Surfing in Byron Bay

During my brief stay in Australia, I decided not to rush around and try to see everything (I will have to come back for another trip) and decided to stay in Byron Bay for 5 days. Byron Bay is in Queensland and reminded me of a small Santa Barbara with cute boutique shops, trendy restaurants but with a down-to-earth surfer mentality where many people walk around with nothing but swim shorts and a surf board.

During my stay I did lots of yoga (some in classes and some by myself by the beach), took surfing lessons, cooked in the hostel, and watched films from the Byron Bay International Film Festival that happily coincided with my visit.
There was often a good breeze at the beach. I had been stretching in the grass and started taking pictures of seagulls.
Here is a picture of me with bloodshot / tired eyes after three days of surfing and getting sunburnt in places on my face that teh sun doesn't usually hit: lips, upper and lower eyelids. During my 3 4-hour surfing lessons I started to see the potential for the incredible highs possible from surfing but left with a healthy respect for how tiring it can be. I was able to stand up on the board my first attempt and by the end of the second day could catch and ride in most "white-waves" (broken waves). On the third day I paddled out behind where the waves were breaking to start choosing some larger green waves to get on. I found I was pretty pooped just getting out to where I could sit on the board at wait for waves...with the feeling of being tumbled by a few waves still fresh in my memory...
There were a few films that I saw that energized me. There was a short film, in particular, that was so stunning I can't get the images out of my mind. It is called SALT and is made up of footage taken in the salt flats in the middle of Australia....so beautiful.
You can watch the trailer here: http://www.saltdoco.com/movie-info/synopsis.htm
Another highlight of the film festival for me was a session on creativity: there was a short documentary on "Unleashing creativity" and another called "Automorphosis" - which is all about the people who turn their cars into works of art - incredible people...I loved "The Spoon Man"
There were so so many young kids hitting the waves with boogie boards - it was great to see a whole culture dedicated to enjoying the ocean in a respectful way.
One day there was a competition for the Ocean Surf Rescue Club. This little girl wrapped in the orange towel already competed.

No comments: