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By this Author: Ryan2040

Yamba

all seasons in one day 28 °C

So we arrived in Yamba after a lovely few days in Ballina. Yamba was a very small town, about the size of a village actually, with a surfing and relaxing atmosphere. The hostel we stayed at was owned by a large family, who all decided to sell their houses to by the land and build the hostel from scratch. The hostel was extremely modern, clean, and friendly, and the family who owned the hostel regularly wandered through the kitchen and living area basically lived there too (in the flat above the hostel). There was a family dog too! On the first day we explored the area (we do that a lot) took a few pictures, and got our bearings. On the first evening, there were a few games and activities being held in the common area by the staff (as there isnt much in Yamba at all, everyone had to entertain themselves staying at the hostel), so we decided to join in. We met a few nice young 'schoolies' who seemed a lot more mature than the ones you see getting drunk on the news, and watched tv. The second day, we headed to the beach for a bit of sunbathing and wave jumping (the waves were huge!!) and in the eveing we just chilled out in the hostel and watched tv, and chatted to a few of the guys. The next day, we chilled out and watched tv yet again (like i said, not much to do in Yamba!) And in the evening, we stayed up (pulled almost an all-nighter) so that we could watch the Arsenal Chelsea game on Foxsports - the less said about that game, the better! And the next day, we were off to our next destination - Coffs Harbour!!! Yamba was a nice place, but not much to do.

Posted by Ryan2040 04:40 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Ballina

sunny 29 °C

Off to the more quiet place of Ballina, home of the 'Big Prawn'. No seriously it's hillariously huge on top of a restaurant place (check the photos). Ballina is a small coastal fishing town which has retained it's 'aussiness' as not alot of people stop here. Our hostel was part motel and was run by a really nice couple who have done alot of travelling themselves and it was really well run. The hostel itself was pretty dead, although we did meet a french guy, an old german man with a moustache and two american flght attendants which were awesome (we find we make more friends in the smaller places as its more intimate). On our first day we explored the town and get our bearings. It's pretty much just one long high street with all the shops and take aways on a bit like Stevenage old town but not as scummy. We weren't up for much that day so we popped into the cinema and watched 2012 which was okay, although the KFC was actually....amazing. Day two we walked along the River to the beach for a spot of dolphin watching. Spotted some near enough straight away and we sat in the sun watching the pod do their thing. After they dissapeared we walked back to a few shops and headed back to the hostel for some goon and cards (we do that alot). Third day was alot of fun as we had a 'pool day' and had the pool to ourselves for some extreme ball playing action! (lol). And once more in the evening we had a few to drink and played some poker with the guys we met (yes i won again!). As we did all there was to do in such a small town we decided to move on to our next destination the next day: Yamba!

Posted by Ryan2040 19:50 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Byron Bay

sunny 28 °C

After Murwillumbah we headed a short distance south to Byron Bay. We were both looking forward to byron as it is "the place to go" and we'd heard so much about it. When we arrived the weather was good as always! and the vibe was pretty cool, hippy but full of the tourists (yes i know we are tourists too). The hostel was big, clean and tidy and full of germans (as is 95% of Australia) but we didn't really stay in the hostel for long. First day we took to the beach for some sand sea and surf! Although the sea was a bit rough and i (Ryan) failed miserably but will no doubt try my luck at it again down the east coast. In the evening, we explored the local area, and sat and chilled in a field watching an accoustic singer and a lady dancing with a fire stick. On the second day we went for a long walk around Byron and up to the lighthouse over looking the cape. The views were awesome but there was too much 'up'! In the evening we decided to explore the nightlife and found a Hotel bar called Beach Hotel. The vibe was really cool and chilled out, and there was a reggae band playing, who were really good. On the last day we relaxed in the hostel and that evening we played some cards and drank goon. There was also a Pool competition on the last night, and Lisa persuaded me to go in for it! The prize was a free Kayaking tour, which, due to my awesomeness, i won! Unfortunately we were leaving the next day, so I graceously gave it away to the mere runner up :oP. And that concludes our Byron Bay experience. Overall we liked Byron, but it was a bit over hyped and full of tourists, which was a shame. We've heard from other travellers that 10 years ago, Byron was amazing because it wasn't so commercial, but i guess it happens everywhere. Still, it was a beautiful place to see.

Posted by Ryan2040 19:31 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Away in Surfers

sunny 28 °C

Hey hey ppl!,

Were back on the road again after a long stint in Brisbane working for around 3 months. We are now currently in Surfers Paradise untill monday 16th when we head inland to a place called Murwillumba. we got here on wednesday and we booked into a a great hostel which has common room and a kitchen for each dorm room which is awesome. Me and Lisa were instantly sucked into party mode the first night were we met everyone from our dorm and everywhere else! seems our room is the 'party' room, which we can't complain about! There was only one way to fight the possibility of a hangover and that was a beach day. With not a cloud to bother us with golden sand and the cool sea, the evil goon hangovers soon wash away.

