Surfer's Paradise was the beginning of an awesome week of beach. I met up with 2 of my Swedish friends, had an intro surf lesson, and dug a lounge couch into the sand. A successful day. After consuming enough salt water to heal any canker I have over the next 20 years, I made my way down to Coolangatta for a few days.
I was told by many people not to stop here as it was a bit of a sleepy town; perfect for a holiday from my holiday before New Zealand. The hostel, Sands, was one of the nicest I've stayed in yet. ACTUAL mattresses, windows, shower stalls, etc. The whole 9 yards. I met a lovely Aus whom I spent the next couple of days hanging out with. On the Saturday, I decided it was time for me to do something about my lack-of tan as there is hardly any evidence I've been in Australia for over a month. So, I chose to live on the edge and slapped on the SPF 30 instead of my usual 45+ (still wearing SPF 60 on my face...obviously.) and revealed my baby-skin body to the sun. Now, if you were to think of the 3 most inconvenient places to burn I would think this would include a) the bottom of your feet b) your hands and c) your butt. I escaped the first 2, but my butt was so burnt I could hardly sit, and it resulted in me scratching it furiously over the next few days. After many applications of "After Sun", going back to the SPF 45, I would like to proudly introduce;
"Off-White; The New Transparent by Pitts... Get into it."
This would have been a great line for a new tan product if the tan was evenly distributed but at the moment I look like a wall with various shades of white being compared by a couple who can't decide on a colour for their baseboard.
From Coolangatta I made my way to Byron Bay where I met up with another Canadian (WE ARE EVERYWHERE...and we all have Canadian flags on our packs. It's a running joke in the backpacking world.) I experienced my first real rain out in the 6 weeks I've been here which only resulted in meeting some awesome people in my hostel. The next day, I had a surf lesson booked, ate so much sand thanks to the fierce winds and waves that they called the lesson. At this point, I have a ridiculous amount of respect for surfer's and will stick to my snow...until I'm back in Aus next month.
My last night in Byron we pulled a group together, a few of the girls' I'd met while travelling the coast were in town, and headed to the Cheeky Monkey for a few. It was a great way to end my time in Aus.
I'm off to the airport bright and early tomorrow to start my tour of NZ. Sweet as, bro.