A few mates and I were spending a month in Australia driving from Cairns in Queensland to Sydney in New South Wales. Having sky-dived at Mission Beach, and gone on the XXXX brewery tour just outside of Brisbane, when we arrived at Byron Bay we knew that we were going to have to go surfing.
But I was going to need lessons first.
The two guys I was travelling with had surfed quite a bit in the past (regulars on the Newquay and Constantine Bay summer surf scene in Cornwall, Southern UK ) and therefore felt confident to tackle the Aussie waves. My experience up until then however consisted of splashing around on a Daffy Duck body board on some of the calmer bays of North Norfolk. And not even doing that very well.
We had always planned to go surfing at Byron and I had with me a rash vest and some surf wear I had bought here before leaving the UK. As well as the surf gear, I was also carrying around a bit of surf fear, as I tried to suppress the Byron Bay shark-story a friend of mine had told me before I left for Aus. (I won’t relate it here, so you can surf with a peace of mind that evaded me …) While my friends ran into the waves ‘Baywatch’ style I joined Jim, my instructor for the next three days, and about six other hopeful punters to have our first lesson.
Jim was very nice and took us through the basics clearly. He spent enough time on the theory to ensure we knew exactly what we were doing, but not so long that if felt like being back at school. The first day I caught nothing but swallowed a lot of the ‘Bee-yootifool wy-ves!’ that Jim kept pointing out to us while we struggled in the water.
The next morning I woke up sore and not keen for another day of the same. Alas, the second day continued like the first until just before we went in, paddling furiously I first managed to get up to a crouch on my board, and then finally to a stand. I stood up straight, feeling the water running under my board and gazing towards the golden beach as I came gliding in! … before inevitably tumbling into the water. Nevertheless, when I woke up the next day sore and bruised I was desperate to get back in the water, and then sad to say goodbye to Byron the day after that.
If I am being honest, the sky dive, the surf and XXXX tour were the only ‘activities’ we did on our month travelling from Cairns to Sydney. Apart from this, most of our time consisted of driving from place to place, having BBQs on the beach and, well, drinking XXXX. I don’t say this to knock the trip. With some of the best beaches, beer and luscious landscape in the world, I can’t think of a better way to spend a month in Aus.
PA15291383420jpeg – Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/enderu/177846147/
Learner surfers – Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/m0les/2046181765/
XXXX on a park bench – Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/458874185/