Sunday, April 25, 2010

byron bay

After cairnes we headed down to the delightful hippie town of byron bay where we stayed at a hostel called the arts factory. there were murals on every wall, a pool and beach volleyball court, lots of bugs and always a good selection of tunes. people rarely wear shoes here, at the hostel and in town, which i found quite fun, but made for rather filthy feet :-) the arts factory had many options for sleeping quarters, including teepees and tents in the woods, but we were in a typical dorm which was just fine with me- i have enough bug bites!

here in byron we were finally able to jump out of an airplane!!! talk about a maaaad rush! i could not imagine a more exhilarating feeling on the planet, leaping (more like falling slowly forward after your tandem master pushed you...) from 14000 ft! kate and i both ordered dvds of our dives; videos and pictures we are waiting til we are back home to see, so we can share some of our excitement! AMAZING!

we also learned to surf on one of the nicest beaches in byron bay. i was far more nervous for surfing than skydiving- you cant screw up a skydive, but surfing... what a disappointment if you couldn't get up! fortunately i stood on my very first try and so did kate! our instructor mitch was incredibly encouraging, always finding the correct thing i did on an attempt even after a spectacular fall:-) we were out on the water for about 4 hours, and by the end we really got the hang of it, even learned to steer! it was exhausting but a really great time.

the arts factory had a talent show that night, so kate and i picked up a box of goon (ridiculously cheap slash terrible box wine that never actually says wine anywhere on the box! very popular with the youngins in australia) and headed to the show, which took place in the woodsy back yard of the hostel. there were some pretty great acts, but my favorite was cockatoo paul, the head dude at the hostel, who played drums with his feet, guitar with his hands, and alternated between playing the didgeridoo and singing, all at the same time! kate and i then rounded up a pretty cool crew of peeps and played 5 ducks, an awesome category drinking game i will be teaching at this month's schmenebo beertastic bonanza if anyone is interested!

byron bay had a very different vibe than anywhere we've been thus far, both at the arts factory and in town. it was a simpler life than we've experienced anywhere else in australia, the kind of lifestyle that i find to be perfect for vacations, but not for "real life". at least not for me.

one week of crazy travels left! ahhhhhHHHHHH!!!!!!! lovefromkt

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