August 27, 2007: Surfin’ in the A-U-S

if you have read the last couple of postings, written mostly out of boredom, you will know that i have just been on a surf trip. It was run by mojo surf and one of the co-owners was our orientation leader so thats how we found the program and got a deal.

friday night we got picked up at some backpackers place by  a mojo surf van. our instructor that picked us up was Shawno. like shawn with an o because they are surfers and thats how it goes. this kid was hilarious. super high energy and just absolutely loves surfing. i guess thats the point but its pretty funny. One of the first things he did on the road was roll down the window on the highway, and convinced this woman that she was getting a flat tire. It was really mean but sooooo funny. basically that gives you an idea of what kind of randomness was about to take place for the next couple of days. We also played a name game and you had to say your name, age, where you were from, turn ons, turn offs, and best/worst pick up line. It was even funnier because for the longest time Shawno thought that none of us knew eachother and actually all the kids picked up in brisbane live together except one. and that one person was meghan who we met on our volunteer project. Im happy we met up with her again because she was one of the cool chicks from the project and we will definitely hangout. In fact i think shes going to come hang with us this weekend. but back to the trip itself. We drove about an hour to the gold coast and picked up another bunch of kids. It was a squish because sometihing happend with counting and but we all managed to fit in the van. We would have had a big bus but a lot of people cancelled due to the weather. In anycase, it was nice to have a small group of thirteen. At the gold coast we stopped at a bottle shop because all surfer’s due is surf and party so a bunch of people picked up some booze. actually i think it was everyone except for kathryn and i. It was about 9:30 when we made it to Byron and settled into the Rainforest Resort. Dont be fooled, i dont think “resort” was quite the right choice of title but it had a bed and running water. I have to admit the surroundings being all rainforest was pretty nice though. Some people went into town to check out some of the night life but considering breakfast was at 7am, about half of us stayed back and went to bed. Besides we had saturday night as well and we wanted at least one day of not being exhausted.
Saturday morning, we awoke to the Jeff the chef knocking on doors with a bell. a little tabir like if u ask me, lol. it was actually pretty funny. so breakfast was had and we all got our stuff together. Shawno and Dane-o (dane with an o….the other instructor) came with the van and the equipment to pick us up. Now i have to explain that it has been raining for a week and none of us were certain that we would even be able to surf by the weekend. Its true that the way the weather was, there is actually some pretty good surf, but there is also a chance of fairly dangerous conditions….especially for beginners. So when we looked out our windows and saw puddles, sprinkles of rain, and extreme cloud cover….we were leary. It got better as we drove up to the water and saw gigantic waves crashing out on the ocean. We drove out to a strip just past Lennox point which has some of the best surf in the world. it is also pretty extreme so we werent actually there, i just gave you that for reference. Luckily, it wasnt raining and we got out and assessed the surf. and by assessed i mean the instructors checked it out while we all stood there going oh shit look at those waves. it was determined that there was a region on the shore that would be suitable for our needs and we went back to get the equipment. Thank goodness we got full wet suits. It took a while to get them on and adjusted (well at least for me) but it was well worth it. We were then handed our surf boards and headed back to the water. We got a safety briefing and then practiced on the sand. Then….we headed out into the water. Yes, i got into the water. and not only did i get into the water, but i got up on my board and i was out there the whole time except for like the last little bit. And we were out there for a couple of hours. I thought it might be weird to have really young instructors but they were realy awesome. Obviously they were around to make sure we were safe and made sure we kept going back to the calmer waters as we drifted with the current, but they also helped everyone individually carry out their boards and set you up for a good wave. I was pretty excited because i had a lot of goes on my own as well. I wont pretend im good or anything like that. I honestly got up like a handful of times and only for a few seconds, but considering my general disagreement with water and that i suck at anything relatively athletic, i was so excited. not only that, i was having a blast. I only came out at the end because my hip was getting a little sore and i wanted to try again on sunday. It was funny because there were comments all around that a) i actually got in, b) that i stayed in, and c) that i was having a blast the whole time. It was a good thing we got out when we did though, because we just barely missed more rain. we all did considerably well considering the conditions. there were times that the current was really intense. I think thats why my leg bothered me a bit sooner too because i had to stablize so much.
