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Playful Dolphins and Fearless Water Dragons – Yamba
Thursday 17th February 2011 – Yamba and Byron Bay, Australia
Today I would be leaving Yamba, and heading further north to Byron Bay, a party person’s heaven. I had very strong feelings about Yamba, and the people here, and really didn’t want to leave, especially when a party person’s heaven is my idea of a bad time. Maybe I could be wrong. It is not a place to leave out at any rate, so I will make the most of it like I usually do.
I packed my things and left them in storage as I had most of the day to kill before setting off on my journey. It was another chance to wander about Yamba, and to say my goodbyes in my own little way. I will definitely miss this place.
My walk took me to all the major beaches in Yamba, and to places I had already visited, as well as places I hadn’t. Pippi beach was first, and due to the bad weather of late, the sea violently crashed against the rocks, sending water meters into the air. I have a general rule of not going anywhere without my camera, yet time after time I forget this rule. Today was no exception, and I really wish I hadn’t forgotten.
I carried on my walk along the coast, climbing the rocks as I went, and found my way into the bushy area between the beaches. It was here that I saw my first wild snake of the trip, albeit small and probably very harmless. I noticed it’s orange colour, although it disappeared from my site so quickly that it may not have been orange, but it was certainly quite small. I was happy to see it nonetheless, and now I can go home and say I saw a wild snake, Yay for me!
I walked to more beaches, and to the lighthouse, and wound up at Turners Beach. This beach was the place where I had learned to surf a couple of days ago, yet today the sand had eroded quite significantly, as though a recent storm had lashed against the shore line, taking with it the sand that lay there. It was almost a struggle to get onto the beach as there was so much erosion. Is this normal?
I walked to one last beach, the second beach that I surfed a couple of days ago, and saw the three girls from yesterday’s tour there. I said hello, and received a muted greeting back. It’s funny how you can laugh and joke with some people one day, then go back to being strangers again the very next day. This sort of thing no longer bothers me like it used to though, as I know there are far more people who are all too willing to be sociable, even being complete strangers. We are all different, and I appreciate this.
Lunch consisted of a slush puppy and a pie today, and my chosen lunch spot was on a bench overlooking one of the beaches, watching as a pod of dolphins moved in to feed in the shallows, catching the attention of bathers already in the water. These dolphins began playing, and I watched in awe as the young jumped out the water time and time again, while others slapped their tails on the surface of the water. One dolphin found great amusement in a piece of seaweed, in which it kept putting it on its head, flicking it off, and putting it back on again. It was very funny to watch, and by now an audience had gathered to watch the impromptu show.
Being so engrossed in the spectacle, I failed to notice that a water dragon had snuck up beside me and was sunning himself on the rock next to the bench I was on. This particular creature was fairly large, and seemingly unfazed by my presence. Others had gathered all along the pathway, as they often do here in Australia, all catching the sun which had been hiding a lot these past few days.
After lunch I made for Hickey Island, and walked around the beach to as far as I could go before turning back again. I decided to go inland and see if the waters had receded enough for me to continue my exploration of the island. My last visit here was cut short as I had to turn back due to the flooding. Today was no different unfortunately. I was satisfied with today’s foray, and so returned to the hostel knowing my departure was imminent.
After hanging out with the cool guys in the hostel, I said my emotional goodbyes and got ready to leave. After a manly hug from Shane, and his brother Luke, I reluctantly left. I have a feeling I will remember this place for a long time, and it’s largely down to the awesomeness of the guys that run the place, Shane in particular. You have to visit this place!
Next was a standard coach trip to Byron Bay, and it was immediately obvious this was a party place. The hostel was large, and full of activity (mostly drinking and smoking), but I found my room and set my things down. I set out to scout the area as I always do and came to the beach where lots of people were gathering. The beach looked really nice, and I was actually looking forward to spending time on it tomorrow. I had a good feeling about this beach, and it looked as though I could attempt some body surfing again tomorrow. All about me people seemed to be enjoying their evenings, and I guess this is what life is all about. I was looking forward to tomorrow, and to be able to form a better opinion of the place. For the mean time, it was relaxing just to sit and stare out into the darkness of the ocean before me.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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