Yesterday morning, I got up bright and early and hopped in the car to drive to a place called Seven Mile Beach. If you are really curious, and have a fetish for looking places up on google maps, it is south of Byron Bay and north of Lennox Head, both of which are in New South Wales. The drive took about two hours, and on the way, I took a couple of photographs. I actually took loads of photographs but I am only going to bore you with a couple of these.
Below is a hot air balloon. There were three of these, two red ones and a REMAX one in typically REMAX colours, but I only managed to get a good shot of this one.
The majority of the road to Byron Bay was dual carriageway, or in some cases 3 lanes, and occasionally even 4. They have big fences and walls along the sides of the highway and even signs asking you to report sightings of koalas. Every now and then they have tunnels and bridges, like the one below. This is one of the larger tunnels, some are only about 20 metres long, and the most striking thing about them is that they don't have roads or railways on top. Just trees, and fences, and more trees, and probably koalas. That's right, these are wildlife crossings to make sure that the native wildlife can travel safely from one side of the highway to the other.
On saying that most of the road was dual carriageway, I really did mean most. The M1 takes you most of the way, and then it changes into the <1> or maybe N1, don't ask me, but once you get to Byron, everything changes. Nobody told me this before I went... in my cute little Corolla Seca with very very little suspension and extremely delicate forward shock absorbers...
Below is the road from Byron to Seven Mile Beach:
Obviously these dirt roads don't do so well when it rains. Thankfully I do have a very small car so most of the time I was able to drive it up on the verge etc to miss these channels. Once I did hear a gentle "GRUNK" sort of sound as the bottom of the car slid un-gracefully over a lump, and I got a bit of wheel spin another time as the car sat in the channel and I presume the wheel wasn't actually sitting on anything.
I arrived at Seven Mile Beach to be told... we're not actually staying here to surf, we're going to go back towards Byron and Broken Head to surf there... so I had to do the drive all over again. Probably about 4 miles of epic rallying in Delicate Toyota with the extremely high mileage (kilometerage?)
Above is a nest of some sort. It seemed to be made of dirt and deserted, and was about 2 metres up this dead tree. I don't know what sort of nest it was, but I didn't poke it to find out.
Below is Broken Head beach, and moi. Hi. Yes, I did wear sunscreen. Yes, I did remember to put it on my face, and no, I did not get burnt. Thanks for asking.
Below is a wild turkey. I took a picture of it mainly because of it's vividly daffodil yellow neck, but it didn't really come out in the picture (mainly because I took the picture on my iphone and the turkey was running away at the time)
We also saw two sea-eagles, massive things with white breasts and golden brown everywhere else, but I didn't get pictures. The guys reported that they saw whales in the sea the previous day but unfortunately I didn't get to see them.
I did see some shadows in the surf while I was surfing. The sea was crystal clear, you could see the sand below even when you were out of your depth. When the waves were coming they were pale blue and clear, you could see right through them, and the larger waves were dark blue. They curled at the top and when you did that it was a fairly good cue to hold your nose because they were about to break on top of you. The problem was that while you were holding your nose you only had one hand to hold the surf board... and when the wave took the surf board it was pretty violent. This could be why I am all aches and pains today!
The shadows in the surf were rather disconcerting. They turned out to be shadows of the board, and of me, but when you see a shadow and you know Australia has sharks... yeah. It was at times like these that I got distracted and ended up getting pummelled by the next wave!
I have to say, I really love the surfing, although it is only my second time doing it now. I will definitely be keeping this up and can't wait to go again next time!!!