Hoping to meet a friend i met at work for a few drinks on the weekend and woody may be coming down to met us for the day again. As i sit here typing this we just got back from a place called infinity, that was pretty awesome. Theres about 20 different rooms which generally have lasers and flashing lights and the walls are all mirrors so it looks like your floating and could walk for miles. We must have looked like idiots on the cctv but it was hilarious, the best room being pitch black except for a few tiny bulbs of light and a water bed/bouncy floor while the played 'welcome to the house of fun' by Madness, that was exhausting!

Other than that we've only just started our travels again so theres not much to update you on though im sure there will be loads in the near future. Me and Lisa are looking forward to every moment of it and can't wait to see whats round the next corner. Hope all is well with everyone back home, until next time.

Take care.

Posted by Ryan2040 23:26 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Arriving at Brisbane and Camping at Girraween

sunny 20 °C
View Ryan and Lisa Down Under on Ryan2040's travel map.

So we arrived in Brisbane at about lunchtime on the Friday, and dumped our bags in some day lockers to wait for Woody. I received a text from Woody saying he was stuck in a lift and didnt know how long he'd be (I was having a mare about my phone because it wont let me text). Eventually, Woody escaped, and found us, and showed us around the city during his lunchbreak Later that evening, after wandering around Brisbane for the day, we met up with Woody at his office and went back to his place, which is in the suburbs of Brisbane, about the same distance from Stevenage to London. Its so nice of them to put us up for a while. It was great to catch up with them both, and so nice to have a hot bath rather than a cold shower for a change!! Tanya is a really good cook too. In the day, we took a wander to the local 'Hyperdome' which has a mall and cinema, and went to see Transformers 2. Its about a 40 minute walk to the Hyperdome, but thats nothing compared to the walking we've been doing!!! There's a film rental place that has '1 dollar rentals' on a tuesday too. In the day we have a lazy one, or wander to the shops, or we can catch the bus into central Brisbane to see the sights for $5 and in the evenings, we stay in and watch a film or 2. Its not been quite as flamboyant as the experiences we've had so far, but its a great way of saving money!!

The following weekend, Woody and Tanya took us to Girraween camping for the weekend, which was an amazing experience. Girraween national park is about a 3 hour drive away from Brisbane, further inland, and a lot colder than Brisbane. We climbed a few small mountains, Castle Rock, The Pyramid, Mt Norman and Bald Rock (the 2nd biggest monolith in the southern hemisphere or something!) and they were very very steep granite, so it was quite a challenge, not for the faint hearted. But it was amazing when we got to the very top, the views were stunning. On the first day we did the pyramid, which was about 5k, and the 2nd day we did Castle Rock, Mt Norman, and a couple of other walks, which were more challanging as you had a lot of rock climbing to do. We walked about 15k on that day. It was exhausting, but so great when you got to the top, as all the mountains were in a circle, so you could see each mountain you had climbed from the top of another. We wandered to this natural creek called the junction at the end of our 15k walk, and had a paddle in the water, which was freezing but nice after all that walking! Back at camp, when the sun went down, and you turned off all the lights and laid down, you could see so many stars, even the milky way and shooting stars as well. And if you really concentrated, you could sometimes pick out a man made satelite moving in the stars (or ufo, who knows!!) It was stunning, really! Back at camp when we were cooking, sometimes you'd hear something run past your campsite, or you'd see a flash of grey go up a tree, or a weird chattering noise in the dark (like something from a horror film, eerie!) They were possums, really tame, because they are so used to being fed by campers. They were really quite sweet, one of them broke into our rubbish bin and started eating some left over cooked spaghetti. It was fun telling jokes over the campfire and roasting marshmallows (i've never done that before). Tanya and Woody had all the camping equipment as well, which was really cool. At night you'd here all sorts of growling and grunting sounds next to your tent. It was spooky, but funny. And at dawn, you'd hear so many wild and exotic birds waking up (some of them sound more like monkeys or car alarms than birds) One morning i even heard a few loud gunshots, and it wasnt until we went to a notice board area later that day, that we realised there are Lyrebirds in the forest as well (the rare birds on David Attenborough that can mimic 100's of different sounds in the forest). Unfortunately we didnt get to see any though. On our last day, Tanya was cooking up some bacon for us, and about 5 kookaburra's flew in and perched on the nearby trees. We knew what they were up to, as days earlier one had swooped down and nearly stole Woody's sausage (no joke). So we kept a watchful eye on them, covered the bacon up and everything, so they wouldnt make a move. It wasnt until after we were eating and chatting, when we got a little complacent thinking they wouldnt have the courage to swoop in when we were in a group, that one hovered straight down onto the table at its leisure and grabbed a massive bit of bacon, all 4 of us screaming like girls as this massive bird hovered over us choosing its bit of bacon lol. They are so intelligent, they know to wait until we forget about them before they strike! So remember to watch out for kookaburras if your camping in the bush. On the last day before we left, we climbed up Bald Rock (as you do) before heading home to Brisbane. It was a brilliant weekend!!

Posted by Ryan2040 17:03 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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