Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tallow Beach and the Light House.

I stayed at Nomads in Byron Bay. It was a really clean, busy hostel that offered all sorts of activities throughout the day from morning yoga lessons on the beach to travel trivia and free bbq's. One of the afternoons offered a sunset walk to the lighthouse. Mic and I had a bit of time to spare before the group met, so having said goodbye to some very funny friends we had laughed with, danced with, surfed with, jacquzzied with, and beached with we took a local map of the area and wandered to one of the other beaches on the other side of the peninsula. It was a bit of a hike in the heat, but we were being passed by surfers coming and going so we knew it would somehow be worth it. And it honestly was. The beach was practically empty, we could have had it to ourselves, but the ocean was filled with surfers catching rough waves near the headland. 

The sand was so soft and it was if the sky and ocean were competing to see who could be brighter and more blue.
 If anything, I learned that picking up a local map and going somewhere not necessarily mentioned in the guide books, or a bit out of the way off the tourist track, is definitely worth it. 
I'm so awkward. This one's for you, John and Sheelagh! 
Panarama pictures never look as good as reality. But you gotta try to capture it. 
It had taken us about half an hour to walk to Tallow Beach so instead of walking back to the hostel to meet the group for the lighthouse walk, we had decided we were already half way there and would just continue the walk on our own. There was a map at the threshold of the walk with the different trails marking the lengths and difficulties of each. We picked the one that hugged the edge of the coast for the best views and would walk through the Cape Byron Conservation Park on the way back. The heat and the steps reminded me of the walk along Cinque Terra. Luckily, Mic would "stop for pictures" aka catch our breath, as frequently as me so it wasn't so strenuous. Let's just say lack of fitness from laziness . Joggers ran past us as we stopped for a clementine break on a bench, "enjoying" the view. Ha.
It was a really pleasant walk actually. We didn't see any koalas or sharks or dolphins or snakes or spiders as we talked about the dangerous animals Mic encountered on Fraser Island that I had to look forward to. But, there was a random mountain goat along the way....

We did get to the most easterly point of mainland Australia though! (although if you look past the gate there actually some more rocks....even further east...)
Nothing more further east...until.....who's any good at geography? 
Looking back towards Byron Bay.



Yay! Walking is good for the environment :)
We reached the lighthouse way before sunset, which is lucky because it got quite chilly up there and it would have been a long, dark walk back! More importantly though, we reached the lighthouse before the little shop closed. We had heard from our English friends that there was the most amazing ice cream and after the sun-penetrated walk we definitely were looking forward to and deserving of an ice cream.
The view from the top.
Mars Bar and Pooh Bear ice cream. What a treat!
Along with the ice cream, we were told that there was a book in the little museum called Love Letters from Mother Nature. One of the blokes was quite taken with this book. I think he left a little bit of his vomit on the cover page. 

It looks like a fairy tale castle!
Around the corner, we could see Tallow Beach from above - the beach we had been on previously.
The surfers were still in the water. 
We eventually found our way back, I'm not quite sure how but saw the sun setting over Main Beach.
The hostel in Byron Bay was filled with a lot of young people from all over the world. A lot of English, Canadians, and Germans. I don't know how long they were traveling for, but it seemed as though a lot of them would stay in the hostel during the day and drink in the courtyard then continue to the clubs at night. Which is fine, if you've seen what you want to see and are young enough to do that, but I would recommend this walk to anyone going to Byron Bay. At first, seeing so many young people, I felt a bit old, that I had missed the window frame for appropriate travel time with other like-minded people. I've found that a lot of people are between 22 and 26, which makes sense. I remember when I turned 25 and felt as though I was having a quarter-life crisis, quit my job and moved in with my parents. It happens to everyone, at different times of their lives. They need to go out and find themselves, figure out what they are doing in this world. I thought that I needed an excuse to travel, do charity work or something and that's part of the reason why I decided to go back to school and go to school abroad. Obviously being obsessed with the program and curriculum helped, but I never thought I could just go on holiday to Australia. I think for some of these kids, it is a spring-break year abroad. But now, at my age, I can look back and say that I am glad I came now. I suppose I wasn't ready before and wouldn't want to waste my time sitting in a hostel drinking. I feel as though I can appreciate more of what I see. I still feel old sure at times, and maybe I am overly generalising, but even though we are all doing the same trip basically - either up the coast or down the coast - we will all come away with completely different experiences, memories, and achievements.  Maybe these younger kids will get traveling out of their system and figure out their lives sooner than me, but that's ok for them and it's ok for me. 

1 comment:

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