It’s a funny feeling drifting in and out of sleep because even though I don’t feel like I slept a single wink last night, I also don’t feel like I was on the bus for twelve hours. Admittedly it was long, very very long but I must have snoozed at some point. Anyway, about 5am we made our first stop and pick up, 6.30am our second, 7.15am we had a half an hour stop for toilets and breakfast and then 10am we finally arrived in Byron Bay!
After many discussions on the bus about how we’d find our hostel, we were met while retrieving our bags from underneath the bus by a girl asking if anyone was staying at ‘The Arts Factory’ as she is the shuttle bus driver for the hostel. Sorted!
We knew we couldn’t check in till 2pm so on arriving at the hostel we dumped our bags in a bag room then headed into town to explore. Byron Bay is a small town which is very very hippy-esk. Not in the drug sense but because of all the hair braiding salons, tie dye shops and herbal and organic vegetable shops! And nearly every other person either had dread locks or no shoes.
Julie and I went into a lot of the cool surfer shops but as usual, found ourselves at the beach and set up for a solid, strong hours sunbathing before heading back to the hostel to check in.
We’re in a 6 bed dorm but Julie and I are lucky enough to both have bottom bunk beds (the bottom is so much better than the top as you’re right next to your stuff and the plugs!)
Then we set about exploring our new hippy abode which will be home for the next five nights. The Arts Factory is a cool place, a little bit out of town but very spacious with a pool, lots of rooms, a big restaurant and bar area and a massive car park. Then comes the hippy features: it’s got a handmade jewellery shop, an actual cinema but instead of seats there are floor cushions, it’s got a camping area just over the river (accessible via the bridge), a volley ball pitch right in the middle if the hostel, hammocks everywhere and a teepee area where you can rent multicoloured teepee tents to sleep in!
On our explore of the town we randomly happened to bump into our Canadian friends who we’d said goodbye to in Sydney as we thought that was the end of our travelling with them! We met them in Koh Phangan and have been bumping into them ever since. This evening we went out for a reunion dinner with them and some of their Canadian friends and had such yummy fish and chips (reminded me of England!) and they also made us try a Ceasors. This is a Canadian drink made with ‘clamatoe’ juice (clam and tomatoes), tabasco, celery and two shots of vodka and it was… DISGUSTING! Safe to say Juliet and I swiftly gave ours away. We then had a movie night at their hostel and now we are back in our 6 man dorm, with a very loud and very annoying fan, exhausted and ready for a (hopefully, fan permitting) good night’s sleep!