Thursday, March 31, 2016

From Byron Bay to Coffs Harbour

A few days ago, I left Brisbane for Byron Bay.  Byron Bay, which is in New South Wales, has some extraordinary views and beautiful beaches.

The first night I was there, I ended up getting invited to the common room to hang or with my suitemates. I joined them a short time after they left the room, and they were playing some drinking games with cards. So, when in Rome, do what the Romans do, right?

Anyway, we all ended up dancing at a club until two in the morning. I didn't want to go, because I thought the dress code would exclude me, but my friends assured me I'd probably get in. I'm wary of nightclubs. It's not really my scene, but what the hell.

I ended up doing the crazy dancing I do, which is sort of like a rhino stamping out a campfire for hours on end, and it seemed to be popular. People were clapping and cheering me on, so I danced with lots of different people, and ended up in the middle of a circle of cheering people. Then I moved to dancing on a table, hair and limbs flying everywhere, while the crowd and the DJ went wild. After I came down, people were high-fiving me, and telling me things like how that was epic, and how I was now a legend. Apparently so, because the next day people were coming up to me and saying they had heard about me.  So there is my fifteen minutes of pseudo-fame.

The next night, I didn't go clubbing with everyone. I had walked all day after staying out really late, was exhausted, and clubbing is not really my thing anyway. I'd rather spend the day on a good walk than the night in a nightclub.

I had walked to the lighthouse, about 40 minutes from the hostel, and my suitemates were getting up before dawn to go there and see the sunrise. So I went with them. We actually stopped at The Most Easterly Place In Australia to watch the sunrise, and then hiking up to the lighthouse afterwards. Then we hooked the trail that goes through the preserve, which I had also done the day before, but had turned around because I thought it didn't go into town, but it turns out it did. I had previously turned around almost near the end leading into town.

Many of us were checking out that day, so we said our goodbyes and all went our separate ways. I got on the bus to Coffs Harbour, where I sit right now. I got some groceries and was going to make a stir-fry, but when I got back, I realized I didn't have any oil. And I didn't really want to go back to the store to get a big bottle of oil when I would only use a tiny bit of it. So I ended up making a stir-microwave instead.

Now it's getting into the night hours, I'm a little too tired to go out, and I have a huge blister on my left foot from all the walking I've been doing since I started this trip. I guess exploring the town will wait until tomorrow.

Around The Lighthouse in Byron Bay

Walking away from the center of town to meet up with one of the trails to the Byron Bay Lighthouse. It's about a 40 minute walk from the center of town.

A view of the beach from the path to the lighthouse.

Approaching the lighthouse.

A view of the beach on the opposite side.  The lighthouse is right above the most easternmost point in Australia, which juts out a ways, so there are beaches all around.

I walked into the lighthouse just as the next tour to the top was starting. This winch was cranked to raise a huge weight that slowly went down to power the lighthouse in the days before electricity.

The red warning light for the rocks.

A view from the staircase to the turret.

The works that drive the turning light.

It was too tight in the turret to get a picture of the rotating glass, but here is the bottom of it. Four tons of glass floating in mercury to reduce friction.

The guide let us out on the outdoor porch surrounding the turret. It was designed not only to go outside, but to catch fresh water when it rains. This is the view from outside the turret.

The narrow, steep stairs to the top.

They have a sex robot for those lonely nights in the lighthouse.

Sitting in the cafe at the Byron Bay lighthouse enjoying a falafel foccacia and coconut water. And also enjoying the view.

There was a magpie and an Australian water dragon on the steps.  I didn't even see the water dragon until I had posted this picture on Facebook and one of my friends pointed it out to me.

Here is a closeup of the water dragon.

I went for a hike in the nature preserve near the lighthouse.