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Discovering Byron Bay and the Coastal Walk
Friday 18th February 2011 – Byron Bay, Australia
One month into my Australia trip, and I have many memories already, and plenty of stories to bombard people with once I return to the UK. I was in Byron Bay at this point, a place I had heard much about in the past 6 months. Today was my first day to really explore the place and to find my feet. I had previously lost them, and couldn’t stop myself from falling over.
The day began almost as soon as I had woken up, and a quick pit stop to the nearby dunny made me aware of the fact I was probably the only person in the hostel actually awake at this time. It had the feel of a lazy hostel, one in which you didn’t really have to surface until later in the evening when the party life begins. I had a whole day planned, and wasn’t about to waste it looking at the inside of my eyelids, as nice as my eyelids are.
My stomach thought my throat had been cut, and screamed out at me for food, and so a trip to the reception for some cutlery was in order. 5 dollars worse off; I left the reception area and found the kitchen to make myself some breakfast, and to have the obligatory cup of tea. I didn’t have any milk, so tea was off the menu, but toast and water filled a gap in my tummy at least. This was enough to put me in the mood for exploring, and off I went, into Byron Bay.
I embarked on a lengthy walk this morning to the lighthouse, and the weather that accompanied me was extremely hot. At the beginning of the walk, I was invited to make my way onto the beach, and to the lookout point up on the rocks. This was a welcome sight for me as the beach was lovely, with golden sand and blue sea, as well as a plethora of bronzed bodies. A scuba school watched on as their boat had to be rescued from the sand bank on the shore line. It was a little strange to see a local company at the mercy of the sea, when surely they are professionals at their trade!
The lookout was inspiring and the sun was fierce, so I had to move on, out of the sun and into the shady tree line. There were many more lookout points along the walk to the lighthouse, and I stopped frequently to observe the views, and the wildlife. A pod of dolphins swam by in the clear blue sea, and baby Kookaburras sat on the tree branches, watching the numerous tourists plodding by. Goannas and lizards were out in number today, and a dead snake was supposedly easy to spot along the pathway, as people coming the opposite way had claimed. I never saw it though, and perhaps I was looking too hard. I saw much along the walk before finding the lighthouse in all its glory. The return journey took me down an alternative route, and it was nice to bump into a couple of girls that I had met in a previous hostel in Yamba. They too had seen the dead snake. My anger at being the only person not to have seen the snake today was diluted when I happened across a nasty looking spider at the end of the walk. I don’t know if it was a huntsman’s, or other, but it was creepy looking anyway.
It was lunch time when I arrived back at the hostel, and I was a little bemused by the notice exclaiming the kitchen was closed for cleaning. I could be wrong, but I think people generally use the kitchen at lunch time, and that cleaning was probably best left until a time when it wasn’t so sought after. As it happened, the kitchen didn’t re-open until 3:30, much to the disgust of the guests waiting in the seating area. It became a bit of a free-for-all once the doors opened, so I made my lunch quickly, and bolted.
After a much needed shower, I set off on my second walk of the day, this time to a bush walk as marked on the map. Firstly, I found a street named after me, (Daniels Street) which was nice. The road was dug up, and a water main had burst somewhere sending water down the street. There was also a strong smell of sewage. This was my street alright!! The bush walk sounded exciting I thought, and I soon found the start. I walked off into the thicket, and less than 100 metres later, there I was back at the start again. This so called bush walk was a complete waste of time, and I had to laugh at myself for getting so enthusiastic about it. Another walk close by captured my interest much more, and lead me to Tallow Beach. I loved being by the sea today, especially as the weather was so hot. When I came back I grabbed a take away (again!) and sat on the main beach looking up at the full moon. Many people had gathered tonight, lots were skinny dipping, lots more were smoking pot. I didn’t care, I was happy to chill out after a long day of walking.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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