The kids and I drove down to Byron Bay one cloudy day this week. It was an absolutely gorgeous and warm day, but cloudy and threatening rain. The sea was being surfed by some seasoned surfers while I talked to a guy who was in his sixties and who told me that he has surfed this beach almost every day of his life since he was a three years old. Although Elizabeth smiled at this rugged looking fellow, other surfers had her eye, as did the cool shipwreck out in the bay.
|Two Sisters Rock|
Much of the time we were at the beach and on the esplanade we kept finding ourselves wishing we could go back in time to the days of the Arakwal Peoples who lived in this area before European exploration so we could view this spot in its natural state. What a meeting place it must have been.
|Eastern Water Dragon|
Byron Bay has become a hot tourist spot for the long-haired hippies of today. It's mellow, Man. This coastline is beautiful. I have been here on a very sunny day and the colors are just astonishing. The town's laid back, alternative lifestyle means that New Age spirituality and prayer beads are ubiquitous on the little village area. I understand that ocean births, raves, and pagan gatherings are all fairly common at this beach. The business district has about a hundred cool shops and restaurants. Backpackers have two different inns to stay in. So expect to see tons of young ones here. But unlike the touristy surf beaches to the north, Surfers Paradise and Gold Coast most notably, this beach and vicinity has a lovely small town feel to it.
Elizabeth really wants come back here one day on her own or with friends. She states that she plans to never smoke pot or drink alcohol. So I'm not at all sure what she will do in Byron Bay but I do hope she will come back!
The day we visited Byron Bay was just your average day in the middle of the week, yet the streets were teeming with young people on skateboards, bikes, feet, carrying surf boards, wearing sunnies, and generally hanging out. I felt absolutely ancient. I'm not sure if much gets done here during the day, but it was fairly obvious to me that a good deal of partying happens when the sun goes down. As for us, we enjoyed a little shopping in the eclectic downtown area and a nice cup of tea at a nice outside coffee shop.
There was more to do and to see at Byron Bay but we had miles and miles to drive before we got home and as we pulled onto the highway...the rain started.
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