Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Byron Bay.....

     It's been a couple weeks since I have got on the blog here and I have good reasons for that. I am currently in Byron Bay about 2 hours south of Brisbane and have been here for a couple weeks. When we arrived we instantly fell in love with the atmosphere, people, and scenery. The town has turned in a backpackers haven in the last decade, almost completely catering to a backpackers every need. The town is full of young people with stories from there travels around the world, I have met so many amazing people that are now friends for life.
     The first night we arrived in Byron we stayed at a hostel called Nomad's which is a well known world wide hostel business chain. It was a pretty cool spot, we grabbed some beer and had a couple drinks with friends before hitting the bars. The bar we went to was hilarious, it was a Wednesday night and it was packed, dancing on tables, pretty decent music, and 5 dollar beers. Basically danced the night away and had a last drink down on the beach before making our way back to the hostel and trying to find our room.
travel surf live
Art work all of over the hostel, its very inspiring.

     We had to leave our van at one of there other locations a couple minutes down the road at The Arts Factory Lodge, since it would fit in there underground car park. When we went to pick up the van we found out that at that hostel they have a car park where you can pay $15 a night to just camp in your van instead of the $46 a night bed in the dorms. You were still able to use all the amenities of the hostel including there showers, restrooms, laundry, cafe, pool tables, pool, ping pong, volleyball court, they have it all! We payed for a week since we knew we wanted to be here awhile then got some wifi to start looking for a couple lil jobs.
     We spent the first couple days meeting new people around the hostel, going to the beach, then to the library for some free wifi to look for small gigs to get some money. We struggled finding jobs for the first week and a half we were here, but finally the research and emails paid off with two labor jobs for 3 days of work! After a week at the hostel we were able to sign up to work for free accommodation at the hostel which would save us about $100 a week. Plus I was getting a lil bored and definitely wanted to do something, so we started working at the hostel last week. It has been a blast, the way it works is you work 2 days in a row 3 hrs each day, then you get two days off, then it starts over again. The 2 days you work gets you 4 nights accommodation, so it is really a good system plus when your working you get to meet some other great people that are working there as well and have been around for awhile.
    So the 3 days of work we had was going to be a crazy 60 hours but we decided to just push through it to make some good money! It went a lil something like this, woke up Monday morning and worked at the hostel for 4.5 hours since we weren't going to be there the next day. After we got in the van and headed straight to Burleigh Heads about 45 minutes north, we started work at 6pm. The job was renovating a section of a store called Big W (basically a Walmart), redoing the home entertainment section and moving things around. The work the first day was tough since we had to demolish some desks and clothing racks to throw away in a large dumpster, but the guys working were all really cool and easy to get along with. We finished at 4:30 am the next morning, 10 hours of work, when we got off we headed straight back to the Byron area and got a couple hours sleep. Our other job was helping an older lady move some of her things into a storage unit, cleaning her office, doing some yard work, and washing windows. The lady was awesome and had lived a very interesting life being married to an author for 45 years as well as traveling her self being a cook for archeologists on dig sites! We started at her house at 9:30, worked till noon and she made us a delicious lunch, worked a couple more hours and was off by 3:30 with $90 each in our pockets. We headed directly back to Burleigh again to work at the Big W for one more night, this time we started at 5:30pm and finished at 7:00am. After finishing in the early morning we jumped in the van and headed straight to the ocean for a refreshing morning swim! It woke us up a bit and then we cruised back down to the hostel to get some sleep.
travel surf live
Bryce taking the Go Pro out for fun in the water.

     The following days we definitely took it easy and relaxed at the hostel and hit the beach a couple times. The waves were picking up so I got down there for a couple of fun sessions. Thursday I had a feeling this one beach break right out front the hostel was going to be good so we went to check it out and it was so fun! Had a bunch of good waves and got some fun Go Pro shots as well, until I somehow snap my fin box on my board out and ended the session :( . After we grabbed some lunch I stopped by Patagonia where my friend Emilie works here in Byron. We chatted for awhile and I got a number form a good ding repair guy. I went to drop my boards off asap so I could get them back soon before the swell dropped!
     The next couple days we worked at the hostel in the morning and kept improving our tent setup we had going. It an awesome setup we have here at the hostel and couldn’t be more stoked to be in such an awesome environment where everyone is stoked everyday. A couple days earlier as Bryce and I were at the library getting some wifi, Bryce found an ad looking for a couple people interested in delivering a boat from Gold Coast to Melbourne. I instantly jumped on the opportunity since this is the career path I’m working to get into and it would be a great opportunity to get some great experience. We both sent emails and awaited a reply, the reply had come and I was going to be heading to the Gold Coast Sunday night to board the boat Monday morning.
travel surf live
Surfer's Paradise skyline

     Flash forward to Monday morning and I’m standing on the dock looking at a beautiful 43 foot catamaran that I will be sailing with 3 other crew members for the next 7-10 days down the east coast of Australia. The captain Ed Brennan is 28 years old from England, he has been sailing and on boats his whole life, and in the recent years doing deliveries all around Australia. He also heads of to the Mediterranean to work over there during there season as well, lots of experience and a super cool guy none the less. After I got my backpack on board and got a tour, we headed for the store to get food for the next week! The other two guys were flying in from Sydney and their plane was running a bit late so we decided to get some things done in the mean time. After a couple hours and $500 later at the store we made our way back to the boat to start putting everything away and get ready to depart later that evening.

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