Me, Lars and Else
Lars is 24, from Belgium, tall and thin, funny kind of guy. Else is 25, from Australia, bit of an artist and a good laugh. I liked her answer when I asked her how long she had been travelling and she said ‘for ever’, great I thought, I picked up a homeless bum! Of course that was my first impression, but I was miles off track. She’s actually very nice and she’s travelling Australia because she wanted to find out more about her country and in particular aboriginal culture, good on her. The two of them were planning to go to a weekend festival in a small town called Nimbin, I’ve heard it was a place full of hippies and sounded like fun, so I offered to take them there and join in.
I picked them up on Wednesday morning and off we went to Byron Bay, via the Gold Coast.
Although I was happy to have company and a contribution for petrol (Bella is a right thirsty cow), I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t spend a few days on the Gold Coast since I had read a lot about it. I wanted to experience a night out in Surfers Paradise, stare at the neon lights, get pissed on cocktails, dance wildly with blonde babes in skimpy outfits, have a greasy kebab or a curry and wake up the next morning feeling like a baby elephant had sat on my head all night! Come to think of it, this isn’t far off from a night out in Swansea, except that in the morning the baby elephant would be lying next to me! Tidy! (as they say in Wales). Anyway, we took the scenic route, drove through condominium clusters and artificial attractions, and stopped on one of the beaches past Surfers paradise to take some photos.
Palm Beach, and Surfers Paradise in the background
We arrived in Byron Bay at around 4ish, just in time to park up and have a little wonder.
BB is quite small, very similar to Noosa Heads in that there are lots of posh shops and fancy eateries. There’s a big bar/restaurant on the front called the Beach Hotel, which has free wifi connection and some nice beers, Coopers Brewery is the best! Walking around you get the impression that 50% of the people here are backpackers or tourists. This was confirmed later on by Brone and Brian, a local couple living 6 kilometres south, where Elsa and Lars were staying. When I dropped them off, Brone didn’t think it was very cleaver of me to kip in my car and suggested to stay with them, the other two didn’t seem to mind so I had a comfy bed for the night and Brone cooked a lovely spag-bog, just like da mamma makes it!
Lars showing off on Palm Beach
After dinner the three of us went out for a pint and Brone gave us a lift into Byron Bay.
It was a Wednesday night, and to say that the town was dead is an understatement. Still, we had a fair few beers and got completely trolleyed, if you see the photos you’ll know exactly what I mean. It was such a beautiful night that we decided to go for a dip in the ocean, when we got back to the house, and the rear garden had a small path leading straight to the beach… how convenient is that! Maybe it was the beers, or the fact that I was in such a good mode, but I went in with nothing on, just like on Fraser Island, and yet again no one else followed my example, what a disappointment!
Next day we all chilled out a bit. Else and Lars went off for a romantic long walk on the beach, and I spent half the day sorting out a few bank issues over the internet at Beach Hotel, with a nice schooner of Coopers.
I hate banks, and I hate those idiots who don’t have an answer so they pass you onto another colleague, just as ignorant. Later, the three of us managed to meet up just in time to drive up to the lighthouse and watch the sunset.
L to R: Brian and Brone (our hosts) me, Lars and Else
At night, we cooked dinner for our hosts, there was enough chilli con carne to feed all of Australia! Then we went out in town but this time we didn’t have a lift and had to walk 6 blooming kilometres for the first pint, that’s the furthest I’ve ever had to walk for a beer. At least town was much better than the previous day, lots more people about and bands were playing in a few of the pubs. We tried not to go overboard this time, because we had to get up early and Else was hoping to join Brune on a bush walk at 6 in morning! She didn’t make it… and we got up at 12ish.
On the road again, to a big weekend festival in Nimbin!