take some pictures of the beautiful landscape and the ocean. Walking back to the hostel along the beach I marvel at the breathtaking sunset.
Then it’s the Cheeky Monkey’s again. I have two beer and talk with yet another Irish girl. The nightclub is full of people and the music’s good but somehow I can’t get started today, so walking back to the hostel I decide to get wrecked tomorrow instead.
15 July 2005
Over breakfast I talk to a Dutch guy who has long hair that always looks like freshly showered. He is a real nice guy and I’m happy to meet another backpacker who is travelling alone. Then two students from Stuttgart are joining our conversation.
And then there is "The Invasion of Austrians". A gaggle of Austrians of some Christian association has inevitably arrived. And all these people are planning to storm the Cheeky Monkey’s tonight. Gee, that’s going to be fun…
Now everyone’s munching toast with sausage, cheese and salad as if they haven’t been eating for days.
I’m talking to a Japanese who is wearing his sunglasses on the back of his head. But besides that he is quite alright. He says he is not staying in the hostel but just likes to sit in this garden and watch the people. Actually he wanted to get to Nimbin - the mecca for potheads - today but he decided against it since he is neither a pothead nor a down and out. Good man!
My plan for today: Lie on the beach, read a book, smoke (cigarettes), have dinner, crash the Cheeky Monkey’s.
I fantasize about kissing a girl tonight even if it’s just an Austrian one.
What else is there to say about Byron Bay.
Byron Bay is a beautiful place but I don’t really understand why among all places in Australia this is the party stronghold.
In the afternoon I go to an Internet café writing an email to about ten people saying the same things again and again. Then I buy two big bottles of beer and go back to the hostel. The Austrians are just having their BBQ. I cook some spaghetti with tomato-like substance. After playing some pool with the Dutch guy I sit down next to ? and start talking to her.
The hostel bus leaves at 10pm. I buy a jug of beer for myself and a Bacardi Orange for the Swiss girl. I’m trying to keep up the conversation but due to the loud music it is almost impossible. Soon we run out of topics to talk about. She is constantly smiling. Whether she is smiling with me or at me, that I don’t know. I excuse myself and go to the toilet where I meet a Kurt Cobain stand-in and an Australian girl to whom I confide that I think the Swiss girl is pretty. Now she is giving me tips for which signs I should look out for. So I go back to the Swiss girl serenading her some more. The Australian girl is standing across from us, watching us and waving about with her arms showing me her thumb, which obviously means “You’re doing great”. It is daft as hell! A bit later I learn that my talking obviously wasn’t all that great when she leaves saying she was “tired”. Oh well, who cares.
I get up on the table, dancing and grinning like a Cheshire cat.
Then it is suddenly 3.30pm and the place is closing down. The music dies. I go with Julia. She is staying at the Arts Factory. While we are waiting for the bus of her hostel we are alone for the first time and start kissing. Then the bus arrives with the bus driver happily smoking a spliff. This obviously affects his driving skills since he is taking the bends with great verve.
Arrival at the Arts Factory. Drunk and stoned people (often both) are dangling in sofa chinks. I take a seat next to a Briton who is also smoking a doobie and talking muddleheaded rubbish.
About half an hour later I accompany Julia to her dormitory.
16 July 2005
At some time early in the morning I wake up with my bladder ready to burst. Since I can’t find any clothes right away, I walk out the dorm with only my shorts on storming the toilet. How embarrasing it would have been if the door fell shut… but fortunately it didn’t. So I crawl back to bed besides Julia and sleep until 11am. She should have checked out at 10am, so she hurriedly throws me out. She gives me her phone number saying I should give her a call once I get to Brisbane.
I lurch back to my hostel still half drunk and go to sleep again just when everybody else is getting up.
And before I can react, I have another stamp for the Cheeky Monkey’s on my hand which grants me free entry. We also get another stamp for which we should receive one free drink. I didn’t really want to go back to Cheeky’s again but everyone else is going so I’m going too. Once there the three Austrians, the French guy and me stand at the bar showing our stamps and ordering five beer. But it turns out that the beer is not free but only cheaper. Instead of AU$ 3,50 the glass costs AU$ 2,50. That’s fine with me, I say. But it obviously isn’t fine with the others. That is because they didn’t bring ANY money. Nothing! They tell me they would only be here for the free drink. Now everyone is acting dumb as hell and argues with the barkeeper.
The French is happily sipping his beer and together we stare at the display of depressingly beautiful girls dancing on the tables in front of us. About an hour later, after the French finally finished his one and only beer he goes home as well. I’m staying. I start dancing like a maniac without a reason. Later I meet a Shakira stand-in who tries her red lipstick on my cheek. Then I get depressed. Around 3pm I stagger back to my hostel and sleep like a log.
17 July 2005
I’m terribly hungover.