In the morning, at Yamba, we had a beautiful early morning walk from Calypso Holiday Park out along the South Break Wall where we watched the surfers and fisherman. Yamba is famous for the fishing and it also has excellent surfing. Out at the end of the “Wall” we watched the excitement as a fisherman reeled in long-finned tuna. He was using an enormous rod and balancing on the break wall rocks with his legs shaking like a leaf. You could tell he was thrilled with his catch but also exhausted.
As we drove down along Pippi Beach Gregory spied a pod of dolphins so we parked and walked out along the beach for a while to have a look. Gregory was eager to try to go in and swim with the dolphins but there was not a single person in the water and the signs warned of dangerous waves. Our map said it was a patrolled surfing beach, in season, (not patrolled today) but we didn’t want to risk going in at a dangerous spot and getting caught in a rip. These were big waves. The beach was beautiful though so we had a stroll and Gregory got to throw a stick for a dog.
Just a little further south of Yamba is Angourie which, “is famous as one of Australia’s best surfboard riding spots and was the first designated surf reserve in Australia.” (Cartoscope Coastal Explorer Pacific Coast Touring Route, www.maps.com.au)
Here is what Gregory had to say about his day:
April 27, 2010
This morning my mom and I walked out on the Breakwall and there were a lot of surfers out in the waves. We walked all the way down to the point and were just in time to see a man pulling in a long-finned tuna. It was as big as a rig shark! Then, we drove down to Pippi Beach and saw a pod of dolphins! We then drove to Angourie Beach and walked along the huge rock masses! It was really cool! I also jumped off some cliffs into the Angourie Blue Pool that was formed by a quarry hole that filled with fresh water from a spring! Then we drove to Byron Bay and my mom and I went boogie boarding on the main beach. I had a fun time.
The end of the day was just bliss as Greg and I spent the last hour before sun set out in the surf. We watched the sun dip below the horizon before taking the short bare-footed walk back up to the camper. We rinsed away the salt and sand then settled down for a dinner of barbecued chicken, sausages and sweet potato fries done on the grill.
The breeze was warm and the night relatively peaceful until about 3:00 A.M. when the "Hippie Camper" neighbors (we were packed into this park pretty tight) decided to bang dishes around and talk at the top of their voices. Both Mike and our other neighbor, the TREX 4-Wheeled drive adventures host, John, let them know we didn't appreciate the noise. Mike and John had plenty to talk about in the morning and not just the noise-makers.
Gregory was actually the first to talk to John and told him all about our bicycle adventures since John leads outback adventures around Australia. John had a pretty fancy Nissan Patrol truck so he and Mike talked trucks amongst other things. John leads other folks in their own 4-wheeled drive vehicles around Australia on various length tours.
All three of us had one more surf at Byron Bay before we departed. If it hadn't been for our noisy neighbors who were booked for another night (and the fact that they wouldn't move us) we probably would have stayed another night. However, we ended up in lovely Tweed Heads for the evening and are just on the border of New South Wales and Queensland.
Soon we explore the Gold Coast and finally make good on our promise of a theme park for Gregory (a "reward" for his TransAm US bicycle crossing). We had promised Busch Gardens in Virginia but we didn't arrive until December and it was closed! There are many to choose from here and we've booked an Unlimited Entry World Pass (until June 30) for Dreamworld and White Water World. The price was right at AU$69 each (US$64.17). With the holiday weekend (labor day is celebrated on Monday in Queensland) we may wait until Tuesday when things quiet down but the weather isn't expected to be as good so we'll see!