I took a 5:45 am flight from Cairns to Gold Coast on monday. I even woke up at 4am without an alarm clock or wake up service! I was lucky enough to see another spectacular sunrise from the plane. Someone I met mentioned that teh colors are more saturated the higher up you are which makes sense. Therefore the magnificent colors of the sunrises I've seen so far from planes.
Everyone I've talked to, locals and tourists love the Gold Coast. But I just didn't feel very much at home there and there was nothing I'd planned to do here. So I took a bus the next day to Byron Bay. I loved the name 'Byron Bay' and I'd heard and read that it was lively and full of alternative culture. It sounded like my kind of place.
I loved Byron Bay right away because of the many health food cafes, beautiful beach, lighthouse, and my roommates. Manyof the locals and tourists sported funky clothes and made the place live up to its hippie reputation. Byron was actually a touristy place with souvenir stores, travel agencies, etc, but I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the weather was really good while I was there. I met my roommates soon enough and liked them immediately. There was Camilla, a swedish girl who is a nurse and had worked in Sydney for a few months. After travelling around Oz, she was going to Alice Springs to work as a nurse at the Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS). Helen, England, had decided to take a break adn travel before starting university. She was going back home in a couple weeks and couldn't wait to see her family adn boyfriend again. And Eva, a really outgoing girl from Spain was taking a long break to see the world but was really missing having her own place and listening to her CD collection. Eva invitedme to go listen to a band that was playing in a local club. I'd heard from teh other that Eva was nice, a lot of fun and crazy. It promised to be an interesting evening and ofcourse I went. Our group ended up consisting of Eva and I, another Spanish guy, 2 Italians, and a French girl. It is so cool to hang out with people from all over th world! I don't remember too much about the band because I had a little bit too much tequila but I did remember having a great time dancing. Hopefully I didn't step on too many toes!
I mostly relaxed the next day but did decide to take advantage of Byron's alternative culture and got an aura photo taken. I'd walked by a store called Crystal Palace that charged $25 for an aura photo, quick interpretation and a free crystal. It was quite simple and very quick. I sat on a chair with my palms rested on a flat metallic surface. I was told that my body's magnetic field was picked up through these contacts and superimposed against my upper body picture on a polaroid picture. I'm not sure how the different colors in teh photo were interpreted by teh camera though. MY aura photo revealed that my 'guardian angel' was very close to me and I had psychic powers. I'm not too sure about the psychic powers but in a weird way, it felt really good to know I had a guardian angel. Its quite interesting to occasionally dabble in the realm of the mystical sciences such as astrology. It gives me goose pimples sometimes.
I woke up really early teh next day (at 6:00am!) to try adn catch the sunrise. I went to the beach and walked over to a look outpoint onteh far end. The sun had already risen by teh time I got there but the cloud cover had preserved some of the bright oranges and reds. There were visible only from teh lookout point. Even that early in the morning, there were some people and surfers about. It felt really good to take in teh early morning sun, have a nice brisk walk, smile at all the passersby,a nd just sit down and meditate near a beautiful fairy tale castle someone had built. The following morning, I woke up early again and walked out even further and all the way upto the Cape Byron lighthouse, a 7km roundtrip walk. I passed the most eastern point on teh australian east coast.
When I got back, Camilla and I found out that the weather was perfect for hanggliding. Hanggliding was another one of thoese activities I'd always been interestedin trying. Ofcourse we signed up for it right away and we were driven to the clifffs near the lighthouse. We got suited up in harneses and taught how to run off the cliff in order to get eht glider off the ground. There was nothing to learn since this was a tandem flight. My tandem instructor waited for a good wind that would nicely pick us off the cliff and we ran and jumped off the platform. It seemed like there was nothing to it. The hangglider just took off effortlessly and soared higher and higher. The glider has a long bar toplace hands on and to navigate. Pushing the bar to the left and turning your head right makes the glider turn right since the weight gets redistributed. Pushing the bar out speeds up teh glider I think. It is essential to have an excellent understanding of air movement and how to sense its direction from the waves in teh ocean adn the tops of trees. The vantage point form teh glider was amazing. I got an understanding of how birds might feel like when they're inteh air. Below us was Cape Byron on a hill with teh lighthouse on teh top. One 2 sides, teh cliffs gradually gave way to teh beach. The sidesof the hills were covered with rainforests all teh way to teh beach. From teh top, we even managed to spot a wallaby ina clearing int eh forest. There were 2 other gliders int eh area - one of them Camilla and her tandem instructor. IT was bumpy every time we caught their wake.
My instructor allowed me to take over the controls (don't worry, we didn't come crashing down!) and fly for a bit. IT wasa lot of fun turning left and right adn then going up adn down, speeding upa nd slowing down. I could do this for along time. What I did was actually the first step in a 5 step process for passing teh student hanggliding certification. But after a really short half hour, it was time to land unfortunately. The instructor took back controla dn executed a perfectly smooth landing on teh beach. The ant people lifesized as we swooshed down and the ground came rushing up. This had beeen a very relaxing experience without any of the adrenaline rush I had imagined. I'm lucky to have dont it in sucha beautiful place.
A brochure for Byron Bay mentions that the crystalline energies beneath Byron support an expansion of consciousness anda heightening of awareness. Like Camilla and Eva, many people ended up staying here longer than they had anticipated. Whatever the explanation, I'd really enjoyed the town, had fun writing catchy slogans and drawing pictures on teh beach with Camilla, and cooking up stir fry with Spanish, Chinese, English adn Indian influences in it with Eva. But time is flying by and there is so much I still want to do in Australia. My cousin Harsha who lives in Coffs Harbour picked me up from Byron Bay. Coffs Harbour is 3 hours down teh east coast from Byron Bay.