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Emma: overdue Easter break post

April 16, 2010

Well here goes nothing! Prepare now to dive into what has by far been the best week of my life. Never did I expect to have such an amazing break and meet so many life long friends.

Surfers Paradise


Straight away we met some people from Wollongong who were staying the floor above us. Since they had been to Surfers before, we figured it may be a wise decision to see if they would show us around. First night there we ventured out into the nightlife that Surfers had to offer. The Gold Coast is like Australia’s Florida so it’s full of spring breakers, night clubs, and you guessed it more night clubs.

Our first night there we also went for a night swim in the ocean…best time of my life! The waves were HUGE, The rip was incredible but we all made it out alive with huge smiles on our faces.

On Easter Sunday we woke up early (after being super confused about day light savings time) and went to a local church “Surf City,” expecting it to be a beautiful Easter service filled with singing and flowers. Well it turns out we were completely wrong and ended up leaving half way through. Yes I know that is horrible especially on Easter, but it was just not our scene and was way over the top. And to make matters worse, there was no singing or flowers. So instead we walked along the beach said a prayer to ourselves and got a huge Easter Brunch right along the beach. It turned out to be a great day exchanging Easter Baskets, playing in the ocean, laying out, and soaking up the sun.

Byron Bay

When we got off the Greyhound in Byron Bay I fell in love immediately! It is a small beach town where basically all people do is surf, eat, sleep, love life, and live the dream on repeat everyday of the year. It is so chill and laid back.

We then trekked up to The Cape Byron Light House for the afternoon. Along the hike we saw dolphins, surfers, beaches, more surfers, and finally made it to the Eastern most point of the Australian mainland! So cool to say that I stood on the Eastern most point! Even after being here for 2 months I still get butterflies when I see how beautiful this country truly is.

That night we were tired from traveling and knew we would have a big day the next day so we hit the sack early to catch up on some sleep. The next day we went on a day trip to Nimbin. Early that morning after a breakfast of chai tea and the best walnut cinnamon apple muffin I have ever eaten in my life, “The Happy Bus” pulled up in front of our hostel. This old hippy bus would be our transportation for the day and man was it a bumpy ride. After driving down dirt roads through the rainforest, seeing koalas along the way, and making a pit stop at Minyon Falls, we finally arrived in Nimbin. Not much can describe this place besides the two words Peace and Love. Yes, there are hippies everywhere, peace signs, Bob Marley, the smell of marijuana, and not much more. It was a quick in and out and that was enough for me.

After an interesting day in Nimbin, we travelled back to Byron Bay where we made dinner and mingled with the others staying at our hostel. This is the night that I fell in the love with the backpacking culture because you honestly meet so many amazing people from all over the world. The girls and I played some card games with two British boys James and Tim, a guy from Denmark Michelle, and a guy from Orlando, FL, Tyler. It was a fun night getting to know others in the hostel and checking out the nightlife in Byron.

The next day which was supposed to be our last, we beached it all day. As I laid on the beach I seriously thought about how I never wanted to leave Byron Bay. Later that afternoon when we were supposed to be getting ready to board out bus to Brisbane, Betsy and I looked at each other and said we didn’t want to leave just yet. So what do we do? Yep you guessed it: be spontaneous and change our bus ticket for the following day. At this point we didn’t know if this was going to be a wise decision but later we found out it would be by far the best decision of our lives.
So here we are in Byron Bay, checked out of our hostel with nowhere to stay, a bus ticket for the following day and preparing for what would be the best day of our entire lives. That night we took about a 3 or less hour nap got up at 1:45 AM and along with a group of others, drove about an hour to Mount Warning. We hiked the 4 K up the mountain in the pitch black at around 3 AM. Head lights were involved along with snakes, bugs, rats, trips, and falls. At one point in the hike it was so steep you had to use a rope to pull yourself up. But once we got to the top we made friends with a French hippie who was carving a didgeridoo and watched the first sun rise over all of Australia. AMAZING! The view was great, the campfire was great, the company was great, the day was just starting and it was already my favourite day in Australia.

The day just continued to get better filled with so many more laughs from being overtired, a pit stop in Nimbin, and then we ended the day at the Hanging Rock watering hole. The watering hole was gorgeous, 45 ft rope swing, waterfall, cliffs to jump off of, ice cold water, and a perfect spot for a campfire. We finished the day in the most perfect way by showing our new European friends what a s’more was. They don’t have graham crackers here in the Land of Oz, so we were creative and bought digestive cookies with chocolate on them and then marshmallows. Personally I thought they were even better then back in the states! By the end of the day the group of us seriously felt like family and we were all so sad to be going our separate ways.

Brisbane

That night Betsy and I took a bus trip to Brisbane. When we arrived we hit the ground running because we had to do Brisbane in 24 hours or less. That night we wondered the city and went on the “Brisbane Eye” just like the “London Eye.” It was around 11:45 PM when we did this, we were the only ones on the ride, were SOOO tired and giggly, and the men working the ride thought we were crazy. A great way to end what had been the best day of our lives!

Our journey was coming to an end at this point. In Brisbane we boarded a bus for 3 hours and then took a train the remaining 12 hours to Sydney. It was overnight so it wasn’t all that bad. If you would have taken away the screaming child and freezing cold aircon temperatures. We arrived in Sydney at around 7 AM and took the day to relax and reminisce about the many memories we had created over our holiday. Best week here by far. I love this place and cannot wait for my next adventure.

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