East Coast – Surf Camp
Goodbye Sydney and hello East Coast of Australia. Today we started our journey up the coast to Cairns. We decided to travel up on the Oz Experience bus and part of their package included free surf lessons. So our first stop was at a place called Arrawarra where we went to Surf Camp. We didn’t arrive there until about 4pm so it was a case of bags in and straight into our swimming shorts then down to the beach to catch some surf. After some quick demonstrations we were soon out in the water hopelessly trying to stand up on our boards. After some practice we did get a bit better but seeing as there was over 40 people being taught and only four instructors it was difficult to learn where you were going wrong. Dal and Jacko quite enjoyed themselves but me and Johno were getting a bit more frustrated and very saw from board rash.
In the evening everyone met up to have dinner together and basically get to know some of the other people we were heading up the coast with. This was quite a good opportunity to meet some new people, Ria and Titch who we met at racing were already on our bus too. After dinner we went to the beach to carry on drinking and have our own little party. There were other people outside of the Oz Experience group which is why we had to take our noise away from the camp. No surprise that it wasn’t long until we all quite drunk again, misbehaving and bringing out the old favourite drinking games. No guessing as to who the last people were to leave the beach and get themselves to bed.
After one night at Surf Camp, Byron Bay was the next port of call. We set off early and arrived in Byron early afternoon. Byron is a beautiful place with a small town at heart. There are no high-rise buildings, no big franchises which helps it to keep its charm. It’s been voted the best place by travellers on the east coast for several years. Once we had looked around we could see why so many people love it.
The holiday village we were staying at were doing a BBQ in the evening so that’s where we all headed. It was quite good that most of the people on the Oz bus had all decided to stay at the same place so again it was a good chance for us to meet everyone. We had already bumped into Jimmy and Mickey Mouse (Danny) who we had met in Sydney, they were travelling down the coast and happened to be staying at the same place.
Once the BBQ had finished we slipped up to the room to watch the ending of the cricket with England needing to beat New Zealand to make it to the ODI final. They kindly obliged so it was out to celebrate after. The most popular backpacker bar in Byron was Cheeky Monkeys and that’s where we went. Lots more drink was consumed with the boys and another of our new recruits young Mish. Back to Jimmy and Mickey’s room after closing who had happened to be sharing with Ria and Titch to carry it on. Not a good start to our stay at the Holiday Village and already some complaints, oops.
We were really enjoying the resort and the fact we had come on the Oz bus as it felt like we had become one big family. Everyone’s doors were open and you always had visitors to the room, we had met some really cool people here – Mish, Kiwi Mark, Dougie Fresh (aka Steve from Southampton), Thommo, Brado, Tarren, Manc Lisa, Juan (Young Leo), Claire, Michelle, Sarah and many others.
With there being quite a few of us it was a good opportunity to play some more beach cricket with enough fielders! We checked out the beach and it was beautiful and very flat, just what was needed. You could notice some bigger waves and the water was clearer and warmer also.
Out again in the evening and we met up with Gemma and Lisa who had left Syndey a few days before us but were still in Byron. First we went to the Beach Hotel which is an enormous beachfront pub owned by Paul Hogan (Crocodile Dundee). After a few beers we went to Coco Mangos for a P Party, it was optional to go as something beginning with a P. We met up with a few of the others in there and that’s where we finished the night before Jacko having an infamous face off with some locals?!?!
1-0 To The Engerland
The first of the ODI finals and I’m still quite amazed how we managed to even get here after some of the performances at the start of the series. Although Australia being strong favourites, hopefully the form we’ve hit at the right time can give us the confidence to go on and win it.
What a good a chance we had as well after a good performance from the bowlers but no surprise when England found themselves on the back foot losing three early wickets. Fortunately Collingwood played a superb innings getting a century and helping us go 1-0 up in the final.
Beach Hotel was the destination for the evening. After a few drinks there we decided to make our way to Cheeky Monkeys. Another very drunk night and everyone back to our apartment to carry on from where we left off, although someone managed to find some blue sun-block and things got a little bit silly to say the least.