As usual, another early start ensured we were up and ready by 7.30am.. We waited for the pickup, while the sun had already risen and began to heat the ground beneath us.
From the bus, out stepped Chris, the driver for this leg.. im sure he took a liking to us straight up due to our oz-like BIG hair!! The journey today was relatively short, and advanced to a place named Spot-X also known as Surf camp! As the name suggests, surfing would be on the agenda therefore we were very eager and excited.
The bus revved and we were off, not before sharing a last glance and farewell to this fond town.. A few kilometers up the hill, Chris pulled over and we were able to view the entire strech of beaches that ran parallel with coast of Byron, also great surf spots.
Routine food stops aswell as an ozzy movie helped kill the time and by mid afternoon, we wern't to far from arrival. One last stop allowed everyone to purchase alcohol for the evenings stay at the camp..
By now we had once again established a new group of friends on our bus.. this time meeting faye, jen and two lads our age from london. We arrived at surf camp around mid-day and were greeted by a group of keen surf enthusiasts! How jealous were we? ..these guys not only surfed everyday - but got paid to do it teaching wannabes such as ourselves!
But today it wasn't guys who would tutor us, but two chicks.. although its hard to suggest one is a chick.. she was about 40 and had huge fake boobs! this didn't stop her from eyeing up me and matt as we smiled nervously from the depth of the bus..
Tonight the group of us would be staying at surf camp, therefore before we hit the waves, we checked into our rooms and off-loaded the bags. Then it was swim shorts on, apply the lotion (well maybe not matt) and head down to fetch the boards :)
Being beginners, everybody was given long boards - allowing you to swim on and stand upon with more ease. In pairs we held the opposite ends of the boards and made our way down to the beach, a short 300metres away.. A sturdy bridge crossed over the mouth of a stream leading towards the sea, taking us onto the sand and finally we were in sight of our playground - the sea!
Before you just run and jump into the water, a crucial lesson based on technique must be taught. The group (of around 20) formed a semi-circle on the beach, with the surf chick instructor in the middle. First we were taught about a 'rip' which is basically a strong current pulling you out. In this situation you are supposed to remain calm, swimming to the side of the rip as it is impossible to swim against! Next it was everybody on their feet and warm up time; consisting of a few streches along with some silly star jumps.
Now the vital lesson, catching a wave.. we positioned ourselves on the boards as she talked us through the stages to getting up on your feet. Once we had a clear understanding it was time to put our skills to the test and RIDE ON :)
Unfortunately Matt wasn't getting any better and his headache forced him to retire to bed for the evening.. we were both glad he was able to enjoy the surfing though! However the night was young and soon the gang were to head for the beach! I filled my pockets with a few beers and went with the group onto the sand.. it was pitch black and we walked unknowingly for a couple of hundred metres! We were told, the staff would follow shortly with the music and camp fire.. first we chatted and waited patiently but soon the lack of t-shirt and swim shorts failed to protect me from the ocean breeze and it got fairly cold. Also people were bored and started to head back. An hour later, a guy finally turned up and lit up a big fire to which everybody circled.. yet the chances of a beach rave drifted away as the music did not follow :( I had waited long enough and looked forward to hitting the sack..
6.00am the alarm was ringing and breakfast was calling, again provided by the camp.. saying that we had to part $50... we unwillingly fell out the bunks and made our way to the eating area. Chris was pushing to leave early, so a quick wash and onto the bus took us to 7.00am. We waved goodbye to the wierd and wonderful surf camp and had a long days drive southbound to the great Sydney!!
So surf camp was a personal success in our view as we had endured 3 awesome hours on the boards.
Well thats all for now, next blog takes us to Australias largest city - Sydney!