After surfing, we made it back to the “resort”, showered, and had lunch. Then the lot of us headed into town to check out all the shops and such. Its a pretty cute place, surfer character. Somehow neil, ryan, and i ended up on our own and after seeing stuff get repetative we decided to head back and take a nap if we were going out later. Napping was a brilliant idea. We were sooo tired. Kathryn and nick made it back next. They strayed off to the beach before they headed back. The rest of the crew had ended up walking up towards the light house. had i known i probably would have gone, but it was also a real crummy day for it. But it all worked out, and like i said, napping was brilliant. Shawn-o and dane-o picked us up and we went to this hostel called aquarius for a pasta dinner. it was relatively early and the plan wasnt to go out anywhere til about nine. Kathryn and i werent planning on drinking and didnt want to sit around some hostel for two hours. We decided to head out and find a cafe while everyone else pregamed on cheap beer. We stumbled across this cute little on the street place. It was just a cup of coffee but it was worth it for the atmosphere. they had this guy on an acoustic guitar who was really good, so i was happy with the choice. Then we walked down to the water, which was really close, and watched the increasingly gigantic waves as the crashed against the shore. Finally we met back with the group at Aquarius and sat there for a bit longer. Then it was time to see the “night life”. We headed to this place called cocomungas where we all got free entry. it was kind of cool but pretty dead since it was so early. Cheeky mokeys is apparently the place to go in byron but they also kick a lot of people out. The instructors both have a five year ban as does a lot of the mojo crew so they couldnt take us there. The group all decided we wanted to check it out tho so we headed out there and lucked out on free entry as well. It was a pretty fun place. they had steel top tables in the front of the bar made for people to get up and dance on so of course when it was dancing time, we all made our way up there. it was pretty fun and funny. the music started getting really repetative though and we wanted to check out what else there was. Kathryn, Nick, Neil, Ryan, and I headed back to cocomungas to see what it was like when it was “happenin” but it wasnt really. They had an additional upstairs bar and it was a bit more full but nothing thrilling. There were some debates about going home and my leg was getting sore so i was game but the decision ended in quickly checking out the beach hotel. Even though i hadnt wanted to go really, im happy i did. They had a live band and it was a really fun place. Luckily it was only about a half hour before the band finished up and we caught a cab home. Overall, i felt like we really got to see what the town had throughout the day and i really got a feel for what it was like.
Sunday morning there was sunshine!!!! being tired and sore i was feeling really motivated by the good weather. It was pretty funny too when we assessed the surf and the guys go, well it looks a lot safer today. not to mention we found out basically every other surf trip had been cancelled the day before. It was fine though because we all did well and i wouldnt have wanted to just sit around in the rain for a day. So we headed back out. Some people were really getting the hang of it and cruisin out there for a while. I knew my hip was killing me but i wanted to try a little bit more. I kept having a hard time pushing up. I did get like two decent stands but after a decent give out i knew i should rest. I only tried one more time and after an incredible nose dive i did the photographer thing from the beach. I really didnt mind though because it was so nice out. I wanted to get back out there but i know not to be that stupid. there is a line between being sore and about to hurt myself.
it was a good run for all and we had fun watching the slide show that the professional photographer put together. I got a cd of pics that should be here in a couple of days that will have all the pics of me and the group. should be pretty hilarious, but i wanted proof that i was out there trying haha.
so ya, we had a barbeque for lunch. Most of the group was going to Nimbin for the afternoon. It is described to be the amsterdam of byron. ive heard its quite the experience but i wasnt up to a commute just to see people getting high. Instead, we hiked up to the lighthouse. we being kathryn, neil, ryan and myself. I know hiking doesnt sound like the best idea after i was sore from surfing and it probably wasnt, but the view was incredible. Neil even went hang gliding up there. It is the cheapest in australia and it looked really cool but none of us could afford it. The view we got from walking was still pretty awesome. The whole adventure took a while and we made it back about fifteen minutes before everyone else. We loaded up into the van and started the drive back. I ended up in front, which was pretty cool. Shawn-o and i talked about a whole bunch of stuff and played twenty questions. It helped pass the time. he’s a pretty crazy kid but it was cool to chat about stuff besides pranks, alcohol, and chicks. haha.

hope everyone is settling into school ok and had an awesome summer!!!

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