Sunday, 6 July
I arrived at around 2pm. It was a Sunday so as usual there was a market! I managed to check into my 9 bed dorm and got chatting with everyone straight away. Myself and one of the guys - Chris - headed for a wander round the market - oh boy, this place was hippy central! I finally managed to find a pair of crop trousers that I had bee dying for since Cairns (a bit like the trousers Jasmine wears in Aladdin but shorted!) - This would be a good point to inform everyone that I have tapped into my hippy side whilst out here (much to mums delight!), I now own various beads, Thai fisherman pants (trousers) and now my (what I like to call) gypsy trousers. I gave up trying to straighten my hair everyday after the first week, so now have constantly wavy, just out of bed looking, kind of hair! Which, I think, completes the look! :)
Anyway, we walked around the market soaking in the atmosphere (and the hemp), and then went an watching some hippy dancing before we left which was awesome! People just came and sat down in this circle and just started playing, nobody was particularly leading it was all just a mish mash of different bongo's, drums, rattles, singing etc - it worked really well! There were people dancing in the middle of the circle - pretty sure a couple of them were feeling a little more than just the music - but it was awesome!
The rest of the day was spent just wandering around town getting my bearings and doing all the boring things like buying groceries. The whole town was so cool - it is hippy meet surfer chic, so laid back, so friendly and so the place I'm going to live! :) I went to the cinema that night with all the guys in my dorm which was fun. I love the fact that you can become friends with strangers in a matter of minutes here!
Monday was fairly uneventful, just sat on the beach watching the surfers and sunbathing - it's such a hard life! Although, one of the guys I did the diving with in Cairns arrived that day so we hung out too. By that night there was a big bunch of us and we all went to the establishment that is known by backpackers worldwide - CHEEKY MONKEYS! If you know it - you know how the night went! If you don't - nough said! :) Needless to say I woke up the next morning feeling like I'd been put through the tumble drying on high speed (I looked a bit like it too). It was poring with rain though so I didn't feel guilty at all about just lying in bed for a large chunk of the day!
Amy arrived at about 2pm, by which time I had managed to drag myself out of bed - although I still had my PJ's on under my clothes! We walked up to the lighthouse, which is normally only supposed to be a 50min walk but we somehow managed to stretch it out to 2 hrs (probably a mixture of hangover, the obscure route we somehow managed to take and the fact that we haven't had that much exercise since we got arrived!). The trek was made worth it though when we saw a couple of whales from the top swimming by. Apparently it's the best on-land viewing point for whales and the most easterly point of Australia (just some trivia for you there!). I could ramble on and on about how beautiful the sunset was on the walk back (a considerably shorted 40mins!) about how the pinks, oranges & purples lit up the sky but I think I'll just let the pictures do the talking!
On our last day in Byron Bay we had planned to go whale watching, nearly had a heart attack when we showed up and the guy couldn't find our names on the booking! Turned out they had made a mistake and booked us onto a later tour - we were too tired and hungover to argue to we just took it. It gave us time to wander through town for the last time and sit on the beach. The whale watching turned out to be AMAZING! It took maybe 10-20mins before we found any but when we did!.......One fully breached (jumped) out of the water no further than 30 meters from the boat, we could feel the ripples from the splash - our guide told us that that was the closest he has seen one do that in about 6 years. We saw 4-5 more whales and saw them do some amazing things like tail splashes! On the way back 2 common dolphins swam past the boat and jumped out the water. Had a really awesome time - didn't even care that I felt slightly seasick or that my feet where so cold they might of actually fallen off if we had been out there for much longer!
Our bus to Sydney was another overnighter - so we hung out in the hostel watching a fire show that they had on that night - was pretty spectacular!
And then it was time to leave.........................very sad! :(