A few weeks ago I spent the weekend at Surf Camp in Byron Bay. It was amazing! On Saturday, I woke up around 8 and breakfast was provided by the hostel. We were split up into three groups. I was in Group 1. Group 3 had gone sea kayaking at 7am. They were coming back as we were heading out for our surf lesson at 10am. We wore green t-shirts that said “Byron Bay Surf School” on them. We carried the boards down to the beach and learned how to lay down and stand up on the boards. I partnered up with another American named Hannah for most of the activities because she’s around 5 ft tall.
There were 3 or 4 instructors who helped us out. It actually took a lot of work to carry the surf boards out to where the waves were breaking because we had to overcome the waves pushing us towards shore. Apparently
it was one of the best days to go surfing in weeks. The current took us all down the beach and we had to get out and move up the beach a few times. With the help of an instructor pushing me into a wave, I stood up a few times while catching the wave. I always thought I had a pretty good sense of balance from wearing heels, cheerleading, and skating; but this was a different type of balancing because it was sideways. I was exhausted by the end of that session, but it was so fun and everyone had a blast.
We came back to the backpackers hostel and grabbed lunch quickly. It was delicious pad thai. We took a van to the sea kayaking place on the beach in downtown Byron Bay. We had to eat on the way and were kind of in a rush the whole time. It was worth it though. We had some cool tour guides. I was partners with Annie, a Canadian. We did great in the sea kayaks and did not flip. She teaches kayaking, which helps. We paddled out and sat for a while talking and looking for dolphins. People started getting seasick. I got a little dizzy, but only when we were sitting still. We finally saw some dolphins and sea turtles after going around the most easterly point of Australia and passing all the surfers. It was fun and our kayak was the last to come back to shore.
We got in a van to the river, where we did stand-up paddle boarding. That was fun. We had a relay race around a grove of trees. I got stuck in the tree roots and mud and came in second to last. It was super fun, though. People tried to do handstands and stuff on the paddle boards. It was great!
Afterwards, we came back to the hostel and had a barbecue and reunited with the other groups. I got to shower and get ready to go out. After dinner, Alex and I went with a lady named Dania who is also a student at SCU. She drove us to the Byron Bay Brewery.
There was Brazilian music and dancing. That was fun! Then, Kat (one of the UniLife volunteers who came with us) came and we all went to the Beach Hotel in downtown Byron. There was a dj and the place was poppin’.Alex and I went down to the beach momentarily. Apparently there was a silent rave there the night before. Afterwards, Kat dropped us off at Cheekey Monkey’s, where our hostel had a deal where we get free admission. We met the rest of our friends there. Danced on tables (that’s what the club is known for). It was fun and sweaty. A group of us, including all the Appalachian girls, all went to the 24-hour bakery and got some pastries before walking back to the hostel.