Sunday, April 18, 2010- in which we surf for the first time in Australia

Marieke and I woke up fairly early and set off to Byron Bay for our first lesson. It was pouring in the morning and I felt bad for Scott and his family who had woken up early to mulch the flower beds. I couldn’t even hug Scott goodbye (though I would see him for the Fraser trip) because he was completely soaked from the rain and dirty from the mulch.

Marieke and I followed the signs to the highway, which had a picture of manatee (or dugong as they call it here) in a triangle on the sign. I tried to get a picture of it, but we drove by too fast. We really needed to get gas and we kept passing gas stations but the gas was so expensive! So we decided we would hop on the highway and get off at the exit with the first gas station sign. However, we were driving on the highway for over 10 minutes and while we passed a lot of exits, we didn’t see any signs for gas. I was starting to get worried because the gas meter went on red and I wasn’t sure how much longer we would be able to drive for. It would be so dumb to be stuck on the highway with no gas when we could have stopped at like 5 different gas stations. So finally I told Marieke to take the next exit and we would just find gas somewhere.

Well we got off the next exit and the road led into a giant roundabout with a bunch of different roads branching off on it and no gas station in sight. Instead of driving randomly in one direction in the hopes of finding gas, we circled around, intent to get back on the highway and drive maybe to the next exit. But I told Marieke to take the wrong turn to get on the highway and we headed down a random road. It turns out this was a good thing though because a couple hundred feet up the road was a gas station! We were saved!

We filled up the tank and then sped off to Byron Bay. The drive took about 2 hours, though again due to my amazing ability to pass out while someone is driving in like .043 seconds, I was asleep for most of it (I bet you are kind of feeling sorry for Marieke now because she always have to drive by “herself”! Normally I’m a lot better at staying awake during roadtrips but not for this roadtrip!)

We got to Byron Bay and drove around a bit looking for our hostel. Byron Bay is a really cute surf town with lots of shopping opportunity and a fair amount of hippies. But, it’s nothing compared to Nimbin which I will write about a bit later!

So we finally found our hostel and checked in. We chose to share an 8 person room with girls only, because girls tend to smell a lot better than guys! We had a quick lunch, then got picked up for our surf lesson around 1:30 P.M.

We were advised through the Sharkie Travel agent at our School to book our surf lessons through Mojo surf because they had good rates and really taught a lot. For our first lesson we drove 20 minutes away from Byron Bay to Flat Rock Beach would be a high tide, with lots of good crumbly waves that the beginner surfer would want to practice on.

I had done a two week surf camp in Baja California four years ago, but I was SUPER out of practice the first day! I think I only caught like 3 waves. By the end of the lesson, I was so tired from all the times I wiped out and was rolled around in the ocean like I was in a washing machine.

When we got back to our hostel, Marieke and I had a really chill night and just talked with some other people at our hostel.

Written by Cali4beach

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