Before I dive back into our adventures here are a few more pictures from Zaytuna Farm:
Byron Bay – the nouveau hippie
In the short time that Miranda and I had together after my Permaculture course, we traveled further north up the East Coast. We had planned to meet at the hostel in Byron Bay on Sunday, but had no idea what time either of us would get there. In the end, I jumped on a late bus after spending the day at an excellent market in the ‘hinterland’. When I got on I was very happy to see a familiar shinny little face waving at me from the back of the bus. Miranda and I talked non-stop for the rest of the bus ride, and well into the night when we got to Byron.
Byron Bay is a cute little town that’s been swept up in the tourist circuit over the last few years. It’s still has remnants of it’s hippie surfer roots, but things don’t slow down around here even in the winter. The beaches were beautiful, but our hostel was lame and not very friendly. Even though we only stayed a couple days, I’ve heard that if you find a good place to stay it’s a wicked town to chill in, and many people end up staying weeks and months longer then planned. Jesse, my roommate from RRU, had lived in Byron for a long time while he was traveling. It was nice to finally see the place he’d talked about and loved so much!
Brisbane – the underdog.
I really thought that people were just being too harsh on Brisbane, but it’s true. There’s nothing spectacular to see or do.
That said, we were lucky enough to stay with Miranda’s friend’s sister. Finally some real Aussies! They’re were incredibly generous to give us their spare bedroom (with ensuite bathroom!!!), host a BBQ, and explain the rules of rugby while we watched the State Of Origin game – it’s a big thing down here. I also learnt that rugby is by far superior to football (of the non-soccer sort), and it’s a lot more fun to watch.
Noosa – bling bling beach.
From Brisbane, we traveled up to Noosa – a sleepy but high end beach side town. We stayed at a lovely Queenslander hostel. Queenslanders are a type of house -old, wooden, and reminiscent of old plantation homes.
We did a nice walk through the National Park, and I saw my first wild Koala! YAY! He was so cute just sleeping in the tree. The path went along the beach and then up on to a cliff edge, around a point, and then back down onto another beautiful white sand beach. As we got to the point, we perched ourselves by the cliff and enjoyed the view for a while. We had been told to keep our eyes peeled for whales (it’s humpback migrating season right now). We may have seen some… none were close enough to verify as whales. I did spot a sea turtle! It was cruising along and came up for a breath of air before dipping back under; in the crystal clear turquoise water it was easy to spot him and see his beautiful big shell clearly.
Noosa is the last town, or the first town depending on which direction you’re traveling, that you can surf. North of Noosa the Great Barrier Reef starts, so the swell doesn’t reach the beach. Since it was our last chance and ALMOST warm enough, we figured we’d give surfing a shot! I’ve surfed before, but decided to do a lesson again for a refresher. I’m glad I did too because they helped me figure out a few bad habits – so I was standing in no time! It was Miranda’s first time, and she did an awesome job – also standing by the end of the lesson. YAY!
Our roommate in the hostel was a German guy whose name we missed the first few days, so we decided to make up a nick name for him. He was a surfer, so Surfer Guy seemed appropriate. My dyslexia shone through in a brilliant moment where Surfer Guy was shortened to the initials SJ instead of SG. One afternoon he was on another of his rants – this time about his surf boards, how many he has, why they’re all so cool, and what type of surf they’re good for – while he was showing me his custom board, and he pointed out that it even had his name on it! Finally – Jan (pronounced “Yawn”)! In the end I was right with the “J” and Surfer Guy became Surfer Jan – SJ. Not only did we learn a lot about surf boards, but SJ was an excellent resource on all things to do on the East Coast. His brain was like a catalog of all activities and towns and whether they were worth the time and money or not. Thanks SJ!
After a rough night and a sad morning goodbye, Miranda and I said goodbye in Noosa. She had a harrowing adventure back to Vancouver – bus, trains, and planes! I had a more leisurely bus ride North to Hervey Bay.