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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Here we sit in our comfy little tent in the famous Byron Bay. While I’m trying desperately to write a very intellectual blog about the shuwa so like where is the mountain dude Byron Bay, I’m over hearing a young loud couple, in the tent next to us, well on their way to the bottom of a Vodka bottle, discussing the size of penises, as one does on a Friday night before hitting the town. Darryl says to his girlfriend, I just wish I was Turk, not because he is any better than me, I’m better looking, smarter, bigger muscles but he has a huge penis. If only mine was 2 inches bigger, I mean 6 inches is great but 2 more would be fantastic. I have no idea why Kurt even has such a big one, he doesn’t get any girls. I get all the girls….. And so the vastly intellectual conversation rambles on behind us as I try to get back to the blog and my own little piece of intellectual writing.

So Byron Bay, what a spot. Little Plett in OZ? More like a little Plett with Russellers Valley, some Woodstock and a touch of Jamaica maan. Wicked place. I see why Pete Zam enjoyed it so much. I can see Pete hanging out here with his Art Gallery and flying tourists around on gliders. It’s a little piece of paradise but with the tourism industry to back it all up. There are shops of all varieties and most leaning towards organic or natural products. Quite a few boutiques that make their own clothes. Health shops with every kind of natural product under the sun. Lots of restaurants with the most exquisite and tasty cuisine. The people just seem to be super friendly everywhere and the service is great. I think the town must get frantic during the summer months, especially holiday time. If you looking for a never ending summer party I think you would find it here.

We arrived yesterday in the midst of a downpour that had been going on and off during the entire journey here. We sat in the car waiting patiently for a slowdown in the rain so that we could jump out and pitch our tent. We got a break and pitched the tent super fast and got all our sleeping gear in just in time before the rain poured down again. We both hopped into the tent. It was around 4pm and seeing that we had been up since 5am in order to drive the +-800km here, we were pretty bushed and so we simply laid down and crashed for a few hours. We got up later in the evening and headed to town for some dinner. It was still drizzling with an occasional shower. We walked around town a bit and found all the weird yabos walking around. A yabo (spelling) is anything from a down and out person to a real low life. I think the word kind of describes it best. We came across three that were holding each other up. I’m sure the world seemed like the deck of the Titanic when it hit the ice burg, to them. One tripped quite badly and in the fumble rolled over and took his friend kung fu style over his shoulder right into a brick wall face first. For a while I thought I was ring side at the WWF. The street entertainers are first classy in Byron Bay :-). And so we ran into a few of these along the way, some pushing trolleys and other trying to sit low on the ground in order to stop that swinging feeling. We retired to the tent after the pleasant entertainment.

Today (23 May 2008) we set off to find the only Skydiving Club in Byron Bay. After all we picked up our skydiving gear in Sydney so we were hoping to use it during this last leg of our adventures. This was going to be tricky because Lynda did not have a helmet and I don’t have a log book but let’s see what transpires. The staff at Byron Bay Skydiving are just awesome. Steve, the CI (Chief Instructor) is such a great guy and makes us feel very welcome. We get thru all the paper work and Steve gives us the go. The weather is still very touch and go with the occasional sprinkle but there is a gap and a load takes off. We choose to sit because we want to fly wingsuits. The cloud base is still not looking great as time comes for the following load so we take the wingsuits off and go enjoy a freefly. 14000 feet is the exit altitude which gives us some sweet freefall. Unfortunately that was the last load but we are told that the weather on Saturday is going to be way better. So we headed back to camp, dropped the car off and went for a walk in town while the sun was still up. Lynda found some really awesome clothes in a fairy shop. All handmade stuff by the owners of the shop. The owner is originally from Russia.

We come across a free barbeque happening in the central park in town. Such a far out sight. You could see that there were mainly backpackers hanging around. They were serving sausage rolls. If you wanted one, you could simply go and grab one. This really blew me away. Wow! We got hungry watching all these people eating so we wondered off to find another nice restaurant. We found a sushi place and decided it was good. The sushi was in fact top class. Being one of those places with the belt going round, we had to stop ourselves before we ended up washing the dishes to pay for the bill. With our tummies full, we headed back to camp to prepare lunch for tomorrow when we are at the skydiving club rolling out a few jumps. Lynda is already fast asleep next to me so I guess I best get to sleep. Luckily our young couple next door have reached the bottom of their Vodka bottle and have headed off to town to perhaps hang out with the yabo’s. I think they mentioned they were going to look for Turk or she was more interested in finding Turk. I forget.

