My activity for yesterday (Saturday) was a surfing lesson. At noon we were taken to the company that would teach our group and were given wetsuits and boards. After a very quick lesson, we were thrown in the water to try it out.
Now, I love body boarding, so I know how to ride a wave. My problem was just standing up. I would get up to about my knees, but would always lose balance before I could actually stand. Apparently I needed a bigger board; the longer the board, the easier it is to balance (according to Carla, who used to surf as a kid). Over all, it was still a very fun hour and a half. By the end I was pretty much just using my board to ride waves back to shore with out even trying to stand. I give the experience a 10 out of 10 and will definitely try it again before I leave Australia.
On our way back up the beach, some of the boys saw a crab in the sand. I thought it was dead because it was so far away from the water and, when I see crabs like that at Nudgee Beach, they’re usually dead. I went to pick it up, and the crab moved! I was actually happy to be wrong. I redirected my approach so that I could pick it up without getting pinched (like I learned at my internship). Lots of people took pictures, since the crab had started moving a lot, and I was able to show how much of a nerd I was by explaining how I knew it was a male crab and how crabs use their claws as teeth. I think the people at Nudgee would be proud.
After surfing, we were all starving. One of the surf instructors recommended a burger place nearby, so we went straight there. After a yummy veggie burger for me, we went to a bakery around the corner and some of the girls got crepes. A few of them then wanted to check out a some of the shops nearby, but I was ready to get put of my wet bathing suit. Sara and I decided to walk back to the hostel and get cleaned up. On our way, we saw a guy making spray paint art. We passed him, only to immediately turn around. It turns out that he was homeless and was accepting donations of $5 or more for his work. Sara and I each picked one and gave him all the change we had (which was pretty good since I had mostly $2 coins). Very satisfied with our purchase, we continued on to the hostel for a much needed shower.
After my shower, I decided to do some research on the crab I picked up. It turns out that it was a ghost crab. They are usually pretty small and like to burrow very far up the beach, away from the water. Their eyes are up on long stalks and they do not have legs for swimming. I’m not sure of the specific species, but I’ll attach a picture I found that is pretty close to what we saw for reference.
For dinner last night, we went to a bar called Cheeky Monkeys. The food was crappy, but we did have the opportunity to get a lot of free drinks. Sara won 12 free drink cards, actually. After several hours of drinking and dancing amongst strangers, I was very ready for bed.
Today we will check out of our hostel and spend a few more hours in Byron Bay before heading back to Brisbane. It has been a very exciting weekend, so I am very eager to get back to the comforts of my apartment. I’m starving for breakfast now, so I’m going to bring this post to a close. Thanks for reading!