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Jen and Dan
Roadtrip Through Oz

Jen joins the Byron Bay circus

Saturday - 30 Nov 2002
Byron Bay - Australia


It was easy to tell when we had reached Surfer's Paradise because the city had a look that was a cross between Daytona Beach and Niagara Falls. There were tons of high rise condos, a few casinos, tons of cheap eating joints, and even some cheesy museums (Ripley's and a wax museum). To add to this atmosphere, it turned out that it was schoolies week for New South Whales, so the city was filled with high school students looking to party. We checked into the Islander Resort Hotel which looked like a hotel that had been converted to a hostel. The lobby looked nice, but when we walked to our room, you could see the effects that the schoolies had had on the place. Our room was a former hotel room that had been converted into a 4 person room (2 bunk beds). Our fellow roommates turned out to be a Canadian couple (who were sharing a single bed) and a guy from the UK. Our roommates had been travelling for a while and were very interested in 2 things: watching tv and drinking. Nevertheless, they were pretty nice and we managed to get along fine. After checking in we went for a nice dinner by the ocean and ended the night by watching a movie with our roommates.


The next day we slept in and then went to tour the city. Afterwards, we walked to the beach. Despite the tackiness of the city, the beach was impressive. The beige sand and beachfront seemed to go on for miles in both directions. We ended up relaxing on the beach and watching some of the surfers. About an hour later, we noticed that the sky looked very dark, so we headed into the mall to do some food shopping and managed to miss a huge downpour by only a few minutes. We ended up going back to our place and having lunch in the hopes that the weather would get better. In the late afternoon, we spent an hour walking the main street and the beach. That night we went out for a mediocre (but huge) Italian dinner and ended the night by watching the schoolies party on the beach.


The next day was Sunday Dec 1 and we left early in the morning for Byron Bay. We took the slower but more scenic route along the oceanfront which was great. We got to Byron Bay by 11am and checked into a bed and breakfast. While it was nice & quiet, it lacked a bit of the charm of B&Bs we have stayed in before. Nevertheless the owner was nice and the kitchen/ eating area were the best we had seen in a while. As luck would have it, Byron Bay has a big market on the first Sunday of every month so we headed down to the market and ended up having a blast. We listened to live music, bought a few things and had a shwarma lunch. However, the highlight of the afternoon was when Jen decided to take a lesson on the trapeeze. Jen got up on the platform and bravely swung back and forth, and even did a flip for the crowd. While she had a great time, she politely declined the offer to take up the sport more seriously. One lesson was enough.


In the later afteroon we drove out to the lighthouse which is located at the most eaterly point in all of Australia. The view was beautiful and we spent some time hiking around the area and watching the surfers. That night we cooked a great meal and ended the night by doing some e-mail.

The next day we got up early to do some sea kayaking and to see dolphins. We were picked up by the company and headed down to the ocean where we received our wetsuits, helmets, paddles and of course the kayaks. While we had both been in a kayak before, neither of us had done ocean kayaking, which turned out to be a little tricky. The hardest part is actually getting out from the shore, over the huge waves that often push you back (or captsize you). Each kayak team headed out and about 50% of them managed to get past the big waves on the first try. Luckily, we were one of them, but we were completely soaked and pretty tired by the time we made it to the calmer waters. We waited for the others to arrive and then paddled out to sea. We saw 5 dolphins swim close by to the kayaks. The dolphins and the scenery were great and we happily spent a few hours kayaking around the area. The trip back to the beach was also tough and a number of people were thrown from their kayaks. Luckily we had no major trouble. When we returned Dan decided to try his luck with solo kayaking, which turned out to be a tiring (and very wet) but extremely fun experience. In the afternoon we went back to the beach and relaxed by the water. That night we enjoyed another home cooked meal and relaxed with our books before packing our bags and calling it a night.

Bushwalking through the Rainforest
Bushfires, Shiraz, and Harry Potter
  Jen and Dan - Bio and Journals
  Roadtrip Through Oz - Intro Average Rating of 13 Viewers
Chapters of Roadtrip Through Oz
  A view from Sydney
  The Koalas of Yeppoon
  Below the Ocean in the Great Barrier Reef
  Off Roading On Fraser Island
  Bushwalking through the Rainforest
  Jen joins the Byron Bay circus
  Bushfires, Shiraz, and Harry Potter
  The Preston Resort in Melbourne

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