Day two at Skydive Byron Bay. The weather is perfect and there are no clouds in the sky so the day took off nice and early and by the time we got to the club they had done a few loads already. We strapped our wingsuits on in a hurry and headed out for a day of fun. The skydiving was going like a bomb until the one dive I was filming Lynda’s parachute opening and I saw the chute twist violently into huge line twists. As I’m watching this I’m thinking to myself that this is not great as Lynda is now going to cut away and our fun is going to be all over. I’m still looking back under my wing and she is spinning more into the twists. It’s looking worse every second and to top it all we are far out from the Drop Zone and I’m almost certain we are not going to make it back. By now I would have long cut away and pulled my reserve. I prepare for my own opening and I deploy. I unzip from my suit and do the necessary drills. I then turn around to look for Lynda expecting to see her under a white reserve canopy when there she is flying quite happily under her red main parachute. I couldn’t believe it! How the hell did she manage that? We land and I run up to her and there is a look of disappointment on her face. I’m surprised because I expected her to be raving that she managed to get out of the line twists. It turns out that she had to cut away one of her wings on the wingsuit in order to sort the mess out with the twists and in this rush and confusion she threw away the wing cut-away which means she could no longer use her wingsuit. I was just still dumbfounded that she managed to sort all that mess out without cutting away her main chute. That’s why she is my hero!

We changed over to do some freefly but I didn’t give up asking around if anyone had something of sorts that we could make up a cutaway cable for the wingsuit. The one chap, Steve, who is the master packer there, said he had some cutaway cables from old rigs that might do the job. What a legend, he saved the day and we managed, with some alterations, to make up a new cutaway cable for Lynda’s winsuit. We were back in business. Steve is such an awesome guy. A really bouncy friendly dude who packs like a demon. Every time I look at him he makes me tired just seeing him throwing another chute into the bag. We managed to get out and do a wingsuit jump with Steve later that day. It was brilliant chasing Steve around the sky in his new wingsuit. It was a great days skydiving and we hung around afterwards and thanked the crew who where such a fantastic bunch. We bid our farewell as the following day we were off to Brisbane.

That night we went out into the town after some dinner to go join the vibe and have a drink or two. We ended up at a place called The Rails where a live band put on a show. They were pretty good although not quite our music but I was enjoying watching them. Then we saw two guys from the Skydiving club standing there talking. The one was Matt who is part owner of the Skydiving club and the other was Nathan who is a tandem master at the Skydiving club. We decided to go over and say hi. This is when it all started to go downhill. They just started buying drinks after drinks and next the pilot and a buddy of his pitched up and it got more festive. Next moment Matt was offering us permanent work in skydiving and was trying to convince us not to go away the following day but to rather come skydive a little more. Then he was offering us free jumps and proceeded to call his manifest organiser to put us on a load for the following day at 7am. We told him he was mad because we were out to party tonight and 7am wouldn’t happen. Next moment another guy by the name of Mick pitched up and we got introduced. Mick runs a tour operation which goes into the little town of Nimbun. I looking at him with a puzzled look on my face as if to say “where is Nimbun and why would I want to go on a tour there”? He shouts out “You’ve never heard of Nimbun”??? You simply must go. I ask him why. He tells us because it’s the dagga capital of Australia! What!!?? Did I hear you right? Ye, he says, the dagga capital of OZ. They grow dagga there and they sell it in the coffee bars and they make cookies and, ye, it’s all “kind of legal”. Pretty much like Holland but in OZ. We thought he was shitting us but all the nodding from the rest of the crew confirmed it was so. Next moment he was offering for us to go on a free tour with lunch included and as much cookies as you can eat. We had to slow this man down, he was raving about the place so much. Why on earth would we want to go to Nimbun to hang around with bunches of hippies who were running around out of their trees. We had to tell him we would certainly think about it and we would give him a call if we decided to go.

The crowd was really getting into a party mood and so they all decided to hit the next place which is supposed to be Byron Bay’s top club – La La Land. No guesses why it’s called that. Because we were with the locals we got some VIP treatment and the drinks at the bar just seemed to flow. Boy, this was going to be a long night. The DJ’s were top class and put on a wicked performance. The choons pumped and Lynda and I danced like crazy as this place filled up with what seemed like the whole of Byron Bay. After a while we had nowhere to stand any longer. This was certainly Byron’s top club. The night was a party not to forget but we managed to slip out not too late because we decided that Byron was such an awesome place and we wanted to stay on another day and skydive a little more. We walked back to the camp to catch a few hours sleep or shall I say, more like a power nap before heading out to the club for another day of skydiving.

I think we have fallen in love with Byron Bay and not just because of the great Skydiving Club but because the whole place has got such an awesome feel to it. People just seem friendlier and the place has such a nice energy about it. I think we are going to put this one up on the top of the list. Only little problem is that it’s kind of far from everywhere but there is a big town close by but nowhere as big as Brisbane. Let’s see what happens.

Peace and Love,
Eddy & Lynda