Stuck in the Byron bubble

Thursday, 4 May 2017

From Sydney we went straight to Byron Bay, somewhere I have always dreamed of visiting. On arrival it was everything that I had ever imagined. Campervans parked on the sides of the road, vintage fashion boutiques, quirky vegan cafes selling smoothie bowls and iced coffee, surfers wandering about boards under their arms and all this under a big bright, warm sun - paradise! We stayed at Aquarius Hostel which I can't recommend enough - bright airy rooms (with outdoor space), a really cool bar with organised activities every night and discounts at the yummy cafe next door. The location was also a bonus as the hostel was super close to the beach whilst still remaining in the hustle and bustle of town.

From the moment I jumped off the bus I understood the term 'stuck in the Byron bubble' as it truly is a total escape from real life.





Upon checking into our room we made friends with a fellow traveller and roomie - lovely Stine from Norway. After getting to know each other over a couple of jungle juices (questionable alcoholic punch) the night suddenly escalated and we ended up putting Stine up for a ping pong competition, which she turned out to be great at and won a bar tab. As you can imagine the night continued to escalate and we ended up throwing around some shapes at the local dirty night club 'Cheeky Monkey's' where dancing on the tables is the normal thing to do.



We woke up the next day nursing a rather large hangover so were somewhat relieved to be told that our surf lesson had in fact been cancelled due to dangerous wave conditions. So instead we decided to take a wander around Byron, get a feel for the lifestyle and head down to the beach to soak up the sun and wash away our foggy heads! I can confirm that Byron Bay beach is beautiful and wave jumping there is tones of fun. That night we decided to behave and have an early night as we had a surf lesson the next morning.

Surfing at Lennox Head

When dreaming of my trip to Byron Bay I always envisioned myself surfing there. When booking our trip to Oz we already planned and booked two progressive lessons with surf school, Stoked. Having surfed a bit before in both Cornwall and New Zealand I had a good basic understanding but nothing could beat riding the waves at Byron. Our teacher Hayden was amazing and everything you could want from an Ozzy surf instructor - I mean EVERYTHING was 'knarley bro' and I hadn't witnessed that many shuckers before in my life! With joking aside, Hayden was a great teacher and I learnt so much from his style of teaching. The first day we were faced with some of the biggest waves the guys at stoked had seen at Lennox, so we weren't allowed in the water all together. The instructors took us in one by one and helped us perfect our popping up techniques - I really loved this style of teaching and I instantly noticed a sudden change and improvement in my surf style.



Feeling very sleepy and salty from being bashed around in HUGE waves all day we headed back to the hostel for another night of partying, recruiting some new roomies on the way! We started at a lovely bar/club called Woody's (surf themed of course)! A much classier/chilled vibe in comparison to Cheeky's but loads of fun non the less. We then of course ended up back at Cheeky's for more gross table dancing to end the night. It was when we left the club the once fairly average night took a turn and ended up being one of the best nights ever. Drunk and hungry me and Stine got tempted my some chocolate brownies, in our drunken state we bought one to share. We then realised we were being followed by someone blatantly eyeing up our brownie - Stine offered him a bite and before we knew it myself, Stine and Craig were all laying in his camper, drinking beer and listening to him (Riley) play guitar and sing with two of his Ozzy mates (Teady and Django) it was a magical evening and Riley was easily one of the nicest guys with the most beautiful voice! Half way through Riley's lil private gig a random girl rocked up, drunk and lost trying to find her hostel, we of course invited her in to join the party. Turns out she fell asleep and ended up crashing there the entire night, hilarious.



After about 45 minutes sleep (yawn) me and Craig decided to power through and do the notorious Byron lighthouse walk, which although we were feeling very worse for wear it was well worth the sweaty climb! We then went for our second surf lesson, which I must say defiantly blew away the cobwebs! This lesson went so well and I ended up catching loads of waves, the conditions were a lot calmer and I really had mastered my popping up technique.



We left Byron that evening with a VERY heavy heart. I adored Byron Bay and will be sure to return soon.



Elly x

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