With everything falling how it did, our trip planning left us win only 1.5 days left on our trip. On the bus, we drove straight past the tacky, tourist, and five-star hotel overridden town of Gold Coast and surfers paradise, and into the legendary hippie-like town of byron bay.
With a full day ahead of us, Raphael and I decided to literally use every bit of daylight available to us. This first involved us waking up at 5:30 in the morning to watch the sunrise. An incredible idea in theory, but when your alarm actually goes off at 5am you wonder how good of an idea it really is. It was here at the top of a lookout point at 5:30 am that we got or first sense of how truly active Australians are. You see, we had taken a bus ride up this mountain to watch the sunrise. However, a majority of people at the lookout had chosen to jog up. Not only did they accomplish the feat of waking up at 5am, but also they had convinced themselves it would be a nice time for a jog uphill. While I am all about cultural experiences, this is not one I plan on participating in. Not to mention, the sea was already dotted with surfers, embracing their chances to beat the crowds, securing a place to ride he changing morning tide. Overall, these people may have been a bit more awake for the sunrise than I was, but boy was it beautiful. The sun shone neon tones of pink as it rose from the bay, decorating the sky and the clouds with dabs of orange and gold. We watched as the moon slowly disappeared from view, bringing us to a bright and sunny morning around 7am.
Arriving back at the hostel, or stomachs were rather hating us for skipping breakfast at 5 am, but really, who eats that early. We made our way to a next door Belongil Bistro for a small breakfast where the waitress began raving about their banana bread. At the time, is seemed rather strange, as one would normally rave about some sort or elaborate dish that involved some sort of culinary skill. But no, she talked about the banana bread. So, banana bread it was. Much to our surprise, the banana bread was much more than a hunk of bread on a plate. Instead, it was warm, fresh out of the oven, and artfully displayed on a wooden platter in a small tower with fresh butter and honey. Overall, if you are ever at Belongil Bistro, take the banana bread. Over our breakfast, we had the opportunity to meet a fellow blogger from the blog turquoise compass, who would be following a very similar path to us along the east coast. We exchanged a few blog stories before we headed off to our yoga class, which as you may have read was due a post in and of itself.
At this point, it was only 10 am a normal waking time for us, and here we were already 5 hours into an amazing day, perhaps there was something to this waking up for sunrise (though even if there was, I am not sure we could really make a habit out of it). Historically, Byron Bay is known as a surf town. So, Raphael and I chose to rent the, less legitimate, but no less fun, boogie board. We spent the late morning riding the waves, and splashing about with the gopro. South of Brisbane, there were no more deadly jellyfish, and we were free to swim as we wished. Though, there was a slight worry of sharks. However, I was rather sure I would be the first boogie boarder to ever be eaten by a shark in knee deep water, so I tried to let my worries go.
Hungry for lunch, we brought in the boards, and grabbed some free blue vintage cruisers from the resort and cruised into town to grab a bite. For us, the issue tends to be not what to eat, but what not to eat, and byron bay was challenging our ability to choose. Waitresses dotted the streets inviting us to take samples before making our decision. We ended up at a middle eastern felafel restaurant, rightfully called Felafel where we munched on fresh veggies and pita. we did a few laps through the cute shops amongst a crowd of barefooted locals and watched as surfers caught waves in the inner bay.
We headed back to the hostel where we decided to recent our boogie boards. It was then that Raphael was stung by a jelly fish. Of course, I was having a heart attack, assuming that he would die from some crazy species which had blown away from its pack in the north. But no, it was indeed just a harmless stinger, known to create a small sting, but nothing more. So, it was back to enjoying the day, with my mind no longer having to be on planning Raphael’s funeral.
As the fun of getting salt and sand in the eyes dwindled, we headed back to the resort, and bought a bottle of rose which we enjoyed over writing post cards, and this blog. For our evening meal, we headed to a well loved byron beach restaurant called Treehouse, known for its woodfire pizza. Of course I was not going to take any pizza, it was our last day of our east coast trip. So, I took a roasted pumpkin pine nut prosciutto pizza with a strawberry mint cocktail. Delicious. Lucky for me, Raphael was there to help me finish when his fish did not prove filling enough.
Satisfied from a long day well spent, we spent the rest of the evening socializing with a local dog, Sketcher, who roamed around the resort while swaying back and fourth in a hammock. The next day we would be flying back to Melbourne, concluding our amazing jaunt along the east coast!