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The Gold Coast: Coffs Harbour to Surfers Paradise

October 25, 1998

Pictures at Dawn

I was up pretty early the next morning, and managed to get some pictures of the sunrise over Coffs Harbour.  According to Nicci, these were going to be our best accommodations on the trip, so we'd better not get used to them.  Bummer!

On that cheery note, we piled into the bus on our way to Cape Byron to look for whales.  It was the tail end of the whale watching season, so our chances were not that good, but as it turned out we got a bit lucky! 

Annoying Trivia Bit
Cape Byron is the Easternmost point in Australia.
End Annoying Trivia Bit

Cape Byron features an old lighthouse and some beautiful shots of the coastline.  Unfortunately it was a bit overcast that day, so the light wasn't so great for pictures, but I did see a few dolphins cavorting in the waves!  After the Cape we went down to Byron Bay for a little lunch.

And now our feature film: "Flipper gets the Ick"HippieVille

Byron Bay is a little town that has a reputation as a "Hippie" town: it's a repository for all sorts of "alternative lifestyle" types.   There was some sort of surf contest (at least they looked kind of like surfboards) going on, and it also started to rain, so we didn't get much of a chance to swim in the ocean!

I had lunch with Tracy & Vicky (from Canada) and Chantal (from England), and then we went down to the beach.  It had stopped raining, and I swore I would at least walk in the surf, so I did, by gum!  Then I had to walk in bare feet down the rough road until the sand dried enough so I could put my shoes back on: ouch!   My tender tootsies!

There were a bunch of dudes in the surf: one guys poor dog kept howling at him from the coast and trying to jump into the water after him.  There were a few crabs running about, too: all in all, it reminded me a lot of California.  Maybe that was because we had eucalyptus trees in our backyard there, too...

Sweet!Arrival at Surfer's Paradise

We arrived at Surfer's Paradise later that day, bracing ourselves for our horrible accommodations! Actually, they weren't bad at all.  They certainly weren't as fancy as in Coffs Harbor, but you only are there to sleep and wash up there, anyway.   I had four roomies in this room, two old (Brian and Nigel) and two new (Luke and Rob).  Luke told some fascinating stories, which I shall relate later in these pages...

One thing that they had that I made a beeline for: the pool and the hot tub.  I spent the rest of the afternoon cooling in the pool and then marinating a bit in the hottub.  That got a little crowded, too: I was joined by Tracy, Vicky, Chantal, Neil & Natasha, and eventually Marco as well.  Nothing like a little group soak...

After dinner, Nicci took most of us to a dance club called "Shooters", a place with a sort of country atmosphere, but they played a lot of good dance music, too.  They had a really weird dress code: they would not let Lorinda in the place at first, because her shoes were "too open", or some such rubbish (they had open toes, but then so did most of the other girls).  She was the ONLY one they wouldn't let in, too!  So some of the girls hatched a fiendish plan: they would smuggle out a pair of shoes, get Lorinda in, and have her change back.   A plan worthy of 007 .. :-)

Well after she got in, it was fun all the way.  People were dancing and taking pictures and generally sweating up a storm.  The place was really crowded: there was one couple I saw (not on our tour) playing tonsil tennis a few steps away, and a lesbian couple doing the same thing in the other direction.  It was a swinging place: Yeah, Baaaby!

I pooped out about midnight, but several others were still going strong: apparently Nicci was there till near 6 in the morning!  She would show that sort of resilience throughout the trip: I don't know where she gets the energy!


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1995-2002 William Geoffrey Shotts. Last update: Tuesday, March 09, 2004