Sky diving and other adventures

My favourite thing about travelling is meeting people who create twists and turns in your life that you never imagined would happen.

Two weekends ago I met Laci. This vivacious, gorgeous 6ft blonde Canadian chick and I quickly bonded over church, splashing in the Byron waves and a love of getting dressed up. We had shared a room for two nights at the Arts Factory and when she left to head up to Surfers Paradise where she lives and studies, she invited me for the following weekend. She’d skydived the previous week and introduced me briefly to Joe when he picked up Laci and her friend to take them back to Surfers on the Gold Coast.

(Skydive Australia seem more than happy to drive you between Byron and the Gold Coast on whatever day you want as long as you’ve skydived with them. Pretty sweet because when I travelled up I hadn’t even skydived yet and they still picked me up on the Friday to take me to Laci’s and collected me from there on the Monday. Two hours I could have spent on buses. All gratis. Nice.)

Picture this: Me sitting halfway down the minibus surrounded by silent Korean and Japanese. Joe driving us the ten minutes from Arts Factory to the skydive drop zone on Friday, so I could pick the Gold Coast lift. He strikes up conversation and five minutes later I have a room in his house for the next week, sweet!

This house on Cowper Street, centre of Byron was the cutest thing. A blue and white wooden surf shack of a home, the garden beautifully blended lush purple plants with a rainbow gazebo we could sit under. It was rough and ready with surfboards on the walls and my bedroom was a converted pantry, but I loved it. So much more to say, but here are some pics of the house:

Basically my dream house

Yes that is a G string holding up a sign that says The Pantry Beav. No, I don't think they let out the room to boys. Yes, it really is a converted pantry.

"Live Your Dream" it says. I think these are pics of Mystery Mark as I've called him. He rents the house and sublets it but is mining opals right now so I didn't meet him. This is above the bathroom.

Haphazard, beautiful garden

The garden Caroline style. I didn't do as much drawing, or detoxing, as I wanted to this week. In fact I had at least a little drink every day. But who cares, I had fun.

And so Laci took my path one way with adventures and fun in Surfers. We went out dancing until 4am on Friday and she gave me the dress she lent me. She highlighted my hair, saving me big bucks – it’s expensive out here. She showed me around, helped me buy a gorgeous dress and generally gave me a super weekend. Thanks Laci!

Through Laci I met Joe and got a cool room and a new friend. And I haven’t even mentioned Ash. Ash was playing a gig at The Northern and we got talking. Through him we (my friends Rosie, Olivia and Jim) all got 20% off skydiving. Yes, skydiving was AMAZING. No, I didn’t pay $90 for photos, soz. You’re just going to have to imagine Jim is me:

Jim and I don't look too dissimilar do we?

So what else… I’ve been surfing a couple of times and scrambled to my feet, I’ve watched beautiful sunrises from the most easterly point of Australia. I bumped into a friend from Stockholm and spent a few days with her, I hung out on a nudist beach (by accident, no I didn’t get naked), I went on a wicked bike ride finding a teen surfing comp at Broken Head and doing pretend yoga on a grassy knoll. I’ve been kayaking with a pod of dolphins who decided to befriend our group. Yesterday I jumped off a three metre cliff into a rainforest pool and then swam underneath a waterfall. Here are some more pictures:

Sunrise at the most easterly point of Australia.

Pretty huh?

Another reason why I love Byron

This is Kings Beach. It's quite funny: it looks pretty much deserted but there are all these naked single men in the grasses. I can't think what they're up to.

Just. Wow. At Kings Beach.

Ooommmmmm.

The waterfalls are on the left and bottom right out of sight. We jumped in just beyond the waterfall off those cliffs on the left.

The lovely Laci and the gorgeous dress. And some boys who wanted to be in the photo by the looks of it 🙂

I have a love affair with Byron Bay and I needed to spend some more time there to see if I really wanted to sacrifice so much and make the move. It’s complicated and the two weeks of rain didn’t cement our relationship so for now, I can live with just visiting every few years or so. Those four months nine years ago when I lived and worked in the town will remain a happy memory, but you can’t relive memories, you can only live the present.

Today I flew back to Sydney and am staying here for ten days before I fly to Hawaii. With a trip up to Berowra to see family friends and another side trip to the Blue Mountains. Now, I’m toddling over to Bondi to catch up with a friend. Bring on the wine and pasta marinara! Over and out.

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