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Byron Bay and the Beautiful Beach
Saturday 19th February – Byron Bay, Australia
Before coming to Australia, all people could talk about was Byron Bay and how I must go there, if nowhere else. It’s the place everyone has on their itinerary, and the place where most people end up having the best time. I couldn’t really see why as yet, but a day on the beach might help to convince me, so this is what I had planned for today.
I began by booking my onward journey, and my next destination, and once complete, the day was mine. I didn’t go to the beach immediately, but instead opted to head west briefly to see what there was. I figured most people come to Byron, and stay at Byron, neglecting to go anywhere outside the Byron bubble. In hindsight, I understood why, as there is not a lot going on this way, just a few houses and a creek which looked eerie, but was probably quite tame. It is the kind of place I would expect to see a crocodile, but for the fact Byron is too far south to attract the beasts. I created my own little fantasy world in my head, and briefly believed I was at the mercy of the animals, running to escape the hunters. All a little sad really!
After some lunch at the hostel – making sure I was there early today to beat the kitchen closure – I strolled to the beach to soak up the sun and mess about in the sea. The water was clear enough to see lots of fairly large fish, and made for some interesting body surfing. The waves were short but extremely surfable, and needless to say I had lots of fun. There were a few other guys all with the same idea, and on numerous occasions we all caught the same wave and ended up washed up on the shoreline.
A couple of guys near me claimed they saw fins in the water, and people suddenly became concerned. I don’t know if they were serious or not, but the sudden activity from the lifeguard stand lead me to believe something was wrong. They patrolled the shallow waters in their boat, looking for something, and when they came close to where I was, the guys who had claimed a sighting stopped the boat to inform the lifeguards. The guys in the boat said there had been a sighting from another member of public, but they were sure whatever it was, was long gone now. I suddenly felt uneasy, but I was having too much fun to care to be honest, and the volume of people in the water meant the odds that I would be singled out were very low, (I hoped).
It was all very exciting, and a real taste of the Australian lifestyle, but the sun was nearing the end of it’s daily showing and began to disappear into the hills around us. It was another nice evening to sit by the sea and eat some food, listening to the nearby street performer, and the group of intoxicated teenagers down on the beach. Once the evening was truly spent, I walked back to the hostel, anticipating the state of the guests by this time.
The walk back to the hostel was littered with incident, as people were being sick everywhere, guys (and girls) were urinating on street lamps and in bushes, people were arguing and swearing at each other. It felt a lot like home, and I had felt that familiar uneasiness as I passed by groups of drunken youths, half expecting at least one to initiate an interaction with me, be it good or bad. Sure enough, a group of guys swore at me and wanted to fight me as I walked on, knowing they would soon get bored and move on, which they did. I am reminded at this point of why Byron is not the place for me, and I understand that these are the very same reasons why so many people love this place. It is a party town in my opinion, nothing more, nothing less. Unfortunately, this sort of thing no longer appeals to me.
Byron Bay is undoubtedly a great place during the day though, and there is much beauty to be found here. It is only at night time that the mood changes. Most will love it, some will not.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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